Eat & Drink

Luck of the Irish

This St. Patty’s Day, you can have your Guinness—and eat it too.

March 2012

Everyone likes beer. And everyone loves dessert. So when Kim & Jake’s Cakes in Boulder—whose specialty is baking with spirits—tempted me with chocolate stout cake, I had to indulge. Co-owner Jake Rosenbarger offers tips on baking with booze—and he shares the recipe for this ridiculously good, full-bodied treat. St. Patrick’s Day just got a little bit luckier.  Kim & Jake’s Cakes, Boulder, 303-499-9126,

Chocolate Stout Cake
(Makes two 9-inch cakes)
6 eggs
1½ cups oil
3 cups sugar
1 cup dark cocoa powder
2 tablespoons vanilla
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
4½ cups flour
3 cups stout beer (Rosenbarger recommends Avery Out of Bounds Stout)

Preheat oven to 300°. Mix eggs, oil, sugar, cocoa, vanilla, salt, and baking soda together in a stand mixer. Add the flour, alternating with the beer 3 to 4 times, until completely incorporated into the egg mixture. Pour into two 9-inch cake pans and bake for 50 minutes. Remove from oven, cool completely, and frost.

Milk Chocolate Malt Frosting
1 pound butter, softened
2 pounds powdered sugar
¾ cup dark cocoa
½ cup malt powder such as Ovaltine or Carnation Malted Milk Powder
splash of vanilla

Cream butter in a stand mixer. Add powdered sugar, dark cocoa, malt powder, and vanilla. Incorporate completely. 



Rosenbarger believes that sourcing ingredients from behind the bar introduces new flavor profiles and “a layer of complexity that is fun, at the very least.”

A few tips:
• High alcohol content is better for baking because it provides depth of flavor.
• Red, brown, chocolate, or black beers with a lot of malt work well in this cake. (IPAs or hop-heavy beers are better suited for summery citrus cakes.)
• When choosing a beer to complement a cake, look for flavors you detect in the beer’s aroma (apricots, figs, chocolate, coffee, pumpkin, nuts, citrus, etc.)