Black Ale Chocolate Cake

Dark beer was meant to go into chocolate cake. That’s all we’re going to say about this recipe – the rest you will have to discover for yourself…




  • 200ml black ale
  • 110g very soft butter
  • 280g dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 170g plain flour
  • 14 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda


  • 113g icing sugar, sifted
  • 56g very soft butter
  • 2 tbsp black ale
  • 113g dark chocolate (50-55% cocoa solids)


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C
  2. You will need two 20cm cake tins – 4cm deep – lightly greased, and the bases lined with baking parchment, lightly greased.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together, beating thoroughly for 3-4 minutes until pale and fluffy. Now gradually beat in the eggs, a little at a time, beating well between each addition.
  4. Next, sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda on to a sheet of baking parchment.
  5. Measure the cocoa and put it in a separate bowl, gradually stirring the black ale into it. Carefully and lightly fold into the egg mixture small quantities of the sifted flour alternately with the cocoa-beer liquid. Then, when both have been added, divide the cake mixture equally between the 2 tins and level it out.
  6. Bake the cake in the centre of the oven for 30-35 minutes. The cakes should be flat on top and feel springy and will have shrunk slightly from the side of the tin. Leave them to cool in the tins for 5 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack to cool further, carefully stripping off the base papers.
  7. To make the icing, beat the icing sugar and butter together until blended, then gradually add the black ale, making sure it is thoroughly mixed in after each addition.
  8. Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over hot water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Then, when it’s melted, remove the bowl from the water, and carefully fold the chocolate into the icing mixture.

Recipe adapted from




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