It’s that time of year again… the time where I stock up on Guinness beer and Bailey’s Irish cream and Jameson whiskey. And why? you may be wondering… well, it’s St. Patrick’s Day! The day American’s celebrate their Irish heritage by getting sloshed! HA! I don’t particularly drink too much… so I like to use my liquor in my baking and this year made a chocolate Guinness Irish stout cake filled with Bailey’s cream cheese frosting and covered in white chocolate Bailey’s ganache.
This chocolate cake is seriously one of my all time favorites. I mean, I could make this cake over and over and over again (and trust me, I already have) and NEVER get tired of it.
At first, I just wanted to make a single layer of cake and cover it in a simple white chocolate Bailey’s ganache. BUT… I didn’t have a large enough round pan (I wanted a 10in round pan, but I only had an 8in round). Boo. So, two 8in rounds it was. Between the two layers of cake is a Bailey’s Irish cream & white chocolate ganache that I let set up overnight in the fridge so that I could spread it. On top is hot ganache poured over the cake and down the sides. I love that you can see the chocolate layers of this cake too. Yaahh… this cake is good.
I brought it over to my neighbor Chrissy’s house to share with her family. I served a big ole slice to her husband with a Guinness… HUGE hit!
- 2 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 tsp baking soda
- ¾ tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 12oz bottle of Guinness Stout beer
- ¾ cup dark chocolate cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s)
- 1 Tbsp espresso powder
- 6oz cream cheese, room temperature
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¼ cup shortening
- 2¼ cups powdered sugar
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp Bailey’s Irish Cream
- 6oz high quality white chocolate (not white chocolate chips)
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup Bailey’s Irish Cream
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- White chocolate shavings (garnish)
- Preheat oven to 375 F degrees. Grease and flour 2 8in round cake pans. I also lined mine with parchment paper.
- In a medium pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Whisk in the beer, cocoa powder and espresso powder until smooth. Bring to a simmmer and let bubble 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Set aside to cool 5-10 minutes.
- While it’s cooling, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
- In another large bowl, whisk together the vanilla, eggs and buttermilk.
- Once the chocolate mixture has slightly cooled, add 1-2 Tbsp of it to the eggs and milk and whisk until smooth. This is going to temper the eggs so they don’t scramble. Slowly pour the remaining chocolate in with the eggs and whisk until incorporated.
- Make a well in the flour and pour in the chocolate. Use a spatula to fold together until no more flour can be seen. It will still be clumpy at this point. With your whisk, quickly stir the batter 20 strokes. Do not over mix. The batter may still have a few lumps in it, but that’s okay.
- Divide the batter evenly into the prepared pans. (I got about 2¾ cup of batter into each pan.)
- Bake at 375 F degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350 F degrees and cook another 14-16 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool cake in the pans for 10 minutes until removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once cooled, trim the tops so that each cake is level and the same height.
- Wrap cake layers and freezer for several hours or over night.
- Using your stand mixer, cream together the cream cheese, butter and shortening until smooth.
- Add the powdered sugar and beat on high for 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure everything is incorporated.
- Add the Bailey’s and salt and mix for 1 more minute.
- Chill in the freezer for about 10 minutes or until firm and easily spreadable without being too soft.
- Run the white chocolate though the food processor until it is in very small, fine pieces. If you don’t have a food processor you can just chop the chocolate into very small, fine pieces. Place them in a medium glass bowl.
- In a medium pot, bring the heavy cream, Bailey’s and butter to a simmer. DO NOT BOIL. Pour cream over the chocolate and let it stand for 1 minute.
- Stir chocolate and cream slowly and smoothly until all the chocolate has melted. Do not over-stir the chocolate… you don’t want to create air bubbles.
- Place the bowl in a ice bath until it has come to room temperature. Cover and chill for 1 hour or until it has thickened.
- Place first layer of cold from the freezer cake on your cake stand, cut side up. Using all the cream cheese frosting, spread an even, flat layer across the top of the cake to the edges. Place the second layer of cake, cut side down on top of the frosting. Press down gently until the top is level. Put cake in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the freezer and spoon ganache on the top of the cake. Using an offset spatula, GENTLY AND SLOWLY spread the ganache to the sides of the cake. Add more ganache when needed to create an even layer. You’ll want the ganache to slightly drip off the sides, but most of it to remain on top. Pop any air bubbles with a toothpick.
- Garnish the top of the cake with white chocolate shavings.
- Store cake in refrigerator until ready to serve. Remove 15-20 minutes before you want to cut the cake.
- Store in an air tight container up to 2 days.