I don’t think anyone needs an excuse to eat chocolate cake…
…But I guess St Patricks Day is a decent excuse for those who do. Especially appropriate when the chocolate cake in question is a rich, dark and dense chocolate cake made with Irish stout.
I’m not Irish by even a fraction, but after missing the internet’s mass food and maths themed celebrations of Pi Day yesterday, I thought I’d better get on board with another holiday that is mostly irrelevant but a reason to bake nonetheless!
Google is full of results for chocolate Guinness cakes, whether in the form of cupcakes, loaf cakes, layer cakes, you name it. Something that isn’t so common is the occurrence of vegan-friendly versions, thus I felt I should come up with one to add to the small number the world has already presented. I’ve successfully cut out a lot of animal products from my life in the past few months, and while I honestly don’t think I’ll ever manage to go fully vegan (cheese, if you’re listening, I bloody love you), this is my nod to those strong souls who are!
The result of my experimental baking are admittedly better than I had expected! This vegan chocolate stout cake is almost brownie-like in texture, very dense and moist with a rich and dark chocolatey flavour. I imagine a rich chocolate ganache or whipped cream would suit this cake, but the vanilla glaze I made for this particular cake is equally delicious, and adds a light sweetness to the rich cake below while taking away none of the dense chocolate hit. Most of the stout cakes I have seen have a stiff white icing, but I love the way the smooth white glaze glistens atop its dark brown cake, ready to ooze down the sides when sliced, so simple but so satisfying.
While I realise many people are skeptical of vegan baking, due to tasting some nasty dry, chalky or downright disgusting creations from supermarkets or as a last-minute thought by a local coffee shop, I can assure you this cake is none of those things. I’ve grown up eating delicious butter, cream, milk and egg filled baked goods, and can honestly say that this cake does not require the addition of any of them. It has a taste and texture like any good brownie, and will not make your friends’ and family’s faces screw up in disgust like some vegan bakes can!
As much as I would have loved to use proper good old Guinness in this cake, it has been brought to my attention that fish bladder is used in the brewing process (yeah, I know…gross) so I found another dark stout that is completely fish free. I urge you to try this cake, it’s so tasty and so simple.
You’ll need to start by preheating your oven and greasing and lining a 23cm/8inch springform cake tin.
Then measure flour, white and brown sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt into a large bowl and whisk together to combine.
In a separate jug, stir together stout, milk, vanilla and oil until combined. (Check out how happy my bottle opener is to be helping out!)
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix gently until just fully incorporated. Try not to over-mix at this stage and it can cause the cake to be chewy.
Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes until firm to touch and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Keep an eye on the cake after the 30 minute mark, mine took around 35 minutes.
Allow the cake to cool completely in the tin while you make the yummy glaze.
For this, take some vegan butter or vegan cream cheese and beat it until it becomes nice and soft.
Add in some icing sugar and beat it (beat iiit, beeeaaat iiiiiiiit) until it’s smooth again.
Add in some more icing sugar with the vanilla and beat until smooth and pale.
Pour or spread the mixture over the top of the cooled cake, it may be runny or quite stiff depending on the kind of vegan butter/cream cheese you use, either way is still delicious! If you don’t fancy the topping at all, don’t worry about it, this cake is delightful plain too.
Once cooled and adorned with its fake-beer-froth topping, slice this beauty into 8-12 slices depending on how much sugar your day has forced you to require and tuck in. I promise vegans and non-vegans alike will enjoy this dense chocolate delight!
A rich, dense and dark chocolate stout cake that is completely vegan friendly!
- 170g self-raising flour
- 100g caster sugar
- 100g soft brown sugar
- 60g cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 250ml vegan stout (sadly, proper Guinness isn't vegan friendly yet!)
- 70ml non-dairy milk (I use almond milk)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 110ml any vegetable oil (I used melted coconut oil)
- 100g vegan butter or vegan cream cheese (I use Pure olive spread)
- 180g icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven - 180 degrees for conventional ovens or 160 degrees for fan ovens - and grease and line a 23cm/8inch springform cake tin.
- Measure the flour, sugars, cocoa, baking powder and salt into a large bowl and whisk together to combine.
- In a separate jug, stir together the stout, milk, vanilla and oil until combined.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix gently until just fully incorporated.
- Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes until firm to touch and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool completely in the tin while you make the glaze.
- Beat the vegan butter/cream cheese until soft.
- Add in half the icing sugar and beat until smooth.
- Add in the remaining icing sugar with the vanilla and beat until smooth and pale.
- Pour or spread the mixture over the top of the cooled cake.
- Slice and enjoy!
* If you don't follow a vegan diet or don't mind this cake not being vegan-friendly, feel free to use proper Guinness and dairy products, it will be just as delicious!