The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Floyd's Birthday Cake: Chocolate Guinness Bliss with Cream Cheese Whipped Cream Topping

dstroy's picture

Floyd's Birthday Cake: Chocolate Guinness Bliss with Cream Cheese Whipped Cream Topping

So, as you all already know, World Bread Day happens to coincide with Floyd's birthday. This year, I decided to try the recipe that qahtan had posted here in this forum a while ago (which keeps coming up in discussion) for the Guinness Stout chocolate cake.

I was a teeny bit intimidated actually, because the measurements are in weight rather than in cup measure units, but I pulled out Floyd's bread scale, which to date I had never used for anything beyond weighing the occasional package, and I decided the recipe sounded too good not to make the time to learn now.

I thought you might find amusing the endeavors of a complete baking newbie in attempting this recipe. Floyd's the baker around here, not me - I am on the site all the time but usually I am just clearing out spam and checking out the new recipes (to ask Floyd to bake later, heh) or keeping track that threads don't start spiraling out of hand. Most of the bakers jargon and knowledge, however, tends to go over my head.
I did learn a few key points during the course of baking, here's a rundown of the kitchen chaos that occurred. I'm pretty sure that Floyd is way better at keeping the messes minimal, because I think I spent more time cleaning the kitchen than I did in actual cooking.

The cake, however, turned out phenomenally, despite my lack of baker's experience. We give this one two thumbs up, all the way around!


I dropped two sticks (8oz) of unsalted butter into the mixing bowl and added the 12 oz soft dark brown sugar, which measured out to about 1 cup of well packed sugar and got it mixing.
In a second bowl, I beat 4 eggs, and then I added them into the main cake batter in the mixing bowl.

Then I made my first mistake, which was when trying to figure out what 8 oz of flour measured out to, I put my third mixing bowl on the scale and started to pour directly from the flour bag, which landed about a quarter of the bag in the bowl and a lovely white cloud of the stuff in my face and hair. Eventually I managed to scoop out the extra flour until the scale showed the right amount in there and then I mixed in the 2 teaspoons of baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder.

The recipe then calls for you to 14 fl oz stout Guinness and the only size of beer I could find was a larger bottle. I'm not sure if I did it right, but I didn't find a measuring cup with ml measurements, so I ended up zeroing the scale on another bowl and then pouring the beer in until it weighed the 14 ounces.
This turned out to be pretty comical when I then added 4 oz of Droste cocoa, because the stuff is really expensive so I didn't want to have cocoa powder flying everywhere, but when I tried to stir it into the beer, the mixture began to froth and bubble and eventually this too turned into a spectacular mess.

Eventually though, I got the cocoa and flour stuff into the mixing bowl and got it all into a goopy consistency (though I also learned the importance of remembering to switch off the mixer before lifting the beaters to scrape the sides of the bowl - this piece of "education" earned me some artistic chocolate messes splattered on the cabinet, ceiling, and walls!)

Then I then poured into a slightly-larger-than 9 inch spring form tin which I'd buttered well.

That went into the preheated oven at 350F for a little over an hour until a toothpick inserted in the cake came out clean.

But despite all my amateurishness, the cake cake out splendid.


I had read that some FreshLoafers really liked "naked" or whipped cream only toppings on this cake, but I couldn't bear to not have something with it, so I found a recipe for a cream cheese icing with whipping cream that was absolutely perfect for this cake.

Take 8 oz cream cheese and 1 cup confectioners' powdered sugar in a mixing bowl, and whip with an electric beater until smooth.
Then add about 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream and beat again until you have a spreadable consistency.

And I forgot to add the grated chocolate that qahtan had recommended into my mix before putting it into the baking pan, so I ended up using it as decorations on top. (The heart outline was done with chocolate syrup.)

A few candles on top and we were ready to serve!

Happy Birthday Floyd!


This cake was so amazingly rich and dark. No taste of beer, the kids were amazed and didn't believe us when we explained that there was beer in there. I've never made anything like it before. This is some serious chocoholic dream material!

Thank you, fellow FreshLoafers, for the recipe! This was a great one!


dmsnyder's picture

I missed the photo of the baker, well-dusted with flour, though.


dstroy's picture

*grins* I am sure had Floyd been home he would have sneaked a photo of that! ;)

althetrainer's picture

That's one good looking birthday cake there.  Good job!  Hope Floyd's birthday was great!

LindyD's picture

Your description of the process was even better!  Was great fun to read. 

That topping sounds heavenly (no naked cakes in my kitchen, either).

SylviaH's picture

Looks like this was one fun..Delicious Birthday!  The cake is Beautiful! 


waltgray's picture

Cake looks and sounds great.  Never heard of Drust cocoa.  Googled it but came up empty. 

dstroy's picture

I spelled it wrong! It's dutch cocoa called Droste Cocoa - really the recipe just calls for cocoa powder, but if you're going for chocoheaven, not to mention going through the trouble of a more complicated (ha, I say that but really this is fairly easy, but I am not a pro or anything) recipe, it's worth the extra cash to put it into the really good chocolate, and this stuff is REALLY good. I made a German Marble cake a couple of weeks ago and used regular cheaper cocoa and definitely could tell the difference so for this one I made sure to get the "good stuff".

Marni's picture

There's nothing like a homemade birthday cake.  Yours looks great!  Great read too!


waltgray's picture

Thanks, found it on a dutch cocoa search..  Little pricy???  Out of sight!!!
Think  I will stick to regular dutch cocoa....


Droste Cocoa 4 x8.8oz Dutch Cocoa




Item Price/Item Quantity
Droste Cocoa 4 x8.8oz Dutch Cocoa $32.32


dstroy's picture

oh ouch! They have it for about $11 on the shelf here at Fred Meyer, which is a chain owned by Krogers.

For that matter, even the link I posted goes to Amazon where they're listing it for $12.99 - have no idea why the site you found is charging so much more! OH! Unless it's charging for 4 boxes, in which case that's actually not bad at all - comes out to... well, not much more than the regular cocoa actually. Hmm.. I may have to bookmark that site, actually!

jannrn's picture

HOLY COW!! I found it at the site below for only $3.99 for an 8.8 oz box!! I can't wait to try it!! This cake is amazing looking and my house is chock FULL of Chocoholics!! Hope you can get the cocoa here!!

dstroy's picture

Oh I got all psyched but I think that the price listed there was back whenever they did the review. It appears to be a website where they test and review different brands.

The other brand of cocoa they recommend most was listed at 20 bucks on that site, and the price appears to be up to 29 now.

bonnie1345's picture

The cake looks wonderful, but maybe I should tell you that when a recipe calls for 8 oz of a liquid, it is a fluid measurement not a weight. 8 oz is exactly one cup, 32 oz in a quart. I'm going to make this yummy looking cake. Thank you for the recipe.

dstroy's picture

Well, that will certainly be easier than trying to weigh the liquid! Also, I recommend putting the cocoa in before adding the beer ;)

Amori's picture

Thanks for posting that wonderful cake, DH's B-Day is coming up, either cheese cake or this one OH, decisions.......decisions.

MommaT's picture

For a supposed non-baker, I can't imagine that cake looking any more delicious.

Any leftovers???


dstroy's picture

leftovers, yes - but we work on it each day. This stuff is incredibly rich though: this weekend we had a little slice for a "snack" with tea at 1:30 after lunch and by 6:30 we were still working hard at summoning any appetite for dinner!

SallyBR's picture

Loved the thread!


I am THE cake-challenged by definition, would rather go to the dentist for a root canal treatment than bake a cake (well, maybe not, but.... almost)


What a great cake you made, I am sure you feel proud of yourself!   But, of course, now you know that next year you need to be ready for another production!  :-)

Paddyscake's picture

and I absolutely love this cake. Chocoholic heaven. This is a rather large cake for 2 people. Good news is that is freezes beautifully, obviously sans icing!


Floydm's picture

I added a preference to user accounts that let you get replies to threads you originate via email.  I went in and set yours to true.  Neat, eh?

dstroy's picture

Oh this is awesome! Does it work on replies you get to comments too?

(Yes, I know it's silly to converse when you're on the way home, but figure it's a question the rest of the community will ask ;)  )