Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Saint Patrick's Day Cake

This is officially the best cake I've ever had.  I was planning on making it for Saint Patrick's Day since it has that theme with the beer and Irish cream and all...but I never had time.  Sooo I decided to make it as my birthday cake instead!  I did only make one layer of this cake since there's only three people in my family and I wouldn't have wanted the cake to dry out if we didn't eat it in time.  If you choose to make one layer, then just half the recipe below.  But I recommend making the full amount because the cake lasts for a long time (I had the last slice today and it was the 3rd day, and it still tasted incredible) and you will definitely have no problem eating it all in a short period of time once you have your first slice.  I don't know about you guys, but I'm a huge sucker for alcoholic beverages in desserts.  I know...my parents aren't very happy about that...but I can't control my taste buds!  This cake is the absolute best chocolate cake/birthday cake/Saint Patricks Day cake I've ever tasted!  I think it's even better than my Best Chocolate Cake recipe (found here), which kind of defeats the title..but that recipe is still the best classic chocolate cake I've ever had.  However, this recipe is a little more jazzed up with the beer in the cake, the Bailey's buttercream frosting, and the chocolate ganache.  The chocolate cake layer itself is moist, rich, and perfectly dark chocolatey.  But the frosting and ganache is what really sets this cake from a 10 on a 1 to 10 scale to 100.  The Irish cream liquor gives this frosting an incredibly unique, sweet, and rich taste that I had never tasted before but instantly fell in love with.  If you are a big frosting fan, then I would recommend doubling it...it's very delicious to eat it by the spoonful as well(:  And then you have this incredibly chocolatey and rich deep chocolate ganache drizzled on top that makes the cake so beautiful and perfect.  I'm going to be making this for many holidays and birthdays to come in the future.


  • 1 cup Irish stout beer (such as Guinness®)
  • 1 cup butter, cut into pieces
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Frosting:
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar, or as needed
  • 1/2 cup butter at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons Irish cream liqueur (such as Baileys®), or as needed
  • Ganache:
  • 1 heaping cup of bittersweet chocolate chips (or dark chocolate chips)
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter at room temperature

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 2 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper, and spray with cooking spray.
    2. Pour the beer into a saucepan, add the butter, and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Remove the pan from the heat, and whisk in the cocoa powder until the mixture is smooth. Allow the mixture to cool. In a bowl, beat the eggs and sour cream together until smooth with an electric mixer, and stir in the stout mixture to make a smooth, thick liquid.
    3. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Pour the stout mixture into the flour mixture, and gently combine with a spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
    4. Bake in the preheated oven until the cakes are set and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Remove and let cool in pans for 5 minutes before inverting the cakes onto wire racks to finish cooling.
    5. Mix together the confectioners' sugar, butter, and Irish cream liqueur until the mixture forms a smooth and spreadable frosting (add more sugar or liqueur as needed to create the desired consistency). Spread half the frosting on top of each cake.
    6. Place the chocolate chips into a heatproof bowl. Bring cream to almost boiling in a small saucepan, and pour over the chocolate. Stir in the butter, and stir the mixture until the chocolate melts and the mixture is very smooth. Allow to cool until the mixture is pourable but not thin or overly runny, 10 to 15 minutes. Stack a cake gently on top of the other, frosting sides uppermost, and carefully drizzle the chocolate mixture over the cake, allowing decorative drips to run down the sides.

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