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Stout syrup being poured over cream topped chocolate cake square

Creamy Chocolate Stout Cake

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A great twist on a traditional devil's food cake, this is our favorite recipe to bake for St. Patrick's day. It's moist, with a rich chocolate flavor and creamy topping. It's finished with a stout beer syrup that is magic. You can make the cake and syrup in advance and assemble the cake the day you want to eat it. 

  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings



For the cake:

  • 1 oz. semi-sweet chocolate (see Notes below for my favorite brands)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup creamy stout beer (Guinness beer)
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose or cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons (140g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white, granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or paste

For the cream topping:

  • 1 1/3 cups cream, cold
  • 6 tablespoons powdered sugar

For the stout syrup:

  • 2/3 cup cream stout
  • 1/3 cup sugar


For the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
  2. Butter or spray a rectangular 8x12 inch (20x30 cm) cake pan lined with parchment paper. See Notes below for variations.
  3. Chop the chocolate and put it in a medium bowl with the cocoa powder.
  4. Heat the beer in a medium saucepan over medium heat until it almost boils. Don't let it boil. Add to the chocolate and let stand 1 minute. 
  5. Whisk carefully until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Add the milk and mix. Reserve. 
  6. Beat the soft butter in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, at medium speed for 30 seconds. 
  7. Add sugars gradually, beating for 3 minutes, until light-colored and fluffy, and scraping the sides of the bowl frequently. 
  8. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well each time. 
  9. Add the vanilla and mix well, scraping down the sides. 
  10. Sift the dry ingredients (you can do it in a different bowl or have them measured and sift directly over the butter mixture), and add them in 3 parts, alternating with the Guinness mixture in 2 parts, mixing well but just until it's incorporated. You start and end with the flour mixture. Don't be tempted to beat too much at this point as it will make the cake tougher.
  11. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 40 minutes, until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The time might vary depending on the pan and oven. 
  12. Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack (cooling rack). 

For the cream topping:

  1. Whip the cold cream with the sugar in a large bowl until it's thick and almost firm peaks form. Be careful at the end, when it's very thick, not to overbeat it because as it might curdle. 
  2. Using a spatula apply to the top of the cake and refrigerate until 20 minutes before you plan to serve it. 
  3. Drizzle with syrup and serve.

For the stout syrup:

  1. In a small saucepan mix the stout and the sugar.
  2. Boil for 3 or 4 minutes, until reduced to a honey consistency.
  3. Remove from the heat. Let cool and use to top the cake before serving. 


  • Serving: this is a cake to be served not completely cold or at room temperature, somewhere in between, but that can be assembled a few hours or up to a day before and kept in the refrigerator, covered to prevent drying out.
  • Baking time: keep in mind that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look the same or very similar. The baking time in my recipes is as accurate as it can be, but it might take you more or less time. You can use a thermometer that is placed inside the oven (like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that your oven is at the right temperature. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust. 
  • Stout: I found that the creamy style works best. But since all beers are different depending on where you are, I recommend you use one that is not extremely bitter.
  • Cream: heavy whipping cream or double cream work best because they hold well due to their higher fat content. You can whip it up in advance, up to 2 days and keep it refrigerated in an airtight container.
  • Syrup: this is the perfect addition to finish off this cake. You can make it ahead and keep it in the fridge for weeks. Use it at room temperature and add it just before serving the cake or to the individual servings.
  • Chocolate cake: can be made in advance and kept in the fridge for a week or the freezer for a month, always well wrapped (in plastic wrap for the refrigerator and adding aluminum foil for the freezer). 
  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Cakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: International