Chocolate Beer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

I recently made this Chocolate Beer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting as a birthday cake for my youngest son, who is a professional craft beer brewer and beer meister!  The interesting flavor of this moist cake combines the flavor of chocolate along with the flavor of maraschino cherries, so yummy! 

Don’t even get me started on the cream cheese deliciousness that covers the top of the cake, your taste buds will be working overtime!  Beer lovers will find this cake so much fun! 

I credit my German heritage for my love of anything beer!!  But my favorite part about this particular chocolate cake recipe is that it comes from my mom’s recipe box, and reminds me of all the delicious desserts that she always made for us!

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Ingredients in the Chocolate Beer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Did I mention the amazing texture this yummy cake has?  Creamy and crunchy and cherries, oh my!

Dry Ingredients

The dry ingredients in this beer cake recipe are pretty simple!  You’ll need 2 ¼ cups of flour, 2 cups sugar, and 2 teaspoons baking soda.  That’s it!

Wet Ingredients

This cake recipe calls for 2/3 cup butter, 2 large eggs, ounces of melted bitter chocolate, ¾ cup buttermilk, and ¼ cut maraschino cherry juice.

Using Beer in Baking

Before we talk about any other ingredients in this sweet dessert, let’s talk about the beer!

You’ll need 1 cup of beer to make this recipe. You’ll want to make sure the beer isn’t outdated, and is at room temperature to use it in the recipe.

Beer works as a leveling agent in baked goods like cakes and adds that extra lift.  This makes the moist crumb cake rise which makes it less dense and improves the texture of it.  This is the science part, but dang, beer just adds great flavor too!

You can really use any of your favorite beer for this recipe. 

a flight of beers

A porter beer will add even more of a chocolate deliciousness to this recipe, while a stout beer will add a hint of coffee flavor.  You could even use English IPAs, ales, or pilsners.  Any of these would be wonderful choices for this recipe.  You can purchase either of these types of beer at your local grocery store or liquor store. 

A Guinness beer cake would be delicious as well!!

glass of guinness beer

My mom always just used whatever beer there was in the fridge.  So that’s what I did too when I made this recipe.  I had a lager on hand, so that was the type of beer I used.  It would be fun experimenting with different beers each time you make this recipe!! 

I think the next time I make this cake I’ll use one of the porter beers that my son brews, that’d be super fun and chocolatey!! 

sawmill brewing company logo

Other Ingredients

You’ll need two other ingredients that you don’t want to miss out on!  They add the amazing crunchy, chewy texture in the center of the cake!  Add 10 ounces of drained maraschino cherries and ½ cup chopped nuts. 

I love to add walnuts to compliment the flavors in this cake, but other nuts like pecans or almonds would be lovely too!  I think I’d like to be a cake tester of different versions of this cake, lol!

Making the Chocolate Beer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Before you begin mixing up the cake batter, the first thing you’ll want to do is go ahead and measure out the 1 cup of beer into a measuring cup so the carbonation can settle a bit before adding it to the batter.

beer in a measuring cup

Preheat your oven to 350° F. 

Also, you’ll want to decide the type of cake pan to bake up this delicious chocolate beer cake!  I used just a regular 8” x 13” cake pan. 

But you could also bake this cake in a bundt pan and make it into a bundt cake.  You could also use two smaller 8” or 9” round cake pans and make this recipe into layer cakes, with the bottom layer of cake the middle layer frosting and the top layer cake again with frosting to finish it all off!

Spray your cake pan with non-stick spray, or grease the pan and dust it with flour.

can of no-stick cooking spray

Mixing up the Cake Batter

You’ll want to gather a large bowl to mix the batter in.  Because this is my mom’s recipe I couldn’t help but use her beautiful tulip bowls to mix up this cake!

tulip bowl and electric mixer

Also, you’ll need either an electric mixer or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.  A rubber spatula will also be needed to scrape the sides of the bowl as you mix up the batter!

In a small bowl you’ll mix up the flour and baking soda, either by sifting them or with a fork, and set these dry ingredients aside.

flour mixture

In the large bowl add in the sugar and softened butter.  Cream these two items together.

Add the Chocolate and Eggs

Melt 2 ounces of bittersweet Baker’s chocolate in either a small saucepan over low heat or in the microwave.

melted chocolate

If you don’t have Baker’s chocolate you can substitute it with 6 tablespoons cocoa powder plus 2 tablespoons softened butter to replace the fat in the Baker’s chocolate.

Add the melted chocolate and the large eggs to the creamed butter and sugar, and mix on medium speed until everything is mixed together well.  Scrape the sides of the bowl with the spatula as you go.

Add the Flour Mixture and Liquid Ingredients

To the mixed ingredients slowly add in the flour mixture (in three equal parts) alternately with the buttermilk and beer (added in equal parts also), mixing on low speed between each addition. 

Continue to mix at medium speed until all ingredients have been added and well mixed.

cake batter

Lastly, stir in the cherries, cherry juice and the nuts.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake at 350° for about 40 minutes. 

Your cake will be done when a wooden skewer or toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.  If this is your first time making this cake allow it to bake the entire 40 minutes before opening the oven door and testing for doneness, or your cake could sink in the middle.  We won’t talk about how I know this, lol!!  Patience is a virtue!  

Let the cake cool on a wire rack (cooling rack) before frosting it.

Making Cream Cheese Frosting

In a medium bowl mix together 8 ounces of softened cream cheese, 1 stick of softened butter, 1 pound confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar), and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.

Use your electric mixer or stand mixer to mix up the frosting.

Take your cooled cake and spread the frosting on the whole thing. 

If you want to add a bit of fun you can use red sprinkles on top to add a bit of color.

serving of chocolate beer cake with cream cheese frosting

If you don’t have all the ingredients for the cream cheese frosting, you could also top the cake with cool whip, vanilla ice cream, or even vanilla buttercream frosting.

Who said you can’t have your whole cake and drink it too, lol!!  Cheers!!!

For other delicious dessert recipes check out my Gingerbread Cake with Caramel Sauce or my New York Italian Style Cheesecake!

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Chocolate Beer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

The interesting flavor of this moist cake combines the flavor of chocolate along with the flavor of maraschino cherries, so yummy!  Don’t even get me started on the cream cheese deliciousness that covers the top of the cake, your taste buds will be working overtime!   
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: German
Keyword: baking with beer, beer cake, beer dessert, chocolate cake, chocolate cherry cake, fun birthday cake, maraschino cherry cake
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 555kcal

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  • 2/3 cup butter softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 ounces bittersweet baking chocolate
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup beer room temperature
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 10 ounces maraschino cherries
  • 1/4 cup maraschino cherry juice
  • 1/2 cup nuts chopped

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 stick butter 1/2 cup softened
  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and melted chocolate. Mix well. Sift together flour and soda. Add to creamed mixture alternately with beer and buttermilk. Add cherries, cherry juice and nuts. Mix well.
  • Pour into greased and floured 9 x 13 cake pan. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake before frosting.
  • Cream all ingredients of the frosting together. Spread on cake.
  • Enjoy!

Your Own Private Notes


Calories: 555kcal | Carbohydrates: 80g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 76mg | Sodium: 326mg | Potassium: 168mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 61g | Vitamin A: 664IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @lakegirlquilts or tag #lakegirlquilts!


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