1 cup chocolate or coffee stout or other dark, malty beer -Samuel Smith's Organic Chocolate Stout is what I prefer, but I have used other rich malty beers as well.
8 oz. butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 large eggs, room temperature
¾ cup sour cream, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp espresso powder (optional)
1¼ cups confectioners' sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup heavy cream-plus 1-2 tablespoons to thin frosting if needed
- Set a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350F.
- Butter and flour a 9" x 3" springform pan. Line with a circle of parchment. Set aside.
- In a large saucepan, combine the stout and butter place over medium-low heat until the butter is melted. Set aside.
- Whisk together the sugar and the cocoa powder in a bowl. Stir it into the stout and butter and whisk together until smooth.
- In a small bowl, combine the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla. Add to the stout mixture.
- Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt and optional espresso powder. Stir into the wet ingredients until smooth. A few tiny little lumps are okay.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for about 50 minutes. The cake is done when the top springs back when gently pressed, when the sides are just starting to pull away from the sides of the pan, and when the internal temperature of the cake reaches 200F. Place the cake on a cooling rack and cool completely in the pan.
- For the frosting: Using a food processor or hand mixer, whip the confectioner’s sugar and the room temperature cream cheese until smooth. Add the heavy cream and mix until smooth and spreadable. Ice the top of the cake.
- Store leftovers in the fridge, but let the cake return to room temperature for serving so the frosting and cake will have the best texture and flavor.
- You can also make this cake in a Bundt pan or two 9" x 2" pans if you'd like to make a classic layer cake. Multiply the frosting by 1 ½ to frost the top and between the layers.
- For a non-alcoholic cake, you can swap the stout with 1 cup coffee or espresso.