Chocolate Stout Cherry Pie

Chocolate Stout Cherry Pie3


This is a baking PSA, a result of an ongoing panic attack I’ve been having since I turned my book into the publisher. I’ve been convinced that most people who attempt to make my Chocolate Stout Cake with Raspberry Chocolate Ganche won’t know there is a difference between weight ounces and fluid ounces, confuse the two and end up with a failure. These things keep me up at night. Because if you make a recipe of mine and it fails, I feel awful, even if the recipe isn’t to blame. Even if you are totaly to blame for the failure, I still feel terrible.

Weight ounces and fluid ounces are not the same thing. In fact, for the most part, they have nothing to do with one another.

Weight ounces measure weight, fluid ounces measure volume. One does not equal the other.

Take a bag of chocolate chips, for example. It will probably list on the package: 12 weight ounces (often abbreviated as just “wt oz“). Pour those chocolate chips into a measuring cups and you’re bound to see it reach about 2 cups, or 16 fluid ounces.

12 weight ounces of chocolate equals about 16 fluid ounces.

Cheese is the same. 8 weight ounces of shredded cheese is about 16 fluid ounces.

Flour is even worse. Most bakers weigh their flour rather than measure it in cups (although most recipes will say cups) but  if you see a baker call for ounces of flour, she probably means weight, not volume. Have I lost you yet?

Generally, 1 cup (8 fluid ounces) of flour is only 4 weight ounces.

Most of the time, the difference is easy to distinguish, and lucky for us, beer is equal when it comes to fluid ounces and weight ounce. 8 fluid ounces of beer equals 8 weight ounces (one less thing to worry about!)

The biggest worry in the cooking and baking world are generally cheese and chocolate. Mostly because they are sold in weight ounces, but recipes vary when it comes to what they call for. Recipes should call for those items in weight ounces, but if you aren’t familiar, and just load up your measuring cup with shredded cheese or chocolate chips and think you’re looking for fluid ounces, you’ll most likely have a recipe disaster on your hands.

The take away:

When you see a recipe calling for ounces: figure out what type of ounces or your recipe may not work.

Thank you for letting me get that off my chest, I feel better. Although I still want to kick the crap out of the a-hole who decided to use the same word for both.

Chocolate Stout Cherry Pie2

And take moment to check out those glorious cherries in the middle of that pie.

Chocolate Stout Cherry Pie


  • 1 pie crust
  • 2 (3.5 ounce) bars 60% chocolate (total 7 weight ounces)
  • 3 tbs unsalted butter, cut into cubes.
  • 2 tbs light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup stout
  • 3 tbs heavy cream
  • 2 1/2 cups pitted dark sweet cherries (such as Bing, about 16 wt ounces pitted)
  • For the Whipped Cream
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbs stout (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Rough out pie dough, transfer to a 9-inch pie pan, trim off excess. Prick several holes in the bottom.
  • Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes or until a light golden brown. Allow to cool.
  • Break the chocolate into chunks and add to the top of a double boiler over gently simmering water along with the butter, corn syrup and stout. Stir frequently until the chocolate has melted. Add the cream and stir until completely incorporated. Add the cherries, stir until all of the cherries are well coated. Pour into the crust. Refrigerate until set, about 4 hours and up to 24.
  • Once the pie has cooled make the whipped cream. Add the heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract (and stout, if using) to a stand mixer. Beat on high until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes.


Note about chocolate: you can use up to 70%, but the higher the percentage (which indicates the amount of cocoa in the bar) the more bitter the chocolate, therefore the more bitter the pie. If you use a really low cocoa content, like a 30%, the pie may have a harder time setting up because of the lower cocoa content, and higher milk content. I would stay between 55% and 70%.

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Chocolate Stout Cherry Pie

37 thoughts on “Chocolate Stout Cherry Pie

  1. “Even if you are totaly to blame for the failure, I still feel terrible.” <– I share the same sentiment. Sometimes readers write telling me what they did and as I am reading it, I'm like I don't think that's going to have worked…and then…they tell me it didn't work. Surprise surprise. I find that simple READING causes issues. As in, most don't read the whole recipe before they start. Or even read the whole recipe. Have tons who write to say AFTER they have baked the cookies they finished reading the recipe and find the part where I say chill the dough, allow to cool on baking sheets, etc. Yeah.

    Moving on. Your pie. I have never seen cleaner cuts and lines on a pie. Talk about precision and perfection!

    Oh and I have people argue with me that 2 cups of chocolate chips should be 16 oz (they are used to 8 oz in a cup, yeah, for water). The whole weight/ounces/volume is a recipe for confusion.

    1. I’ve had that some conversation, “I used 8 ounces, that’s one cup!” not when we’re talking about weight.

  2. The pie looks yummy, but I really just wanted to tell you that I didn’t have the SLIGHTEST problem with figuring out weight vs volume ounces when testing your cake. I mean, NO ONE measures beer by weight, and the chocolate was obvious too! It’ll be ok!

    1. You are smarter than most bakers, and you did such a fabulous testing recipes for me! But you would be amazed at how many people have no idea there’s a difference. Or how many people think they are great cooks or bakers and don’t even know fundamentals. I’ve read several blog post where people were doing How To posts and they were doing it completely wrong (i.e “this is how you roast red peppers” and the girl was sautéing them, she didn’t even know what a roasted red pepper was). Or when someone says, “I’m an expert baker, and I made this recipe exactly as written and it turned out inedibly bitter! The only thing I changed was using unsweetened bakers chocolate instead of the dark chocolate you called for, but that shouldn’t matter, it’s made for baking!” Um, no.

      1. Maybe I’m not patient enough, but if someone can’t figure out the difference between solid and liquid, then they don’t need to be cooking.

  3. Confession: I hate cherries. I know, I’m the worst kind of person. But gosh, they are just so darn pretty peeking out of that pie!

    Agree on the whole measuring thing, though I do not experience the same personal responsibility when someone chooses to do whatever they want rather than follow my recipe. Oh, you used my cake recipe to make cookies and they turned out weird? My advice is to NOT DO THAT.

    1. I had someone once ask me: “I want to make your smoked sweet corn puree, but I don’t want to use corn or butter or cream, what do you recommend?” Another recipe. I recommend another recipe.

    1. I wish! It would be much easier if everything was just measure in grams and everyone in the US owned a kitchen scale.

  4. I just wish everyone would start putting either wt oz or fl oz in recipes. It would eliminate all confusion. There are sometimes instances where, try as I might, I cannot figure out which kind of ounces are being called for, especially when baking… drives me crazy.

    1. I fought to keep very specific “weight ounces” and “fluid ounces” in the recipes in my book to avoid SOME confusion, but unfortunately, there are still so many people who don’t know that when the recipe says 8 weight ounces they can’t just fill up a measuring cup up to 1 cup.
      I know that most people (myself included) are self/book/magazine/television taught home cooks, so there are things that people aren’t taught. I just want people to know. I had some cooking disasters when I first starting cooking where I THOUGHT I was following the recipe exactly, but doing things like confusing ounces turned the recipe into a failure

  5. I have to compliment you on your recipes and blog overall! I (unfortunately) went gluten free several months ago for health reasons, but your recipes and posts are so wonderful that I still follow and read every post, despite the torture. I miss beer and cooking with beer! My husband is a big craft beer enthusiast, so he loves when I make him recipes from your blog.

    This recipe is going to be the one that makes me cheat! Looks amazing! Keep up the great and creative recipes, it brings me inspiration for my blog. Can’t wait for the book and the day that I can have gluten again 🙂

    1. Thank you so much! I’ve been meaning to sample some gluten free beers and report back, but haven’t gotten around to it yet.

  6. first – this pie looks amazing! second – you’re so right about ounces and liquid vs. weighed measures. personally, in my recipes, when i want someone to use fluid ounces, I literally write it out that way. Helps to avoid some confusion 😉

    1. I don’t think it’s as much that people think you mean fluid onces when you really mean weight ounces, I think it’s that people don’t know that there is a differece. They want to make brownies, and see “8 wt ounces” in a recipe and just look at the “8 ounces” on their pyrex mixing cup and just load it up with chocolate chips and think that’s it called for. Even if it says “weight ounces.” know people who are bloggers that don’t know what the difference is.

  7. I love that you wrote this post! You really inspire me to be more thorough and precise in life and baking. And I love this pie even more… it looks literally perfect, Jackie. Please make this for me next time I’m in CA!!! xo

  8. My mom nearly freaked out when I asked for a kitchen scale one Christmas long, long ago. She thought I wanted it for something else! o_O

  9. Jackie, I’ve been drooling over this recipe since Fathers Day. I’m finally going to make it for the 4th of July BBQ at my in-laws. One question for you, any thoughts on a stout to use? I’m leaning towards Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, but it being an imperial, I don’t want it to be too overpowering. Should I just stay the course with something more middle-of-the-road (i.e. Guiness)?

    1. That stout sounds great. I don’t think an imperial would be too much, a touch more intense but not overpowering at all.

  10. I had way too many cherries and didn’t know what to do with them before they went bad so I browsed Foodgawker and came across this recipe yesterday. I was so excited I had to make it immediately. It turned out to be extremely delicious and chocolate-y. I followed the recipe to the dot but failed to find a pie crust at my local supermarket and was lacking with ingredients and time for the homemade whipped cream. A ready-made tart cake crust and whipped cream in a can did pretty well. Here is a pic:

    Thank you for this fabulous recipe! This will be my go-to recipe for a quick and yummy dessert to impress family and friends.

  11. I would love to make this for my beer loving friend, but I’m unsure whether he would like the cherries. Do you think this recipe would be fine if I doubled the chocolate (so it fills the pie) and left out the cherries? I imagine it would just take longer to set up. Thank you!

  12. We were looking for a pie recipe that contained fresh cherries and chocolate and found yours. It was SOOO good! It set perfectly with Ghirardelli 60% baking squares. I had planned to use Guinness, but they were out at the store, so I found a chocolate stout. Yum! We will be making this again and again! Thanks!

  13. I came to your blog through a link to cherry pie recipes on My Cupcake Addiction. I love anything cherry. My husband loves stout and I thought the pie might be something he’d love. As a home cook, I really appreciate your explanation of the difference between the two types of ounces. I have to admit to being guilty of confusing the two. I’ll pay more attention moving forward. For the record, it drives me crazy when someone gives a low rating or negative response to a recipe, but when you delve into what they’re saying, you realize they didn’t make the recipe at all. That’s so unfair to the recipe’s creator. I am very excited to begin following your blog.

  14. This looks amazing!
    I look forward to whipping up a pie or six. The only thing I will change would be the type of cherry used in the pie. Sweet cherries are not meant to be cooked with, as they don’t hold their cherry flavor. Although, in the photo they almost appear still fresh and more like “chocolate covered” than cooked (which could work). Sour cherries are the preferred type to cook with, also I can control the sweet/tart level. Have you tried the sour cherry in this recipe?

    1. Sour cherries work best in a recipe where they macerate with sugar. These will stay mostly whole, so sour would be way too bitter. Dark sweet cherries, like Bing, Chelan, Garnet, Sequoia are best eaten whole, which is basically what you do with these in the pie. Dark sweet cherries wouldn’t work in a typical cherry pie but this is more like chocolate covered cherries in a pie.

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