Guinness Extra Stout Chocolate Cake with Guinness Extra Stout Buttercream

This recipe should technically be made in 3 or 4 - 8" round cake pans, depending on your desire yet I made them in my recent obsession - 6" round cake pans.  With this said, I did have an additional cake layer which we all basically devoured while the actual cake was chilling so we could cut it - and then devour that.  What I love about this recipe is that you can actually taste a hint of the stout throughout the cake as opposed to recipes where the stout gets completely lost.  I'm sure the thought of stout icing seems a bit odd, yet stout actually has a caramelly flavor when it hits the back of your pallate so it lends itself nicely and gives a beautiful color to the buttercream.  No vanilla in this recipe, since stout is the star here.  This cake is very delicate, so you need to chill them in order to handle it well.  With that said, invert them onto a cooling rack or countertop that has a sheet of plastic wrap on it so then you can wrap each layer and have the ability to handle it much better.  Chill the layers fully before frosting.

1 cup unsalted butter or butter-flavor shortening, room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
3/4 c. sour cream
3/4 c. Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa powder
1 c. Guinness Extra Stout
2 c. cake flour

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together - scraping the bowl if necessary to completely combine.  Add baking soda, salt and eggs - one at a time, followed by the sour cream.  Scrape the bowl again to make sure your ingredients are thoroughly combined.  Add cocoa powder and mix on low to incorporate.  Slowly pour in the Guinness Extra Stout, being careful not to splash.  Finally add the cake flour and mix until ingredients are combined well.

Divide between desired amount of round cake pans that have been prepped with baking spray to ensure easy release.    Bake in an oven that has been preheated to 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, checking the cakes after 25 minutes with a toothpick inserted in the middle coming out clean to ensure they are done.  Remove from the oven and allow to rest in pans for ten minutes, then invert the layers onto cooling racks.  Chill completely before frosting.


2 cups sugar
1/2 c. Guinness Extra Stout
2 whole eggs + 2 egg whites
1 lb (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c. (1 stick) regular shortening, room temperature

Place sugar and stout into a medium (4 qt.) saucepan and bring to boil, cook until a candy thermometer reaches softball stage (235-240 degrees).  Remove from heat and set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment beat 2 whole eggs and 2 egg whites, then slowly pour in the hot syrup.  Once all the syrup is added, set timer and allow mixture to whip for ten minutes.  Pour syrup into a pitcher to cool.  You will want to refrigerate the syrup for at least four hours, or overnight - you can also leave it on the counter to cool as well.  Once syrup has cooled, take a spoon and remove the foam that has risen to the top (there is no need to get every ounce of it, just the majority).

Place clean bowl back in the mixer and add the butter and shortening with whisk attachment.  Beat on high speed, stopping 2 or 3 times to scrape the bowl - ingredients should be light in color and have a whipped texture.  Add the vanilla bean paste and slowly pour in the syrup.  Place mixer on low and edge up to medium high until all of the ingredients are incorporated and the icing looks fluffy.

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