You can’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day properly without a good amount of Guinness and one of my favorite ways to consume Guinness is in this chocolate stout cake. I have been baking chocolate stout cupcakes for St. Paddy’s Day since I was in college, but this year I decided to change it up a bit and turn my cupcakes into a layer cake.
My cupcakes were filled with an Irish whiskey ganache and the only difference with the cake’s filling is that I chilled and then whipped the ganache, which gives the ganache more body and allows you to pipe it. I kept the frosting the same – a classic buttercream spiked with Baileys, one of my favorite things ever. You can definitely taste the whiskey in the filling and the Baileys in the frosting, but the stout flavor in the cake is a little more muted since it’s competing with the chocolate, so I went light on the frosting in order not to overpower the cake.
If you are not a big fan of whiskey or Baileys, feel free to omit either (or both) of them in the filling and frosting; it will still be delicious. In fact, if you’re just looking for a Guinness flavor, you could make this cake as a simple bundt cake and do away with the ganache and buttercream altogether.
Chocolate Stout Cake
- 1 cup stout (I always use Guinness)
- 2 sticks butter
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 cups AP flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup sour cream (plain Greek yogurt works well if you’re out of sour cream)
Irish Whiskey Ganache
- 8 oz dark chocolate, chopped
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 tsp Irish whiskey
- 3-4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 3-4 tsp Baileys
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two 9-inch cake pans with parchment; grease and flour the pans.
Melt the butter and stout in a small saucepan; bring to a simmer. Whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth and remove from heat. Let cool slightly.
Mix the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the eggs and sour cream. Add the chocolate-stout mixture to the eggs and mix. Slowly add the flour mixture, beating just to combine.
Bake the cake for 20 minutes or until done. Cool for a few minutes in the pan before turning out and cooling completely before assembling cake (if short on time, you can cool the cakes in the fridge).
Make the Irish whiskey ganache. Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl. Heat the heavy cream until just simmering. Pour over the chocolate and let stand 2 minutes. Whisk the ganache until smooth; stir in the Irish whiskey. Cool the ganache in the fridge for at least 1 hour and then whip with a mixer until fluffy.
Make the frosting. Beat the butter with a mixer until fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar until the frosting is slightly thicker than your desired consistency. Thin out the frosting with 3-4 teaspoons of the Baileys. If you need to thin out the frosting more, use either more Baileys or milk if you don’t want the taste any stronger.
Assemble the cake. Place the bottom layer on a cake stand of plate. Pipe the whipped ganache in a ring around the edge of the cake layer. You can either pipe concentric rings of ganache to cover the cake, or spread the remaining ganache inside the ring of piped ganache with an offset spatula.
Place the other on top. Spread the buttercream over just the top of the cake, leaving the sides bare, and swirl the frosting. Top with chocolate sprinkles and chocolate sugar, if desired.