Peanut Butter Chocolate Stout Cake on cake stand

I’ve been reading a lot lately. I’m not sure if it’s a general departure from screens or just me getting older, but I find myself taking more and more pleasure in sitting down and just reading. The cats eventually find their way to my cozy spot on the couch. We snuggle up as I get lost in the pages of my book, and all of a sudden I look at my watch and two hours have passed.

I used to think of this as lost time, but as I begin read more and more I’ve realized how precious these hours are. It’s an exercise for your brain and a departure into a different world. 

cat sitting in windowsill behind computer screen

What I’ve been reading lately:

Cooking With Jeffery by Ina Garten — I mean, duh. QWEEN INA!

Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple — Her stream-of-consciousness-like writing, coupled with over-anxious, quirky main characters, makes for a hilarious read

Tools Of Titans by Tim Ferriss — Hundreds of interviews of the best people in a variety of fields, from photography to finance to talkshow hosts. Warning: this book may cause you to want to start 5 different ventures. Alex and I are already looking into developing an app, buying an apartment complex, and starting a podcast as a result of this book.

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance — A fascinating look at the current class divide in the USA from both a personal family and broader cultural perspective. Super appropriate given the current state of affairs in our country

Brain On Fire: My Month Of Madness by Susannah Calahan — The true memoir of a Type-A 20-something’s mystery mental illness that suddenly takes her by a storm

books on window sill

Tips for making this chocolate stout cake

Oh OK you probably also want to know about this chocolate stout cake. I love baking with booze. It’s two fun things in one. This chocolate peanut butter cake would be perfect for St. Patrick’s Day (only a month away), or honestly for just because. Like, don’t you wish there were a monthly reason to make cake? I do. Anywho, here are a few things to remember when making this cake:

Choose a basic stout — I would go with a pretty basic stout so that it doesn’t overpower the chocolate/peanut butter combo. Guinness would be perfect.

Add more milk to the frosting, as needed — When making the peanut butter frosting, start by mixing in just 2 tablespoons of milk and then add more as needed. The total amount of milk you’ll need to get the right consistency totally depends on the thickness of your peanut butter.

Use your favorite candy bar(s) on top — I topped my cake with chopped up Snickers and Pretzels for added decoration, but you can easily omit them or swap them out for your favorite candy bar.

slice of Peanut Butter Chocolate Stout Cake on a plate

Wait back to books. Guys, should we start a monthly Broma bookclub?! Omg….

Print

Peanut Butter Chocolate Stout Cake

  • Author: Sarah Fennel
Scale

Ingredients

for the cake

  • 3/4 cup dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulate sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cups dark stout, such as Guinness*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

for the frosting

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 24 tablespoons milk (this will depend on the consistency of your peanut butter. start with 2 and work up)

for the ganache/everything else

  • 1/2 cup bitter- or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • a few large pretzels
  • 1 Snickers bar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line three 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine cocoa powder, flour, both sugars, baking soda, and salt, whisking to combine. In a separate bowl, combine vegetable oil, eggs, stout, and vanilla extract.
  3. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet, whisking until thoroughly combined and no lumps remain. Pour batter evenly into prepared pans (about 2 cups of batter each).
  4. Bake cakes for 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.
  5. Using an electric mixer or stand mixer, beat the peanut butter and unsalted butter together until fluffy, about 30 seconds. Add in the powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of milk, then beat for 30 more seconds. If the frosting is too thick, add in 1-2 more tablespoons of milk.
  6. Frost cake by placing first cake layer onto a cake stand and topping with 1 cup frosting. Spread evenly, then repeat with two additional layers. On the top layer, only use 1/2 cup frosting. Then, use the remaining frosting to create a thin layer on the sides of the cake, using a blunt knife to spread evenly. Place into fridge or freezer while you make the ganache.
  7. To make the ganache, heat the cream over a double boiler on low heat. Once the cream is scalding (near boiling but not boiling), remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips. Remove cake from fridge/freezer and drizzle frosting over the cake’s edges, then over the entire top, again using a blunt knife to smooth things over evenly. Top with some crumbled pretzel pieces and cut up Snickers bar!

More boozy desserts from Broma Bakery:

Red Wine Chocolate Cake

Beer Brownies

Annoyingly Addicting Bourbon Apple Fritters

Double Chocolate Bourbon Brownies

Red Wine Brownies

Bourbon Snickerdoodle Blondies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Stout Cake

44 comments

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I loved reading this! I maybe just requested every single one of those books from my library, so I’m excited to get them! xo

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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OH YAY! So glad. Please let me know what you think of them and what your favorites are!

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These photos are INSANE and I bet the cake tastes even better ah! Could I omit the booze from the recipe if I wanted to? I’m considering making this for a younger siblings birthday :).

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Staaaahp! You guys are so cute. And yes, you can definitely omit the booze. Sub equal amounts of coke/diet coke/gingerale/seltzer water.

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On the train home last night I noticed someone reading “Hillbilly Elegy” and I wondered what it was. Thanks for the book ideas!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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It’s really a fantastic book. And so relevant with the going’s on of today! Thanks Michele!

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i just started getting your newsletter and was happy to see the book recommendations. I really don’t bake very much but your pictures are so beautiful I had to sign up. I am getting Brain on Fire today at the library. and through looking at reviews on Amazon I found another book that sounds amazing too. The Brains Way of Healing. so although I haven’t read it yet it has great reviews and maybe it would be a book you might enjoy. A book club hmmmmm never been in one but keep the recommends coming I like what you shared. also I have the Hillbilly book on hold at library TY

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Hi Starre! Oh I’m so glad to hear that, thank you for following along! Do let me know what you think of Brain on Fire. And Hillbilly Elegy– a fascinating read. The Brain’s Way Of Healing sounds great, too. Looking into that one 🙂

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Just wanted to let you know i enjoyed Brain on Fire. For some reason this post really got me reading again. Found another book you might like. Life from Scratch. Forgot the author. great read she takes 4 years to cook and blog from all the countries a to z. Still waiting for the hillbilly book. the library has about 50 peeps ahead of me WOW

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Wow, I am SO excited to hear that! Like seriously, reading is one of the biggest joys in life, and I was just talking to friends yesterday about how when you’re not reading it can be really hard to get back into. So I am so, so happy that you’ve gotten back into things! I still think about Hillbilly Elegy at random points throughout my day; it was really powerful and a book I think everyone should read. I’m going to look into Life From Scratch now. It seems like a poignant next book!!

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I keep seeing Cooking For Jeffrey in all the bookstores, and I feel like it’s calling my name! Things that are also calling my name = this cake. 😉

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Right? I can’t get over how it’s a book for him. SO CUTE. Thank you Sarah!

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I’m going to make this for my brother’s upcoming birthday. I love the way you left a little chocolate peak out from the PB icing. Also, if you don’t mind sharing, where did you get the great cake stand. I love all kind of cake display pedestals and plates. Thanks!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Hi Janet! Oh I’m so happy to hear that. Hope you and he love it!! I got this cake stand at Target. It’s just perfect!

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Oh boy ! You are great ! Thank you so much !

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Absolutely indulgent Sarah! Perfect for St. Patty’s Day. Is there any other place for Ina besides the TOP of the list?!?!? Thanks for sharing you reads and this stunning cake!

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Baking with booze is the best! It feels so sneaky and indulgent too. I have been meaning to read Tools if Titans and Hillbilly Elegy sounds interesting too – will have to pick it up!

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1. DYING to read Cooking With Jeffery by Ina. 2. PB? Chocolate? Stout? Cake? Oh HECK yes!

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THIS CAKE! oh my gosh, it is insane and sounds so delicious!! ps. cooking with Jeffrey si the best!

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This cake is like my dream dessert. I miss reading, I was SO into it a few years ago but now it seems like there’s never enough time and my phone is always in front of my face instead. Need to get back on that train!

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Can I substitute 2 8 ” or 9″ cake pans for the 3 6″ ones? I know that it will not be as tall and I will probably have to adjust the cooking time.
I have already read Hillbilly Elegy. and found it fascinating. It really made me think about the cultural divide that exists in the United States.

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Yes, you can! Either will work– 8 inch should yield the same thickness (thick!) while 9 inch will be more like 1.5 inches tall (guestimate). And so glad you agree on Hillbilly Elegy! It really made so much sense of the divide in a non-judgmental way.

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Could I double the recipe for 2 9-inch pans? Would that be a good way to still get thick layers in a larger pan?

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Hi Jenny! You can use the same amount of batter for two 9-inch cake pans. 8-inch is ideal, but using the exaxt recipe in two 9-inch pans will work 🙂

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Chocolate, stout, cake…heaven!

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I will make this cake, soon!

Can I borrow Tools of Titans, looks intregueing! ( Spellcheck!)

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OMG your cat is such a model in this!!! Love hearing about your book crushes + beer cake? St.Patty’s indeeeeed.

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Thank you sweetpea!!

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I have Brain on Fire but haven’t read it yet. How is it? Today Will Be Different and Tools of Titans sounds like they’ll be right up my alley too. Thank you for the book suggestions and for your To-Die-For recipes.

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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I really enjoyed it. The writing wasn’t like over the top spectacular, but the story is SO interesting. Hope you enjoy! Thanks for following along, Kim 🙂

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You just keep cranking out amazingness! This is so gorgeous, Girl!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Stop! You are so sweet. Thank you Tori!

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Planning to make this for my hubby’s birthday this weekend. What brand of Dutch processed cocoa do you use?

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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I use Rodelle (found here) and I really can’t recommend them enough! Best cocoa powder I’ve ever used. Ever.

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Thank you! Looking forward to making your recipe . I’m going to use a peanut butter stout from a local brewery here in San Diego.

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Uhm, sounds like it was MADE for this cake!

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Just made this cake. Could it be there is too much sugar? It’s not a difficult recipe, so I was surprised when it fell in the middle. I’d say it’s a structure problem. The flavor is good, so worth trying again. I may try to tax the sugar down to 1 1/4 or 1 1/2 cups.

thanks

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Update – I remade the cake and upped the flour to 2 cups flour-2 cups sugar ratio and used natural cocoa powder, not dutch processed. not dips in the middle, success!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Very odd! It could be due to a number of things. For one, it’s been very hot lately, which could have affected the bake. It could also have to do with your leavening agent, namely the eggs or baking soda. However, you can definitely take the sugar down to 1 1/2 cups, I’d say. Sorry to hear, Louise!

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Hi Sarah! This recipe looks amazing. I’m hoping to make it for my boyfriend’s birthday since he loves PB and Stouts! I have also recently moved to Boulder, Colorado (elevation of about 5,400′) and haven’t done much baking yet. I was curious if you have any advice on making this cake with elevation in mind since I’ve heard it can affect certain things when baking? Any help would be appreciated!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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I wish I did! I have NO idea how to do high elevation baking. I’m sure there are many sites you can look up to clarify tho!

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Made this for colleagues at work, and everyone loved it! Very impressive looking, and tastes delicious.

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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So happy to hear this! It made my morning 🙂

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