Showstopping Chocolate Stout Cake

Saturday, August 01, 2020

This Showstopping Chocolate Stout Cake with Candied Pecans is sure to impress and please the chocolate lover. I made it for my hubby's birthday when he celebrated a milestone 50 years, a very deserving occasion to try my hand at a two-tiered cake.

Well, it turned out great! We all raved how soft and springy the chocolate layers were. The cakes itself weren't sweet per se, but it was so full of flavor, which is why I insist you get a craft brew for the stout. A porter would do in a pinch, but the stout gives it so much more depth, more richness, more oomph. I also dialed back on the amount of salted caramel that I put in the Swiss Meringue Buttercream because we didn't want it overly sweet, which totally sets up for the crunchy sweet candied pecans that was the highlight of the cake. It's got the right balance of bitter and sweet, and so much texture from the soft chocolate layers, creamy buttercream and addictively crunchy candied pecans. You are in for such a treat!

This recipe for Chocolate Stout Cake makes two tiers: a 6-inch double layer, which will sit on a 9-inch double layer. It is a lot of batter, which I made in my trusty 6-Quart Kitchenaid Pro series. Alternately, you could make do with a hand mixer and a really large bowl.

The cake will also rise substantially so make sure your cake tins are not filled to more than half deep, and for that extra layer of precaution, place the cake pans inside a rimmed baking sheet. Just remember to swap the cake pans 3/4 into the baking time.


Chocolate Stout Cake

565 g (2-1/2 cups or 5 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
185 g (1-3/4 cup + 1 tbsp) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
600 ml (2-1/2 cups) flavorful craft stout (dark beer)
600 g (5 cups) all-purpose flour
800 g (4 cups) granulated sugar
4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
5 large eggs, at room temperature
420 ml (1-3/4 cups) Greek yogurt

To decorate

120 g (about 1 cup) Candied Pecans, cut into chunks
120 g (about 1 cup) Candied Pecans, crushed into bits
1 recipe Salted Caramel Meringue Buttercream
120 ml (1/2 cup) Salted Caramel
360 ml (1-1/2 cups) chocolate ganache


Chocolate Stout Cake

Preheat the oven to 175C or 350F
Butter 2 6-inch cake pans and 2 9-inch cake pans.
Line the bottoms of the cake pans with parchment paper.
Dust the sides of the cake pans with cocoa.
In a medium saucepan on medium heat, whisk the butter and cocoa until there are no more visible cocoa lumps.
Add the stout and cook until it simmers, whisking until totally incorporated. Set aside and cool completely.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
In the bowl of a large stand mixer on low speed, beat the eggs and yogurt until combined, about 1 minute
Pour in the stout and beat a further 1 minute.
On low speed, fold in the flour in 3 additions, and mix until no lumps are visible.
Fill each cake pan with batter, filling it halfway to the rim.
Bake for 35 - 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Rotate and switch the location of the cake pans after the 25th minute.
Cool the cakes in the pans for 10 minutes.
Invert the cakes onto the cooling rack to cool completely.
Level the cakes evenly by trimming the tops of the cakes.
Wrap each layer snugly with plastic wrap twice.
Refrigerate if using the next day. Cakes can also be frozen for use up to a month.


Working on a decorating turntable, place one 9-inch layer on a cake board, trimmed side down.
Dollop 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 cup of salted caramel buttercream onto the cake, and level it with an offset spatula.
Drizzle 2 to 3 tablespoons of salted caramel on top of the buttercream.
Sprinkle with a handful of crushed candied pecans.
Place the second 9-inch layer on top,
Pour 3/4 cup of chocolate ganache on top, making a few drips down the sides.
Scatter a handful of candied pecan chunks on the outer ring of the cake.
Push in the support systems in the middle of this layer, bearing in mind where the 6-inch cake will be placed.
Transfer this 9-inch cake onto a plate and refrigerate while we prepare the 6-inch cake.
Trim a 6-inch cake board down to 5 inches, or until it isn't visible from the side when the cake is placed on it. Make a 1-cm hole in the center with a sharp knife (if it hasn't got an opening already).
Place a 6-inch layer on the cake board, trimmed side down.
Using an offset spatula, cover the sides of this cake with a thin layer of chocolate ganache, then roll it over the crushed candied pecans.
Dollop 1 cup of salted caramel buttercream on top, then smooth the surface.
Drizzle with 1 to 2 tablespoon of salted caramel.
Cover the sides of the second 6-inch layer with chocolate ganache, and gently roll it over the crushed pecans.
Place this layer on top, then cover the top with about 3/4 cups of salted caramel buttercream.
Scatter candied pecan chunks on the outer ring of the cake.
Drizzle with 2 to 3 tablespoons of salted caramel.
Transfer this 6-inch cake to the refrigerator for 30 minutes to firm up the layers.
Remove both cakes from the refrigerator.
Gently place the 6-inch cake on top of the 9-inch cake.
Adjust with more pecans, ganache, or caramel as needed.

You Might Also Like