Cakes Chocolate Desserts

Tall, Dark, and Stout Chocolate Layer Cake

February 1, 2013

You may have noticed it’s been a little skimpy around So How’s It Taste for a few months. There’s good reason for that and today’s the perfect day for all kinds of celebrating! That’s why I’m showing off this Tall, Dark, and Stout Chocolate Layer Cake! Before I get to this deliciously amazing cake, I’ve got some explaining to do. A few months back, I was laid off from my job of almost 7 years. Laid. Off. That has never happened to me and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. My world stopped. I was afraid to buy Oreos. I didn’t need Oreos and I suddenly couldn’t afford them if there was going to be an end to my income. Cue meltdown in the grocery store. Cue meltdown for days actually. And cue the amazing support from my mom and my friends. I am one very lucky girl.

Fast forward to a month later, and my company that just laid me off, offered me my job back. Trust me, I wanted to tell them no. I wanted to tell them lots of things in not so nice language, but I’m not a risk-taker. I’m a planner and any job was better than no job, especially around the holidays. I stayed and I wasn’t happy. But that’s not where this story ends! Yesterday was my last day at that company. A few weeks ago, I accepted a job offer for a new adventure! Soon I’ll be starting a new chapter with an amazing group of people. It was bittersweet leaving my old company (and I’m missing my friends there already), but I am so excited to be joining such a great group and looking forward to my first day!

Not only do I have a new job to look forward to, but today is my birthday AND it’s snowing in Nashville! So you can tell why today is the perfect day for celebrating…and for cake!

Tall, Dark, and Stout Chocolate Layer Cake

So, how’s it taste?

It looks like it would be over-the-top rich, right? It’s not. It’s perfect. The stout is subtle, but you can definitely taste it and it works wonders enhancing the devil’s food cake. I thought the frosting would be thick and rich, but it’s actually quite fluffy and airy. It thickens in the fridge, but you’ll want it to be at room temperature so you can spread it easily over the layers. It’s almost like a mousse and so light, that it’s dangerous! I felt like I could eat several pieces in one sitting! The touch of the caramel drizzle was just enough sweet for balance. I like how this cake is messy and dripping with caramel, too. I topped it with Rolos candies cut in half, but any chocolate/caramel garnish would work. Chocolate curls would be great, too. Whether your celebrating a new job, a birthday, or just the fact that it’s another day and you need chocolate in it…this cake is for you!

Tall, Dark, and Stout Chocolate Layer Cake

by Betty Crocker
serves 16


1 box devil's food cake mix
1 1/4 cups stout beer
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs

12 oz. semisweet baking chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup butter

6 tbsp. caramel topping

Rolos, cut in half


1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Grease bottoms only of three 9- or 8-inch round cake pans. Make cake batter as directed on box, using cake mix, beer, oil and eggs. Pour about 1 1/2 cups batter into each pan.

2. Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans. Cool completely.

3. Meanwhile, for frosting, place chocolate in medium mixing bowl. In 2-quart saucepan, heat whipping cream and butter to just boiling over medium heat. Pour cream mixture over chocolate; stir with whisk until melted and smooth. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour; stir. Refrigerate about 1 to 1 1/2 hours more or until spreading consistency.

4. Place 1 cake layer on serving plate. Frost top of layer with 1 cup of the frosting. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons caramel topping. Top with another cake layer, 1 cup of the frosting and remaining 3 tablespoons caramel topping. Top with remaining cake layer and frosting. Garnish with Rolos, if desired.

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  • Shannon February 1, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Happy Birthday!!! That cake looks stupid good! Congrats on your new adventure!

    • Leah February 1, 2013 at 4:19 pm

      Thank you! I’m all kinds of excited!

  • Julie @ Table for Two February 1, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    what a story! i would’ve told off that company too if they wanted me back. like maybe they should’ve worked out numbers and everything better before they laid you off and caused such sadness!! but i’m glad you’re finding a new adventure 🙂 🙂 happy birthday! we’re 1 bday day apart! hehe 🙂 mine was yesterday! i hope it’s a wonderful one!

    • Leah February 1, 2013 at 4:20 pm

      Thanks, Julie! We are one b’day apart! 😉 Yep, I’m really happy to be moving on to much greener pastures!

  • ErinsFoodFiles February 1, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    Oh wow, I had no idea! Well good luck on the new job!

    • Leah February 1, 2013 at 4:21 pm

      Thanks, Erin! I didn’t tell too many people, but thankfully it worked out. Happy to be moving on!

  • angela@spinachtiger February 1, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    I love your cake. I’m excited for you new adventure. I had no idea. Isn’t it amazing that we live so vulnerable that in swift kick, we can’t afford oreos. A big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you.

    • Leah February 2, 2013 at 9:15 am

      Yep, funny how things can change so quickly! Thanks for the birthday wishes, Angela! Good to see you the other night!

  • Deb February 1, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    Happy Birthday from North Dakota! Can’t wait to make this cake.

    • Leah February 2, 2013 at 9:14 am

      Thank you!