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

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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.
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.

Fiery Cider: A Tonic to Love, Fear, and Cure That Cold

Fiery Cider: A Tonic to Love, Fear, and Cure That Cold by Caroline Lange

Roasted Pears Meet Apple Cider and Cardamom, The Brunch Crowd Goes Wild

Roasted Pears Meet Apple Cider and Cardamom, The Brunch C... by Yossy Arefi


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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The Snake Bite

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Makes one 9-inch cake

For the cake

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup good cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3/4 cup Guinness Extra Stout, at room temperature

For the frosting

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup fermented pear cider (I like Ace's)
  • 1 dried pear slice, for garnish (optional)
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Automagic Spring Menu Maker!
Automagic Spring Menu Maker!

Tags: Bake, Beer, Dessert, Chocolate