Skip to main content

Chocolate Stout Candy Cane Cake & Christmas Beers

Chocolate Stout Candy Cane Cake


Chocolate Stout Candy Cane Cake

"Christmas Beer" is a bit of a broad term. It’s isn’t really a style since brewers are free to bring anything from an IPA to a barrel aged stout to the holiday beer table. It’s more of an opportunity. An opportunity for beer people to do get creative, draw inspiration from the season, and make a beer that’s infused with Holiday Cheer (specific, right?).

Often the beers that earn that cheerful Holiday label are malty, slightly higher ABV (alcohol by volume), low hop and include some of those spices we tend to see in Christmas food. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves are frequently power players in Christmas Ales. Chocolate and chestnuts often make an appearance as well.

I have a few for you to seek out, but this list is in no way a "best of" compilation, a Mix Tape of Christmas beers, or a final say in all things boozy Christmas. It’s just a jumping off point, some beers to get you started on your Christmas Beer Quest. If you have a favorite, please chime in. That’s what the comment section is for.

Christmas Ales

12 Beers of Christmas

  1. Schlafly Christmas Ale Categorized as a Winter Warmer ale, this is a malty, low hop, 8% ABV flavor treat. It has notes of juniper, cardamom, cinnamon, and oranges. Count yourself among the fortunate if you happen to be in the limited distribution zone of the Schlafly brewery.
  2. Great Lakes Christmas ale  This award-winning Christmas Ale seems to have a bit of a cult following. Another malty Winter Warmer with spiced notes along with some gingerbread, caramel and a 7.5% abv. This will keep you warm on a snow day.
  3. Port Brewing Santa’s Little Helper Not to be confused with those other beers by the same name, this Helper is a 10% ABV Russian Imperial Stout with notes of cocoa, coffee and dark cherries. There is also a barrel aged version if you’re lucky enough to get your grubby paws on it.
  4. New Belgium Accumulation White IPA This is a style you don’t often see show up to the Christmas Ale party. A hopped up white IPA with bright notes of citrus, tropical fruit and sweet malt to remind you that winter won’t last forever.
  5. Deschutes Jubelale  A yuletide celebration in a bottle. This dark and malty ale has notes of chicory, spice and dried fruit. It’s the perfect beer to wash down that fruitcake. And make you look forward to eating fruitcake.
  6. Bison Gingerbread Ale This organic brewery out of the Bay Area is just the type of people you want to root for. Especially when they make a beer like this. It’s a dark beer with notes of molasses, dark malts, spices and of course gingerbread cookies.
  7. The Bruery 12 Days of Christmas Series Those mad brewing geniuses over at The Bruery have embarked on a 12-year Christmas ale event that results in one new 12 Days of Christmas themed beer every year. They are halfway through the quest, releasing their Six Geese A Laying Belgian Strong Dark ale just last month. It’s malty as well as bright with notes of cranberries, cherries, citrus, and plums.
  8. Rogue Santa’s Private Reserve A variation of their Saint Rogue Red, this hopped up red ale with a beautiful malt finish and some nice spice notes is a great beer to pair with your Christmas dinner.
  9. Avery Old Jubilation An Old English Ale with notes of toffee, mocha, hazelnuts and lots of malt. This drinkable treat is worth the wait each year.
  10. Boulevard Nutcracker Ale With lots of malt, molasses, brown sugar and winter spices, this is a beer that will keep you warm by that winter fire.
  11. Alaskan Winter Ale An Old English ale brewed up where they know a thing or two about cold winters. This winter beer has both a malty richness and crisp brightness with notes of spruce, cherries, and honey.
  12. Souther Tier 2XMAS It’s a Swedish Christmas in a bottle. Brewed with figs, orange peels and spices this is a beer that brings a European style Christmas to a beer bottle. This is a great one to pair with sausages or strong cheese.

Chocolate Stout Candy Cane Cake2

Chocolate Stout Candy Cane Cake


For the Cake:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • optional: ¼ tsp peppermint extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • ¾ cup stout or porter beer
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 2/3 cups cake flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt

For the frosting:

  • 10 wt oz dark chocolate
  • 1/3 cup stout
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup crushed candy canes


  • Preheat oven to 325.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter and both kinds of sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the eggs and vanilla extract (peppermint if using) and beat until well combined.
  • In a microwave safe bowl add the chocolate chips and the stout. Microwave on high for thirty seconds, stir and repeat until the chocolate and beer are well combined.
  • Add the chocolate to the butter and mix until well combined, stopping to scrape the bottom of the mixer to insure the butter and chocolate are well combined. Stir in the buttermilk.
  • In a small bowl mix together the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder and salt.
  • Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the wet ingredients and stir until combined.
  • Pour the batter into a large loaf pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
  • Bake at 325 for 65-75 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes back with just a few crumbs attached.
  • Allow to cool before removing from pan.
  • To make the frosting add the chocolate, cream and beer to a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds, stir and repeat until melted and smooth.
  • Allow the frosting to cool for about 5 minutes and then pour gently over the cake.
  • Sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Chill until the frosting has set, about 30 minutes.

I made this once with the peppermint extract and once without. I have a well documented aversion to mint, so I preferred it without. But if you want to reiterate the Candy Cane flavor and like mint, adding it is a good option.


Chocolate Stout Candy Cane Cake3

Related Posts

Similar Articles


Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar December 5, 2013 um 3:38 am

I want every single one of those Christmas beers. OH MY!!


Tieghan December 5, 2013 um 6:08 am

So festive!! I love your photos!


Bryan Guido Hassin December 5, 2013 um 6:09 am

Have you had the Gingerbread Stout from Buffalo Bayou Brewery? They’re a relatively new craft brewery in Houston and this is now my favorite Christmas beer of all time – it would be a great fit for some of your recipes!


Sophia @ NY Foodgasm December 5, 2013 um 7:18 am

The recipe is killer and gorgeous and WOAH I gotta add these all on Untapped!! Are you on untapped Jackie?


Sophia @ NY Foodgasm December 5, 2013 um 7:27 am

Ohhhhh BTW Jackie I made your Beer Brined Turkey with 2x Mas!! You rock! I LOVED it! I recently posted it on my blog, the pics were not the BEST, because I had hungry guests, but I mention you and link to you! You have definitely inspired me this year! So glad I discovered you!


Jolene December 5, 2013 um 7:54 am

I live in St. Louis and I absolutely LOVE Schlafly. Especially their winter beers and porters!


Michael Fairfax December 5, 2013 um 11:52 am

I love anything from Lost Abbey. I just had their Gift of the Magi at Ladyface Ale in Agoura, where I someday hope to see you do a beer pairing dinner. Other than that, I have a Christmas Eve tradition of having a Lambic by the fireplace waiting for Santa.


Stanley December 5, 2013 um 1:00 pm

Some of my winter favorites are:
Our Special Ale by Anchor – very interesting spices blended into a dark malty brew, varies slightly every year. Often has perceptible juniper
Winter Solstice by Anderson Valley – also spiced, but in a very different (sweeter) way than Anchor
Celebration by Sierra Nevada – a very hoppy staple over the holidays
Wassail by Full Sail – another very hoppy beer with a much bigger malt backbone than Sierra’s

Happy holidays!


Consuelo @ Honey & Figs December 6, 2013 um 7:09 am

This cake looks beyond scrumptious, and your pictures are gorgeous! Pinned!
Have a lovely weekend c:


addie | culicurious December 6, 2013 um 1:37 pm

This cake looks divine! 🙂 And thanks for the beer recommendations. That Shlafly sounds amazing, too!


Derik December 6, 2013 um 10:58 pm

I just made a chocolate stout sourdough bread and after seeing this I think the last stout in my refrigerator will have to be used on this. Love the combination you have here.


Joel December 9, 2013 um 8:55 pm

Tröegs Mad Elf is hands down my favorite Christmas beer. It’s a warming ruby-red beer made with cherries, honey, and chocolate malt. Beyond delicious. No list of great Christmas beers is complete without it.


Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.