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I’ve used liquor for baking many times. Recently I’ve found how much of a flavor punch certain spirits can provide. You may have seen that in different recipes like Margarita Cupcakes or in my Mixed Berry Sangria Compote. There are plenty of boozy bakes with liquor. The liquor provides an interesting pop of flavor when done right. I like the complex flavors that you can introduce into baking with a variety of alcohols.
I thought I would spruce up a good ole, run of the mill chocolate bundt cake with a new flavor profile. Seriously, how many different ways can you really make a chocolate cake interesting? Well, apparently, quite a few. Read on to find out how amazing this cake is! And if you’re a fan of chocolate cakes, check out this Flourless Chocolate Orange Cake that is totally sophisticated while being gluten free!
Raise a Slice
August 2nd is International Beer Day this year. And I’ve heard that a stout beer can add complex flavor to chocolate cake. So I had to try it out for myself with a chocolate stout bundt cake.
I’m not a fan of drinking beer, but I had a pretty good idea of what I was looking for. I’ve cooked with beer quite a few times because it adds extra flavor to meats such as chicken and bratwurst. There are a lot of really dark, stout beers out there. You can use anything from a Guiness to a more posh brand. My preference is to use Sweet Baby Jesus chocolate peanut butter stout but couldn’t find it for this cake. I ended up going with an organic chocolate stout I found at Earthfare.
My mom and grandmother used to judge baking at the North Carolina State Fair. One of the most memorable things I remember them talking about were the awful chocolate stout bundt cakes. They would complain about the overpowering smell and flavor of the stout. I was very wary of having the same issues as I started working on the recipe for this cake.
However, my fears were completely unfounded. Although there’s over a cup of stout in the cake and ganache, it adds a delightful chocolaty malt flavor and aroma. To make sure it wasn’t too heavy, I added some orange zest to the batter to give it the lightness of citrus. The cake is almost flawless, a perfect crumb structure and flavor.
The ganache was not originally in my plan but I figured it would give the cake a more finished look. As happens occasionally when I halve a recipe, I halved the ganache recipe incorrectly. I just wanted a drizzle, not something to frost the entire cake with. But as you can see, the entire cake is frosted!
I only used half the chocolate, my favorite Dark Chocolate Wafers from Ghiradelli. But then I used a whole cup of cream, plus a quarter cup of stout. What should have been a frosting consistency turned out more like chocolate milk. In a scramble to fix it, I dumped in what chocolate chips I had stocked up in the pantry and kept whisking.
Eventually I got the ganache to a decent thickness, though I should have let it cool completely before topping the cake with it. Learn from my mistake and make sure to allow the cake and ganache to come to room temperature! What I ended up doing was spooning the ganache repeatedly over the top of the cake as it cooled to get a decent covering. It turned out beautifully, but it would have been less time intensive if I’d just let both cool first.
First Rate Pairings
I suggest pairing this rich cake with a cold glass of milk, a glass of red wine, or a nice flavorful cup of coffee. Maybe something along the lines of Java Momma’s Hazelnut Flavored, or my personal fave, Highlander Grogg! You really can’t go wrong with either and a nice thick slice of this chocolate stout bundt cake.
Have you ever tried a chocolate stout cake? Tell me what you thought in the comments!
Chocolate Stout Bundt Cake
For the Cake
- 1 cup stout beer
- 1 cup butter
- ¾ cup cocoa powder
- 2 cups flour, sifted
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- ½ Tbsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- ⅔ cup sour cream
- 2 large oranges, zested
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Ganache
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 12 oz dark chocolate melting wafers roughly 3 cups
- ¼ cup stout beer
To Make Cake
- Preheat oven to 350°. Heavily grease and flour a bundt pan.
- In a medium saucepan, combine butter, vanilla, and stout. Heat mixture over medium low until butter is melted. Set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda. Whisk in salt and sugar. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer with whisk attachment, beat together eggs and sour cream until combined. Slowly pour butter mixture in a continuous stream until completely combined.
- Using a whisk, slowly pour wet ingredients into dry while whisking together. It will take a few minutes to get a smooth, completely integrated mixture. Add in orange zest once mixture is smooth.
- Slowly pour cake batter into the greased pan. Lightly tap pan on counter to release air bubbles.
- Bake cake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Set aside to cool for 20 minutes until inverting on cooling rack to finish cooling.
To Make Ganache
- Put chocolate wafers in a medium glass bowl.
- Heat cream and stout in a small saucepan until small bubbles begin to form.
- Pour cream over chocolate wafers and whisk together until completely smooth.
- Allow both the cake and the ganache to cool to room temperature before slowly pouring the ganache over the top of the cake in a consistent layer.
- You can chill ganache in the refrigerator until it’s a more spreadable consistency and frost the bundt cake instead of pouring it over.
- Store cake in a covered container for up to a week.