Erin McDowell

One of Valentine’s Day’s most redeeming qualities is the copious amount of chocolate you’re encouraged to consume. (Calories don’t add up on February 14, right?) But why should that one holiday have all the fun? What about St. Patrick’s Day?

Here to save us all from soggy cabbage and overdone corned beef is a chocolate cake recipe made with bitter stout beer. It goes double-duty on the good stuff (chocolate cake plus melty chocolate chunks) and gets topped off with lightly sweetened whipped cream. Luck of the Irish, indeed.

Chocolate Stout Cake

A PureWow Original Recipe

  • Makes one 9-inch cake
  • Start to Finish: 2 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

3 sticks butter

¾ cup stout beer

¾ cup cocoa powder

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

Pinch of salt

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

¾ cup whole milk

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup chocolate chunks

Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy cream

¼ cup confectioners’ sugar

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 9-inch cake pan with nonstick spray, then dust with flour to coat.

2. In a medium pot, bring the butter and stout to a simmer, stirring until the butter is melted. Whisk in the cocoa powder. Cool slightly.

3. In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the baking soda, salt and sugar.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk and vanilla. Gradually add the butter mixture to the egg mixture, whisking well to combine.

5. Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, whisking until the batter is well combined and totally smooth. Gently fold in the chocolate chunks.

6. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake until a toothpick or knife inserted into the center comes out clean (or with just a few moist crumbs), 60 to 75 minutes.

7. Let the cake cool for 30 minutes in the pan, then run a knife or spatula around the edge to loosen the cake from the pan; gently invert the cake onto a wire rack. Cool completely.

8. Make the whipped cream: Whip the cream to soft peaks in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add the sugar and vanilla, and continue to whip until combined.

9. To serve, mound the whipped cream on top of the cake. The finished cake (before adding whipped cream) will keep for up to a week in an airtight container. With whipped cream topping, it will keep in the refrigerator for up to two days.

Finishing Touches

It's the details that count! Try these tips

  • Size is important. This cake is designed to bake in a nine-inch cake pan that’s about two inches deep. But you can also divide the batter evenly between two pans before baking, and fill the finished layers with more whipped cream to even them out.

  • Not enough chocolate for you? Try topping the cake with a drizzle of ganache--like this one--instead of whipped cream. You could even stir in a tablespoon of Irish cream, should the spirit move you.

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