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Adapted from recipe in the September 2002 issue of Bon Appétit.


  • 2 cups stout (such as Guinness)
  • 2 cups unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups sour cream
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 pound bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Butter three 8-inch round cake pans with 2-inch-high sides. Line with parchment paper.
  • Butter paper. Bring 2 cups stout and 2 cups butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
  • Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in large bowl to blend.
  • Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend.
  • Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine.
  • Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed.
  • Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined.
  • Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 35 minutes.
  • Transfer cakes to rack; cool 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto rack and cool completely.
  • Bring cream to simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Remove from heat.
  • Add chopped chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth.
  • Refrigerate ganache for 1-2 hours stirring frequently until icing is a smooth and thick spreadable frosting.
  • Place 1 cake layer on plate. Spread 2/3 cup icing over. Top with second cake layer. Spread 2/3 cup icing over. Top with third cake layer. Spread remaining icing over top and sides of cake.
  • Alternately, you can save 2/3 cup of the ganache before refrigerating, and pour it over the top of your frosted cake, letting it drip randomly down the sides.

Categories: Cake  Dessert  Oven 

Author Credit: Bon Apetit

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