Toasted porter, peanut and chocolate cake

Toasted porter, peanut and chocolate cake

Danielle Wood

The rich, dark flavour of London’s porter beer pairs very well with the chocolate in this cake and balances out the sweetness of the toasted meringue topping and the peanut buttercream. If you can’t find porter, you can use Guinness or any other stout.

For the cake:


Quantity Ingredient
75g cocoa powder
300ml porter or stout
225g unsalted butter
350g soft light brown sugar
4 medium eggs, lightly beaten
250g plain flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the peanut buttercream:

Quantity Ingredient
120g unsalted butter
150g icing sugar
2 teaspoons smooth peanut butter

For the toasted meringue icing:

Quantity Ingredient
2 medium egg whites
100g caster sugar


Quantity Ingredient
2 x 15cm round, deep cake tins
cake board or stand
piping bag, fitted with 1 cm plain tip
chef ’s blow torch
How to fill and cover a cake with buttercream or chocolate ganache
How to fill a piping bag
How to pipe with buttercream and ganache


  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease the cake tins and line the bases with baking parchment. Place the cocoa powder and porter in a bowl and whisk to combine. In a clean bowl, using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar for 3–4 minutes, or until the mixture is pale and creamy. Add the beaten eggs to the butter mixture a little at a time, beating after each addition until they’re well incorporated.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a clean bowl. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat, followed by the cocoa mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go. Finally, add the remaining flour and beat until just combined. Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared cake tins. Bake in the oven for 40–50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of each cake comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes in their tins, then turn them out on to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
  3. While the cakes are cooling, make the peanut buttercream. Using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, beat the butter for 3–4 minutes until pale and creamy. Add the remaining ingredients and continue to beat for another 2–3 minutes until the buttercream is smooth.
  4. Level the cakes by cutting off the domed tops with a cake leveller or a serrated knife and split each cake in half so that you have 4 layers in total. Fix the bottom layer of the cake to the cake board or stand with a small amount of buttercream. Spread with one third of the buttercream. Place the second layer on top of this and repeat, then repeat again with the third layer, finishing with the final cake layer.
  5. For the toasted meringue icing, place the egg whites in a clean, grease-free bowl. Using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, whisk until stiff peaks form. Add 1 tablespoon of the caster sugar and whisk until stiff and glossy. Add another 2 tablespoons of caster sugar, whisking until stiff and glossy after each addition, then add the remaining sugar gradually, with the beaters still running, until the mixture is stiff and glossy and all of the sugar has been incorporated. Transfer the mixture to the piping bag and pipe on to the cake, toasting the top with a chef’s blow torch to finish.
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