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It was exactly 6 years ago to the day that I hit ‘upload’ on my very first blog post. Although back then, my blog was called Katelyn’s Corner (none of my friends had yet thought of the fact that my name rhymed with cake tin!)  the very first post was, of course, sweet – cupcakes, to be exact. I was a scared, young food stylists’ assistant who craved her own creative space, I was just beginning to style my own photo’s, had never picked up a camera, didn’t have my tongue-in-cheek writing tone and most importantly, had no idea that you all would share my love for sweet, decadent, delicious things!

Since that first post, I cannot believe how far my little blog has come  – from neglecting it and going weeks without feeding it sugar, or cookies, or chocolate, to older photographs I cringe at and recipes I’ve since retested and improved upon, I never dreamed that it would win two South African Best Blog Awards back-to-back! And while it gets used to it’s pretty new design and logo (thanks Pieter Grobler!) I thought I’d celebrate The Kate Tin turning a whole 6 years old with, what else than CAKE!

For the occasion, I’ve baked a very grown-up Chocolate Stout Cake which is super delicious, moist, and is probably the antithesis to those pretty pink cupcakes I first posted back in February 2010.I want to thank all of you for reading, commenting and baking my recipes – and while The Kate Tin may not yet be of drinking age, cheers to the next 12 years of sharing deliciously over-the-top recipes with all of you!

Chocolate Stout Cake with Beer Caramel Sauce

Serves 10-12


250ml dark stout beer (I used Castle Chocolate Stout but you could also replace the beer with cold coffee)

250g butter, melted

80g The Kate Tin Cocoa Powder

400g Natura Sugars Dark Muscovado Sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

140ml buttermilk

280g cake flour

2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

½ tsp baking powder


Cream Cheese Frosting

50g butter, softened

300g Natura Sugars Demerara Icing Sugar

125g full-fat cream cheese


Caramel Beer Glaze and Pretzel Brittle

160ml Natura Sugars Golden Caster Sugar

60ml dark stout beer or water

2 tbsp honey

75g pretzels

1/2 cup cream

1 tablespoon butter

pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Peanut brittle or pretzel brittle*, to decorate


Preheat oven to 170 degrees celcius (150C if your oven is fan-forced). Line 3 x 24cm sandwich cake tins with baking paper. Whisk together the beer, butter, cocoa powder, sugar, eggs, vanilla and buttermilk and set aside. Mix together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder together then add the wet ingredients and whisk well until combined. Pour into the lined cake tins and bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly then remove from the tin and cool completely.

For the frosting, in a stand mixer whip the butter, icing sugar and cream cheese until light and fluffy.

To make the sauce and brittle, spread the pretzels out on a lined baking tray. Place the sugar, beer and honey in a saucepan and simmer until the syrup reaches hard ball stage (when a little syrup is dropped into a cup of water, it immediately turns brittle.) Pour half the syrup over the pretzels, then use the rest to make the sauce by adding the cream and butter. Stir until smooth then add the salt and vanilla. Allow to cool, adding a little water to thin out if necessary.

Assemble the cake by layering the cakes alternately with the frosting then drizzling with the caramel sauce. Decorate with the crushed up brittle.