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German Chocolate Stout Cake

"Don't wreck a sublime chocolate experience by feeling guilty." -Lora Brody

By Laura GrayPublished about a year ago 5 min read
German Chocolate Stout Cake
Photo by Taylor Kiser on Unsplash

I am a snob.

Oh, but not in the "I'm better than everyone else" sort of way.

What I meant to say is, I am a chocolate cake snob.

It's hard to find a chocolate cake that's (brace yourself) moist AND chocolatey. It's usually chocolate sawdust. Or flour sawdust. I'm sure there's a reason that chocolate dries out cake batters but I admit I'm not chef-y enough to know why. I can bake, but I've never studied food composition.

One day, a work colleague was telling me about this ahhmazing chocolate cake he and his daughter made over the weekend. The ingredients alone made me cringe and I just mhmm'd my way through the conversation: Dutch cocoa powder, Guinness stout (he was adamant that it be Guinness), and mayonnaise. MAYO?! He assured me that all of the ingredients worked together for good. Again, I mhmm'd my way through the conversation until the topic was changed.

But then, days later, he was still talking about how fabulous, delicious, and moist this cake was! So, after the proverbial twisting of my arm, I gave in and found the recipe. I did my due diligence and printed it off. Then stuffed it in my pile of recipes to try when I get a chance.

A week or two later, said colleague asked if I'd made the cake yet. Well, knowing this guy I knew I wasn't going to get out of the questioning until I did, so I told him that my husband's birthday was coming up at the end of that month and I'd make it then. That would at least get him off my back, right?

Fast forward to the birthday. My husband decided to throw himself a party which was perfect because this cake is 3 layers high. THREE. I knew I wouldn't be able to eat it all by myself before it went bad, if it was even good to begin with. And who wants to waste chocolate?

I am here to tell you, as a self-proclaimed chocolate cake snob, it was pretty spectacular.

My husband's best friend wouldn't stop raving about it at every gathering, even up until his passing late last year.

I must warn you: this cake has a lot of steps. If you don't enjoy baking, you will probably not like making this cake (but there are no rules saying you can't ask someone else to make it!). Baking this cake, though a bit labor intensive, felt as if I were a professional, making a cake for a paying customer. I used to do this type of thing all the time and I can't describe the euphoria of being back in my element.

I've made this cake three times and I have to say, the only thing I've changed is the cocoa powder. When I didn't have Dutch cocoa on hand, I used what I had, and I've found that I prefer Hershey's Dark Chocolate or regular Hershey's cocoa powder. My colleague said that was sacrilege but... (slow shrug).

The recipe below is copied from the original site, though I've adapted a few things to the way I make it.

I've also posted a link to the original.

Chocolate Stout Cake


(serves 12)


  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 cup Hershey's cocoa or dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ cups Guinness stout
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 4 oz dark chocolate, chopped


  • 1 ½ cups butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 5 tablespoons milk
  • fresh fruit, to decorate


  • Grease and line three 8-inch (20 cm) cake tins with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
  • In a large glass measuring cup, combine the stout, vanilla, and espresso powder. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, scraping down the sides occasionally to ensure all the ingredients are being evenly creamed together.
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time, ensuring each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next.
  • Add the mayonnaise and beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  • Preheat oven to 325˚F (160˚C).
  • Alternate adding the prepared dry and wet ingredients to the batter. Starting with about ⅓ of the dry ingredients, beat until incorporated. Then add ⅓ of the liquid ingredients, mixing until the batter comes together. Continue until all the wet and dry ingredients have been incorporated.
  • Using a rubber scraper, fold the dark chocolate chunks into the batter.
  • Distribute the batter evenly between the 3 prepared cake tins.
  • Bake for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Place the cakes on a cooling rack and leave to cool for about 10-15 minutes, until the outside of the pan is cool enough to touch.
  • Once the cakes have cooled, loosen the edges using a butter knife. Then place a large plate over the tin and invert to release the cake from the pan. Remove the parchment paper from the bottom of the cake and slide the cake back onto the cooling rack to cool completely. Repeat for the remaining two layers.
  • While your cakes are cooling, prepare the buttercream.
  • In a large bowl, beat together the butter and vanilla.
  • Gradually add in the cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and milk, continuously beating until all the ingredients have been incorporated and the frosting is light and fluffy. Frost & decorate as you see fit.

I am in no way affiliated with Tasty, its creators, bakers, bloggers, or content writers. This is not a paid post, just a chocolate cake snob who really likes cake. The original recipe can be found at: https://tasty.co/recipe/the-ultimate-chocolate-cake


About the Creator

Laura Gray

Coffee gets me started; my toddler keeps me haggard.

I've always had a passion for writing but fear has stopped me from sharing my work with anyone. Vocal is my push to step out of my comfort zone.

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