I almost didn’t post this cake. It has flaws and wasn’t up to par with my perfectionist self, then I thought…but it tastes good! It might not look pinterest perfect, but this chocolate stout beer cake with beer frosting still deserves it’s moment. And sometimes, it’s ok to post a project with flaws. I know when I see someone else do it, it makes me feel a little more adequate. I’m not a professional cake maker, and don’t claim to be. But I love making cakes (and eating them!), and this cake is just one more notch in my cake baking experience column.
The one flaw this little beauty has is sunken layers. The cake sunk in the middle on all three layers. A cake sinking in the middle can happen for a variety of reasons, such as oven temperature, over mixing, ingredients, and timing. Depending on what I was trying to accomplish on the day I made this cake, I don’t doubt that I was impatient and peeking my head into the oven, one time too many. But alas, this chocolate stout beer cake with beer frosting still looks pretty and tastes delicious! It’s the perfect combination of chocolate and beer!
And now, I can go back and take on the challenge of making it again and perfecting it (and eating it…which is the whole reason to make it again) 😉
The frosting on this cake is SO good! I adapted it from this recipe from Christina at Dessert for Two (one of my fave food blogs, btw). She used it on brownies, but I bumped up the recipe a bit to make enough to cover this cake. And I’m glad I did, because it’s worth it.
Here’s what you’ll need to make your own:
- 1¾ Cups Flour
- 2 Cups Sugar
- ¾ Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1½ Tsp. Baking Soda
- 1½ Tsp. Baking Powder
- 1 Tsp. Salt
- 2 Eggs
- 1 Cup Milk
- ½ Cup Vegetable Oil
- 1 Tsp. Vanilla
- 1 Cup Boiling Stout Beer
- 3 Sticks Unsalted Butter, Softened
- 4 Cups Powdered Sugar
- 3 Tbsp. Beer Concentrate
- Chocolate Sprinkles
To Make the Cake –
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
In a small saucepan, add the beer and boil until it reduces to about ⅓ cup.
In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Combine well. Set aside.
In small bowl, combine the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla.
Beat well until combined. Slowly add the boiling beer and mix until incorporated.
Add the mixed wet ingredients into the dry flour mixture and stir until smooth.
Divide the mixture among three greased 6-inch cake pans and bake for 35-40 minutes.
Remove them from the oven when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let the layers cool completely on a cooling rack before frosting and stacking.
To Make the Frosting –
Beat together the butter and powdered sugar until combined well.
Add in the beer concentrate and beat well. (If you don’t have enough beer concentrate leftover from the cake batter, reduce more on the stove).
Now it’s time to assemble the layers of this chocolate stout beer cake with beer frosting!
Add a generous amount of the frosting onto the first layer of cake and smooth. Stack the next layer on top and repeat the process until you get to the top layer of cake.
Once your cake stack has been built, pop it into the freezer to set for about 15 minutes. (This will help to prevent it moving around a lot when you start to frost the outside of it).
Take the cake out of the freezer. Smooth out any of the edges, in between the layers, and then begin coating the cake with the remaining frosting. Smooth it out using a cake straight edge or scraper to ensure it’s all smooth and you don’t have any missing areas of frosting. If you do, fill the empty spaces and smooth again.
Once your cake is completely frosted, use your hands to lightly press the chocolate sprinkles onto the bottom edge of the cake. (I like to set a baking pan under the area I’m working on to catch the loose sprinkles and prevent a big mess!)
So what do you guys think? Is a sunken cake center a deal breaker for you? Or do you eat them anyway and still consider a delicious layer cake a win? I’m still going to consider this chocolate stout beer cake with beer frosting a win in my book, and will take on the challenge of making it again soon! Let me know if you guys make it and how it works for you!