This maple stout cake combines some of my most favorite things: maple syrup, beer, mascarpone, and dark chocolate. That might seem like a weird combo for a cake, but trust me, it’s divine. This cake is pretty close to perfect, and it’s my new go-to cake for fall!
If you’ve been around here for a while, you won’t be surprised that I’m not into super-sweet sweets. I don’t care for baked goods that overwhelm your palate with just sugar. It feels like a funny thing to admit as a baker, but more often than not I don’t love a lot of traditional sweet treats.
But here’s the thing. In my effort to balance out the sugary-ness of many baked goods, I’ve tried to figure out ways to reinvent a lot of recipes and experiment with different flavors and ingredients so that sweet factor is tamed. I’m always looking for a way to break up sugary-ness. I try to find some balance of salty, sweet, tart, or bitter. And you know, I think I’ve become a better baker because of it.
This maple stout cake checks those boxes.
Sweet, rich maple syrup and slightly salty & bitter stout make a cake that’s gorgeously balanced. And honestly, this sponge on its own is a winner. It’s so simple that the batter is stirred together in a saucepan, no mixer needed! The Guinness gives the sponge dark, rich color with lovely yeasty, chocolate, and coffee notes.
The mascarpone cream frosting and dark chocolate ganache take this maple stout cake over the top…in a very good way.
After the sponge is cooled, I smooth on a thin layer of the most delicious maple mascarpone cream frosting. To make this frosting, whipped cream is gently folded into whipped mascarpone. This combination is perfectly creamy, rich and fluffy and reminds me of good tiramisu. The maple syrup adds a bit of sweetness with some depth of flavor. Perfect!
If you’re a novice in the world of cake decorating, this maple stout cake is a great place to start! The sponge isn’t crumbly or delicate and the frosting is smooth and easy to spread. And your frosting job doesn’t need to be perfect because it’s a scraped cake, which means it’s very forgiving. No fussy smoothing and edging here.
Lastly, a dark chocolate ganache is poured on top and drizzles down the sides of the maple stout cake. The chocolate is the the perfect final touch, the slight bitterness balancing out the rest of the flavors. The outcome is a layer cake that’s full of rich, fall flavors but far from sweet!
If you liked this recipe for Maple Stout Layer Cake with Mascarpone Cream Frosting & Dark Chocolate Ganache Drizzle, you might also like:
Maple Stout Layer Cake with Mascarpone Cream Frosting & Dark Chocolate Ganache Drizzle
This maple stout cake is a simple, delicious fall bake. Maple, beer, mascarpone, and dark chocolate combine to make a cake that's full of amazing flavor and texture.
Maple Stout Cake
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1 cup stout beer (I used Guinness)
- 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 large eggs, beaten together
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Mascarpone Cream Frosting
- 8 oz. mascarpone
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1 1/4 cup heavy cream
Dark Chocolate Ganache Drizzle
- 1/3 cup dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 pinch kosher salt
For the Maple Stout Cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and line two 8" round cake pans with parchment.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. In a medium/large sauce pan (big enough for ALL the ingredients to be mixed in), combine the butter and stout over medium heat until the butter is completely melted. While the butter is melting, combine the sour cream, maple syrup, eggs and vanilla in small bowl and set aside.
Once the butter has melted, stir the sugars into the stout/butter mixture. Stir with a rubber spatula until completely dissolved. Once the sugars are dissolved, remove from the heat and stir in the sour cream mix.
Once everything is combined, whisk in the dry ingredients until smooth.
Pour into baking pans. Bake for 33-37 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire cooling rack. Remove the cakes from their pans and allow to cool completely.
Mascarpone Cream Frosting & Dark Chocolate Ganache Drizzle:
Once the cakes are cooled completely and you're ready to serve the cake, make the frosting and the ganache drizzle. (I wouldn't recommend frosting this cake more than an hour or two before you're ready to serve it.)
Put the finely chopped chocolate in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the 1/3 cup heavy cream over low heat until it just starting to steam--don't let it simmer! Pour the cream over the chocolate, sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt, and cover with plastic wrap. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth.
In a small mixing bowl, with an electric hand mixer on low, whip the heavy cream until it's almost whipped to firm peaks. Don't over whip it--you'd rather it be under whipped than over!
With a rubber spatula, stir about 1/3 of the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture. Fold the remaining whipped cream gently into the mascarpone.
In a medium mixing bowl, with an electric hand mixer on low, combine the mascarpone, maple syrup, powdered sugar and the salt until smooth.
If your cakes domed a little bit while baking, level them with a serrated knife or cake slicer. Smear a little bit of frosting in the center of your cake board or cake plate and place the first layer on top. This helps keep the cake still while icing.
Cover this first layer with frosting. Stack the second layer on top, bottom of the cake facing up. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the rest of the mascarpone cream. Gently scraping off the excess to achieve the 'naked cake' effect.
Transfer the slightly cooled ganache to a liquid measuring cup. I find that the best way to get good drips is to use the spout of a measuring cup. Slowly pour the ganache around the circumference of the cake, gently pouring a little more closely to the edge wherever you want it to drip down the side of the cake. Once you've made it all around the edge of the cake, pour the rest of the ganache into the middle of the cake. Using an offset spatula, gently smooth and spread the ganache from the middle outwards until it meets the rim of ganache on the edge of the cake.
Allow the ganache to set, then slice and enjoy!