This recipe makes a HUGE cake. Seriously. It's designed to make 3 - 8" round cakes. You need at least two very large mixing bowls. The dry ingredients (8 cups) and the liquid ingredients (4+ cups) take up a lot of bowl space. If you use the entire recipe, the cake looks massive and probably won't fit into any sort of cake carrying device you might own, but it does look incredibly indulgent and grandiose. So, consider the final size and your logistics when you make it. I made this for my mother-in-law's birthday and had to hold it on my lap without a cover for the entire hour-long drive to their house.

The stout used in this recipe really gives the cake a wonderful flavor. It's chocolaty, roasty, yet dense and moist. It's chocolaty, not sweet. This is a chocolate lover's cake. I used a vanilla porter homebrew instead of a stout and it came out delicious.

I am not a baker. I do not bake well. But I managed to make this without screwing it up and everyone was raving over how good it was. This recipe is very easy to make dairy- and egg-free and I have included an alternate ingredients list below.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (500 ml) stout or porter beer
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) (500 ml) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 cups (1000 ml) all purpose flour
  • 4 cups (1000 ml) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (2.5 ml) salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups (320 ml) sour cream

Alternate dairy- and egg-free ingredients list

  • 2 cups (500 ml) stout or porter beer
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) (500 ml) earth balance
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 cups (1000 ml) all purpose flour
  • 4 cups (1000 ml) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (2.5 ml) salt
  • 4 Ener-G egg replacer, prepared
  • 1 1/3 cups (320 ml) non-dairy sour cream

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (or about 180°C). Generously butter three 8-inch round cake pans and line with parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper. You definitely want to make sure that this comes out of the pans without any trouble. Like I said before, the cake comes out very rich and dense and it wants to stick to the pan, use the butter.


  2. In a heavy large saucepan heat 2 cups stout and 2 cups butter over medium heat. Do not boil. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and let it cool.


  3. Mix flour, sugar, baking soda, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in an extra large bowl to blend. That's 8+ total cups of dry ingredients, you'll need a big bowl, otherwise, it'll spill all over when you try to mix it. Trust me on this one.


  4. Using an electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in a large mixing bowl. Again, you need a BIG mixing bowl for this. You're going to put the 4 cups stout, butter and cocoa into the eggs and sour cream, and then, you still need room for the 8 cups of dry ingredients. Like I said, it makes a big cake. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed


  5. Divide batter equally among three pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes. Transfer cakes to rack; cool 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto rack and cool completely.

I used Chad's filling and ganache recipe found here. I doubled the filling recipe so that I'd have enough to fill the two in between layers. The ganache recipe found there is perfect for this cake.


Adapted from Bon Apettit September 2002

XWiz says Is there any chance you can give metric measurements as well as cups?
I've attempted to give you metric measurements, compliments of sneff's Everything Kitchen Conversion. Hopefully I didn't screw it up.

Updated February 2014 to include vegan ingredients

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