Chocolate Stout Cake (With a Little Arsenic)



We decided to go with two incredible local stouts for this endeavor: Squatters’ Outer Darkness for the cake batter and Epic’s 825 State Stout for the buttercream frosting. We pulled up the following recipes from and only made slight adjustments—we used a bit of coffee instead of espresso powder, and to keep the batter consistency thick, we substituted the 1 cup boiling water in the cake batter with 1 full cup boiling beer. We also doubled up the recipe because, well … we like cake.


Cake Batter:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 cup milk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup of boiling Outer Darkness Russian Imperial Stout by Squatters instead of water


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by spraying with baking spray or buttering and lightly flouring.
2. Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to combine, or, using a paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well.
3. Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling stout to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter.
4. Distribute cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30–35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool completely.
6. Frost cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.
Buttercream Frosting:


1½ cups butter (3 sticks), softened
1 cup unsweetened cocoa
5 cups confectioner’s sugar
½ cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon coffee
Epic’s 825 State Stout


1. Add cocoa to a large bowl or bowl of stand mixer. Whisk through to remove any lumps.
2. Cream together butter and cocoa powder until well-combined.
3. Add sugar and milk to cocoa mixture by adding 1 cup of sugar followed by about a tablespoon of milk. After each addition has been combined, turn mixer on to a high speed for about 1 minute. Repeat until all sugar and milk have been added.
4. Add vanilla extract and coffee and combine well.
5. If frosting appears too dry, add more milk, a tablespoon at a time, until it reaches the right consistency. If it appears to be too wet and does not hold its form, add more confectioner’s sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it reaches the right consistency. We alternated between adding confectioner’s sugar and tablespoons of beer until the consistency was just right, and this ended up taking almost a whole bottle of Epic 835 State Stout for the doubled recipe.

The result was, seriously, chocolate heaven. The beer blended so well with the chocolate and kept the cake moist. It was especially delicious being washed down with the leftovers of the Epic Stout—the flavors were incredibly complementary!  We ended up with way too much frosting, however, so I recommend not doubling the frosting recipe even if you double the cake batter. So there you have it—our local brews are good for more than just, you know, drinking.