Victory is near! Chocolate Porter Cake recipe and a blog

Victory is near! Chocolate Porter Cake recipe and a blog

Welcome the the inaugural post of “I bake, you brew”! I can’t wait to share all my adventures in crafting cake, cookies, breads and many other delicious foods with beer and coffee!

My first post would be remiss not to begin with the recipe that started it all, the recipe that gave life and purpose to this idea: Victory at Sea Chocolate Cake with Baileys Buttercream Frosting.

I’m a fan of context so here’s how the recipe came about:

I’ve always loved baking so for any holiday in college I made something, it was a requirement. So for St. Paddy’s one year, I wanted to make Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes I found on Pinterest. They were good of course, just not great and at the end I was left with 5½ of the 6 Guinness’ I bought and was never going to drink – I just don’t like it 🙁

But then, Ballast Point came up with the perfect pair for my cupcake – Victory at Sea! It’s such a great beer and the flavor is so amazing that my second thought upon tasting it was that I needed to make cupcakes with it – like yesterday! I got myself a 22 oz bottle, dug up my old recipe and got to work.

Oh dear were they good. Moist, chocolatey, beer-y basically perfect. Then I whipped up my favorite frosting recipe and added some Baileys (since why not?) and I never looked back. I make these cupcakes for any reason, any season and I’ve never been disappointed. For this post, I made a cake because this a very special occasion! Cupcake and cake recipes are below! Test out the recipe with your favorite stout or porter and let me know how it goes in the comments!

Chocolate Porter cake with ganache center and Baileys buttercream frosting

Victory at Sea Cake with Baileys Buttercream Frosting

(adapted from The Culinary Chronicles and Liv for Cake)

Makes: 1 – 6 in layer cake or 24 cupcakes

Victory at Sea Cake:

  • 1 Cup Victory at Sea (or your favorite Stout/Porter Beer)
  • 1 Cup Unsalted Butter
  • ¾ Cup Quality Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 2 Cups Granulated Sugar
  • 1½  Teaspoons Baking Soda
  • ¾ Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • ⅔ Cup Sour Cream


  • 7oz Dark Chocolate, chopped
  • Scant 1/2 cup Double (Heavy) Cream
  • Scant 1/2 cup Victory at Sea (or your favorite Stout/Porter Beer)

Baileys Buttercream:

  • 1/2 cup egg whites (I needed 3)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter cubed, room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp Baileys Irish Cream
  • 2 cups Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans (optional)

Victory at Sea Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line three 6 inch cake tins with butter and parchment paper liners.*
  2. Put the butter and the beer in a sauce pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
  3. Remove from heat and whisk in cocoa powder until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt together.
  5. In a mixer bowl, beat the eggs and the sour cream together.
  6. Add the cooled beer/butter/cocoa mixture and beat to combine.
  7. Add the flour mixture and beat briefly just to combine.
  8. Using a rubber spatula, fold the batter until completely combined, making sure to incorporate little pockets of flour on the bottom so that the batter is of equal consistency everywhere.
  9. Fill the cake tins evenly and bake in the preheated oven for 30 – 40 minutes, until the cake pulls away from the sides and the center springs back when touched or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.** Cool completely to room temperature then place in freezer while the ganache and frosting are prepared.


  1. To make the ganache, place the chopped chocolate in a heat proof bowl. Heat the cream and stout together until just boiling then pour over the chocolate.
  2. Leave to stand for 5 minutes then stir until smooth.
  3. Leave the ganache to cool while the frosting is prepared.

Baileys Buttercream:

  1. Place egg whites and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk until combined.***
  2. Place bowl over a hot water bath on the stove and whisk constantly until the mixture is no longer grainy to the touch (approx. 3mins).
  3. Place bowl on your stand mixer and whisk on med-high until the meringue is stiff and cooled (the bowl is no longer warm to the touch (approx. 5-10mins)).
  4. Switch to paddle attachment. Slowly add cubed butter and mix until smooth.
  5. Add Baileys. Whip until smooth.****


  1. Using a 3 in cookie cutter, remove the center of one cake layer.
  2. Place the first layer of cake on a stand or serving plate. Spread a thin layer of ganache and put in the fridge to cool 5 minutes.  Once the ganache is set, top with buttercream.
  3. Put the cake layer with the center removed on top of the first layer. Fill with ganache. Place in fridge 10 min to let the ganache set and cover with a layer of buttercream.
  4. Place the remaining layer on top and crumb coat the cake. Chill for 20mins.
  5. Frost the cake with an offset spatula and smooth sides. Pipe excess ganache around the edge of the cake to drip down the sides and flood the top of the cake.  Make swirls of buttercream (Wilton 1M tip) around the top edge. Add chocolate covered espresso beans around the bottom and on each frosting swirl if desired.


* For cupcakes, preheat oven to 350°F and line cupcake pan with liners. Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 of the way if you want flatter cupcakes and 3/4 if you want domed. Bake for about 17 minutes

**The cakes have a tendency to fall a bit in the center if the oven door is opened too often or the cake is taken out of the oven too early. This batter keeps the cake very moist so err on the side of full doneness to make sure you have a gorgeous, even layer cake.

***Ensure there is NO trace of egg yolks in your whites and that your mixer bowl and whisk is completely grease free or your meringue won’t stiffen.

****The buttercream may look like it’s curdled at some point. Keep mixing until it is completely smooth.


Links to inspiration recipes: