Chocolate Stout Cake With Porter Ganache

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.

So..A stout and a porter walk into a bar…

I wish I had a witty punch line for you, but Instead I will tell you the difference between the two. You have most likely noticed the similarities bettween these two dark, delicious brews and there is a good reason for that. Porter is like the Grandpa of the Stout. Decades ago, someone took a perfectly good Porter and start to experiement. That resulted in a higher alcohol brew that was then called Stout Porter, later shortened to just: Stout. And we are certainly glad he did. Stout is an amazing section of the beer world. These days the biggest difference is that porter is made with malted barley and stout is most often made with the unmalted type.

 No you can go impress some beer people with your knowledge of porters and stout.

Chocolate Stout Cake with 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 Bison Chocolate Stout

1 cup of brewed coffee, cooled

For The Filling:

1/4 cup very hot water

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


Preheat the oven to 350.

Combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and the cocoa powder in a bowl and whisk until well combined. In the bowl of a stand mixer add the butter and sugar and cream until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg, scraping the bottom of the bowl between additions. In a microwave safe bowl, put the 72% chocolate. Microwave for 30 seconds, remove and stir. Repeat until the chocolate is melted. 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. Grease and flour the cake pans that you are using. I used two 9 inch square pans. Bake for between 25 and 35 minutes (depending on your cake pan size) or until the cake is set in the center. Remove from oven and allow to cool.


While the water is still very hot, add the brown sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Allow to cool to room temperature. Microwave it if you need to.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter, salt and powdered sugar 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.


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.


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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13 responses to “Chocolate Stout Cake With Porter Ganache

  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. Pingback: Chocolate Stout Cake for Matt’s 22nd Birthday | kitchenpsychology·

  4. 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!

    • 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.

      • 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

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

  5. 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!

    • 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!

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