Chocolate Stout Cake with Malted Chocolate Frosting

The Memorial Day party was fun. Everyone enjoyed being together and spending time with our good friend who is being deployed next week. A few of you might remember her as the mom from my playgroup who helped us mail our cookies to troops a while back. Now we can mail cookies to her. I’ll get mailing info for the holidays.

She didn’t want any fanfare because this is all in the line of duty, but the least I could do was make sure she had an awesome cake. This is what we ended up with. It’s a chocolate stout cake (adapted from Epicurious) with a frosting from Dorie Greenspan. As predicted, the stout went well with the malt. Thematically, decorating was easy. I just piled malt balls on top and stuck them around the edge — simple but strangely dramatic. The picture’s not very good because I had to take it quickly without looking like someone crazy cake voyeur.

Chocolate Stout Cake

Chocolate Stout Cake

2 sticks butter (8 oz)
1 cup Guinness Stout
3/4 cup Dutch process unsweetened cocoa powder or Hershey’s Dark
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoons salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two 8-inch round cake pans with flour-added cooking spray.

Melt butter in a small saucepan set over medium heat. When butter is almost completely melted, add stout and cook over medium until mixture starts to simmer. Reduce heat slightly, add cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda and salt together in a bowl. In a second bowl, using an electric mixer, beat eggs until thick and lemon colored – beat for a full five minutes. Add the sour cream and beat until combined. Add the stout mixture to the egg mixture and stir just until mixed. Add the flour mixture and stir until well mixed.

Divide the batter equally among the two pans. Bake for 28-32 minutes or until cakes test done (toothpick inserted comes out clean). Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then flip and let cool on a cooling rack. Ice when cool or freeze layers and save until needed.

Malted Chocolate Frosting (adapted from a Dorie Greenspan recipe)

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 cup malted milk powder (such as Carnation, Ovaltine or Horlick’s)
1 tablespoon unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1/4 cup boiling water
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted, butter, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar

Melt chocolate and half of the brown sugar together in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water or in top of a double boiler. Let cool slightly.

Stir remaining brown sugar, malted milk powder, cocoa powder and boiling water together in a small bowl or glass measuring cup.

Beat butter in bowl of a standing mixer. When creamy, beat in melted chocolate, followed by malted milk powder mixture. Beat in vanilla. Stir in the powdered sugar; beat until it is well mixed.

Chill mixture for 30 minute to hour or until it is good and cold. Return bowl to stand mixer and beat chilled icing until it becomes light and fluffy.

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  1. says

    Mmm…that looks like chocolate perfection. And who can go wrong with a little malted milk ball? mmm!
    Best wishes to your friend being deployed — I hope she’s home safe soon.

  2. says

    Best of luck to your friend – my brothers were over there a few years ago, and it’s definitely a scary time for family and friends. Hang in there! And what a fabulous cake to bake – yum!

  3. says

    It’s so cute! I love the maltball decorations. I did a cake during Easter time and I used the colored maltballs for decorations.

    Best of luck to your friend…

  4. says

    Great idea with the malt balls. Isn’t it so satisfying when you figure out a decorating idea that’s so simple but still looks great?

  5. Christina says

    Very cute w/the malt balls! Do you think the cake layers would be too thin if I used 2 9-inch cake pans instead of 2 8-inch pans? Thanks!

  6. says

    Hi Christina,

    I think the cake would be fine, but watch the cookie time. If the cake is thinner, it might cook a little faster.

  7. says

    Hi Regina,

    Thanks for the nice comment. I can’t actually publish it right now because I am getting a lot of spam from that IP.

    The question you posed was a good one. What is Guinness Stout?

    Guinness Stout is a very dark beer. It usually comes in a very large bottle. You can also by it in a can, but the cans are called “draught”. I don’t actually know a lot about beer, but I buy stout for certain recipes because it adds a nice malty flavor.

  8. Jenn says

    That cake looks amazing, I can’t wait to try it. I was just wondering though if you used room tamperature guinness or if you used it chilled from the fridge when you made this recipe.

  9. says

    Shoot! I was going to make this with some Guinness my husband found while cleaning out the basement, but now I realize I don’t have the right kind. Our Guinness is draught and the recipe calls for stout. Oh well!

  10. guinnessgirl says

    All guinness is stout and it is draught. Draught is just the form of the pour and has nothing to do with the type of beer – it’s similar to “draft” beer if you know what that means.
    So go ahead and use that guinness you found to make the cake. try drinking some too.

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