Baking With Beer: Chocolate Cake Recipe

Do you bake with beer?
And, I’m not talking about sipping some suds while you whip up a batch of your famous oatmeal cookies (although it is totally acceptable) but rather incorporating that foamy brew into your dessert.
If you don’t, you should give it a try it. Seriously, why should the savory courses get to have all the fun?
Those same ingredients that bring a little zing to your boozy bratwurst can also enhance your favorite chocolate cake recipe. But don’t even think about using one of the mass produced mainstream beers for your baking adventures — think craft.
chocolate cake recipe with beer
Traditional stout is a natural when combined with dark chocolate. What makes a brew stout is the use of roasted barley, which gives the beer its trademark dark color and distinctive coffee/molasses/licorice flavor. Guinness is the most well-known stout, but there are loads more, and all stouts are not created equal.
Stout beer can be dry, sweet, slightly bitter or big and bold. When baking with beer, use what you like. If the beer in your glass tastes unpleasantly bitter, you won’t like it any better in your cake. Find a stout that appeals to your senses; you won’t taste the alcohol in your finished product. Only malty, toasty goodness.
The following chocolate cake recipe is cake at its finest! Not over-the-top sweet, but super chocolaty with a tender crumb. The carbonation in the beer keeps the cake moist while the roasted barley turns up the chocolate factor by a few degrees.

Chocolate Cake Recipe (Featuring Your Favorite Stout!)

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes
Recipe type: dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
  • 1 cup stout
  • 1 cup butter
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour. sifted
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅔ cup sour cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place butter and stout in a medium sauce pan.
  3. Heat over medium heat until butter melts and mixture starts to simmer.
  4. Remove from the heat and slowly add the cocoa powder. Whisk to incorporate.
  5. Allow to cool slightly.
  6. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
  7. Beat eggs and sour cream in another bowl to blend.
  8. Gently fold the dry mixture into the egg mixture to incorporate completely.
  9. Fill paper lined cupcake pans ⅔ full.
  10. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Almost any stout will work for this recipe. Milk stouts tend to be sweeter while oatmeal stouts will add another dimension of flavor.

Chocolate and coffee added ales work well also; however, some Imperial Stouts are really big and bold and might be overpowering.

These moist and tender cupcakes are awesome all natural, but you can dust with a little cocoa powder, powdered sugar or drizzle with this easy to make ganache recipe for an extra dose of chocolate.

Recipe adapted from Chocolate Stout Cake, Bon Appetit

What’s your beer baking success (or failure)?  Spent grain dog treats are a fun baked good for the furry members of the family! —Karen

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