14 April 2010

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Coffee Ganache

based off of this recipe who got the idea from this recipe

I am like the birthday cake fairy or something. Anyway, I asked my friend's boyfriend if I should make her a chocolate cake, a rum cake, an espresso cake or a stout cake for her birthday. And he said, and I quote, "How about a chocolate stout cake! Combine two of her true loves (I think I come in third)." So chocolate stout it is! The Bon Appetit recipe seems to be the base recipe for all of the chocolate stout cake recipes on the internet... But I like the Smitten Kitchen version... mostly because it used a better frosting, but also because she HALVED the recipe (and I still ended up with 28 cupcakes).

This cake is super rich and has a really intense flavor. It doesn't taste like stout, but it sort of has the essence of stout. Basically, it's awesome. I am always worried when I try new recipes for people's birthdays since it's kind of important that it tastes good, but this was definitely a winner. I think the coffee ganache goes really well with the cake. Like I said, the cake has such a strong flavor, and I don't think you'd want to have too much frosting to take away from that. Although, I kind of want to make an Irish Cream frosting/ganache in the future...!

1 cup stout (like Guinness)
1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup sour cream (the recipe called for 2/3 cup but I am bad at measuring!)

2 tsp vanilla

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp instant coffee
splash Kahula
splash vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line cupcake tray (or trays if you have more than one!) with paper or butter and grease the tray if you don't have cupcake liners.
2. In a medium saucepan, simmer the stout and butter together over medium heat, whisking slowly until butter is totally melted.
3. Whisk the cocoa into the butter/stout. This is going to taste really bitter, so if you are like me and taste everything, don't be surprised/disappointed. I mean, obviously... it's bitter beer and cocoa, what I did I expect it to taste like?
4. Turn the heat off on the burner and allow the mixture to cool a little while you're doing the next steps.
5. Mix flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
6. Beat eggs, sour cream and vanilla in a large bowl. You can do this by hand, but if you are using a mixer, do this at a low speed and keep it on low for everything.
7. Mix stout mixture into egg mixture and beat until just combined. You don't want to mix out all of the carbonation (or nitrogen-ation or whatever it would be if you're using Guiness).
8. Add flour mixture and beat until not quite combined.
9. Fold batter together with a rubber spatula until completely combined.
10. Pour into prepared cupcake pan, fill each cupcake about 2/3 full of batter. Bake for ~25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
11. Cool completely before frosting.
12. To make the ganache, melt the chocolate chips, cream, instant coffee, vanilla and Kahula over a double boiler and stir until smooth and shiny. Allow to rest for a few minutes before dipping the cupcakes into the ganache. This made juuuust enough to frost 28 cupcakes (and I made the cupcakes kind of larger than they should have been, so if you have more than this many cupcakes, you might want to add a little more chocolate/cream).


  1. i wonder how this would work with actual chocolate stout? i know they sell singles of it at the big liquor store near me, might be worth trying.

  2. I bet it would work great! It would probably add another level of complexity to the chocolate, but since it's staying in the same flavor family, I bet it would be delish!