Featured Recipe | Cheryl Herman Francis

This decidedly grown up version of chocolate cake is exactly what the beer lover desires. A soft, decadent crumb is crowned with a fudgy cream cheese icing that says “I Love You” no matter the occasion.

This recipe comes from one of our own — Cheryl Francis Herman. If Cheryl’s motto isn’t “sharing is caring,” we’d be surprised. Her Declaration Chocolate Cake is a crowd favorite around the brewery, so we gave her recipe a run in our test kitchen and can say with confidence that it had us feeling the love.

Beautiful as individual cupcakes or a larger cake, you’ll want to share this recipe with someone you love.


Cupcake batter

  • 1 cup Declaration (or other dark beer)

  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp butter

  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 ¾ sugar

  • 2/3 cup sour cream

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

  • 2 cups all purpose flour

  • 2½ tsp baking soda

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 2-3 cups sifted icing sugar/powdered sugar

  • 1/4 cup butter at room temperature

  • 4 oz cream cheese at room temperature

  • 2-4 tbsp stout and/or coffee liqueur (to taste).

  • *Optional: for chocolate icing, add ⅛ cup cocoa powder

    Note: Double cream cheese icing recipe if a layered cake is desired

Dark Chocolate Stout Cupcakes


1. Preheat oven 350°F and line two 12 count pans with cupcake wrappers. (*Alternate: For a larger cake, Cheryl says she often bakes this in a bundt cake pan with success. Simply grease and flour your pan and increase cooking time to 50-55 minutes).

2. In a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter into the stout.

3. Whisk in the cocoa and sugar and take the saucepan off the heat. Cool to room temperature.

4. In a separate bowl, beat the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla until combined. Once cooled, add to beer mixture.

5. Whisk in the flour and baking soda until combined.

6. Pour the batter into the cupcake wrappers halfway or up to two thirds of the way full, and bake for 12-15 minutes. A clean toothpick inserted in the center will come out mostly dry when cake is set. The middle of the cake may still be slightly wet, but it will firm up as it cools down.

7. Gently remove and allow to cool completely on a wire rack, or leave the cakes to cool in the tin as it is quite a damp cake and could collapse.


Cream Cheese Icing


1. Cream the butter and powdered sugar together until well mixed.

2. Using a food processor or countertop mixer, add the cream cheese in cubes slowly until your icing is the desired thickness. Less cream cheese will result in a thicker frosting.

3. A tablespoon at a time, add beer and/or coffee liqueur and continue mixing for 5 minutes until the icing is light and fluffy. Icing will keeps for up to a week in a sealed container. *Optional: add unsweetened cocoa powder for chocolate icing.

4. Dollop or dip the tops of your cooled cupcakes into the icing. (We ate our leftover icing with strawberries and pretzels and we weren’t mad about it).

Did you give Cheryl’s recipe a try? Let us know what you think by tagging us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. 


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