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


  • Reply Shelly 1 November 2012 at 2:22 PM

    So beautiful!

  • Reply lysa jordan 1 November 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.

  • Reply Dana 1 November 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.


  • Reply la domestique 1 November 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.

  • Reply Courtney 1 November 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 :)

  • Reply Em 1 November 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!

  • Reply Anonymous 1 November 2012 at 10:44 PM

    But Guinness is infamous for not being vegan!

    • Reply Ashlae 1 November 2012 at 10:46 PM

      But extra stout Guinness is famous FOR being vegan.

  • Reply 2 November 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?

    • Reply Ashlae 2 November 2012 at 2:25 AM

      Spelt! Always spelt.

  • Reply Katie (The Muffin Myth) 2 November 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!

  • Reply thelittleloaf 2 November 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 :-)

  • Reply sara forte 3 November 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 :)

  • Reply The Yeti 3 November 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 :)

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

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

  • Reply Meg 4 November 2012 at 7:42 PM

    Um, this looks so good.

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

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

  • Reply Kelsey 5 November 2012 at 5:15 PM

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

  • Reply Richa 6 November 2012 at 2:10 AM

    that cake looks so gorgeous… it is insane!

  • Reply Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes 6 November 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 :)

  • Reply Centelleo 6 December 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.

    • Reply Ashlae 6 December 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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  • Reply Colleen B. 31 March 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!

    • Reply Ashlae 1 April 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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  • Reply jordan 29 October 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!

    • Reply jordan 29 October 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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  • Reply Nicole 18 March 2015 at 3:11 PM

    I made this cake and was really excited about it, but it turned out really flat and fell apart a bit. I did substitute the tofu for almond milk and while it didn’t stick to the sides, it stuck to the bottom and I think that’s why it fell apart-so that’s my fault! But I don’t really know why it was so flat. I feel like I should have doubled it just to make it normal-sized. I also substituted he sucanat for brown sugar as well.

    Would love to try it again sometime in the future-just wondering what I did wrong :(

    • Reply Ashlae 18 March 2015 at 3:52 PM

      Hi Nicole –

      Funny, when I was testing the recipe, I tried so many times to replace the tofu with non-dairy milk and the cake never turned out. It definitely is the issue, so try using tofu if you can. :) Should solve the leavening issue, too, as the tofu provides stability.

  • Reply Susan Randolph 30 April 2015 at 10:44 AM

    Hi Ashlae:
    I’d like to find a substitute for the 1/4 c canola oil; what would you suggest? Thanks! Can’t wait to make it!


    • Reply Ashlae 30 April 2015 at 9:39 PM

      Hi Susan –

      Any neutral flavored oil should work.

  • Reply Rachel 13 August 2015 at 8:36 AM

    I want very badly to be able to make this cake, but my husband is allergic to soy, so the tofu is a no go, which is infuriating as I can just see how it would help structurally… I see you mention not really having success replacing it with non-dairy milk, but does that include full-fat coconut milk/cream? Alternatively, do you think a scoop of some kind of allergy-friendly protein powder might provide the structure that the tofu (and in non-vegan cakes, eggs) is trying to replace?

    • Reply Ashlae 13 August 2015 at 8:42 AM

      Hi Rachel –

      Lucky for you, I made a soy-free version of this as my wedding cake and I’m posting the recipe next week!!!!!! ❤️

      • Reply Rachel 30 August 2015 at 8:21 PM

        Weeee! Just found it – it’s next on my list. But a good vanilla cake is a solid starting point, so I’m beginning with your almond/chocolate naked cake that you made for Thom’s birthday… with extra vanilla instead of the almond extract (sob) because nut allergy… Pretty excited! I’m making it as a teeny tiny 4inch naked cake (can’t go making full-sized cakes when I’m in recipe experimentation mode – that would end up negating all my hard work in the gym!).
        Will probably post to instagram (@sprugles) when I get it up if successful – will tag you so you can see!
        Thanks again!

      • Reply Sean 6 October 2017 at 2:30 PM

        Any suggestions then on modifying this with no tofu? I see the other recipe has a couple of differences (cake flour and baking powder)?

        • Reply Ashlae 8 October 2017 at 10:50 AM

          Hi Sean –

          Nope! Tofu is crucial to this recipe.

  • Reply Charlotte 9 February 2018 at 2:29 AM

    Dear Ashlae, Guinness has now stopped using animal bladders in the filtration process. It was in the news in the UK in 2016 :)

    • Reply Ashlae 9 February 2018 at 5:25 AM


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