St. Patrick’s Day is yet another holiday where overindulgence is perfectly accepted and expected…which is probably why we all enjoy it so much. This year, St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Saturday, which could actually be a little dangerous! If you need a dessert for your St. Patrick’s Day party with a little Irish pizzazz, look no further. I don’t know who first thought of throwing chocolate and beer together, but it works for me. Top it off with a decadent Irish Cream frosting and it’s a winner. It’s like an Irish Car Bomb in cake form and it won’t leave you with a headache and the spins in the morning.
First things first, get all of your ingredients prepped and ready. This cake isn’t difficult, but it does involve a few more steps that your average box mix! Brew a cup of coffee (if you have a Keurig, I found that the smallest cup size yielded a perfect 2/3 cup), grab a bottle of your favorite stout (a chocolate stout is best, but a regular stout or Porter works too) and melt your chocolate.
Separate your eggs, butter and flour your pans, mix together your dry ingredients and get your butter and sugar together. I’m a big believer in prepping everything, for any recipe, before I begin. With a recipe like this, it’s crucial!
Once everything is prepped, it’s just a matter of putting things together in the right order. After the butter and sugar were creamed, I added the melted chocolate, stout and coffee. Then, I added the egg yolks. Once they were mixed in, I gradually added my flour mixture.
The last step involves those egg whites and the last bit of sugar. Whip them together with a mixer until they are stiff, but not dried out.
Once that’s done, you’ll gently fold them into the cake batter until you have, what may be, the most AMAZING cake batter I’ve ever tasted (even though I know you’re technically not supposed to. We all do it. Just admit it.)
The cake batter goes into those prepared pans you’ve already gotten ready and into the oven they go! After about 30 minutes, your house will smell wonderfully chocolatey and you’ll have two beautiful chocolate cakes on your cooling rack.
Once the cakes have cooled, get to work on the frosting. This is a simple cream cheese frosting recipe, just cream cheese and powdered sugar, spiked with a bit of Baileys. How can that be bad, right? This isn’t a fluffy, buttercreamy frosting, but trust me…it does the job.
Whip up the cream cheese, gradually beat in the powdered sugar and then gradually add the Baileys. What you’re left with is about two cups of cake topping magic!
I spread half of the frosting over one cake layer, topped it with the second, and then frosted the top layer with the rest. The frosting doesn’t really make enough to frost the sides, but that’s OK. It’s perfect just the way it is.
The end result is deliciously dense, but very moist, and not too rich at all (which is kind of amazing, given the ingredients!). If you don’t like beer, you’ll still like this cake. If you don’t like coffee, you’ll still like this cake. If you don’t like Baileys, I’m pretty sure you’ll still like this cake. All of the ingredients work together to create something really tasty and different. Give it a try! Now you can have your beer and eat it too!
Have a very happy St. Patrick’s Day! Be safe and responsible, and have fun!
May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.
CHOCOLATE STOUT LAYER CAKE WITH BAILEYS SPIKED CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
Cake Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit magazine, Frosting adapted from Closet Cooking
Chocolate Stout Layer Cake with Baileys Spiked Cream Cheese Frosting
- For the cake:
- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 3/4 sticks salted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups plus 3 Tbsp. sugar, divided
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 3/4 cup chocolate stout, regular stout, or porter
- 2/3 cup freshly brewed strong coffee
- For the frosting:
- 1 8 oz. block reduced fat cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup Baileys Irish Cream
- Preheat your oven to 350* and make sure the rack is in the center of your oven. Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of each cake pan with parchment paper and butter and flour the parchment.
- Place the chopped chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave the chocolate for 20 seconds, stir, and then return to the microwave for 15-20 second intervals (stirring after each), until melted and smooth. Set aside.
- Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium-sized bowl.
- Using an electric mixer (stand mixer, if you have one) cream together the butter and 1 1/4 cups sugar until fluffy and pale yellow, about two minutes. Add the egg yolks, one at a time. Beat well after each addition. Beat in the now lukewarm melted chocolate, then the stout and finally the coffee (which should also be lukewarm to room temp). Gradually add the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated.
- Using clean beaters, beat the egg whites and remaining 3 Tbsp. of sugar together in another bowl until stiff, but not dry. Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then repeat with remaining egg whites in two more additions. Divide the batter into the prepared cake pans (about 3 cups for each) and smooth out the tops.
- Bake cakes for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick poked in the middle comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans, on a wire rack, for 20 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the rack, remove the parchment paper, and cool completely before frosting.
- Whip the cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar. When the sugar is incorporated, gradually beat in the Baileys until the frosting is nice and smooth. Spread half of the frosting on one cake layer. Top with the second layer, and frost the top with the remaining Baileys frosting.
- This can be made ahead, up to one day. If made ahead, cover with a cake dome and place the cake in the refrigerator. Before serving, let the cake come to room temperature, for at least 1 hour or up to 3.