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Chocolate Stout Cake

Anna Williams

Yield: 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.


Rate or Review

Reviews (31 reviews)

  • Robbone | 03/16/2021

    I made this cake for the first responders in my community. Every year I usually make Guinness cupcakes with Baily’s buttercream but I thought this year I would try this recipe. I won’t know how it tasted but it seems a little wet and dense. It did not raise very well and looks kind of flat. Usually at 5000+ feet I have the opposite problem. I substituted some of the cream in the glaze with Baileys (1/4 cup) and since I used up my semisweet baking bar for the cake, I had to use a Hershey bar for the ganache. It looks good and smells delicious. Maybe next time I will cut back slightly on the stout. I did not count the head in the 1 1/4 cup and let it sit out for about 20 minutes but it still adds liquid. I wish I could include a picture because it look beautiful. I hope it tastes as good as it looks!

  • MiltonJr | 01/02/2019

    Loved it. Couldn't find molasses at my local store, so I used agave instead. The flavor was very rich, it is bittersweet and creamy, just like the beer. One of the best chocolate cakes I ever had.

  • oreocookie | 12/28/2018

    Amazing flavour and wonderful texture. Does anyone have a problem with the cake slices crumbling? Just a bit messy. Didn’t bother with the glaze. Freezes well.

  • Tadria | 03/18/2018

    I’ve never made a recipe from Fine Cooking that I didn’t like and this bundt cake was no exception. This cake is amazing it’s rich in chocolate taste and very moist. I highly recommend the chocolate glaze. I will be making this cake again for sure.

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