Chocolate Stout Cake

Chocolate Stout Cake

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Recently, my friend Molly asked me if I had a good chocolate cake recipe, preferably one that could be made in a Bundt pan. Man, did I ever?!

This Chocolate Stout Cake is about the easiest chocolate cake you can make. Ever. Sure, it involves 3 bowls, but the steps are very simple. The secret ingredients are yogurt (or sour cream, if you must, but I usually have yogurt on hand) and Guinness or another stout or your choosing. I don’t think you can mess it up unless you overmix or overbake.

It was in March 2010 that I came across a recipe for Guinness chocolate cupcakes. I made them and frosted them; they were amazing.  I was reminded of them as I was looking for St. Patrick’s day themed recipes in 2011. I ended up not making any real food for St. Patrick’s Day that year, but I did make this chocolate cake to take in to work.


a big wedge of chocolate stout cake with ganache

This chocolate stout cake recipe (via Smitten Kitchen, of course) is my favorite chocolate cake recipe ever. I swear it is the richest, moistest chocolate cake I’ve ever made. It’s delicious enough that you don’t need ganache or frosting to enjoy it. The yogurt I used in it keeps it amazingly moist. The stout gives the cake extra flavor that deepens the chocolate flavor. If you didn’t tell others that it was an ingredient, most people wouldn’t even notice that there was beer in it. It’s a little noticeable if you know to look for it. The beer makes the cake taste a little malty, for lack of a better word. The chocolate ganache that tops the cake cuts down on this maltiness for the beer-averse.

When I took this cake to work, I told everyone, without modesty, that this would be the cake that you would want to break your diet for. And everyone agreed. This cake is amazing every time I make this recipe. If you’re ever going to try a new chocolate cake recipe, try this one.

chocolate stout cake, turned out of a Bundt pan, with ganache

One note, though – contrary to popular opinion, alcohol does not entirely cook out of food (original source is USDA). A tiny bit remains. Although in this cake, since it’s a small amount of beer that goes into the batter, I personally don’t find the amount remaining per piece to be significant.

Want other rich chocolate desserts? Try these Brownie Cakelets, Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake, or Fudge Brownies.

Chocolate Stout Cake
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins

This delicious chocolate stout cake is the moistest, richest chocolate cake you'll ever make. Delicious both with and without ganache. 

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 16
Calories: 367 kcal
Author: Leona Konkel
  • 1 cup stout beer (such as Guinness, but use your favorite)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup yogurt or sour cream
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
Ganache (optional but delicious)
  • 6 ounces chocolate chips
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon instant coffee (optional)
  1. Bring 1 cup stout beer and 1 cup unsalted butter to a low simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until combined and smooth. Cool slightly.
  2. With an electric mixer, mix sugar, eggs, and yogurt until smooth. Add chocolate mixture and beat to combine. Add flour, baking soda, and salt, and mix briefly. Use a rubber spatula to fold batter and finish mixing, until flour is just incorporated into the batter.
  3. Scrape batter into a VERY WELL GREASED Bundt cake pan. Bake at 350F for about 35 minutes, until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before turning out of pan (or else your cake may fall apart).
  4. Combine chocolate chips and cream (and coffee, if using) in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 15 second bursts, stirring after each one, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Drizzle ganache over the cooled (turned-out) cake. When covered, cake will stay very moist for about a week.
Recipe Notes

To make cupcakes, divide between 24 greased muffin cups. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Adapted via Smitten Kitchen

(Published July 2017; updated in March 2018 with content from when I originally made the recipe in March 2011.)

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