Saturday, December 19, 2015

Brooklyn blackout cake (chocolate stout cake with chocolate pudding buttercream)

When it comes time to prepare for our holiday dinners, most people look to recipes they only break out once a year—special traditions, imbued with seasonal ingredients and flavors (and a plethora of butter and sugar), that one would be ill-advised to make more than a couple times per year. For example—my mother’s tiramisu, a glaringly inauthentic version made with Cool Whip and cream cheese and vanilla pudding powder that is so irresistibly delicious it should probably be regulated by the FDA. Or that perennial bundt cake which might not be as addictive but is still a threat to one’s ability to fit in one’s pants.

In this cake, I think I’ve found another tradition. 

As evidenced by this sexy closeup.

Brooklyn blackout cake originated in, as one would expect, Brooklyn, at Ebinger’s Bakery, inspiring a “rabid following among Brooklynites” for its layers of rich chocolate cake and pudding-filled frosting. Now that the bakery is no longer in existence, chocolate lovers everywhere must take spatula in hand and set out to make our own interpretations.

I got this recipe from the Ovenly cookbook, written by the founders of yet another popular Brooklyn bakery, so I suppose it’s pretty authentic. This variation includes a shit-ton of (butter, yes—sugar, yes) stout, adding a little booziness to the cake, which might not be in the original cake...but I’m not too concerned. Then again, if you don’t want booze in your blackout cake, I’m not sure how you’d substitute for 1 1/2 cups of stout. So there’s that.

Just make sure the brand of stout you’re using is vegan. Guinness, for example, is not vegan. Check out this link for a handy list of vegan beers (you might wanna bookmark that).

These photos don't do this cake justice.

The pudding buttercream is also a notable component. Just use some homemade vegan pudding, like I did, and mix up that shit with some margarine and powdered sugar. And some other stuff. And make sure you beat it for a looooong time—the result is worth the wait 100x over. You get this incredibly light, fluffy buttercream with an amazing texture. Totally perfect in every way.

The finished product is a massive cake with a 9-inch diameter and four layers, with a thick layer of buttercream sandwiched between each one. You can easily feed a small party’s worth of hungry chocolate-lovers with this cake, making it the perfect dessert for a winter gathering. I imagine it would be a hit wherever it went.

Anyway. Here’s the recipe.


Brooklyn blackout cake (chocolate stout cake with chocolate pudding buttercream)

Adapted from Ovenly by Agatha Kulaga and Erin Patinkin

Serves 12 to 16, easily


Chocolate stout cake

21 grams • flaxseed meal • 3 tablespoons

135 grams • warm water • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon

366 grams • vegan stout • 1 1/2 cups

224 grams • coconut oil • 1 cup

112 grams • vegan butter • 1/2 cup

120 grams • Dutch-process cocoa powder • 1 1/2 cups

408 grams • all-purpose flour • 3 cups

550 grams • granulated sugar • 2 3/4 cups

9 grams • baking soda • 2 heaping teaspoons

9 grams • salt • 1 1/2 teaspoons

228 grams • vegan yogurt • 1 cup

Chocolate pudding buttercream

224 grams • vegan butter, room temperature • 1 cup

600 grams • powdered sugar • 5 cups

40 grams • Dutch-process cocoa powder • 1/2 cup

2 grams • salt • 1/4 teaspoon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9-inch round baking pans and line the bottoms with parchment.

Combine flaxseed and water in a small bowl and let stand until thickened.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine stout, coconut oil, and butter and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and add cocoa powder; whisk until smooth. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In a separate, large bowl, whisk together vegan yogurt and flaxseed mixture. Add stout and butter mixture to yogurt mixture and whisk to combine. Add dry ingredients and combine with a rubber spatula until smooth.

Divide batter evenly between baking pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Wait 10 minutes, then transfer cakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make pudding buttercream, start by beating vegan butter in the bowl of an electric stand mixer until smooth. Add powdered sugar, a bit at a time, until 360 grams • 3 cups have been added. With mixer on low speed, spoon in pudding; beat to combine. Spoon in remaining 240 grams • 2 cups of powdered sugar as well as cocoa powder and salt. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 3 to 4 minutes, until the frosting is emulsified and very fluffy.

To assemble cake, start by leveling off cake layers with a serrated knife. Reserve the scraps to use as decoration, like I did, or eat them (as I also did). Divide both layers in half lengthwise so you have four thinner layers. Fill and frost the cake with chocolate pudding buttercream. Decorate with crumbles of cake scraps. Slice and serve.


Now that's what I call a healthy slice.

For more extravagant, holiday-ready layer cakes, click these links.

Peanut butter chocolate layer cake. And it’s gluten-free, so basically anyone can eat it!

Chocolate layer cake with chili and coconut. For more adventurous chocoholics.

Banana caramel cake with candied pistachios. No chocolate in this one, but still good.


  1. June, my oldest's birthday is on the 27th. I'm going to see if he wants this for his birthday cake! It looks like a winner!

    1. Yayy! I hope you do try this, it would be perfect for pretty much any celebration :) Let me know how you like it!!

  2. Holy chocolate! This cake looks amazing! Love all those layers.

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