Bake

The Snake Bite

January 28, 2010
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

This cake was inspired by the oh-so-tasty cocktail concoction of lager and cider known as a "snakebite." For the cake, I've replaced the lager with a stout, and have opted for fermented pear cider in place of the more traditional apple. The slightly effervescent pear cider–cream cheese frosting swoons contentedly upon a truly dark, rich, and delicious chocolate stout cake. I think you'll like it. —arielleclementine

Test Kitchen Notes

The Snake Bite is a heady chocolate stout cake with a sprightly cream cheese frosting that's been laced with hard pear cider. We have only two things to say: 1) arielleclementine is a genius. 2) Where has this cake been all our lives? —The Editors

  • Makes one 9-inch cake
Ingredients
  • 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)
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.
  2. Mix together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sour cream. Then whisk in the melted butter and Guinness. Add flour mixture to egg mixture and combine with a rubber spatula. Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. While the cake is baking, prepare the frosting. Put the softened butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until creamy and well combined, about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add the powdered sugar, mixing until combined. Slowly pour in the pear cider and mix until the frosting comes together. Let the frosting set up a bit in the refrigerator until the cake is ready.
  5. When the cake is cool, transfer it to a platter. Spread the frosting on top of the cake, taking care to push it all the way to the edges. Garnish with a slice of dried pear, if you wish, and enjoy with a glass of pear cider!

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I have always loved food. My favorite books as a kid always featured food (eg. The Berenstain Bears Get the Gimmies- so much candy!) and I loved cooking shows like Yan Can Cook and The Frugal Gourmet. I started cooking the Thanksgiving dinner for my family when I was 13 years old. I have food52 to thank for inspiring me to come up with my own recipes, as well as for introducing me to a community of fantastic cooks and their amazing recipes. I try my best to cook locally and seasonally, and I tend to prefer straightforward, simple recipes where the ingredients get to shine. I live in wonderful Austin, Texas with my husband, Andy (a video game programmer) and my son, Henry (an 8-month-old who loves to eat).