Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dark Chocolate Cherry Stout Cake

For some reason I got it into my head that this weekend I would love to make a dessert that included beer.  I had some stout in the fridge, and since it goes so well with chocolate, especially in a cake that was what I decided needed to be made.  I know many people have made chocolate stout cakes, but I didn't just want a simple cake, but rather one studded with some sort of summer fruit! 

While I was at the store, I scoped out the produce section for something to add to my delicious cake and some lovely red cherries caught my eye!  I love cherries in the summer afterall, and hadn't had the luxury of enjoying them since last I snatched up a large amount to buy.  Enough to both make my cake and still have enough to snack on a few while I made it!  I couldn't decided whether I wanted this to be an upside down cake or one with frosting, but the frosting in the end won out, since I just made a chocolate upside down cake last weekend.  Variety is the spice of life afterall! 

I used my vegan chocolate cake base and beer instead of the usual coffee or soymilk.  Of course I had to taste the remnants of batter left in the bowl after pouring it into the pan, scraping the last bits and enjoying them is required since there is no risk of salmonela from a vegan cake batter!  The batter was delicious, intensely chocolaty with a hint of the beer...I was incredibly excited to taste the baked cake, especially with the heavenly aroma that was emerging from the oven!  I covered the baked cake with a glossy stout laced glaze, the perfect way to dress the intense brownie like beauty.  When it was finished and fit for enjoying, I poured myself some of the extra stout to enjoy with the cake, and I cut myself a large piece and dove in.  It was like a piece of rich chocolate heaven!  The stout intensified the chocolate to another level, and the sweet cherries that were scattered throughout contributed little bursts of flavor.  It was as if a black forest cake married a brownie!  I loved being able to enjoy the stout along with the cake it was included in, it was the perfect pairing!  You must try it for yourself, and here is the recipe! 

Vegan Dark Chocolate Cherry Stout Cake
Makes 1 6 inch cake

1 6 inch cake pan
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp whole wheat pastry flour
2 Tbsp plus 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder (I use ghirardelli)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup maple sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup Stout Beer
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 cup pitted, quartered cherries

1/3 cup cocoa powder, plus more if needed
1/3 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup Stout beer
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt

cherries for garnish

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and position rack in center of oven. Spray a six-inch-diameter cake pan with 2-inch-high sides with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a large bowl to blend well. Whisk oil, beer, and vanilla and almond extracts together in small  bowl to blend well, then whisk into the flour mixture until well blended.  Whisk in vinegar and stir quickly (pale swirls will be in the batter, which is the baking soda reacting with the vinegar, which allows the cake to rise since there are no eggs). Stir in cherries, and transfer cake batter to prepared pan and bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 50-55 minutes. Cool cake about 20 minutes in pan on rack, then cut around sides of pan to loosen, and invert onto cooling rack.  When cake is cooled, to make glaze, whisk all ingredients together until smooth.  If too thin add more cocoa powder, if too thick add a little more beer until you have a just spreadable consistency.  Smooth over the top and sides of the cake and top with cherries for garnish.
*if you double the recipe you can bake this in a 9 inch pan, but the baking time will take at least 15-20 minutes longer if not more depending on your oven. 


  1. Drooling, can you make it without beer?

  2. Im pretty much in love with this right now. It looks amazing! Chocolate + cherries= delicious!!

  3. Wow that is so gorgeous! My dad would drool over this cake! I should have made it for Father's day

  4. Way to take a chocolate cake to the next level...looks fabulous with all those delicious cherries!

  5. Wow! Looks wonderful! Mouthwatering! I wish I had a piece right now. :-)

  6. Smile. I often have the same inclination...weird, huh? I love chocolate and beer :-) Thank you for sharing this glimpse into your delicious world. It made me smile...also hungry! I hope you are having a beautiful Wednesday. Love from Austin!

  7. Chocolate, beer, and cherries ... WOW ... I'm speechless! This sounds amazing!

  8. We've always got stout in the fridge so this would be the perfect use of it when drinking it just isn't an option =)

  9. Ellie, this can be made with other liquids besides beer such as soy milk, or coconut milk.

  10. Hi Amy, wow this looks absolutely devine!
    The first listed ingredient reads 3/4 cup plus '____' flour. should there be an additional tsp or tbsp or 2 perhaps?
    I'm looking forward to making this. thanks for posting the recipe.
    Cheers, Nina