Cocoa-Stout Cake with Malted Buttercream

Cocoa-Stout Cake with Malted Buttercream on white marble sliced
Cocoa-Stout Cake with Malted Buttercream / Photography by Matt Armendariz / Recipe Development and Food Styling by Marian Cooper Cairns

Beer isn’t just for drinking. Add your favorite brews to these fall recipes for a little extra oomph. Chocolate, stout, and malt are a stellar match made in heaven in this strikingly tall 2-layer Cocoa-Stout Cake with Malted Buttercream cake. If needed, you can use 9-inch pans—just trim a few minutes from the bake time. 

Stout: Rich and dark with soft carbonation, stouts can range from sweet to dry with big roasty-toasty notes. Expect notes of chocolate, sweet caramel, or bitter coffee—all of which work beautifully with the cocoa powder and malted milk in our layer cake. We like: Guinness Draught, The Duck Rabbit Craft Brewery Milk Stout, Modern Times Black House Stout

Cocoa-Stout Cake
Makes 1 (8-inch) cake
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  1. 1½ cups stout or porter beer
  2. ¾ cup (170 grams) unsalted butter
  3. 2¼ cups (450 grams) granulated sugar
  4. 1 cup (85 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  5. 2½ cups (313 grams) all-purpose flour
  6. 2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
  7. 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
  8. 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  9. ¾ cup sour cream
  10. 3 large eggs
  11. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  12. Malted Buttercream (recipe follows)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 2 (8-inch) tall-sided round cake pans with baking spray with flour.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat beer and butter over medium-low heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat; whisk in sugar and cocoa.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together sour cream, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk sour cream mixture into beer mixture; whisk beer mixture into flour mixture until smooth. Divide batter between prepared pans.
  4. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 32 to 36 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. Spread Malted Buttercream between layers and on top and lightly on sides of cake.
Bake from Scratch
Malted Buttercream
Makes about 2½ cups
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  1. ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  2. ⅓ cup (42.6 grams) malted milk powder
  3. ¼ teaspoon (0.75 gram) kosher salt
  4. 4 cups (480 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  5. 4 to 5 tablespoons stout beer
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, milk powder, and salt at medium speed until combined. Beat in confectioners’ sugar, 1 cup (120 grams) at a time, alternately with beer, beating until smooth after each addition, adding enough beer to make buttercream a spreadable consistency.
Bake from Scratch

Photography by Matt Armendariz | Recipe Development and Food Styling by Marian Cooper Cairns

Read the whole article in Bake From Scratch Fall 2016.


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  1. The cocoa-stout cake is delicious but we found the frosting to be much too sweet for our tastes. Can you recommend a different, less sweet frosting recipe to go with this lovely cake?


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