The Heady Chocolate Stout Cake We Can't Stop Gushing Over

January 29, 2018

Here at Food52, we cook a lot—like, nearly-50-recipes-a-week a lot. So understandably, we’re a little hesitant to deem a recipe "the best" or even "amazing." Yet last Tuesday, our test kitchen chef Josh Cohen dropped everything to rave (rave!) about this fudgy chocolate cake.

It only takes an hour to make, and even less time to inhale. Photo by James Ransom

Inspired by the bright-yet-complex snakebite cocktail—equal parts lager and cider—arielleclementine combined a chocolatey stout cake with fermented pear cider frosting for an unforgettable winter dessert. The recipe comes together in under an hour: Just add the dry ingredients together, then whisk eggs, sour cream, melted butter, and rich Guinness in a separate bowl. Combine the two mixtures, then bake for 35 minutes at 350° F.

While the cake bakes, beat softened butter and cream cheese in an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy, then add powdered sugar and pear cider on low speed until combined. The cream cheese–pear cider frosting is meant to be a loose topper, not for spreading between lofty layers. But for a stiffer frosting, you can add more powdered sugar and try boiling down a larger quantity of cider before adding, to concentrate the flavor.

Honestly, we shouldn’t be so surprised by how wonderful The Snake Bite tastes. When we first tried this cake back in 2010, our editors declared the recipe "genius" (watch out, Kristen Miglore), and it’s racked up well over 1,000 likes and nearly 100 comments since then. So let’s bring this cake back into the spotlight and into your baking rotation. Don’t mind us, we’ll just be raving from the rooftops.

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Katie is a food writer and editor who loves cheesy puns and cheesy cheese.


Foodiewife January 28, 2023
This is almost identical to Nigella Lawson’s Guinness cake. I changed the frosting by putting two tablespoons of Baileys Irish Cream. Perfect for St.Patrick’s Day.
Sue February 2, 2018
This is pretty much the same as Nigella Lawson’s chocolate Guinness cake that I have been making for years. Adored by everyone!
arielleclementine January 29, 2018
Thank you, Katie Macdonald for the beautifully kind write-up! And to Josh Cohen for the rave review. I think you all are wonderful.
arielleclementine January 29, 2018
Also, as a thank you gift to you all for your kind words, I humbly submit the greatest video of all time- my son Henry, then 3 years old, eating ramen noodles.
Meg January 29, 2018
Yum! Looks delish! :)