There’s nothing wrong with just slapping some green frosting on your cupcakes for St. Paddy’s day, but if you want a dessert that really will make the Irishmen (and ladies) swoon, this Malted Guinness Chocolate Cake with Baileys Frosting is what you should be baking this year. And next year. And every chance you get for the rest of eternity.
This cake combines melted semisweet chocolate AND dark cocoa powder for the most deeply chocolatey flavor possible, with the added bonus of Guinness stout and malted milk powder mixed into the batter. It’s rich, it’s dense, it’s sinfully delicious. And as if that wasn’t enough, it’s topped off with boozy, sweet, Baileys Irish Cream liqueur frosting and then topped with chocolate curls and shavings.
This Irish heart of mine is just overflowing with happiness.
So here’s how it’s done: first, I melt the semisweet chocolate that will be in the base of the cake with butter and the Guinness. Once it’s smooth, I mix in eggs, sour cream, and sugar. The sour cream might seem like a strange addition, but it makes the cake richer and more moist. Trust me, the final product does not taste like sour cream at all!
Then, in a separate bowl, I combine flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Cornstarch isn’t always used in cakes, but I find that if we’re using all-purpose flour that it helps soften some of the harsher proteins in the flour, allowing for a more tender cake. The texture of most baked goods is exponentially better when cornstarch is added– I use it in my Cafe-Style Chocolate Chip Cookies as well.
I stir together the wet and dry ingredients and then smooth them into my loaf pan. The average loaf pan is a 1 lb loaf pan– this one is bigger, at 1.5 lbs. Make sure you have the correct size, or you’ll have to scale down the recipe accordingly.
And then all there’s left to do for the cake portion is bake it until a testing toothpick comes out clean.
While the Malted Guinness Chocolate Cake bakes, I work on the frosting and chocolate curls. They both seem like they’d be a bit difficult, but truthfully they’re extremely simple. All I have to do for the frosting is mix together butter, powdered sugar, Baileys, and a small bit of salt, and it’s ready to top the cake. The chocolate curls only require a few minutes of time and just 2 ingredients.
I heat semisweet chocolate (leftover from making the cake) with vegetable shortening in the microwave until it’s smooth and melted, and then I flip over a metal baking sheet and spread the chocolate evenly all over the sheet. I then transfer the baking sheet to the freezer to help the chocolate solidify for a few minutes. After about two minutes, I remove the chocolate from the freezer, and I use a sharp metal spatula to scrape up the chocolate, pushing the spatula forward as I go. If the chocolate is the right temperature, it will curl. If it’s too soft, it will smush, and if it’s too cold, it will break apart. Place the chocolate back in the freezer or let it sit out a bit accordingly.
Once the Malted Guinness Chocolate Cake with Baileys Frosting has been baked, frosted, and adorned with chocolate curls, I almost feel guilty to slice and eat it. Almost.
But even though the cake looks great, it tastes even better. Just to be sure, why don’t you give it a go yourself and report back with your thoughts? Don’t forget to take a photo and tag #hostthetoast on Instagram or Twitter while you’re at it– like I said, it’s too pretty not to show off.
- 1 cup Guinness stout
- 1½ sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- ¾ cup dark cocoa powder, divided
- ½ cup malted milk powder
- 1¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup sour cream
- 2 large eggs
- 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ tablespoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar, plus more, if needed
- ¼ cup Baileys Irish Cream liqueur
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 ounces semisweet chocolate
- 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 1.5 lb loaf pan and sprinkle with ¼ cup cocoa powder. Shake the cocoa powder around to coat.
- In a large pot over medium heat, combine the stout, 1½ sticks of butter, and 2 ounces of semisweet chocolate. Heat until melted and smooth, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the remaining ½ cup cocoa powder and the malted milk powder. Once well-combined, stir in the sugar. Let cool for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the sour cream and eggs once the chocolate mixture has cooled. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and ½ teaspoon salt. Add the dry mixture to the chocolate mixture and stir until just combined.
- Pour the cake batter into the loaf pan and smooth with a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Once finished baking, let sit in the pan for 15 minutes to cool, then gently remove from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- While the cake bakes and cools, make the frosting. In a stand mixer or a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat the 2 sticks of butter until fluffy. Add in the powdered sugar, a bit at a time, and mix until thick and well-combined. Slowly stream in the Baileys as you mix, until smooth, and finally add in the salt. If the mixture is too thin, add a tablespoon of powdered sugar at a time until the frosting reaches the desired thickness. Set aside.
- To make the chocolate curls, combine the remaining semisweet chocolate and vegetable shortening in a microwave safe bowl and heat in 15-second intervals, stirring between, until completely melted and smooth. Pour the melted chocolate mixture onto the back of a metal baking sheet and smooth into a thin, even layer using a rubber spatula or knife. Place the baking sheet in the freezer to cool for 2 minutes.
- Remove the baking sheet from the freezer, and using a sharp-edges spatula, scrape the chocolate from the bottom of the pan. As you press forward, the chocolate will curl. If the chocolate gets too soft, transfer it back to the freezer for a minute, making sure not to let the chocolate get too frozen or it will break apart.
- Frost the cake and place the chocolate curls on top. Serve.
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