Look no further for the perfect GO-TO Chocolate Cake Recipe.   I first discovered this cake, when I was hosting my future in-laws for St. Patricks Day.  This was the first cake I ever attempted to make from scratch, and I’m so glad that I was fearless in the kitchen.  I really consider myself more of a vanilla girl – but wow, this chocolate cake delivers on so many levels.

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The original recipe is made with a stout beer (I have used Murphy’s) however, I decided for my Mom’s 70th Birthday Cake (by special request) I would use the last bottle of Guinness Draught that we had in the fridge.  It worked perfectly!  The Guinness  intensifies the chocolate flavor while giving the cake a richer, fuller, nuttier flavor without making it too sweet and the sour cream makes this cake incredibly moist.

Also, the original recipe calls for Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips for the Ganache, however for my Mom’s Birthday we were staying in a cabin in Lake Arrowhead and just happened to have Dark Chocolate Kisses on hand.


Fun fact:  1 Hershey Kiss = .16 ounces

37 Hershey Chocolate Kisses = 6 ounces of pure goodness for the topping!

The Ganache made from dark chocolate combined with heavy cream and a hint of coffee drizzled over the top of the chocolate cake sprinkled with sliced honey roasted almonds – makes for layered flavor heaven.  Like Smitten Kitchen said, “This cake kicks some serious butt!”  I have been told by people who have tasted it, that this is the best cake they have ever had.  Pretty high praise – but, I have to agree this recipe is perfection.  Enjoy!

Tip! - A stacked plate & bowl makes for a great rustic cake plate in a pinch!

Tip! – A stacked plate & bowl makes for a great rustic cake plate in a pinch!

Chocolate Guinness Beer & Sour Cream Cake

1 cup Guinness draught (or any other stout or drought beer to your liking)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder* (preferably Dutch-process)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

Cake prep:
Preheat oven to 350°F.  Butter or spray a bundt pan well; make sure you get in all of the nooks and crannies. (You cannot be too careful!). Bring 1 cup Guinness and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat.  Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add Guinness-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer cake to rack; cool completely in the pan, then turn cake out onto rack for drizzling ganache.

Dark Chocolate & Coffee Ganache: 

6 ounces of dark chocolate (37 hershey’s kisses or good semisweet chocolate chips)
6 tablespoons heavy cream*
3/4 teaspoon instant coffee granules
For the ganache, melt the chocolate, heavy cream, and coffee in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally. Drizzle over the top of cooled cake.  Sprinkle with sliced honey roasted almonds.*

Source: Smitten Kitchen Adapted from the Barrington Brewery in Great Barrington, MA via Bon Appetit   *Ingredients were purchased at Trader Joes



    • Hi tangent – thank you so much for the lovely reblog – I’m flattered, especially because my background is in marketing/branding. I hope anyone who visits your blog gets a chance to make this cake – it seriously is a home run!

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