St-Patrick’s day is coming up, and with many Canadians proudly touting Irish heritage, and many of our major cities hosting parades and pageantry, it’s one of the most exciting holidays in the country, and signals the start of spring! But whether you have Irish heritage or not, we’ve all benefited from our fair share of Irish influence, whether its enjoying the Irish’s celebratory know-how, sipping on a good pint of beer at your local Irish pub, delighting in a rich and hearty Irish stew, day-dreaming about that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, or even if it’s looking to a four leaf clover for a bit of luck, the Irish have made their mark on our lives.
And what better way to celebrate that than to make a chocolate cake?! This St-Patrick’s day why not make it extra festive by adding two classically Irish favorites into the mix: a touch of creamy Irish Stout, Guinness for example, and of course, you’ve got to top it off with some Kelly green icing!
With this recipe, we bring you a Four Layer Chocolate Stout Cake by Savoury Sweets Bakery’s Allison Sklar. And by the time you’re through with it, we hope you’ll be feeling that luck ‘o the Irish! Happy St-Patrick’s Day!
Four Layer Chocolate Stout Cake
This cake comes together in one large bowl and requires nothing but some measuring cups, spoons & a standard metal whisk. Note: do not substitute any ingredients. Baking, unlike cooking, is a science. This cake requires real buttermilk & real beer in order for a physical reaction to occur. These ingredients together help in creating a fluffy, slightly dense crumb. Vegetable oil is my oil of choice for baking as it has a neutral flavour and keeps the cake moist. Though you may taste the beer in the batter, the final product only has a hint of stout, but a whole lot of complex chocolate flavour.
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup Irish Stout beer (such as Guinness)
- 2 3/4 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 1/4 cups flour
Use butter or margarine to generously grease four 8″ cake pans. Cut out a circle of parchment paper to place on the bottom of each. (Don’t skip this step, or you’ll have a messy time removing them from the pan once they’re cool!)
In a large bowl, whisk together buttermilk, oil & beer. Add sugar & eggs, whisking until homogenous. Whisk in sifted cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda & salt. Add flour, a little at a time, whisking slowly after each addition. Only mix until flour is combined – do not over-mix!
Bake at 350F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.
Allow to cool. Remove from pans, wrap in plastic wrap, and transfer to freezer for an hour.
Make ahead tip: You can bake and freeze up to 3 weeks in advance.
- 454g butter
- 500g icing sugar
- 2 tbsp fancy molasses
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
In the Promix stand mixer, paddle 454g of butter until fluffy, intermittently scraping down the sides. This should take about 7 to 10 minutes on medium-high speed. Your butter will turn a very pale, nearly white colour, and will increase in volume as you add air into it. Add the sugar, a little at a time, mixing on low with each addition. Once all the sugar has been added, add the molasses and vanilla. Beat on high for 2 more minutes, until everything is well combined and buttercream is fluffy.
Assembly & Decorating
PRO TIP: Use a cardboard cake board that is 2″ larger than your cake. Place this underneath your cake for easier clean up and transport. Put a little dollop of cream underneath the bottom of the cake to secure it to the board/tray so that it doesn’t move around as your decorate.
Place one chilled layer of cake on your board or on your serving tray, such as the Lina cake stand from Stokes. With a spatula, scoop a generous amount of buttercream onto the layer. Smooth it out with a decorator’s spatula or a butter knife. Top with second layer & repeat. Once you reach the top, smooth buttercream over the surface. Voila! Serve as is – a beautiful, naked cake – right on trend!
Smooth out the sides of the cake with a flat spatula. Use some green food dye to tint the rest of the buttercream, but do not mix it in completely – allow streaks, these are good! Spread it carefully onto the sides of the cake, smoothing once the entire cake is covered. Add green sprinkles, if desired.
PRO TIP: For extra smooth sides, run a butter knife under hot water and run it lightly over the frosted edges.
Helping you celebrate with something sweet,
Allison believes that the best way to combat nasty cravings is to eat more sweets. A professionally trained pastry chef and a qualified art teacher, Allison combined her two passions and founded Savoury Sweets Bakery in 2014. Allison’s creations are as unique as they are delicious – never using fondant, her cakes are all decorated using fluffy buttercream frosting, accented with handmade fabric flowers and customized hand-drawn toppers. Sweet tables are one of her favourite things to cater, as she gets to show off her talent for making chewy cookies, decadent brownies & her famous pie squares. Among her many talents, Allison also specializes in a variety of vegan baked goods, so everyone at your next gathering can indulge in a little something sweet. From weddings to birthdays, big or small, Allison does it all. Check her out on Instagram, on Facebook, or on her website.