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Rich and moist Guinness Chocolate Cake
Guinness Chocolate Cake is great for St. Patrick’s Day or for the chocolate lover in your life!
St. Patrick’s Day is coming up soon and we’re ready with this FANTASTIC Guinness Chocolate Cake. No worries if you’re not a fan of the “black stuff”, you probably won’t notice the subtle beer flavor.
You may, however, notice the moist tender crumb, the rich chocolate flavor, and the wonderful light spicy notes in this addictive not-too-sweet black cake.
Topped with a simple cream cheese icing adding richness without an over-the-top sugar rush, this is truly one of our all time favorite cakes. I’ve made this cake many times over the years, in fact, I’ve probably made this chocolate cake more than any other.
We’ve even served this Guinness cake without the icing. Everybody agrees this cake is delicious both ways.
Ingredients for Guinness Chocolate Cake:
For the Guinness cake:
- Guinness Stout Foreign Extra Beer
- unsalted butter
- unsweetened cocoa powder
- granulated sugar
- sour cream
- vanilla extract
- all-purpose flour
- baking soda
For the icing:
- cream cheese, room temperature
- powdered sugar
- vanilla extract
- whipping cream
Guinness Chocolate Cake is easy to make with a few simple steps:
- Melt the butter in a large mixing bowl in the microwave.
- Add the beer, sugar and cocoa. Whisk until blended.
- In a large measuring cup, combine the eggs, vanilla and sour cream.
- While whisking the beer and sugar mixture, slowly drizzle the sour cream mixture into the bowl.
- Add the flour, baking soda and salt and whisk until smooth.
- Pour into the prepared tube pan and bake for 45-50 minutes.
- Cool and top with cream cheese icing.
That’s it! Serve and enjoy.
The cake is designed to mimic a pint of beer with a creamy white, frothy head.
I bet you agree; this cake looks like a Guinness beer! The cake is dark, just like Guinness and the icing looks like the creamy head!
The cake has interesting flecks of red from the dark stout Guinness.
I adapted this cake from a recipe by Nigella Lawson. That recipe recommends baking in a 9-inch springform pan. Many years ago, when I first tried this cake, I baked it in a springform pan but the center fell and didn’t bake well all the way through. I thought the cake might be too thick.
Next, I tried baking the cake in a tube pan that would distribute the heat better – like it does for Angel Food or Pound Cake. That Guinness chocolate cake came out perfectly baked with no dried out edges and underdone middle. Now, this is the only way I bake this cake!
Can you freeze Guinness Chocolate Cake?
This Guinness chocolate cake ages beautifully (maybe better the second day?) making it dangerous to keep in my refrigerator. The cake freezes perfectly, but is best frozen without the icing.
If you’re a chocoholic like me – save some carbs for this wonderful treat!
Can you use any kind of beer in a Guinness Chocolate Cake?
One of the things that makes this such a great cake, is the unique and bold flavor of the Guinness Foreign Extra. The flavor is more like the Guinness you’ll get in the pubs of Ireland. I don’t recommend using a milder beer as the flavor won’t be as rich.
The extra stout beer makes all the difference in the success of this cake. Guinness Foreign Extra is available in a small 4-pack at many well stocked grocery stores in case you don’t want to buy a lot of beer.
Does this Guinness Chocolate Cake taste like beer?
It’s a fun and delicious dessert – not at all weird or beery. Guinness chocolate cake is lightly sweet and moist, but not at all wet. It’s a flavorful cake with interesting spicy notes from the stout Guinness Foreign Extra Beer.
A slice of this cake even goes well with a cold Guinness on the side, making this a great “party” dessert for your St. Patrick’s Day get-together.
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Guinness Chocolate Cake
For the cake:
- 9 ounces unsalted butter melted (18 tablespoons or 255g)
- 1 cup Guinness Stout Foreign Extra beer (250g)
- ¾ cup all-natural unsweetened cocoa powder measured before sifting (70g)
- 1 ¾ cup granulated sugar (386g)
- ⅔ cup sour cream (142g)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (285g)
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
For the icing:
- 12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar (170g)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup whipping cream (100g)
To prepare the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Grease the bottom of a straight sided tube pan (9.5 inches) and line with parchment paper cut into a circle to fit. Grease the sides, center tube, and parchment paper or spray with a non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Melt the butter and add to a large mixing bowl. Add the beer, sifted cocoa powder, and granulated sugar. Whisk until blended.
- In a small mixing bowl combine the sour cream, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth.
- While gently whisking the beer mixture, slowly pour the egg and sour cream mixture into the large mixing bowl.
- Combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Fold the flour into the egg and beer mixture and whisk until blended.
- Pour the batter into the greased and lined tube pan. Bake 45-50 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out with no raw dough - moist crumbs are okay.
- Cool completely before removing from the pan and icing.
To prepare the icing:
- In a small cold bowl, beat the whipping cream until soft peaks form. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla together until smooth. Add the whipped cream to the cream cheese mixture and beat on low until combined. Top the cake with dollops of icing to resemble the frothy head of a pint of Guinness.
Here’s a photo taken from the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin Ireland. Everybody (of a certain age) gets a free Guinness at the end of the tour. Each time we’ve visited the Storehouse, it was early in the day. Beer for breakfast – such a great way to start a day of site seeing in Dublin
Here are a few more wonderfully fun Irish-inspired desserts you might like:
- Bailey’s Irish Cream Coffee Bars
- Irish Whiskey Brownie Pie
- Irish Blackberry Soup with Buttermilk Custard
Check out SRFD’s Irish archives for more delicious recipes:
- Irish Apple Crumble Cake with Apple Brandy Sauce
- Dublin Coddle ~ an Irish Classic
- Guinness Beef Stew Recipe
- White Chocolate Irish Cream
- Brown Irish Soda Bread
- Spinach Tarts – an Irish Recipe
Finally, don’t forget to check out our Ireland Travel Posts for tips and tons of photos!
Originally posted March 2015, updated February 2020