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Chocolate Stout Cake with Baileys Buttercream on a cake stand with candies scattered around and plates in the background.
Chocolate Stout Cake with Baileys Buttercream
Prep Time
45 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
1 hr 20 mins

Grab your fork to dig into this rich, malty chocolate stout cake with Baileys buttercream, the perfect St. Patrick's Day dessert!

Course: Cake
Cuisine: American, Irish
Keyword: Bailey's buttercream, chocolate stout cake
Servings: 12 Servings
Calories: 722 kcal
Chocolate Stout Cake
  • 1 cup stout beer (I like Guinness)
  • 8 oz unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Baileys Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 14 oz unsalted butter, softened (3 1/2 sticks)
  • 1/4 cup Irish Cream (I like Baileys)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Chocolate Stout Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease two 8-inch round pans and line the bottoms with parchment rounds. Set aside.

  2. Cut the butter into chunks and place in a small saucepan with the stout. Heat over med/low heat until butter is melted. 

  3. Whisk the cocoa powder into the stout/butter mixture. Set aside to cool.

  4. Combine sugar and eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer or a large metal bowl. Beat until well mixed, about 2 minutes.

  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. 

  6. Add the butter mixture to the sugar/eggs while beating on low. Mix until combined, about 2 minutes. 

  7. Add half of the dry ingredients, then half the buttermilk, the remaining dry, and ending with the remaining buttermilk. Stir in the vanilla.

  8. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Tap the pans on the counter once or twice to release some air bubbles. Bake, rotating the pans once during baking, for about 35 mins or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

  9. Cool the cakes for 5 mins on a wire rack in the pans, then remove from the pans to finish cool completely. Peel off the parchment. While the cakes are cooling, make the frosting.

Baileys Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  1. Combine sugar and eggs whites in the bowl of a stand mixer or a large metal bowl.

  2. Place over a pan of simmering water and cook, whisking frequently, until sugar is completely dissolved and isn't grainy when you rub it between two fingers.

  3. Remove from the heat and using your electric mixer, beat on high with the whisk attachment until the meringue is thick and glossy and the bottom of the bowl no longer feels warm, about 7-8 minutes.

  4. Add the butter, piece by piece, and mix until incorporated.

  5. Switch to the paddle attachment and add the Baileys. Continue beating until light, smooth and completely homogenized. Add green food coloring (for St. Patrick's Day) if desired.

Assemble the Cake
  1. Once the cake is fully cooled, place one cake round on a cake plate or stand and spread about one third to one half of the buttercream frosting on top, spreading it to the edges. 

  2. Place the other round on top pressing down slightly. Fill in the sides of the cake with a little frosting. Use an offset spatula to spread the remaining icing over the top. 

  3. Smooth the top and sides, scraping off the excess frosting. Run the spatula under hot water, wipe the water off, and continue to smooth the cake.

Recipe Notes
  • Be sure the stout/butter/cocoa powder mixture isn't too hot when you add it to the egg/sugar mixture because the eggs might cook and curdle. Cool it to room temperature or just a little above.
  • After you divide the batter between the prepared cake pans, tap them on the counter to release the air bubbles allow the batter to spread evenly.
  • Be sure the cakes are fully cooled before icing them.
  • When making the frosting, whisk the egg whites and sugar constantly over very low heat so they don't cook and curdle. Rub the mixture between two fingers to be sure the sugar is completely dissolved. It should feel smooth and not grainy before proceeding.
  • Feel the bottom of the bowl when you're whipping it. It should feel cool before proceeding.
  • Add the butter piece by piece, it will look a little curdled as you add them. Never fear! It will come together in the end.
  • An offset spatula is the best tool for icing. It's great for spreading the frosting and smoothing.
  • Heating the spatula under hot water (be sure to wipe it dry) and running over the frosting will create a super smooth surface. 
  • Store the cake covered, at room temperature, for 3 days. You can store leftovers in the refrigerator after that. Allow it to come to room temperature before serving.
Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Stout Cake with Baileys Buttercream
Amount Per Serving
Calories 722 Calories from Fat 405
% Daily Value*
Fat 45g69%
Saturated Fat 28g175%
Cholesterol 154mg51%
Sodium 422mg18%
Potassium 294mg8%
Carbohydrates 74g25%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 53g59%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 1390IU28%
Calcium 97mg10%
Iron 2.3mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.