My Recipe Box

Chocolate Stout Cake


Yields 1 large bundt cake or 12 miniature bundt cakes.

Rich, dark, and toasty stout beer plus deeply flavored molasses give the chocolate flavor of this cake some wonderful nuance. With this recipe, you can bake one big beautiful cake, perfect for entertaining, or a dozen irresistible miniature bundt cakes, perfect for gift giving.

For the cake
  • 1-1/4 cups stout, such as Guinness (don’t include the foam when measuring)
  • 1/3 cup dark molasses (not blackstrap)
  • 7-1/2 oz. (1-2/3 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/4 oz. (3/4 cup) unsweetened natural cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed); more for the pan
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 10 oz. (1-1/4 cups) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature; more for the pan
  • 1-1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 6 oz. semisweet chocolate, very finely chopped
For the glaze: (optional)
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 6 oz. semisweet chocolate

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350ºF. Butter a 10- or 12-cup bundt pan (or twelve 1-cup mini bundt pans) and then lightly coat with sifted cocoa powder. Tap out any excess cocoa.

In a small saucepan over high heat, bring the stout and molasses to a simmer. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand while preparing the cake batter.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With a stand mixer (use the paddle attachment) or a hand mixer, cream the butter in a large bowl on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the brown sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stop to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the eggs one at a time, stopping to scrape the bowl after each addition. With the mixer on low speed, alternate adding the flour and stout mixtures, beginning and ending with the flour. Stop the mixer at least one last time to scrape the bowl and then beat at medium speed until the batter is smooth, about 20 seconds. Stir in the chopped chocolate.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan (or pans), spreading it evenly with a rubber spatula. Run a knife through the batter to eliminate any air pockets. Bake until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs clinging to it, 45 to 50 minutes (about 35 minutes for mini cakes). Set the pan on a rack to cool for 20 minutes. Invert the cake onto the rack and remove the pan. Let cool until just barely warm.

Make the glaze, if using:

Bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate. Let stand for 1 minute and then whisk until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Drizzle the barely warm cake with glaze and then let cool to room temperature before serving.

Make Ahead Tips

Wrapped tightly in plastic, the cake keeps for up to a week, or you can freeze it for up to a month. If you’re making the cake ahead, wrap it while still barely warm without the glaze. If you plan to freeze the cake, don’t glaze it until you’re ready to serve it or give it away.

Photo: Anna Williams

Wow! My husband the chocolate fanatic was dubious when he saw the stout and molasses but he had to agree that this was one of my best cakes ever. Incredibly moist with an intense, grown-up, not too sweet flavor (I used Valrhona cocoa powder and crushed extra dark 85% Green & Black chocolate bars). This one definitely goes into the regular rotation.

Deliciously moist chocolaty goodness. So many compliments both on how the cake looks and tastes. I only made 2/3 of the glaze recipe (4oz chocolate & 1/2 cup cream) and found it to be more than enough.

This is ridiculously delicious. It turned out perfectly and the flavor is complex-amazing. Heat leftover pieces up in the microwave for 20-30 seconds.

WOW! I have just glazed the cake and accidentally a small piece broke off the bottom so I had to taste it. Wow! Love it. Can't wait until after dinner. A couple of more accidental pieces falling off tasted as good as the first.

Fantastic cake. Perfect valentines dessert for our family. Teen kids thought it was great. Served it with whipped cream instead of the glaze. Will definitely make again. House smells like the stout, I must say.

My husband asks for this cake for his birthday every year. It's terrific!

Wow! What a fantastic cake! We made this last year for St. Patrick's Day and were so impressed that it became our go-to birthday/celebration cake. Just made again for our annual St. Paddy's dinner and everyone was moaning with delight as they scraped their plates. The stout and molasses give the chocolate such depth. It keeps very well and is wonderful heated in the microwave for about 15 seconds. Yum!

This was a great cake and especially fun to serve at St. Patrick's Day party. Looked really great and I always think a bundt cake is a great cake to feed a crowd. Everyone loved. I particularly think that it was even better the next day! I thought you could definitely taste a little booze or at least knew that there was a little something different about it.

This cake was awesome! And well-received by guests! It is super-moist and has a deep dark chocolate flavour with a hint of the bitterness of the beer and molasses. Not for kids!

Just made these as cupcakes. It made about 20 cupcakes. I filled them with the ganache, then frosted them with Bailey's cream cheese! The cake itself is moist, deeply chocolatey, delicious. The molasses and guinness enhances the chocolatey-ness of it. A big, fat hit at the St. Paddy's party. I've made a lot of chocolate cakes, and I have some favs. This is now one of them.

This cake is fabulous--don't be afraid to make it if you don't like beer. You can't taste the beer; it just gives it a wonderful undertone. It's dark, moist and delicious. I also highly recommend this other chocolate stout cake:

Maybe it was the stout, but this cake tasted terrible. It had a nasty, bitter, "off" flavor to it. We threw it in the trash. I might try it again with Coca-Cola instead of that awful stout. As for Kits' question--you misread the recipe! It's 7.5 OUNCES of flour (1-2/3 cups) not 7.5 CUPS of flour.

5 Star all the way. Easy to make and the taste is outstanding. Will make again very soon. Smelled amazing while making it and tasted even better.

To the last reviewer, Kits, no it's not supposed to be 7.5 CUPS of flour, its supposed to be 7.5 OUNCES of flour which comes out to be about 1 2/3 C. flour so if you really used 7 and 1/2 C. flour I guess you would have a brick! This is a very tasty cake when made properly, you should give it another try! I really like it and so far I have liked all the recipes for desserts I have tried using Guiness beer.

I kept thinking something was wrong with the recipe. I kept checking and rechecking my measurements. I have been baking for many years. I ended up with an inedible brick. Was it really supposed to be 7.5 Cups of flour? The dough was very thick.

Just wonderful! Perfectly rich and full of dense chocolate flavor - this one is a keeper. I cut the extra into slices, wrapped them in wax paper and froze them - each has defrosted perfectly.

A very moist cake with a nice deep chocolate flavor and so easy to make! Even at high altitude it turned out perfect.

Fantastic! Chocolate cake recipes are all alike. It is hard to find one that is truly unique. This one is!! This is a unique stand-out recipe that is very impressive. Highly recommended. I used fine bittersweet chocolate instead of standard semi-sweet chocolate. And I used heavy cream instead of unsalted butter. PERFECT cake. Made it twice.

Simply perfect! Took longer to cook than the recipe indicated but a fantastic result in the end.

Excellent, rich, VERY chocolate-y cake....a definite keeper!

This cake fantastically delicious. Once I made it for my holiday gifts, it has moved to the top spot for requests. Definitely a keeper!

A crowd favorite. Great chocolate flavor everybody loves. Quick and easy recipe to boot!

The ultimate in dark chocolate cake & with the ganache,,,well, over the top. Very easy to make,watch the heating of molasses & stout, it goes to boiling very quickly. Anyway, tks again Nicole Rees for a delicious recipe that keeps so well.

This is an improvement over traditional stout cake- easier to make and more moist. Truly an impressive cake!

I made this cake for my husband who is overseas. It took 10 days to get there and he said it was moist and delicious when he got it. I followed the directions and wrapped the cake while still warm and I think that helped make it to Iraq in good condition. Thank You! I was tired of sending cookies.

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