Chocolate Stout Cake

St. Patrick’s Day is in less than a week and as someone with predominantly Irish heritage, I always enjoy celebrating the holiday with some Irish inspired dishes. This week, I’ll be sharing with you some Irish dishes that you can make to celebrate too!

I spotted this recipe, a chocolate stout cake, on one of my new favorite baking blogs, Sweetapolita, a week or so ago and realized I had all the ingredients on hand to make it. Few things go together better than chocolate and Guinness and then add the fact that you can eat them together in cake form. Brilliant!

Start this cake by measuring and cutting parchment paper to line the bottoms of two round cake pans. Then spray the pans with baking spray.

Heat the Guinness and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until the butter melts.

Remove it from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth.

Pour it into a separate bowl and set it aside to cool completely (I put mine in the fridge to speed up the cooling process).

In a medium size bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. In an electric mixer, mix together the eggs and sour cream until well combined.

Add the cooled cocoa mixture and mix until well combined.

Slowly add the dry ingredients and combine on low speed.

Divide the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees.

Once cooled, frost with the whipped vanilla bean frosting.

This cake was delicious. It tasted chocolaty but also had another layer of flavor from the Guinness. There is a visible difference between my cake and the one from Sweetapolita, my cake is lighter in color. I think I may have needed a darker cocoa powder but I couldn’t find any at the grocery store. I may have to start ordering some baking ingredients online in order to get what I truly need.

The frosting was sensational! Creamy and light and the addition of the vanilla bean was a great idea, it looked like vanilla bean ice cream covering the cake. The flavor in the icing paired very well with the cake. All in all, a simple and delicious recipe and perfect for your St. Patty’s Day celebration!

The recipes for both cake and frosting can be found at


Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Marshmallow-Sour Cream Topping and Gingersnap Crust

My in-laws were scheduled to visit a couple weekends ago and typically I plan a nice meal to cook for them. This is always an interesting challenge for me because my mother-in-law is gluten free. I always try to make something that she wouldn’t normally think of. Steak, rice, veggies and ice cream is an example of what I would qualify has a “typical” gluten free meal. The main course is usually simple to come up with as well as the side dishes but dessert is always an exciting challenge.

This time, as I wandered through the grocery store, ideas began to come together in my head. First I thought I’d attempt to find a pre-made gluten free pie crust in the frozen gluten free section and that I’d make a pumpkin pie. I already had pumpkin at home and haven’t eaten any pumpkin pie yet this Fall. Alas, there were no gluten free pie shells to be found. But a box of gluten free ginger snaps caught my eye. Then I thought, “Pumpkin pie with ginger snap crust!” But still wasn’t being wowed by that possibility. My mind then went to cheesecake with ginger snap crust and then pumpkin cheesecake popped in; brilliant! I pulled out my iPhone and did a quick search on my Epicurious app for pumpkin cheesecake and came across a recipe that had a marshmallow and sour cream topping. SOLD. I grabbed the gluten free ginger snaps and headed to the dairy section to get lots and lots of cream cheese.

After arriving home with my booty, I immediately got to work on the cheesecake. For the crust, I put all the ginger snaps into the food processor and pulsed it until they were crumbs.

Add in the melted butter and sugar and mix well.

Pour the crust into the bottom of a springform pan and pat down well going a couple inches up the sides.

Bake the crust for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Take out of the oven and allow to cool while you mix up the filling.

In an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes).

Add the pumpkin and mix well; followed by the eggs, one at a time.

Add the dry ingredients, to make this recipe gluten free, substitute corn starch for the 3 tablespoons of flour.

Add the vanilla and mix well.

Pour the filling into the cooled crust and bake at 350 for 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Chill the cheesecake in the refrigerator overnight.

The following day, make the marshmallow topping by melting miniature marshmallows and milk over low heat.

Stir in the vanilla and salt and then take off the heat and allow it to cool completely.

Once cool, mix the sour cream into the marshmallow mixture until just combined and pour over the top of the cheesecake. Leave about an inch around the edges to give the cheesecake a nice look.

Chill the cake for at least an hour to allow the topping to set.

Slice and serve!

The cheesecake was amazing. The marshmallow and sour cream topping gave it an incredible flavor and added the perfect extra. The pumpkin flavor was delicious and almost the same as pumpkin pie but with the creaminess of the cheesecake. And the gluten free crust? I didn’t notice a difference; the ginger snaps were the perfect compliment to the pumpkin flavors.

Make this cheesecake, you won’t regret it!

Here’s the recipe from

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Sour Cream Marshmallow Topping
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 1 hour 30 mins
Total time: 2 hours 30 mins
Serves: 12
  • For crust:
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs (about 9 ounces)
  • 1 cup pecans (about 3 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • For filling:
  • 4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • For topping:
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows or large marshmallows cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  1. Crust:
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides with nonstick spray. Grind cookie crumbs, pecans, brown sugar, and ginger in processor until nuts are finely ground. Add butter; using on/off turns, process to blend. Transfer mixture to prepared pan; press onto bottom and 2 inches up sides of pan. Bake crust until set and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Cool completely.
  3. Filling:
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in pumpkin. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating on low speed to incorporate each addition. Add flour, spices, and salt; beat just to blend. Beat in vanilla. Transfer filling to cooled crust. Bake until filling is just set in center and edges begin to crack (filling will move slightly when pan is gently shaken), about 1 hour 20 minutes. Cool 1 hour. Run knife around sides of pan to release crust. Chill cheesecake uncovered in pan overnight.
  5. Topping:
  6. Stir marshmallows and milk in medium saucepan over low heat until marshmallows are melted. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt. Cool marshmallow mixture to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
  7. Add sour cream to marshmallow mixture; fold gently just to blend. Pour topping over cheesecake and spread evenly, leaving 1/2 inch uncovered around edges. Chill to set topping, at least 1 hour. DO AHEAD: Cheesecake can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.