Chocolate Beer and Pretzel Cake

Over the years, I’ve had many people guest post on my blog (you can see all those cool bloggers here!), the majority of which either had their own blog or were avid bakers.  This year, I’m doing something a little different. Instead of inviting a professional blogger to guest post, I’ve decided to mentor an inspired baker who wants to start her own food blog and have that person contribute to JavaCupcake.  Meet Roxana!

Meet Roxana! | JavaCupcake.comRoxana has been a loyal reader of JavaCupcake for many years and I have loved her continued dedication to leaving comments, Facebook messages and her overall desire to be a part of the JavaCupcake community.  Last year, Roxana stepped up when I put a call out to my readers asking for help with some technical upkeep on the back end of my blog.   You may have noticed the new JavaCupcake Recipes board on Pinterest, Roxana was responsible for creating that!

As a part of my #BakerMentor program, once a month Roxana will be posting a new recipe.  I’ll be guiding her on how to create recipes, photograph her creations and showing her the ins and outs of out to create a blog post!   This is her first recipe and I’m pretty impressed!  It took me years of baking before my cakes looked this amazing!

So without further adieu… here’s Roxana!

Chocolate Beer & Pretzel Cake |

If you’ve ever watched QVC on a Sunday and seen David Venable do his “happy dance” after taking a bite of delicious food, then you have an idea of how excited I am to be posting here on JavaCupcake! I’ve been following Betsy’s blog for some time now and am honored that she’d allow me and my newbie-self to hang out with you guys. Thanks Betsy for being an inspiration to me and taking me under your wing! xox

So, before I get overly squishy let’s get to the recipe. ;)


I was recently working on a cupcake recipe for my friend Kirsten’s blog. Although I do not drink beer, I decided that I wanted to try using it in my recipe. I mean, it tastes good in bread so why not? I also knew that I didn’t want to use Guinness because I knew plenty cupcake/cake recipes already existed using it. That’s when my brilliant husband (who by the way, also doesn’t drink beer) suggested I try using chocolate beer. I was surprised that such a thing even existed. So I turned to my sister and brother-in-law (because they actually drink beer and they like to cook with it) for some help and Rob delivered! He gave me a chocolate oatmeal stout to try in the recipe.


Can I just tell ya… AWESOME! I was so happy with how the cupcakes turned out that I decided to use the leftover beer in this Chocolate Beer Pretzel Cake!  Waste not, want not… right? If you are a lover of salty and sweet then this is the cake for you. My sister, Corinna, actually said “I think this is the best cake I’ve ever put in my mouth” when she tasted the cupcake version.


When I made the cake I noticed that the beer flavor came through a little more without being overpowering. Peanut butter buttercream, mini chocolate chips, and pretzel crumble finish this cake off. If you can believe it, the only thing I forgot was the caramel! So if you really want to kick the cake up some more, drizzle some caramel on the top. :) Grab a tall glass of milk or your favorite beer and enjoy some Chocolate Beer and Pretzel Cake!

*You can find the original cupcake recipe that inspired this cake here. If your curious about what I might be baking next, check out my Facebook page The Red Eye Baker.

4.5 from 2 reviews
Chocolate Beer and Pretzel Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 1 2-layer 8" cake
  • ½ c salted pretzel sticks
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • ½ Tbsp brown sugar
  • ¼ c mini chocolate chips
  • Homemade caramel sauce or your favorite store bought (optional)
  • 1 c chocolate stout beer (I used Boulevard Brewing Co. Tasting Room Oatmeal Stout, Kansas City, MO)
  • 1 c (2 sticks) butter
  • ¾ c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 c flour
  • 2 c sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • ⅔ c sour cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 c (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 1 c heaping of creamy peanut butter
  • 3 - 4 c powdered sugar
  • ½ c heavy cream
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. In a food processor, pulse the pretzel sticks into small chunks.
  2. Add the brown sugar and melted butter, process on high until well combined and the pretzels are in smaller crumbs.
  3. Transfer to a small bowl, add the mini chocolate chips, stir together, and set aside.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Grease and flour two 8” cake pans.
  2. In a heavy saucepan, bring the butter and beer to a simmer over medium heat.
  3. Add the cocoa and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and add the vanilla, let cool slightly.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg together with the sour cream
  6. Very slowly add the warm chocolate mixture to the egg/sour cream mixture, whisking constantly.
  7. Add the wet mixture to the dry and mix until just combined and no lumps remain. Do not overmix.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans and bake for 26 – 28 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Cool cakes in the pan for 10 – 15 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack. Make sure cakes are completely cool prior to frosting.
  1. Using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, cream the butter and the peanut butter together until it pales in color a bit.
  2. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add powdered sugar ½ c at a time.
  3. Add the salt and the vanilla.
  4. Add the heavy cream and beat on high until light and fluffy.
  1. Using a cake leveler or serrated knife trim the crown (top) off both cake layers making them even.
  2. Place 3 – 4 pieces of wax paper around the perimeter of your turntable or cake stand/platter. These will help to catch the pretzel crumble and will pull out easily from under the cake without having to lift the whole thing.
  3. Place about a tablespoon of buttercream in the center of your cake board or stand and place the first layer flat side down on top of it. Using an offset spatula spread an even, generous layer of buttercream on the first cake layer, then sprinkle some mini chocolate chips over the buttercream. Place the second cake layer flat side up on the first. Spread a thin, crumb coat over the entire cake and put it in the freezer for about 10 minutes to chill.
  4. Remove the chilled cake from the freezer and finish frosting the cake with the remaining buttercream (save some if you want to pipe a border). Put the buttercream on the top of the cake and just spread it over the edges with an offset spatula. Then work the buttercream around the edges until the cake is completely covered and evenly coated.
  5. Gently press the pretzel crumble into the sides. Remove the wax paper from under the cake. Pipe a border if you like (I used a Wilton 1M tip), then sprinkle the top of the cake with more crumble and drizzle with some caramel (optional).
*Cake can be stored at room temperature in a covered container for a couple days. You can refrigerate it, but allow to come to room temperature before serving.

Chocolate Red Currant Creme Cake

Dense dark chocolate cake layers filled with a decadent red currant creme all covered in chocolate ganache and garnished with frosted red currants make every slice of this Chocolate Red Currant Creme Cake a sinfully delicious guilty pleasure!

Chocolate Red Currant Creme Cake #RedCurrantWeek |

I’ve made several layer cakes over the past few years, but this cake is truly the culmination of everything I’ve learned about American and German baking, rolled into one glorious dessert.

And when I say American and German baking, I mean that I’ve taken my American style cake and paired it with a German style cake filling covered it in a simple ganache.  No frosting or buttercream anywhere on this cake… which is a huge departure for me.  Here in Germany, the cakes are typically filled with a cream and topped with whipped cream or ganache, but hardly ever do you find frosting or buttercream on their cakes.

Chocolate Red Currant Creme Cake #RedCurrantWeek |

This is not an overly sweet cake. Instead this cake is very rich cake and paired with the creaminess of the filling and the tartness of the berries the flavors match each other perfectly.

Red Currants are typically found in Western Europe, but this cake could easily be made with any fruit including fresh cherries or raspberries.  Even strawberries would be amazing with this cake!

Chocolate Red Currant Creme Cake #RedCurrantWeek |

The chocolate cake recipe that I used for this cake is my tried and true chocolate cake.  It is made with melted butter and coffee as well as dark chocolate cocoa powder.  The biggest difference this time with this cake is that it is served chilled, which in my opinion completely changes the texture and flavor of the chocolate.  In fact, I think the chocolate flavor intensifies and the texture becomes dense, thick and almost fudge-like.  Heavenly.

Chocolate Red Currant Creme Cake #RedCurrantWeek |

The recipe for the red currant creme filling was inspired by a similar cake I saw on a Croatian baking blog and I adapted it to fit what I wanted to create.  They actually made a very similar cake and was thrilled to see how successful they had been in their attempt to make the cake that I had been dreaming of in my head!

Since this cake is a very large cake and the pieces don’t need to be cut more than an inch big, I had a lot of cake to share!  One of my neighbors was kind enough to eat most of it for me!  I kept offering slices and she kept saying YES!

Chocolate Red Currant Creme Cake #RedCurrantWeek |

Each bite of this cake knocked my socks off and far exceeded any expectations I had for how it would be.  The sour cream filling I expected to be very sour, but after sitting in the refrigerator chilling for 24 hours, the flavors came together and it was perfect.

If you need a show stopping cake for your next party, I completely suggest this cake!  Your friends and family will be so impressed!

Happy Baking!

Chocolate Red Currant Creme Cake
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 1 10in cake - about 16-20 servings
Chocolate Cake
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brewed strong coffee
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • ⅔ cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
Red Currant Creme Filling
  • 300g red currants, destemmed, clean and dry
  • 50g granulated sugar
  • ⅛tsp orange extract
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 700g sour cream
  • 4Tbsp cold water
  • 10g powdered gelatin
  • 200g semi-sweet chocolate (50-60% cocoa)
  • 250g heavy cream
  • 2Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1-2 cups chocolate shavings
  • 2 cups or a large bunch of red currants on the stem
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
Chocolate Cake
  1. Prepare a 10in springform pan by greasing the sides and bottom with butter or shortening and then coating in flour.
  2. In a medium pot over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the cocoa powder, brewed coffee, and vanilla extract and whisk until combined. Bring to a light simmer and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  3. While cooling, whisk together the egg and sour cream in a medium bowl.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
  5. Slowly whisk the chocolate mixture into the bowl with the eggs and sour cream until smooth.
  6. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour the wet mixture into it. Whisk together until just combined. DO NOT OVERMIX.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan. Bake 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Allow to cool in the pan completely before removing from the springform pan.
  9. Once cool, trim the top of the cake so it is flat. Measure half way down the cake and cut it into two equal layers.
Red Currant Creme Filling
  1. Gently stir together the red currants, 50g granulated sugar and orange extract in a medium pot and cook over medium high heat for 5-10 minutes. Be careful not to break up the berries. You want their skins to become slightly soft and for the juice of the berries to come out with the sugar, but not for the berries to break down. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a medium glass bowl over a water bath, whisk the egg yolks with 100g granulated sugar. Cook for 7-8 minutes or until the mixture becomes thick. Remove the bowl from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, measure out the sour cream. Scoop about 3Tbsp of the sour cream into the egg yolk mixture to help cool it down.
  4. In a small pot over low heat, whisk cold water and the gelatin together. Slowly warm the mixture to dissolve the gelatin. Once dissolved, pour it into the eggs and whisk to combine.
  5. Whisk remaining sour cream until smooth. Pour in the egg mixture and whisk to combine completely.
  6. Gently fold in the red currants, including all the juice in the pot. Chill this mixture in the freezer for about 25 minutes or until it has began to set but it still pourable.
  7. Place the bottom layer of the cake back in the springform pan, making sure the pan is latched closed. Pour the filling over the cake and smooth it out flat with an offset spatula. Place the second layer of cake on top of the filling and gently press down to ensure that the filling has reached the sides of the pan.
  8. Cover with foil and chill the cake at least 24 hours. Once completely chilled and the filling has set, you can move on to covering th cake in ganache.
  1. Chop the chocolate into very small pieces and place in a medium glass bowl.
  2. In a small pot on medium high heat, heat the heavy cream just until it begins to simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and let stand for 3 minutes, untouched.
  3. Stir the cream and chocolate together until smooth slowly, being careful not to create any air bubbles in the chocolate.
  4. Add the butter and stir until combined.
  5. Allow the chocolate to cool and thicken until when poured it won't immediately run off the top of the cake.
  6. Remove the cake from the springform pan and place it on the serving platter or plate.
  7. SLOWLY pour the ganache in the center of the top of the cake until it reaches the edges of the cake and begins to fall down the sides. You want the chocolate thick enough that it will leave a nice layer of chocolate on the top of the cake, almost like a frosting, but not as thick and very smooth.
  8. Using an offset spatula, scoop up the chocolate that fell down the sides and spread it along the edges, being careful not to damage the perfectly smooth top of the cake.
  1. Before the ganache has time to set, press chocolate shavings onto the side of the cake.
  2. Clean and dry the red currants.
  3. Whisk an egg white in a small bowl. Dip the red currants, on the stem, into the egg whites then completely cover in granulated sugar.
  4. Set on a tray covered in wax paper to set and completely dry.
  5. Place the frosted red currants in a pile on top of the cake in the center.
  6. Keep cake chilled until ready to serve.

They Say It’s Your Birthday…

…Well it’s my birthday too!  Yes, today is my 36th 29th birthday! Horray!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake |

Before my day even began, my 14 year old daughter, Emily, woke me before she left for school to sing me Happy Birthday.  It’s a tradition in my family that everyone gets sung to on their birthday.  Near or far, we make it happen.  So, this morning, Emily was the first to sing Happy Birthday to me!  Such a sweet gift from my baby girl.

My day officially started an hour later when I rolled out of bed with the sun shining through my window and a blanket of snow covering my neighborhood.  Just when I thought all the snow had melted, Mother Nature brought us more!  It was a beautiful sight from my window this morning! (I posted a pic of the snow on Instagram!)

My baby boy, Matty, woke up in a super good mood full of snuggle and love.  I love it when he’s in a happy mood in the mornings! He brings such joy and happiness to my day when he’s happy!  Great way to start my birthday!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake |

And then the best thing happened.  My husband called me from Afghanistan to with me a Happy Birthday and to tell me he loves me.  He told me that today, he had  an American flag flown over the Forward Operating Base he’s stationed at in my honor.  It’ll fly over the FOB for 24 hours and tomorrow he’ll take a few pictures of the flag and of him taking it down.  When he comes home, the flag will come with him and will have an official certificate saying where and when it was on the flagpole in Afghanistan.  What a an amazingly special birthday gift!   I am such a lucky woman to have a thoughtful, loving and brave Husband!

UPDATE:  Here are a few of the pictures! Aren’t they great?  I’m so proud to be married to such an amazing American soldier!


On the agenda for my birthday… do a little laundry, take a hot bath and spend the evening with good friends over dinner and cake!

Cake! Yes, of course there will be cake!

I absolutely LOVE my chocolate cake recipe. I know I’ve said it a million times before, but it’s the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had.  Moist, rich, and full of chocolate flavor.  It holds up perfectly to any frosting and is just so YUM!

So, for my birthday cake this year I made three layers of my favorite chocolate cake.  I used my Double Chocolate Layer Cake recipe and divided the cake in three 8in cake pans to bake.    I filled the cake with my Perfect Peanut Butter Buttercream… both layers inside.  To frost and decorate the outside of the cake, I made a double batch of my Mom’s chocolate fudge frosting recipe.    I had extra peanut butter and fudge frosting, but no worries… it won’t go to waste!  Finally, I decorated the edges with a simple piped scallop edge and topped the cake with chopped Reese’s!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake |

It’s a peanut butter and chocolate lovers dream cake.

And I’m not gonna lie.  I’ve made this cake before… well maybe not exactly this cake.  But the chocolate peanut butter combo I’ve made before.  But this one… it’s pretty darn amazing with both the peanut butter buttercream and fudge frosting.

Recipes to make my Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake:

So, besides my hubby not being here… it’s been a pretty darn good birthday!  Here’s to another great year of life!

Oh… and because I just learned how to make them… here’s a fun GIF of me serving a piece of this cake!


Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake |

6 of the BEST Chocolate Cake Recipes EVER

Today is National Chocolate Cake Day!  Seriously… I think this may be my favorite day of the year!  I was looking back at all my cake recipes and I came to a very serious conclusion.

6 of the Best Chocolate Cake Recipes Ever! |

I like chocolate cake.

Okay, I think it’s more like I LOVE chocolate cake.

We can probably blame my mother for this because she made me a chocolate cake with fudge frosting every year for my birthday.  So naturally, as an adult I make it every chance I get.  Oh… my birthday is Feb. 10.  I’ll be having chocolate cake.  Ha!

So here are 6 of the BEST Chocolate Cake Recipes EVER! Enjoy!

The Best Chocolate Cake You’ll Ever Eat

The Best Chocolate Cake You'll Ever Eat by JavaCupcake-4


Almost as Good as Mom’s Double Chocolate Layer Cake

Almost as good as Mom's - Double Chocolate Layer Cake by

Mint Chocolate Chip Cake

Mint Chocolate Chip Cake by

Half Baked Cake

Half Baked Cake by - Fudge brownie cake layers with gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough baked inside and cookie dough frosting

Chocolate Raspberry Ombre Pedal Cake

Chocolate Raspberry Ombre Petal Cake by JavaCupcake-6

Irish Stout Cake with Bailey’s White Chocolate Ganache

Irish Stout Cake by

Half Baked Cake

Thick, chewy layers of fudge brownie cake with gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough baked inside are layered between a brown sugar cookie dough frosting make this Half Baked Cake inspired Ben & Jerry’s ice cream a cake that’s too good not to eat!

Half Baked Cake by - Fudge brownie cake layers with gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough baked inside and cookie dough frosting

Half Baked?  What’s that?  You’ve heard of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, right?  Half Baked is one of their flavors that has gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough and brownies running through it.  Yah… it’s so good!!!

Half Baked Cake by - Fudge brownie cake layers with gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough baked inside and cookie dough frosting

Well, this cake is inspired by that ice cream!  My Half Baked Cake has three layers of chocolate fudge brownie cake filled with gobs of cookie dough.  It’s filled and  with a brown sugar, cookie dough frosting and adorned with mini chocolate chips.

Is your mind blown yet?

Half Baked Cake by - Fudge brownie cake layers with gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough baked inside and cookie dough frosting

If you’re looking for a cake that’s low calorie, low sugar or low fat – you’re in the wrong place.  This cake has everything that’s amazing about baking “Paula Deen Style” … all butter, all sugar and all delicious flavor.  It really truly is a decadent, heavenly cake.

PS… you’re gonna need a HUGE glass of milk with this cake.  It’s so rich!  Every bite has both brownie and cookie dough – it’s a sugar rush in your mouth!


Half Baked Cake by - Fudge brownie cake layers with gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough baked inside and cookie dough frosting

Half Baked Cake
Prep time
Cook time
This Half Baked Cake is three layers of rich fudge brownie with gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough running through it all filled & topped with cookie dough frosting and adorned with mini chocolate chips.
Serves: 1 3 layer 8-inch cake
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
  • 1½ cups flour
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 8 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup mini chocolate chips
Fudge Brownie Cake
  • 1½ cups unsalted butter, sliced
  • 6oz unsweetened baker’s chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups flour
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
Cookie Dough Frosting
  • 36 Tbsp (4.5 sticks or 2¼ cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1½ cups light brown sugar, loose - not packed
  • 5-6 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups flour
  • ¼ + 2 Tbsp cup heavy cream
  • ½ tsp salt
  • mini & regular chocolate chips to garnish
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
  1. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter, sugars, milk and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Whisk in the dry ingredients.
  4. Add the mini chocolate chips and fold together.
  5. Cover and freeze 30 minutes or until firm.
Fudge Brownie Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Grease 3 8in cake pans, line with parchment paper, grease again then flour.
  2. In a large sauce pan over medium-high heat, melt together the butter and bakers chocolate until smooth. Whisking often.
  3. Add the sugar and whisk together until smooth.
  4. Pour the chocolate mixture into a large bowl.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, and whisk after each addition. NOTE: Make sure to whisk well after each egg. The batter should become thick.
  6. Whisk in the vanilla.
  7. Sprinkle the flour, baking soda and salt over the batter and whisk until just combined.
  8. Pour 1½ cups of batter into each prepared cake pan.
  9. Remove the cookie dough from the freezer. Roll marble sized balls of dough and drop into the batter. Add as many dough balls as you want... I added 12-15 per pan.
  10. Using your finger, press the dough balls down into pan and cover with batter. You want all the balls to be completely submerged and covered with batter.
  11. Bake on the center rack of your oven for 25-28 minutes or until the top begins to crack slightly and a toothpick comes out clean from the center.
  12. Cool in the pans for 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. NOTE: It will be helpful to run a butter knife along the edge of the pan before removing the cake to help prevent sticking.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frosting
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter until smooth.
  2. Crumble the brown sugar so that there are no lumps and add it to the butter. Cream together until smooth.
  3. Sift the powdered sugar into the bowl and mix on medium-low speed until combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix again.
  4. Mix in the vanilla.
  5. Sift the flour into the bowl and mix on medium-low speed until combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix again.
  6. Add the heavy cream and salt and mix on high for 1-2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix another minute.
  1. Place one cake layer on your cake stand and spread ¼ inch layer of the frosting chips over the top. Place the second layer on top and spread another ¼ inch layer of frosting. Place the last layer of cake on top.
  2. Crumb coat the outside of the cake. Freeze the cake for 20 minutes.
  3. Reserve 1 cup of frosting for decorating. Fold in ½ cup mini chocolate chips into the remaining frosting.
  4. Cover the outside of the cake with the cookie dough frosting.
  5. Using the straight edge of a cake decorating comb, make sure the sides and the top of the cake are smooth and even.
  6. Using the edge with the triangle scallops, run the decorating comb along the outside of the cake.
  7. Press mini chocolate chips onto the bottom 1-2 inches of the cake at the base.
  8. Using a large star piping tip fitted to a disposable piping bag, pipe small swirls/mounds of frosting along the top edge of the cake. Place a chocolate chip, upside down in the center of each swirl.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough & Frosting originally from my Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Brownie cake & decoration inspired by Sprinkle Bakes

If you love this cake, you may also be interested in these Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes by

Here a few of the supplies needed to make this cake!

{Tutorial} Neapolitan Layer Cake

Neapolitian Cake by JavaCupcake.comOoooooooooooh I’ve been in a funk.  A baking fun.  Last week I make a double chocolate layer cake but since then… nothing.  I haven’t even been motivated to make rice krispy treats.  (I have 4 boxes of Rice Krispies – thank you WIC.)  So today, I opened up my baking cookbooks, browsed Pinterest and checked out a few of my favorite blogs.  One of the themes I saw running across all of them – Neapolitian.  Chocolate, Strawberry and Vanilla together to make one delicious dessert.  So, with Mother’s Day this past weekend, I decided that I’d make a Mother’s Day Neapolitan Layer Cake to celebrate.

Mother's Day Neapolitian Cake by

My mom passed away 3 years ago… so she was definitely on my mind as I was making this cake.  Especially when it was time to sit down and enjoy a slice.  I’m certain she would have enjoyed this cake with a big glass of milk!  Three layers of decadent cake filled with chocolate and strawberry frosting and topped with vanilla buttercream.  Eat bite has a unique flavor…. it’s like a party in your mouth with every bite!

Neapolitian Cake by

What really inspired me to make this particular cake was one of my most favorite bloggers, Amanda of i am baker with her Neapolitan Rose Cake.  I’ve used her tutorials to make a rose cake before, but this one was going to be different.  I was going to make the neapolitan cake, but I wasn’t going to do roses.  Instead, I’d just smooth out the three flavors of frosting over the three different layers of cake.  But still, that’s a lot of work! I had a feeling thought it was going to be so worth it in the end.  And ya know what… all the hard work was TOTALLY worth it in the end because this cake was delicious!

So, instead of posting detailed recipes for this cake, I decided to write a tutorial on how to assemble and make this cake.  I’ve posted the chocolate and vanilla cake recipes several times before, but tried a new strawberry recipe… I’ve linked to all of them below.  You’ll also see what supplies you need to make this cake and a detailed tutorial to assemble it.


{Tutorial} Neapolitan Layer Cake

For the chocolate cake:

I used THIS RECIPE for the chocolate cake. It actually makes too much batter… so when you prepare it, measure out a dozen cupcakes first and then pour the rest in your 9-inch round cake pan. Bake as directed in the recipe.

For the chocolate frosting:

I used my basic chocolate buttercream recipe, found HERE. You’ll probably use ALL of this for the cake, so you might want to make extra to frost the extra cupcakes.

For the strawberry cake:

I tried a new recipe for this cake and I think it turned out amazing!  Thanks to the blog, I made that! for the recipe!

For the strawberry frosting:

I took my basic vanilla buttercream recipe and substituted about 1/4 cup strawberry puree (that I had reserved from the cake recipe) for the cream. I also added 1 tsp strawberry extract instead of vanilla extract. It was super yummy!

For the vanilla cake & frosting:

I used a whole batch of batter using my favorite vanilla cupcake recipe. It made a very tall cake & I trimmed off a lot of extra cake. So next time, I’d scoop out 6 cupcakes first, then pour the rest into the pan to bake. I also used this same recipe for the vanilla frosting, but I doubled it.

Neapolitan Cake by

Supplies needed to assemble the cake:

-Cake layers and frosting
-Offset spatula
-Wax paper
-Cake stand or cake turn table
-Paper towels
-1 cup measuring cup

Assembling the Neapolitan Cake:

  • Trim the three cake layers so they are the same height.  
  • Place a piece of wax paper on your cake turn table and place the chocolate layer with the trimmed side up.
  • Place 2 cups of chocolate frosting on to the first layer and spread evenly over the top.
  • Set the strawberry layer, trimmed side up, on to the chocolate frosting and gently press down.
  • Place 2 cups of strawberry frosting onto the top and spread evenly.
  • Place the finally vanilla layer, trimmed side DOWN, onto the strawberry frosting and gently press down.
  • Crumb coat each layer of cake with the coordinating frosting and place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  • Once the cake has set – begin frosting the outside of the cake starting with the chocolate on the bottom and working your way up to the top with the vanilla.  Use 2 cups of vanilla frosting on the top layer of the cake. If you need an idea of how to apply the frosting, check out my Ombre Cake Tutorial – see steps 3-6 for how to apply the frosting in layers on the side of the cake.
  • Make sure to clean off your spatula often with the paper towels. Mixing flavors at the seams will result in smears of color onto the wrong layers.
  • Using your offset spatula, do your best to smooth the sides of the cake without smudging the colors together.  This process takes a steady hand and a lot of time.  GO SLOW.  Unlike the ombre cake, you don’t want the colors to collide together to create the gradual change of colors… you want three distinct color layers – but still want a smooth, finished look.
  • To transfer the cake to your cake plate, gently and carefully pull the wax paper and cake off the edge of the cake turn table.  Place your hand under the cake as your peel away the wax paper and pull the cake completely off the stand.  Transfer the cake to the cake stand and use any additional chocolate frosting you have to touch up the bottom edges.

Almost as good as Mom’s –
Double Chocolate Layer Cake

Rich and decadent, this double chocolate layer cake is the ultimate in chocolate desserts! Almost as good as Mom's - Double Chocolate Layer Cake by

When I want to bake but I’m not quite sure what to make I usually tend to make something that I’m craving.  Today – chocolate cake.  I am IN LOVE with my chocolate cake recipe.   It’s decadent, rich – but light and moist.  All things I love in a great cake!

I am pairing my favorite chocolate cake with a creamy whipped dark chocolate buttercream.  It’s a very simple recipe, but it’s so stinkin’ delicious that I’m pretty certain I may consume half the cake myself!

Mostly though, I love this cake because of the memories it brings me.  Growing up, I would request a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting every year for my birthday.  My mom, without fail, would make it for me… from scratch and with love every time.   Our birthdays were only 2 days apart, so we always shared a birthday cake.  I don’t know if she loved this cake as much as I did, because she never asked for anything different… or maybe she was just being a good mom and letting me have what I wanted.  Either way… nothing could ever beat her chocolate cake.  Not even this recipe.

My mom passed away a few years ago… but, every time I make a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting I am reminded of her and how we shared this cake on our birthdays.


Almost as good as Mom's - Double Chocolate Layer Cake by

Double Chocolate Layer Cake
Cook time
Rich and decadent, this double chocolate layer cake is the ultimate in chocolate desserts!
Serves: 1 2-layer 9-inch cake
Dark Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Cake
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • 1½ cups brewed coffee
  • 1 Tbsp espresso powder
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • ¾ cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • ⅔ cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
Whipped Chocolate Frosting
  • 1½ cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup dark chocolate cocoa powder (I used Hershey's)
  • 5½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup + 3-4 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • chocolate shavings (garnish)
Dark Chocolate Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Grease, line with parchment paper and flour 2 9-inch cake pans.
  2. In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter. Add the coffee, espresso powder, cocoa powder, and vanilla and whisk until combined. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the sugar, flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream and the eggs. SLOWLY add a few tablespoons of the chocolate mixture to the sour cream and eggs. Whisk to combine. In a slow stream, whisk in the remaining chocolate mixture until combined completely.
  5. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in wet. Using a whisk, stir until no more lumps remain.
  6. Divide the batter evenly into the 2 prepared pans. Each pan should get 3 cups of batter.
  7. Bake 26-28 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing from the pans to cool on a wire rack.
  8. Once the cakes have cooled, but are still warm, use a cake leveler to cut off the round mound on the top of the cake. Make sure both layers are the same height.
Whipped Chocolate Frosting
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, whip the butter until smooth.
  2. Add the dark chocolate cocoa powder and mix on medium-high until combined.
  3. Add the sugar and salt and mix until incorporated. The frosting will be very thick.
  4. Mix in the vanilla extract and ¼ cup of heavy whipping cream and mix until smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix again for 20 seconds.
  5. Add 3-4 Tbsp more of heavy cream until you have reached your desired consistency. Scrape the sides of the bowl and whip on high for 3-4 minutes.
  1. Place a piece of wax paper on your rotating cake prep stand and place the flattest side of one layer on it. Spread a thick layer of frosting on the top of this layer of cake.
  2. Place the second layer, flat side UP, on top of the frosting.
  3. Crumb coat the entire cake. (A crumb coat is a very thin layer of frosting that seals in the crumbs.) Place cake in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
  4. Spread a ½ inch layer of frosting on the top and side of the cake. Using an offset spatula, smooth out the sides.
  5. Spread an even layer of chocolate shavings on the top of the cake. Place cake back in freezer for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Gently slide the cake off the wax paper and place it onto your cake stand.
  7. Press remaining chocolate shavings onto the bottom edge of the cake closets to the cake stand.
  8. Serve with a giant glass of milk and a big scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Irish Stout Cake with Bailey’s Ganache

Irish Stout Cake with Bailey's Ganache by

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.

OOooooooooooooooooooooh yeah.

Irish Stout Cake with Bailey's Ganache by

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!


Irish Stout Cake with Bailey's Ganache by

Irish Stout Cake with Bailey’s Ganache
Dark chocolate Guinness Stout cake filled with Bailey's cream cheese frosting topped with Bailey's ganache and white chocolate shavings - the perfect St. Patrick's Day dessert!
Serves: 1 2-layer 8-inch cake
Irish Stout Cake
  • 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
Bailey's Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 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
Bailey's Ganahe
  • 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)
Irish Stout Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F degrees. Grease and flour 2 8in round cake pans. I also lined mine with parchment paper.
  2. 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.
  3. While it's cooling, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
  4. In another large bowl, whisk together the vanilla, eggs and buttermilk.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Divide the batter evenly into the prepared pans. (I got about 2¾ cup of batter into each pan.)
  8. 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.
  9. Cool cake in the pans for 10 minutes until removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Once cooled, trim the tops so that each cake is level and the same height.
  11. Wrap cake layers and freezer for several hours or over night.
Bailey's Irish Cream Frosting
  1. Using your stand mixer, cream together the cream cheese, butter and shortening until smooth.
  2. Add the powdered sugar and beat on high for 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure everything is incorporated.
  3. Add the Bailey's and salt and mix for 1 more minute.
  4. Chill in the freezer for about 10 minutes or until firm and easily spreadable without being too soft.
Bailey's Ganache
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Garnish the top of the cake with white chocolate shavings.
  4. Store cake in refrigerator until ready to serve. Remove 15-20 minutes before you want to cut the cake.
  5. Store in an air tight container up to 2 days.