Chocolate stout cake with whiskey ganache, for dad

Chocolate stout cake with whiskey ganache

Dad came to town this past weekend. He left on Monday Tuesday (thanks for the extra day, Sandy) and I’d be lying if I said I don’t already miss that man like crazy. There’s something so special – so precious – about our relationship that makes me regret not living closer to him. But long weekends like the one we just had make me thankful we’re only a three hour plane ride apart. (Remind me of this in December, when I’m bitching about aforementioned plane ride.)

On the first morning, we rose early and walked four blocks, in the dark, to my favorite cafe. We conversed over warm, caffeinated beverages and good eats, and sat there until crowds of thirsty people cluttered the entrance, making the place much too stuffy for our enjoyment. High on sugar and caffeine, we took a trip to the natural grocer (dad’s first!) and picked up necessary ingredients to make cake, gumbo, pizza, more cake, and nachos. We headed back to my place and got to work on the gumbo; me chopping the vegetables, him preparing the roux. We made coffee (twice!), and laughed over our mugs about the impending election and how funny it is that he wound up with a bunch of liberal kooks for children. We savored lunch at one of my favorite sushi restaurants, followed by cappuccinos (yup, more coffee) on the rooftop of the Museum of Contemporary Art. If you’re keeping track, that was a handful of my favorite places, all in one day, with one of my most beloved people in the galaxy – it just doesn’t get much better, folks.

Cacao powdered bundtGuinness extra stoutChocolate stout cake in the making

After parading around lower downtown for all things food related, we settled back at my place and called it a day. Despite having six caffeinated beverages in an eight hour time span, dad fell asleep on the couch, to the tune of college football. I stood in the kitchen, over the pot of boiling gumbo, watching him and thinking how lucky I am to have this man as a father. Even if he is a loud snorer. A really, really, really loud snorer. I’m grateful for him, our close relationship, and weekends spent in Denver drinking copious amounts of coffee and teaching my poppa how to cross the street like a local.

If you’re wondering where this cake comes into play, let me tell you – this is a watered down version of one of his favorites: chocolate stout cake with Irish cream frosting and whiskey ganache. But since I only make that cake on St. Patrick’s Day or dad’s birthday, I decided to make a special rendition of it to celebrate my old man’s arrival to the Mile High City.

And dad, just in case you forgot – you’re my favorite. Thanks for being all sorts of awesome.

Chocolate stout cake with whiskey ganacheChocolate stout cake with whiskey ganache

Notes: If you don’t like the idea of using tofu, you can replace it with almond milk. But! It’s likely the cake will stick to the bundt pan (no matter how much you oil/cacao powder it), so do yourself a favor and bake it in a regular pan (loaf, round, square). If you don’t have sucanat, use brown sugar. And if you don’t have stout, you can use dark brewed coffee (another favorite way to make this cake in our house). Also, please be sure to buy organic canola, as non-organic canola is usually genetically modified. Eww.


3/4 cup unbleached flour
6 tbsp cacao powder
1/2 cup sucanat
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup soft silken tofu
, blended
1/2 cup extra stout beer
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Whiskey ganache
1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate
3 tbsp almond milk
1 tbsp Irish whiskey

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Lightly oil a 3 cup bundt pan with oil and/or coat with cacao powder; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cacao powder, sucanat, salt and baking soda. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the oil, silken tofu, stout beer and vanilla extract; whisk until clump free. Transfer batter to the prepared bundt pan and bake at 350˚ for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool for 30 minutes then invert onto a cooling rack. Dust with cacao powder, if desired.

While the cake is cooling, prepare the ganache. Add the chocolate to a small mixing bowl; set aside. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the almond milk and whiskey to a boil, pour over chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes; stir to combine. Let cool for 10 minutes then pour over cake. Cake will keep in an air tight container for up to five days.

Yield: 4-6 servings

  • Shelly November 1, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    So beautiful!

  • lysa jordan November 1, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    Guinness extra-stout, oh please. I had my first Guinness 3 years ago when my father presented it to me. Last year I tried the extra-stout and in love I was. Stouts are my favorite, oatmeal stouts are also delicious. I am keeping this recipe and making it to my dad. He & I will LOVE this:) Thank you for the recipe.

  • Dana November 1, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    I am in awe of your insightful writing, beautiful father-daughter relationship, uncanny ability to impart knowledge on the importance of using quality ingredients without coming off as arrogant, and this gorgeous gorgeous cake. I love what you have going on here friend. Will be making this cake soon.


  • la domestique November 1, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    Ok, so I have major warm fuzzies after reading this post! Your relationship with your dad is so sweet! I must bake this cake for my husband, who was born and raised in Ireland and loves his Guinness. The cake looks absolutely amazing.

  • Courtney November 1, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    Beautiful sentiments to go with such a beautiful cake! Thanks for sharing your story about your relationship with your father, as well as this amazing chocolate confection :)

  • Em November 1, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    i enjoyed reading this! reminded me that my dad gets back from cyprus next thursday and i might just have to bake him this cake!

  • Anonymous November 1, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    But Guinness is infamous for not being vegan!

    • Ashlae November 1, 2012 at 10:46 PM

      But extra stout Guinness is famous FOR being vegan.

  • November 2, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    Always on the lookout for something chocolatey and delicious. Is there another type of flour you would recommend using? Just to mix it up a little?

    • Ashlae November 2, 2012 at 2:25 AM

      Spelt! Always spelt.

  • Katie (The Muffin Myth) November 2, 2012 at 8:22 AM

    Gorgeous! I’ve seen several recipes calling for silken tofu recently so I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled, but even plain old regular tofu can be hard to find in my corner of the world. I’ll continue my hunt, or try swapping in the almond milk. Thanks for the recipe!

  • thelittleloaf November 2, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    Ahh, this is such a lovely post and captures so much of what I feel about my Dad. Unfortunately he’s trying to lose weight so I don’t bake him cakes that often but if I could they would be filled with love :-)

  • sara forte November 3, 2012 at 1:29 AM

    this looks incredible. I am always on the hunt for great chocolate cake recipes. I will be trying this. Happy bday to your dad :)

  • The Yeti November 3, 2012 at 6:48 AM

    I randomly stumbled on to your blog and it is fantastic. When I first saw the title of this recipe I literally said “oh sh*t that is amazing…why is it not in my belly yet.” Also, loved the sweet story :)

  • Russell van Kraayenburg November 4, 2012 at 12:08 AM

    This cake looks fantastic! And what a recipe! Yummm!

  • Meg November 4, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    Um, this looks so good.

  • sweet road November 4, 2012 at 9:46 PM

    It looks so rich and delicious! This looks like a good dad’s cake. Anything with beer, really.

  • Kelsey November 5, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    LORDY. YUM. Love the images in this one too, lady.

  • Richa November 6, 2012 at 2:10 AM

    that cake looks so gorgeous… it is insane!

  • Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes November 6, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    The way you speak of you Dad had me smiling all the way through this post- it reminds me of my relationship with my Dad, super Dad’s are just plain awesome….hahaha I tend to make my Dad boozy desserts too – booze added to sweets just seem more manly :)

  • Centelleo December 6, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    Can I use sunflower or grapeseed oil here? I don’t usually have canola and I’m loathe to buy yet another oil.

    • Ashlae December 6, 2012 at 5:20 PM

      I haven’t baked with either of those oils, so I couldn’t tell you. If you end up trying it, let me know how it turns out!

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  • Colleen B. March 31, 2014 at 11:32 PM

    Hi Ashlae!
    I have been saving this recipe for a special occasion and the time has come! I was wondering if you have doubled the recipe to use in a 6 cup Bundt pan? It will be for a larger party so I thought I’d check with you before trying. Thanks so much!

    • Ashlae April 1, 2014 at 5:41 AM

      Hi Colleen –

      I have and it turned out beautifully! Just make sure you adjust the baking time (5-10 minutes longer). Enjoy. :)

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  • jordan October 29, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    I’m about to make this cake today, using Samuel Smith’s organic chocolate stout. I am so excited to make and try this cake. Will leave comments on how it goes!

    • jordan October 29, 2014 at 7:56 PM

      Came out absolutely amazing!! Moist, decadent, and surprisingly rich for a vegan cake!! Will be making again and again. So glad I stumbled on your blog.

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