Chocolate stout cake is one of my favorite variations on chocolate cake. Rich, chocolate-y, and not too sweet, it tastes great paired with poured ganache, vanilla, chocolate, or coffee Italian Meringue Buttercream, or even just whipped cream (add Frangelico or other tasty liqueur for a delicious variation.
For those not familiar with chocolate stout cake, no, it doesn’t taste like beer! Just as brewed coffee is sometimes added to a chocolate cake without giving it a coffee flavor, stout can add depth to the color and flavor of a chocolate cake.
I absolutely love the chocolate stout cake recipe from Barrington Brewery in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, which is filled with eggs, butter, and sour cream. Of course, not everyone eats dairy or eggs, so I set out to re-create a suitable vegan alternative. Rebecca August’s excellent Chocolate Midnight Cake recipe as posted in the Vegan Meringues — Hits and Misses Facebook group made a great starting point. This recipe is a merging of the two, and I am happy to say that it stands up nicely against it’s dairy- and egg-containing cousin.
Vegan Chocolate Stout Cake Recipe
Makes one 8-inch layer or two 6-inch layers.
- 1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 1 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup stout* (such as Wolaver’s Oatmeal Stout or Sam Smith’s Oatmeal Stout)
- 1/3 cup coconut oil or vegan baking sticks (such as Earth Balance Buttery Sticks)
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder, preferably Dutch Process
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 3 Tbsp. aqua faba (the liquid drained from a can of chickpeas or other mildy-flavored beans)
* Note that not all stouts are vegan. Do your research to find one that suits your needs.
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
- Add cider vinegar to milk and stir. Set aside to allow it to curdle.
- Grease one 8-inch or two 6-inch round cake pans with 2-inch-high sides. Line with parchment paper, and grease the paper.
- Bring stout and coconut oil to a simmer in heavy medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
- Sift flour, sugar, salt and baking soda into a medium-sized bowl.
- Add milk and aqua faba to the hot stout mixture, and whisk together.
- Pour stout mixture into dry ingredients and whisk gently until just blended.
- Pour batter into prepared pans.
- Bake at 350ºF for 30-35 minutes for 6-inch pans or 37-42 minutes for 8-inch pan. Check early and don’t over-bake, but also take care not to under-bake. This cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the top springs back when pressed lightly in the center.
- Transfer cake to a cooling rack and cool 15 minutes. Don’t rush this! The cake will be quite soft when it first comes out of the oven, and will require some time to set. Gently turn layers out of the pan and onto a rack. Cool completely.