Did you know chocolate and beer pair well together, especially when you combine them both in this delicious Beer Cake? This rich, chocolaty cake with infused malty flavors from the stout beer will definitely excite your taste buds, oh and the creamy ganache glaze is silky and smooth.
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Who knew that beer and chocolate went together so beautifully? They do, resulting in a moist cake that's very chocolaty cake with a delicious malty flavor.
This is an easy cake to make and perfect for a bundt pan. The simple ganache glaze adds a sweet and creamy topping you pour on top. No stacking cake layers or tons of frosting is required; you gotta love that!
This is a celebration dessert for us since I make it for my husband on St. Patrick's Day, Father's Day, and it is his birthday cake too. He likes bundt cakes because he can cut a slice and, pick it up and eat it, no plate, no fork, no dishes to wash. It's a manly thing for him. I personally like a pretty plate and fork to eat my cake.
Try this Red Velvet Bundt Cake recipe for another celebration cake that is also perfect for the holidays.
Pin for later when you want to bake a cake!
Beer Cake Ingredients
- Stout beer - or dark beer - use your favorite type of beer. - I am using a Milk Stout from Amador Brewing because it's local and fresh. Guinness, Old Rasputin Stout, and Negra Modelo are always available at the stores.
- Molasses - has a bittersweet flavor and will add sweetness and moisture to the cake and a deep caramel flavor.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder - I use a natural cocoa powder; it does not need to be "Dutch processed."
- Unsalted butter -
- Dark brown sugar - you can definitely use light brown sugar
- Large eggs - most baking recipes always use large eggs
- Semi-sweet chocolate - use the best chocolate you can find. You can also use a chocolate bar.
Baking with stout beer
The carbonation in beer helps baked goods rise and helps create a tender crumb, especially in cakes and bread. And, with all the flavors of beers, you can substitute the liquid in many recipes for beer and change the flavors.
For this cake, stout beer is used, which has malty chocolate and coffee flavors which pairs well with the chocolate in the cake and adds a wonderful depth of flavor. All the chocolate and brown sugar tames the bitterness of the stout beer. Even with the added brown sugar, this cake is not overly sweet.
How To Make A Beer Cake: Step by Step
There's some prep work to do first.
Before mixing this cake, prepare the bundt pan, cook the beer and molasses, mix the dry ingredients, and chop the chocolate.
Step 1. To ensure your cake will come out of the bundt pan, you need to oil all the nooks and crannies of the pan thoroughly. I use cooking spray to cover the pan; then, I use a pastry brush to make sure the oil is all over.
Step 2. Mix three tablespoons of cocoa powder and two tablespoons of sugar, then pour into the bundt pan to coat the sides and the center cone. Tap the pan and shake it a couple of times to disperse the cocoa powder, then turn it upside down to remove the excess powder.
Step 3. Cook the beer and molasses together over low heat until it comes to a simmer. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let it cool.
Step 4. Mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
Step 5. Chop 6 ounces of chocolate chips into small pieces on a cutting board.
Step 6. In a large bowl, add the softened butter and brown sugar; using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer, cream the ingredients until fluffy on medium-high speed for about 1 minute.
Tip ~ If you are unfamiliar with the creaming method, here is a full tutorial on creaming butter and sugar.
Step 7. On medium speed, beat in the eggs one at a time until the yolk disappears, scraping the bowl as needed.
Step 8. Alternately beat in the flour mixture with the beer and molasses mixture on low speed. Start with the flour mixture and end with the flour mixture. I usually do this in thirds. Doing this keeps the batter from curdling. Scrape the bowl and make sure the batter is smooth.
Step 9. Mix in the chopped chocolate.
Step 10. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. The batter will be thick, so add it in increments and turn the pan, then smooth the batter with a rubber spatula.
Step 11. Bake the cake in a preheated 350 degrees F. oven for 45 - 50 minutes. Test the cake with a toothpick inserted in the cake for doneness. The toothpick should only have a few crumbs on it. If it is covered in chocolate, bake a few minutes more.
Step 12. Place the cake on a cooling rack for about 15 minutes, and then carefully run a knife around the outside edges and the cone to loosen the cake. Gently tap on the sides of the pan and shake it a bit to loosen the cake.
If you shake the pan up and down gently, you can tell if the cake is loose all over; if not, run the knife around the pan again.
Next, invert the cake onto a serving plate and cool completely before glazing.
Steps for making chocolate ganache
Step 13. Pour the 4 ounces of chocolate chips into a medium-sized bowl and set aside.
Step 14. Pour the cream into a small saucepan and heat to a simmer on medium-low heat. There will be little bubbles on the side of the pan. Immediately pour the hot cream on top of the chocolate and let sit for 1 minute, then whisk until the mixture is combined and is thick and creamy. Let the ganache cool for about 5 minutes before using it.
Step 15. Pour the ganache over the cooled cake, spreading it to the edges so it drizzles down the sides. You can go back over to fill in areas that need more ganache, and it's up to you how much you want on your cake, a little or a lot.
The combination of chocolate and beer comes together in a deliciously rich and robust cake.
Cake baking tips
Bundt pan - for this recipe use a good quality 10 ½" non-stick bundt pan. Since this recipe, I have upgraded to this heavier Nordic Ware Bundt Pan, and the cakes almost fall out of the pan.
Oiling the bundt pan - Bundt pans come in all kinds of shapes, so make sure that the pan is heavily oiled so the cake will release and come out of the pan cleanly. Use cooking spray and coat the entire pan plus the center cone. Use a pastry brush to brush the oil into all the indents. If any oil pools at the bottom of the pan, use a paper towel to remove it.
Coating the bundt pan - When preparing the pan for chocolate cakes, instead of coating it with flour, mix sugar and cocoa powder together, then coat the pan with this mixture. When you remove the cake, it will have a nice chocolate coating without any evidence of white flour ruining the top of the cake.
Removing the cake from the bundt pan - It is important to remove the bundt cake from the pan before it is completely cooled. If you let the cake sit too long, it will create moisture, and when it cools, the cake will actually get stuck in the pan. Letting the cake cool for 10-20 minutes will firm up the cake enough to remove it.
Mixing the cake batter - Mix the batter on a medium speed and do not overmix any of the ingredients. You want a creamy mixture. Over-mixing changes the density of the batter, and you could end up with a dense, crumbly cake. If that's what you like, then mix away!
Ganache - adding corn syrup to the ganache makes it very shiny You can omit this if you like, but the shiny glaze makes a really nice contrast to the dark chocolate cake.
Freezing the cake - You can freeze this cake for a month. Simply wrap the baked and cooled cake in heavy-duty foil and place it in the freezer. To serve, let the cake thaw and ganache as instructed.
This recipe should be in every chocoholics recipe box, and this is one of those recipes that people ask, "Can you please bring that beer cake to the party," and you proudly answer, "Why yes, I would love to."
You will love these cakes too!
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More to make and eat!
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Preparing the bundt pan
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. thoroughly oil a bundt pan with cooking spray and using a pastry brush, brush the oil all around the pan and the center cone.
- Mix 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder and 2 tablespoon sugar in a small bowl then pour into the bundt pan. Rotate the pan to disperse the cocoa powder all over the pan sides, bottom and the center cone to get all the nooks and crannies covered. Then shake out any excess cocoa powder
Mixing the cake batter
- In a small saucepan mix the beer and molasses together and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat until small bubbles form on the side of the pan. Do not boil. Pour the mixture into a small bowl to cool.
- In a small bowl add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine and set aside.
- In small batches chop the 6 ounces of chocolate chips on a cutting board to create small pieces. It's ok to have some whole chips but adding small pieces of chocolate will melt better.
- In a large mixing bowl add the room temperature butter and the brown sugar. With an electric mixer, mix on medium speed until light and fluffy. If using a stand mixer mix with the paddle attachment.
- On medium speed, mix in the three eggs, one at a time. Mix just until the egg yolk disappears. Scrape the bowl as needed.
- Alternately, add the flour mixture with the beer molasses mixture. Do this in three batches, ending with the flour mixture. Scraping the bowl as needed, then add the chopped chocolate chip pieces.
- Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan. With a spatula smooth the top of the batter.
- Bake the cake for 45-50 minutes. Test the cake for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake, if it comes out clean or with a few crumbs then the cake is done. If the toothpick comes out covered in chocolate then bake for a few additional minutes and recheck.
- Remove the cake to a cooling rack and let cool for about 15 minutes. To remove from the pan gently run a knife around the sides of the pan and around the center cone. Shake the pan a little to loosen more, at this point you should see the cake move. If it is still stuck run the knife around the cake again. Turn the cake over onto a serving platter and lift the cake pan off the cake. Continue to let the cake cool.
Making the ganache
- Place the 4 oz. of chocolate chips in a bowl.
- Pour the cream and corn syrup into a small saucepan and heat on medium-low heat to a simmer, small bubbles will form on the side of the pan.
- Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips and let sit for 1 minute. Slowly, stir the cream and chocolate with a whisk until the mixture gets thick and creamy. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Pour the ganache over the cooled cake spreading the chocolate so it drizzles down the sides of the cake. As the cake sits the ganache will firm up.
- Cover any uneaten cake which will keep for several days.
First Published: June 12, 2014... Last Updated: June 2, 2023, for better readability.
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From learning to cook on a farm in Indiana to culinary school in California, my passion for food is never-ending. Turning on my oven to bake something for friends and family is my happy place, and I am glad to be here at One Hot Oven sharing both sweet and savory family-friendly recipes for your cooking and baking inspiration.