Chocolate Bundt Cake with Stout Caramel Sauce – Low Carb


Chocolate Bundt Cake with Stout Caramel SauceRich stout caramel sauce, drizzled over dark chocolate bundt cakeLow carb and sugar-free.

Apparently I have the luck of the Irish, at least when it comes to Kerrygold butter.  As part of their Blogger Network, I won a drawing a few months ago for some butter and was delighted when it appeared on my doorstep.  10 bricks of pure Irish gold, churned by little leprechauns in the green fields of County Kerry.  Okay I am making that part up, I don’t even know if their creamery is based in County Kerry.  The butter IS churned by leprechauns, though.  I know that for a fact.

And then I won a drawing for a Kerrygold Party in a Box, a box filled with green napkins, balloons, shiny shamrock-shaped confetti, buttons, tattoos and toothpicks.  Oh and a cookbook by Clodagh McKenna, a truly Irish name if I’ve ever heard one.  Everything you could possibly need to party like an Irishman or Irishwoman on St. Paddy’s Day.  I had a heck of a time keeping my kids from ripping into everything right there and then, and had to stave them off with promises of a true St. Paddy’s celebration.  We will be corning our own beef again this year, which I highly recommend for flavour and for the lack of unpronounceable preservatives.  And I am thinking of whipping up some homemade shamrock shakes, again for flavour and for the lack of unpronounceable preservatives!

Chocolae Bundt Cake with Stout Caramel Sauce

But I thought I’d get a bit of a jump on things and create a delicious Irish-themed dessert, one I’ve had in mind for a while now.  I love Guinness, although I don’t really drink it much anymore.  I find it too filling, it’s like a thick chocolate shake.  But I love cooking with it, it makes for a seriously delicious meat stew, and I’ve used it to make a Chocolate Stout Sorbet that totally rocked my world.  My original idea was to bake it into a chocolate cake, but I changed my mind at the last minute.  I’ve become obsessed with trying to make a low carb caramel sauce that will stay smooth and creamy after cooling and I’d seen regular caramel sauce made with stout, so I thought I’d give it another go and drizzle that over a chocolate bundt cake.

Low Carb Chocolate Bundt Cake with Stout Caramel Sauce

First let me say that caramel sauce made with stout beer is pretty awesome and doesn’t really taste like stout beer, but has a rich brown colour and a delicious tang to it.  I didn’t quite achieve the perfect Low Carb Stout Caramel Sauce, because although it stays smooth for quite a while, it does begin to re-crystallize the longer it sits out.  If you drizzle it over the cake, it will start to harden up after a day and become like a caramel icing or glaze, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  But if you want the sauce to be creamy and gooey when it’s time to eat, my suggestion is to keep in an airtight container (a jam jar works perfectly) and then give it a quick zap in the microwave just before serving.  Then pour it over the cake and serve.  It will knock your socks off!

*Please note that because Guinness is made with barley, this recipe is not gluten-free.

Low Carb Stout Caramel Sauce

Chocolate Bundt Cake with Stout Caramel Sauce – Low Carb

Yield: 12 servings

Chocolate Bundt Cake with Stout Caramel Sauce – Low Carb

A low carb, dark chocolate bundt cake drizzled with a rich sugar-free stout caramel sauce. Perfect for any celebration.


  • 2 cups almond flour
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup whey protein powder, unflavoured
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup Swerve Sweetener or granulated erythritol
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • Caramel Sauce:
  • 1 cup Guinness or other stout beer
  • ½ cup powdered Swerve Sweetener or powdered erythritol
  • ½ cup xylitol
  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp plus 1/8 tsp xanthan gum (an odd amount but it's the best way to write it)


  1. For the cake, preheat oven to 325F and grease a large bundt pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, cocoa powder, whey protein powder, instant coffee, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, beat butter and erythritol until well combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract.
  4. Beat in half of the almond flour mixture, then the almond milk and then the remaining almond flour mixture.
  5. Spread batter in prepared pan and bake 40 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. For the caramel sauce, place stout in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and continue to cook for 7 minutes, to reduce.
  7. Stir in powdered erythritol and xylitol, and continue to boil until mixture thickens and becomes slightly syrupy, about 7 minutes. Mixture will smoke.
  8. Remove from heat and add whipping cream and butter. Mixture will bubble vigorously.
  9. Stir in vanilla extract, then sprinkle with xanthan gum and whisk quickly to combine.
  10. Let cool half an hour, then pour over cake. Alternatively, drizzle over pieces of cake before serving.
  11. *Caramel sauce will begin to crystallize a bit when exposed to the air. Store in an airtight container and give it a few seconds in the microwave to warm just before serving.


Serves 12. Each serving of cake has 7.5 g of carbs and 4 g of fiber. Total NET CARBS for the cake = 3.5 g. Each serving of caramel sauce has 4.6 g of carbs. Total NET CARB count for the whole dessert is 8.1 g.

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  1. Colleen says

    This looks delicious! I can’t wait to try the cake!! Can you recommend another sauce for those that need GF? I’m a newbie to your site (and to low-carb) but I’m absolutely loving you (and low-carb)!

  2. Margaret says

    This looks really good! I’m sure I’ll be giving the cake a try. I’m not fond of caramel but enjoy reading your adventures toward perfecting it. As for Irish desserts, I’ve conquered the Bread and Butter pudding easily using Jennifer Eloff’s Whole Grain Bread recipe, although it isn’t gluten free. The Spotted Dick is a whole other challenge! I’ve made it gluten free years ago but it was far from low carb. It was a marginal success from my viewpoint but was a hit with my CD customers. Good luck and enjoy St. Paddy’s Day!

  3. says

    Hey, Margaret! Thank you for the mention. :) Carolyn, this cake really caught my husband’s attention this morning. You know why! LOL Love your suggestion re keeping the caramel sauce perfect for serving.

  4. Gerri says

    Wondering what size bundt cake pan you use. I made another of your bundt cakes. Was delicious, but not as high as yours. Eager to try this. Big Guinness fan.

  5. says

    Hi Carolyn. I wanted to check your statement about the hops making Guinness NOT gluten free. Hops do not have gluten in my understanding and after reading this I double checked that. Usually the gluten in beer comes from the grains used not the hops. I do agree that Guinness is NOT gluten free but do not believe it is the hops that add the gluten. Do you have differing information? Part of my data comes from gluten free brewers. Will be interested in your insight!

    • Carolyn says

      Sorry, my bad. I meant the other grains…the barley! Someone else also corrected me but I haven’t had time to change my post!

  6. Joan says

    Don’t have a bundt pan and would love to make this cake, like right now! Would a 10 inch spring form pan be a substitute?

  7. says

    Is the xylitol a must? I love xylitol, but have found that even the smallest amount (enough to sweeten a cup of coffee) has regrettable GI consequences.

    • Carolyn says

      You could try it with all erythritol, but it’s definitely going to crystallize more. Still, zap it in the microwave and it should still be great!

  8. says

    I seriously cannot get over the fact that this is low carb. I’ve been really wanting to cut most sugar since I’m so sensitive to it (it makes me want to binge eat, seriously). I think I’m going to have to try this

  9. says

    Squee, this is beautiful Carolyn. I love caramel sauce. I need to try this one. I did two fruity ones this weekend for fun. I need to find stout now. And whip out my bundt pan.

  10. Anne L. Texas says

    Carolyn, can’t have dairy do you think I can sub the heavy cream for coconut cream off the top of a can of chilled coconut milk?
    Thanks and I love your recipes. so far they all turn out beautifully

    • Carolyn says

      Hmmm, I can’t be sure it would work but I think it’s certainly worth a try. I’d mix it round to get it as creamy as possible first. In fact, I might allow a bit of the water to make it about the consistency of whipping cream.

  11. says

    I made this the other day and it was excellent! it was a little on the dry side..any suggestions to add moisture?? i’m sure it was probably something I did wrong though :0)
    love love love your sight and make your recipes all the time! I am ALWAYS sending people to your blog that are interested in eating low carb or gluten free. I am diabetic and having sites such as yours are a godsend, again, thank you!!!

  12. Jessica says

    I want to make these for my son for his birthday class cupcakes, as we are low carb & gluten free. Do you think this will work in cupcakes?

  13. Andy says

    I tried out this cake today without the caramel sauce. I usually taste the batter before baking, but this time I didn’t do so. The cake has a nice, rich chocolate flavor, but I think it needs more sweetener – it just isn’t sweet enough. I’m curious how you came up with the recipe? Is there a typo perhaps and it’s meant to be 2 cups flour with 1.75 cups sweetener (not 0.75 cups)?
    The general recommendation for baking cakes is equal parts of sugar and flour by weight. Taking into account the density of almond flour, that would be about 8 oz by weight from the 2 cups, so that would require 1.25 cups Swerve.

    Other recipes for chocolate bundt cakes that I found also use a lot more sweetener, although those aren’t low carb and don’t have to take into account the effect of almond flour. They also do not seem to use instant coffee.

    Or maybe you wanted it to be less sweet because the caramel sauce makes up for it? I ended up making a different chocolate glaze, but it still doesn’t cover up the bitterness of the cake.

    One other question: any suggestions on how to prevent the cake from getting dry? It was nice and moist even up to an hour after being taken out of the oven, but within 4 to 5 hours it has become a lot more dry (even with the chocolate glaze on top).

    • Carolyn says

      Hi Andy,

      No, there is no typo in the recipe. I do not come up with my recipes by following “general recommendations” for conventional cakes or working out how much I should add to account for the density of almond flour. I do it by taste and by what I’ve made before. I go by my gut. I love this cake as is, even without the caramel sauce (although yes, that is incredibly sweet).

      Please remember that sweetness and bitterness are a matter of taste. I find most cakes far too sweet for my liking. When you break the sugar habit, you also change your taste buds. This was not at all bitter to me or to any of my family (and my 3 kids wouldn’t hesitate for a second to tell me if they didn’t like it!). And the trick of using instant coffee actually comes from a cake in America’s Test Kitchen. Coffee heightens the flavour of chcocolate, much like vanilla does. It doesn’t taste at all like coffee if you only add a little bit.

      What kind of sweetener are you using? Are you using Swerve or something else? I wrap my cakes in foil after they are cut to keep the moisture in as much as possible.

      • Andy says

        Thanks for the response, Carolyn. I didn’t see this until now.

        I used Swerve as the sweetener for the cake. One thing to keep in mind is that Swerve is supposed to be as sweet as sugar, whereas erythritol is 70% as sweet as sugar. Your recipe allows both to be interchanged in equal quantities, but it should probably require more erythritol if someone uses that instead of Swerve.

        I think you’re right that the sweetness/bitterness might just be a matter of personal preference. Interesting trick with the coffee. I really like America’s Test Kitchen – they really take a scientific approach to cooking which is awesome.

        It seems to me the science of low carb desserts is not very well understood. You can find tons of books on regular baking which describe the proportions of each component to use (flour, sugar, leavening agents, etc), but when it comes to low carb, there’s almost zero systematic information. Which is a pity, because you can achieve close to (or equally good) results with these ingredients.

        As I try out more recipes, I’ll see if I can put something together.

  14. Yasmine says

    Hi Carolyn,
    I can’t wait to try this recipe! I was wondering, is Whey protein powder a must or will it work without it?

    • Carolyn says

      Whey powder helps it rise and hold its shape, in the absence of gluten. But you can use hemp protein or even powdered egg whites too.


  1. […] This cake is ninety percent harmless. The remaining ten percent is included to fulfill the wishes of a birthday girl. A young friend of ours came for a week long visit, which included her birthday! I wanted to make a cake for her, and asked what she wanted. Chocolate and strawberries, and boy does she love frosting made with cream cheese and cool whip! The combination does not bother her tummy like milkier versions of frosting. Hmmm….cool whip…..high fructose corn syrup, chemicals of fifteen plus letters per word…not typically ingredient in things I make. It worked really well, though, and the birthday girl loved her cake. She also wanted a bacon rosette….okay! I can do that, too! This may sound like an odd combination, but the lightness of the frosting and the bacon worked pretty well together, and for bacon lovers, like the birthday girl, this oddness is such a non-issue. The cake was light and airy and went well after a meal of steaks and greens. I will definitely be making it again. The chocolate cake idea came from here. […]

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