Chocolate Stout Celebration Cake

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Rich chocolate stout cake with coffee swiss meringue buttercream on the inside and mocha buttercream on the outside!  A special cake for life’s special occassions and celebrations.

Chocolate Stout Celebration Cake Recipe

Ever since Thursday’s announcements, I’ve felt a huge sense of relief.  Now that you know about Keep It Sweet Desserts, I can be a lot more open about what is going on in my daily life.  Having my co-workers know, well, that is another level of weight lifted off my shoulders.

Chocolate Stout Celebration Cake Recipe

There were a lot of reasons that my job was no longer the place for me, but after four and a half years working at a company as it grew from thirty to almost three hundred people, I’ve built many relationships with people through meetings, conference calls and daily kitchen chats.  Not interacting with these people on a regular basis is going to be strange.  Telling them that would be the case was a lot more nerve-racking than I thought it would be.

Chocolate Stout Celebration Cake Recipe

Giving my two weeks notice at work was a little like breaking up with a boyfriend.  Except when I said “it’s not you, it’s me,” I pretty much meant it.  Sure, my job wasn’t perfect, but I’m leaving because it is time to pursue my passion.  Having some discontent in my professional life just made that decision make a little more sense.

Chocolate Stout Celebration Cake Recipe

Giving two weeks notice required one-on-one conversations with everyone I work with on a daily basis.  Once we got past the part of the conversations where I promised not to leave anyone in the lurch, my boss, and everyone else, seemed genuinely happy for me.  Some were excited and offered to put me in touch with valuable contacts, others promised to place orders with me as soon as the website is running.  My boss just requested, very seriously I might add, that I bring in samples before my two weeks are up. Fair enough.  The fact that these conversations went so well actually gave me a little regret at saying goodbye.

Chocolate Stout Celebration Cake Recipe

So this weekend, to celebrate the big announcement or stress eat my way through starting a business (either one, you decide), it only made sense to bake a somewhat over-the-top rich and delicious layer cake.

Chocolate stout cake.

Coffee swiss meringue buttercream.

Mocha buttercream.

Rich, moist, decadent, everything you could ask for in one slice.  And I’m not exaggerating on the richness, I ate one slice (read: three slices in one) and it was enough for me.  Wait, who am I?

Chocolate Stout Celebration Cake Recipe

Make this cake for a birthday, St. Patrick’s Day, or even just because!

Chocolate Stout Celebration Cake
Serves 12-16

1 recipe for Chocolate Stout Cake from Sweetapolita, cake only
1/3 recipe for Coffee Swiss Meringue Buttercream, recipe below
1 full recipe for Mocha Buttercream, recipe below

Prepare chocolate stout cake layers following directions on Sweetapolita and set aside to cool
While cake is cooling, prepare coffee swiss meringue buttercream (“SMB”) and mocha buttercream and set aside
When cake has cooled, place one layer on a flat cake plate; use a serrated knife to shave the very top of the cake off so that the layer is flat
Spread a thick layer of the coffee SMB on shaved layer of cake, top only; gently place second cake layer on top of SMB
Spread mocha buttercream over top of cake and around the sides; I find that a long metal spatula works best for this
Store cake in refrigerator up to three days and serve at room temperature; prepared cake can also be wrapped tightly in seran wrap and then again in foil and frozen for a few weeks

Coffee Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Adapted from Sweetapolita (if this is your first time making SMB, her post is very helpful)
Makes enough to ice a full layer cake or fill two 9-inch 2-layer cakes

1 cup egg whites (pasteurized egg whites work fine)
2 cups granulated sugar
2 1/4 cups (4 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 teaspoons instant espresso powder dissolved in 1 tablespoon boiling water, chilled
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

Wipe the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk attachment, whisk, spatula and candy thermometer with a paper towel and vinegar to clean (if any grease is on these items your meringue will not work)
Place egg whites and sugar in mixing bowl over pot of simmering water; water should not be high enough to touch mixing bowl
Whisk mixture slowly but constantly until temperature reaches 160 degrees F, about 5-10 minutes
Remove from stove and attach bowl to electric mixer with whisk attachment
Put mixer on low to medium speed and whisk until meringue is shiny and thick and bowl has cooled down to room temperature; if bowl does not cool and meringue has formed, you can put an ice bath under the mixing bowl was it is mixing
Once ready, replace whisk attachment with paddle attachment and add cubes of butter one at a time mixing on low speed until the mixture is light and creamy; if mixture gets lumpy, keep mixing for several minutes; if it gets runny, place bowl in fridge for 10 minutes before continuing to mix
Stop mixer to scrape sides of bowl and continue to beat on low speed for another minute
Add chilled espresso, vanilla, and salt and mix on medium speed until the SMB is light and creamy
Store extra SMB in refrigerator up to a week or in freezer up to two months

Mocha Buttercream
Makes enough buttercream to ice outside of cake, double the recipe to use as filling and outside frosting

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup good quality unsweetened cocoa, sifted
6 tablespoons strong brewed coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Using an electric mixer, beat butter on high speed until light and creamy
Add half of sugar and mix on low speed until combined
Add remaining sugar, cocoa, coffee and vanilla; mix on medium speed until smooth and creamy
Stop mixer to scrape sides of bowl and then continue mixing on high speed for another minute until creamy
Store buttercream in refrigerator up to a week or in freezer up to two months

The only change I made to the Chocolate Stout cake was to substitute the sour cream with nonfat greek yogurt because that is what I had on hand; I used a bottle of Sam Adam’s Chocolate Stout from the winter collection
You can make the cake layers in advance and freeze them (well-wrapped) until ready to put the entire cake together
Cake can be iced in coffee SMB only if you don’t want as much chocolate (I’ll try not to judge)

Chocolate Stout Celebration Cake Recipe

I decided to bring half of this cake into the office to prevent myself from eating the entire thing.  Who is placing bets on whether my co-workers will love me or hate me by the time my last day rolls around?

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49 Responses to “Chocolate Stout Celebration Cake”

  1. Kathryn March 5, 2012 at 6:50 am #

    I love chocolate stout cakes – I’ve had that one on sweetapolita bookmarked for ages and I just need to find the right excuse to make it! It looks absolutely delicious and decadent, an excellent way to celebrate your new venture!

    • KeepItSweet March 8, 2012 at 10:48 am #

      It really turned out fantastic! Super moist and flavorful:-) Just know that you can definitely taste the stout.

  2. Emily @ Life on Food March 5, 2012 at 7:40 am #

    Chocolate cake can really cure a lot of aliments. Maybe not complete but it certainly helps. This looks delicious! I love cakes that are frosted just like this…nothing to fancy but homemade with love.

  3. Julie @ Table for Two March 5, 2012 at 8:00 am #

    holy crap, this is a really involved cake but it sure turned out marvelous and i’m sure it tastes AMAZING!! yay for you for seeking your passion :)

    • KeepItSweet March 8, 2012 at 10:49 am #

      It was completely worth the effort and you know what, I had a lot of fun making it so it didn’t feel like too much work.

  4. thelittleloaf March 5, 2012 at 8:17 am #

    This cake looks gorgeous, and the perfect way to celebrate the start of your new life! I bet your colleagues are enjoying every last taste before you start charging for your incredible creations :-)

    • KeepItSweet March 8, 2012 at 10:50 am #

      I think they are! Now when I come in empty handed I get a lot of unhappy co-workers lol.

  5. Bertie's Bakery March 5, 2012 at 8:55 am #

    The icing just looks so creamy and smooth! And the filling… oh the filling!

    • KeepItSweet March 8, 2012 at 10:50 am #

      I could seriously eat the filling with a spoon! And now I have extra in my freezer… dangerous!

  6. Michelle March 5, 2012 at 8:58 am #

    Classes, meetings, work, clubs, all great places to unload potential diet disasters. It’s always received with love until it starts being a regular occurrence and accompanied with ‘Keep eating! I can’t take any home!!’

  7. Maureen March 5, 2012 at 9:08 am #

    Someone asked me just yesterday if Americans called them celebration cakes and I said, “nah, never heard of it.” Obviously I lied. :)

    This cake looks wonderful!

    • KeepItSweet March 8, 2012 at 10:53 am #

      Haha I think this is the first time I ever called one a Celebration Cake!

  8. Jessica @ Stylish Stealthy and Healthy March 5, 2012 at 9:50 am #

    Seriously so happy for you, but can we talk about the fact that I drooled a little while reading this? Wow.

  9. Liz @ Tip Top Shape March 5, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    Celebration or eating away stress–this cake looks amazing!!!

  10. Cassie March 5, 2012 at 11:20 am #

    this is an amazing celebratory cake. the flavor combination is so perfect!

  11. Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray March 5, 2012 at 11:28 am #

    Well, I think you can be certain that if your company ever needs an event catered, they won’t call anybody else! ;)

    Congratulations again–I think this is the start of something fabulous (and delicious).

    • KeepItSweet March 8, 2012 at 10:53 am #

      Thank you so much, Tara!

  12. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga March 5, 2012 at 11:29 am #

    I looks amazing..from one layer to the next…and that FROSTING. WOW!

  13. Jen at The Three Little Piglets March 5, 2012 at 11:48 am #

    I’m so glad that things went smoothly! I’m sure that must feel like the weight of the world off your shoulders. And now you’re free to concentrate on embracing your future!!

  14. Jen @ keepitsimplefoods March 5, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

    This looks amazing. How I wish I had your talent for baking. Congrats again on your happy news! :)

  15. Erin March 5, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

    I am so glad that your goodbyes to work folk was not taken badly. That is such a relief. And what a great cake to celebrate!

  16. Erica March 5, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

    What a beautiful cake!

  17. Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic March 5, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

    Love all the decadent flavors of this celebration cake!

  18. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts March 5, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

    So glad telling everyone went so well. I know how hard it can be to go in and have to quit a job. I did that after I had my son, and it was HARD!! But it was the best thing for me and my family, so I knew I was doing the right thing. Can’t wait to see your website once you get it up!

    • KeepItSweet March 8, 2012 at 10:54 am #

      Thanks, Erin! I’m glad things also turned out so well for you:-)

  19. Kiri W. March 5, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

    Oooh my, what a glorious, glorious cake! I’m jealous of your co-workers!
    I bet it was difficult, but I am happy everyone took it well. You have to follow your dreams!

  20. Sandra March 5, 2012 at 6:56 pm #

    That’s right girl go out with a Bang!!!

  21. Tiffany {A Clove of Garlic} March 5, 2012 at 7:26 pm #

    I have never heard of a stout cake, but this looks great! The layers all sound so delicious, especially the mocha one. Nicely done!

  22. Simply Life March 5, 2012 at 7:41 pm #

    oh this does look like quite the celebration cake – I’m so impressed! You’ll have to share more about your business- will you be working from home? renting a kitchen? I’m so excited for you!!!

    • KeepItSweet March 8, 2012 at 10:54 am #

      A little bit of both, thank you!

  23. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. March 5, 2012 at 9:14 pm #

    This cake looks amazing! I really love the mocha buttercream!! I would be thrilled if you brought this to my work! lol

  24. Baking Serendipity March 5, 2012 at 9:38 pm #

    Lady, you’ve inspired me! My husband has been applying for fantastic new jobs lately, and fingers crossed, we’ll need a celebration cake soon. Now I know where to turn :) Love this!

    • KeepItSweet March 8, 2012 at 11:09 am #

      Thank you! I hope you need a Celebration Cake soon, too!

  25. Amrita March 6, 2012 at 3:30 am #

    OHMIGAWD! You just killed me with this cake! It looks super-luscious and can’t wait to try it as my next birthday-cake.

    There really is nothing more stress-busting than cake and also good luck for the future!

    • KeepItSweet March 8, 2012 at 11:11 am #

      Thank you, Amrita!

  26. Joanne March 6, 2012 at 6:46 am #

    It’s so great how understanding and supportive they were! You’ve got a good group there and you’ve got to bake it up and lure them in so they’ll use you as their next caterer!

    This cake looks even better than I dreamt it would. not that I dreamt about your cake…that would be weird…

    No comment.

  27. Living The Sweet Life March 6, 2012 at 10:40 am #

    This IS a huge step you’re taking – – but it’s an exciting step. And it will be bitter sweet ( no pun intended ;)), but it sounds like you have a great network of support. And to celebrate this occasion – – what a cake!! It sounds delicious xox

    • KeepItSweet March 8, 2012 at 11:12 am #

      Thank you so much!

  28. March 6, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

    Lauren, these photos are goooorgeous!!! You are so talented!!

    • KeepItSweet March 6, 2012 at 4:09 pm #

      Thank you so much, Leslie!!

  29. Winnie March 6, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

    Extremely delicious and beautiful looking cake!

  30. Daisy@Nevertoosweet March 6, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

    Look great :) Still haven’t made any cakes with Stout before would love to try ~

  31. Krissy's Creations March 6, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

    What a great dessert to celebrate the opening of your own dessert place! SO excited for you Lauren you don’t even know! I can’t wait to order some lovely desserts from you :)

    • KeepItSweet March 8, 2012 at 11:13 am #

      Thanks, Krissy!

  32. Kita March 19, 2012 at 9:21 pm #

    Im glad your goodbyes were able to go smoothly – last time I left a place there was a line of crying women coming to hug me goodbye as if it was the last time they would ever see me. ;) This cake certainly does sound like a celebration – I love the different buttercreams.


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