Chocolate Stout Cake With Porter Ganache & Beer Brown Sugar Buttercream

I’m going to start this post by telling you that I am biased. That being said and out of the way:

The West Coast of the United States has the best beer in the world. At least, it has the highest concentration of fantastic craft breweries.

I used two old favorites for this post. Black Butte Porter, from Descutes Brewery and Chocolate Stout from one of my favorites Breweries, Bison.

Of course there are other fantastic beers all over the world, and all over this fantastic beer loving country of ours, but the West Coast is like a Mecca. There are just so many all up and down the coast.

Now if someone will just organize a Beer Tour, we can all take 6 months out of our lives to travel up and down the Pacific Coast and drink ourselves silly with incredible craft beer. You get on that, I’m waiting.

Chocolate Stout Cake with Beer Brown Sugar Butter Cream Filling & Porter Ganache

Chocolate Stout Cake with Beer Brown Sugar Butter Cream Filling & Porter Ganache


    For the Cake:
  • 3 cup flour
  • 1 tbs baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 sticks (16 tbs) unsalted butter
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup (2 3.5 oz bars) 72% dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup Chocolate Stout
  • 1 cup of brewed coffee, cooled
  • For The Filling (Buttercream):
  • 1/2 cup beer
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 12 tbs of butter softened
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • For The Ganache:
  • 2 cups of dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cups of Blake Butte Porter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and the cocoa powder in a bowl and whisk until well combined.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer add the butter and sugar and beat until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg, scraping the bottom of the bowl between additions.
  4. In a microwave safe bowl, add the 72% chocolate. Microwave for 30 seconds, remove and stir. Repeat until the chocolate is melted.
  5. Add the melted chocolate to the sugar/egg mixture and blend well. While the mixer is on a medium-low setting, add the stout and then the coffee, continue to combine until well mixed, then add the flour mixture a little at a time until well combined.
  6. Grease and flour two 9 inch cake pans. Bake for between 25 and 35 minutes (for cupcakes about 18 minutes) or until the cake springs back when lightly touched. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  7. Filling:
  8. Place the beer in a microwave safe bowl, heat on high until very hot, add the brown sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  9. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter (must be softened to room temperature or it will not work), salt and powdered sugar, beat until combined. Add the brown sugar mixture and mix slowly until mostly combined, then turn the mixer on high and then whip until the frosting is fluffy and well combined.
  10. Ganache:
  11. Place chocolate chips in a heat safe bowl. In a pot on the stove, add the heavy cream and the beer and cook over medium heat until hot and bubbly, stirring frequently, about 5-8 minutes. Pour the cream/beer over the chocolate chips and stir until well combined. Place in the fridge and allow to cool until slightly below room temperature.
  12. Assembly:
  13. Place the first layer of your cake on a a cake plate. Top with your brown sugar butter cream. Add the second cake layer. Pour the warm ganache over the top and allow it to run down the sides. Spread with a knife if necessary.

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31 thoughts on “Chocolate Stout Cake With Porter Ganache & Beer Brown Sugar Buttercream

  1. I LOVE DARK BEERS!!! I live in Missoula, MT and we have 5 local craft breweries here and I am madly in love with each and every one of them. So much good beer to drink, so little time. I just discovered you blog and am pretty sure I am going to adore it. Love this recipe, thank you!

  2. Being a native of Oregon and currently living in Portland, there certainly is a delicious and wonderful array of craft beer! There’s a coffee shop here called Jim & Patty’s that has a Black Butte Porter chocolate cake there, it is DELICIOUS! Maybe this is similar, I’m definitely tempted to try 🙂

  3. Stumbled across the site and loving it. This looks amazing… couple of quick questions.

    1. How do you think it would turn out if I replaced the coffee with more beer, but used a coffee forward beer like Founders Breakfast Stout?
    2. If I don’t replace the coffee, would a RIS be ok to use? Something like Brooklyn Black Chocolate stout.
    3. FINALLY… what about using a bourbon barrel aged stout? Something like Goose Island Bourbon County Stout. I feel like the bourbon flavors would be amazing!

    Thanks sooo much for any help!

    1. Thanks! So glad you like my recipe. Coffee intensifies chocolate, that’s why you see it called for so often in chocolate recipes, people also use espresso powder as well, if you don’t want to add more liquid to a particular recipe. Replacing some of the coffee with beer will be fine, but you might need to add additional sugar to counter the bitterness of the beer. But with 1 1/2 cups of beer, you will get a beer taste and too much beer might put it over the line, so I would be leery of recommending too much beer in this recipe.

      As far as a beer choice, the best ones are malty stouts with notes of coffee and chocolate. The Brooklyn sounds like a great choice.

      I’m a big fan of bourbon barrel aged stouts, so that would be a great one to try. The biggest hurdle when cooking with beer is balancing the flavors with the beer you choose, each beer will give you different results so you have to go into it knowing that some changes may need to be made. I always taste the batter and try to predict the end result and add additional beer or sugar depending on the pre-cooked taste. Although the cooking process changes the batter so much, it’s hard to know exactly what it will be like, but you get a good idea of the sweetness level.

      Whichever beer you choose and the changes you make, let me know how it goes! I love to know which beers people use and how it turns out.

      1. Thanks for the tips. I’m going to make this on Thursday. One LAST question 🙂 Is the beer important for the leavening in the cake? I see there is baking powder in there so I’m not sure. I ask because the beers I was thinking are much lower in carbonation (and much higher in ABV) than the one you used.

        If it’s important I’ll go with something with much better carbonation for in the cake then use a high ABV imperial stout to make the ganache. Mmmmmm

        1. It has a very mild leavening quality in this recipe, I think the other beer will be fine. Have fun!

  4. Cake turned out awesome. It was probably the single greatest chocolate cake I’ve ever had. So moist and so flavorful. I had trouble with the ganache though. I ended up with a ganache that had a slightly bitter finish to it that wasn’t nice. I’m not sure what happened though since I picked a beer with barely any hop profile to it. I added some butter and brown sugar but couldn’t get rid of the bitter finish. No worries though… I tasted it before I put it on so no harm no foul. I just made a normal ganache then to top it.

    Thanks for the recipe!

    1. SO glad the cake turned out so great for you! What beer did you use?
      Since I posted this cake recipe I started using 1/2 beer and 1/2 cream for my porter ganache and it seems to have a much better flavor. I’ll update this recipe with those ratios. Thanks for the feedback!

  5. Do you think it would be ok to half this recipe to make a mini cake? I want to make this for my boyfriend’s birthday but the two of us probably won’t get through a whole cake by ourselves!

  6. Wow, thanks so much for publishing this recipe. I made it for some friends’ birthdays and it went down an absolute treat! I really think it’s the best chocolate cake I’ve *ever* made – so moist and rich.
    Anyway, I live in London in the UK and initially thought it’d be great to make it with London beers. Until I saw the Brooklyn Chocolate Stout in my local beer emporium. My beer buddies are all big fans of Brooklyn so it had to go in. Perfect! I also used a really zingy, fruity Square Mile coffee (a London-based roastery).
    For the ganache I used a Kernel India Porter – Kernel is a South London based brewery and I think they make the best beer in the world. A bold claim, yes, but I stand by it! I also made some porter truffles to go on the top, which were yummy but an unbelievably messy and frustrating process!
    All in all, I’m really looking forward to making this cake hundreds of times with lots of different beers. And trying a bunch of your other recipes.

  7. I was looking for a manly chocolate cake for a colleague’s leaving do at work. This cake was fantastic – he took all that was left home. I was a bit sceptical at first as I really didn’t like the taste of the stout, but it works so well in the recipe. Will definitely make it again when something special is required!

      1. 3 different beers in one cake! I think I’ll go with a Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, a Breckenridge Vanilla Porter, and maybe a Full Sail Amber.

  8. This recipe looks great! But in the second step for the cake it calls for adding cream with the butter and eggs, but what type of cream (ie whipping cream, sour cream, etc) and how much?


    1. “Cream until well combined” is a cooking term. Cream is used as a verb not a noun, it means to beat really well until the butter and sugar have become well combined and fluffy. I’m sorry, it’s poorly worded. I’ll fix it as soon as I can.

  9. A fabulous receipe! I just made this for an Easter BBQ LA style and it was pretty much demolished. I will warn others that it is a HUGE cake and in my oven (which is a convection/microwave combo) it took about 40-50 minutes in two 9 in cake pans and almost outgrew the pans (your 1 tbsp baking powder is not a typo, correct?). The cake is incredibly moist, the buttercream is tasty and the ganache is beautiful even though I am a crappy cake decorator. Thanks for sharing!!!

  10. Amazing recipie!!!! Made it with Anspach & Hobday Stout Porter (an exceptional heavy stout (8.5%) from one of London’s top micro-brews) for a beer & cake competition. Won 1st place. Only change was that I warm-filtered beer through coffee rather than water, the taste of the stout rounded it beautifully. Thanks!!!

  11. This recipe is so incredible that I’ve made it twice (a few years back) and was asked to make it again this weekend! I’m just glad I pinned this because I was frantically scouring the Internet to find it until I thought to check my Pinterest boards. Well done!

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