Stout and dark chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting

Stout and dark chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting
  • Serves icon Serves 8-10
  • Time icon Hands-on time 30 min, oven time 40 min, plus cooling

James Martin’s chocolate cake recipe, taken from his Sweet cookbook, is made with stout and filled with a creamy frosting – it’s a decadent dessert that everyone will love.


  • 250ml stout
 (such as Guinness)
  • 100g cocoa powder

  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

  • 350g soft light brown sugar

  • 4 eggs

  • 180ml crème fraîche

  • 250g self-raising flour

  • 1 pinch salt

For the frosting

  • 100g cream cheese

  • 50g icing sugar

  • 45ml double cream

To serve (optional)

  • Peanut butter
  • Nutella
  • Baby marshmallows
  • Toasted
 praline, crumbled

  • Edible flowers, such as pansies


  1. Heat the oven to 170°C/fan 150°C /gas 3. Grease and line a 23cm springform cake tin. Pour the stout into a saucepan and bring to a simmer, then add the cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda and whisk until smooth. Remove from the heat. 
  2. Whisk the sugar and eggs together in a bowl until just combined. Add the crème fraîche, then the warm stout mixture and whisk together. Sift in the flour and salt. Fold together, then pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for 40 minutes until risen and firm to the touch. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out and cool on a wire rack. 
  3. Meanwhile, place the cream cheese in a bowl and sift in the icing sugar. Beat together until softened and fluffy. In a separate bowl, whip the double cream to soft peaks, then fold it into the cream-cheese mixture.
  4. When the cake is completely cool, split it in half horizontally and spread the frosting over the bottom half of the cake, then place the other half on top. 
  5. Serve the cake as it is, or slice it into thirds and place on a large serving plate over discs of peanut butter and Nutella, made with a circular template cut from a piece of card. Scatter a row of toasted baby marshmallows and crumbled praline alongside, and top with some edible pansies.


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