Chocolate Rye Stout Cake With Marshmallow Meringue

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

I mean…I’m not sure what else to say, but look at this stout cake. This is a beautifully damp cake. The rye-stout combo, while bold in its own right, hangs back and lets the chocolate notes take center stage. This combo does double-duty by also keeping overt sweetness at bay. The birth of this cake started with dreams of cream cheese frosting…which is pretty standard issue for a stout cake. That bubble was burst as it made the cake too cloyingly sweet. If I say something is too sweet, it’s too sweet.

Enter marshmallow meringue with a splash of Irish whiskey. Perfect….just perfect. As if she wasn’t winning enough, this stout cake is so easy to throw together. Wet ingredients blended, dry ingredients whisked, a brief introduction and then they’re thrown into a cast iron and baked for just over 30 minutes. She puffs up quite a bit when baking and then lets out a sigh when removed from the oven. She’s got character. I like it.

Quick Notes:

  • I used extra dark unsweetened cocoa powder, but I have also made this stout cake with regular unsweetened cocoa. Go with your preference or with what you have in your cupboard.
  • If you don’t want to use a skillet, I highly recommend a 8 1/2-inch springform pan — it turns out beautiful!!! Make sure you adjust your bake time if you use a different baking vessel.
  • I don’t think you would have read this far if booze wasn’t your thing…but just in case, here are some suggestions… You can replace the stout with fresh-brewed coffee/espresso or more buttermilk and you can completely omit the whiskey and the meringue will still be aces.
  • Let the cake cool completely before you put the meringue on. This is very important or your meringue will melt before it has time to get all George Hamilton-bronzed.
  • During one test I felt frisky and added cardamom. Half of us liked it and half (the kids) did not. If you like cardamom, consider adding 1-2 teaspoons. It adds this freshness to the cake that leans towards minty. Refreshing to some, off-putting to others. Just wanted to note.
  • This stout cake can stand on its own, with no meringue or topping at all. It would be delicious with a scoop of vanilla ice cream? You can have your dessert mixed and baked in under an hour if you do forgo the meringue. Think about it.
  • We loved this so much, we didn’t bother to cut slices (minus the one for the photos). If you scroll to the bottom photo you’ll see that we ate it like a bunch of animals. Ain’t no shame in our game.

***UPDATE…I wanted to update the photos of this stout cake and I have to tell you, one year later, I love it even more. I used a 8 1/5-inch springform pan because I felt like the original 10-inch cast iron skillet didn’t do it justice. I can’t recommend enough getting a kitchen torch…I LOVE the way that meringue turns out with it. Just a suggestion. Enjoy!!! xoxo

Chocolate Rye Stout Cake With Marshmallow Meringue Recipe | Displaced Housewife

Chocolate Rye Stout Cake With Marshmallow Meringue Recipe | Displaced Housewife

Chocolate Rye Stout Cake With Marshmallow Meringue Recipe | Displaced Housewife

Chocolate Rye Stout Cake With Marshmallow Meringue Recipe | Displaced Housewife

Chocolate Rye Stout Cake With Marshmallow Meringue Recipe | Displaced Housewife

Chocolate Rye Stout CakeMarshmallow Meringue 

Serves 9-12


For the Cake

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (see note above)
  • 1 cup dark rye flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 ½ sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (also tested with dark and muscovado…all worked well)
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup shaken buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 cup stout beer, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon real vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)

For the Marshmallow Meringue*

  • 3 large egg whites
  • ¾ cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon whiskey (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

*Meringue topping from this delicious recipe.


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Make sure you have a rack in the middle of the oven. Butter + flour either a 8 1/2-inch springform pan or a ten-inch skillet. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, rye flour, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt.
  3. In an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add your butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat on medium until light and fluffy. Add in your eggs one at a time and mix on low until each one is fully incorporated. Take care to scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl to make sure everything gets mixed in. *This could likewise be done with a bowl and spatula.
  4. Add your buttermilk, stout and vanilla to the butter mixture and mix on low until everything is blended together. Again, make sure to scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl.
  5. Transfer the flour mixture to the mixer and blend on low until just combined. Add in the 1 cup of chocolate chips and mix by hand until fully incorporated. Do not over mix.
  6. Pour the cake batter into the buttered skillet, smoothing out the top a bit. Put into the oven for 35-40 minutes for the skillet or 40-45 minutes for the 8 1/2-inch springform, with a rimmed baking sheet underneath to catch any overflow (I didn’t have any, but it puffed right up to the top of the pan). When done, the cake will look firm but have a slight wiggle beneath the cracked surface. Set the skillet on a cooling rack to cool completely.
  7. To make the topping, clean and dry your electric-stand mixer bowl completely and add the whisk attachment. Add the egg whites and beat the eggs until soft peaks form. Go on medium-high speed and you should get there in under 5 minutes.
  8. Increase the speed and gradually and add the sugar, cream of tartar, whiskey and vanilla until stiff peaks form…I put the sugar in one tablespoon at a time. Don’t over-whisk the egg whites… you want them to be shiny and hold stiff peaks. If you go too far they’ll be stiff but not smooth.
  9. Heat up your broiler. Make sure a rack is about 8 inches from the heat. ***You could also use a kitchen torch for this!!*** Dollop this marshmallow merengue on top of the cake, leaving a one-inch border around the outside of the cake. Put the cake in oven and broil until the tips of the merengue are browned, about one minute.
  10. This cake is best served the day it is made, but if wrapped tightly and stored in the refrigerator it should last another day or two.
{ on my mind }

Want more?!? Sign up for the latest recipes!

* indicates required

Follow DisplacedHousewife Instagram | HuffPost | Pinterest | Twitter | Food52 | Facebook Bloglovin Email [email protected]



Leave a Comment & Rate this Recipe

I love your comments, reviews and questions! If you love this recipe, please rate it when you leave a comment. Star ratings 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 help people discover my recipes. Your support means a lot, I look forward to chatting with you!

Rebecca xox


  • Chi July 31, 2020 at 3:49 AM

    Is there a good substitute for rye flour? I don’t want to buy a whole bag just to make it for this recipe!!

  • DIANE BUKATMAN February 8, 2020 at 12:56 AM

    I believe in overkill…so besides topping the ake with oodles of whiskey meringue, I served it with homemade chocolate porter ice cream.
    Told you I’m all for overkill – LOL!!

  • Jane August 30, 2019 at 3:01 PM

    Can we replace the stout to baileys or any other alcohol type?

    • Rebecca Firth September 19, 2019 at 9:21 PM

      Hi Jane!
      I apologize for the delay in getting back to you. Ummm…I have not tested it with Bailey’s or any other liquid. I would feel confident recommending milk, buttermilk or water…I’m not sure what the Bailey’s would do to the structure/taste. If you do make it that way, I hope you’ll come back and let us know how it goes!
      R xo

      • Will September 23, 2019 at 6:37 PM

        I think that Bailey’s would be undesirable in terms of both proof and flavor. At 17% alcohol (more than twice that of most stout), you’d burn off quite a bit of moisture in the baking.

        The flavor might become a bit medicinal, too. At the risk of revealing too much, I admit to having tasted a glass of Bailey’s that had sat out overnight— the flavor was really unpleasant.

        I’d avoid any distilled liquor or any liqueur and stick with stout or coffee.

  • Karen @ Seasonal Cravings March 17, 2017 at 10:51 PM

    OH my gosh this looks like it has so much flavor and that dark color of the cake! Love it! Wish someone would make this for me!

  • Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen March 16, 2017 at 8:43 PM

    OMG, I just saw you eating this beauty on IG stories and had to come right over to check out the new photos and recipe. Wow! A total stunner Rebecca! The marshmallow meringue on top is killer. Love my kitchen torch! Makes everything look so pretty! Wish I had a piece this very minute!!

  • Bec {Daisy and the Fox} March 20, 2016 at 9:52 PM

    This is all the right kinds of chocolatey goodness! Yummm!
    Looove your creative addition of whisky marshmallow meringue!

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci) March 18, 2016 at 2:21 AM

    What a cake! I love the richness of the dark cocoa and that whiskey meringue is just dreamy!

    • DisplacedHousewife March 18, 2016 at 2:34 PM

      Thank you Laura!!! xoxo

    • Shenaia Looi April 5, 2020 at 11:25 AM

      Hello, may i ask you some questions? I faced with some abnormalities when i baked this cake. Maybe your expertise in baking could help me solve my problem. I message you on IG and commenyed on your post but i didnt get any reply. I guess you are busy with work. Haha. Do get back to me. Thanks!!

      • Rebecca Firth April 5, 2020 at 4:59 PM

        Hi Shenaia! Let me know what the problems were and we can troubleshoot them. Also let me know if you made any adjustments or substitutions with the recipe and what type of pan you baked it in (size and material). Thank you!!! xox

        • Shenaia Looi April 9, 2020 at 2:19 PM

          Hello, the only changes i made that day was i made my own buttermilk. Other than that, i followed the recipe as instructed. My batter curdled up and separated like oil and water when i added the buttermilk to the creamed butter and sugar. I then added the stout and it also didnt smoothen out even after mixing it for some time… That isnt normal right? Thanks for helping an amateur home baker here. XOXO

  • Rebeccah @ Of Hops and Honey March 17, 2016 at 2:54 PM

    Going on the list to make for next week! I have buttermilk to use up and let’s just pretend it’s someone’s birthday… But also, BOOZE. Love it!

    • DisplacedHousewife March 17, 2016 at 5:32 PM

      Yay Rebeccah! I can’t wait for you to make this. I seriously could not stop eating it! And I love booze in baking!! xoxo

  • amanda paa March 16, 2016 at 11:27 PM

    where is the dancing leprechaun emoji? yum! i bet the rye is such a nice partner to the chocolate. and love that you reinvented the frosting instead of going with cream cheese! all the luck to you, xo.

  • Cathy | March 16, 2016 at 12:29 PM

    now that’s the way to eat cake! plates are completely overrated. hooray for stout and whiskey! this cake IS what St. Patrick’s Day is all about. Cheers!!

  • Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen March 16, 2016 at 8:24 AM

    Whoa Rebecca! This cake looks so chocolatey and delicious! Decadent for sure! And that marshmallow whiskey meringue….I can’t stop drooling! Love it!!

    • DisplacedHousewife March 16, 2016 at 1:43 PM

      Oh my god, Mary Ann…it’s so good we can’t stop eating it!! Thank you!! xoxo

  • Khloe W. March 16, 2016 at 4:08 AM

    OMG I absolutely love the merengue topping! I have to try this!