Fudgy Chocolate Stout Cake

February  7, 2010
Author Notes

This is one of the easiest things in the world to bake. These egg-free, dairy-free cakes always fascinate me. In Shirley Corriher’s book BakeWise, (a great book for the baking-obsessed) she has a similar recipe for Crazy Cake, and she mentions the importance of the water getting to the flour before the oil does or the cake may not hold together well. Very science-y, but I believe her. So I added my oil at the end. Her method is the mix-in-the-pan kind. I prefer the separate bowl method, because then you get to lick the bowl, which after all, is half the fun of making a cake. Adapted from the Double Chocolate Cake recipe in the Betty Crocker Cookbook. Makes enough batter for 1 dozen cupcakes.

Vegan notes: Since Guinness is not a vegan beer (they use isinglass in its production - a collagen derived from fish), I substitute Lagunitas Imperial Stout, which is vegan friendly. Or sometimes, I use all coffee for the liquid portion of the recipe. —mrslarkin

Test Kitchen Notes

The words chocolate and stout grabbed me before even I realized this was a no-dairy recipe. I had this crazy notion that the best baked goods involved eggs, but this fantastic cake proved me wrong. Plus, it couldn’t have been easier to make: With the exception of the beer – I used bottled Guinness Extra Stout – all ingredients are probably in your pantry and the batter comes together in minutes. The cake has a surprisingly light texture and deep chocolate flavor with a slightly bitter edge from the stout and coffee. I couldn’t resist a piece barely cooled from the oven, washed down with the rest of the stout. Yum! - Midge —Midge

  • Serves 2 chocoholics or 8 normal people
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 7 tablespoons cocoa powder, not dutched
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup Guinness Stout (not vegan) or Lagunitas Imperial Stout (vegan)
  • 1/2 cup espresso or strong coffee
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider or white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (a scant half-cup)
In This Recipe
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Set oven rack to middle. Grease an 8” cake pan with cooking spray, then line with parchment and lightly spray the parchment. (This is in case you decide to remove cake from pan and frost completely. But usually we just frost the top and eat it right out of the pan.)
  2. Whisk flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Now sift it all. You'll thank yourself for this extra step later when your cake is free of baking soda lumps (this I know for fact.)
  3. In a measuring cup, mix together stout, coffee, water, vanilla and vinegar. Stir into the flour mixture a few turns, then add your oil and stir until you have a smooth batter.
  4. Pour into prepared pan. Place in oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Check with cake tester, which should come out very slightly moist. Remove from oven and let cool on rack.
  5. Turn out onto cake plate. Peel off the parchment and lick off the stuck-on fudgy layer - I won't tell. Dust cake with powdered sugar, or cover with frosting. Enjoy with a cold glass of milk!
  6. Alternatively, this recipe makes 1 dozen cupcakes. Bake for 18 - 23 minutes. Cool cupcakes. Frost with your favorite frosting or dip tops into a simple icing made of confectioner's sugar, cocoa powder and coffee. Decorate top with a fresh coffee bean while icing is still tacky.

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