Guinness and Chocolate Cake


With St Paddy’s day coming up I felt the need to bake something decidedly Irish. And you can’t get any more Irish than a rich Guinness and Chocolate cake! With Guinness being such a strong flavour you might be worried about it taking over the whole cake but don’t be deterred. It sort of mixes with the chocolate to form the dark background taste and adds a whole load of extra moisture. You can even get the frosting to resemble to foamy white head on top of a pint!


  • 250ml Guinness
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 80g cocoa powder
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 150ml buttermilk
  • 280g plain flour
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 50g (1¾oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 300g (10½oz) icing sugar
  • 125g (4½oz) full-fat cream cheese (such as Philadelphia)
  • Cocoa powder, for dusting (optional)
  • One 23cm (9in) diameter spring-form cake tin


1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F)/gas mark 3, then line the base of the tin with baking parchment.

2. Add the Guinness and butter into a saucepan and melt gently. It might look a bit peculiar and sort of curdled as its melting but it will straighten itself out! Remove the pan from the heat and stir the cocoa powder and sugar into the warm liquid. Mix together the eggs, vanilla essence and buttermilk in a jug or bowl, and then stir into the pan.

3. Mix the plain flour, baking powder and bicarb in a large bowl and pour in the liquid from the pan. You will need to use an electric hand whisk or a freestanding mixer for this bit. I tried to mix with a wooden spoon but there were so many lumps I had to resort to a hand whisk!

4. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for approximately 45 minutes or until the sponge bounces back when lightly pressed and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Set aside to cool, and then remove from the tin on to a wire rack, making sure the cake is cold to the touch before you frost it.

5. Using the electric whisk or the freestanding mixer with paddle attachment, mix the butter and icing sugar together until you reach a sandy consistency. Add the cream cheese and mix in a low speed, then increase the speed to medium and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.

6. Place the cooled cake on to a plate or cake card and top generously with the cream cheese frosting. A nice idea is to frost it so that it looks like a frothy pint of Guinness. To do this slice off the top until it is flat and frost only the top. Alternatively you could frost the top and the sides with the amount provided. If you are only doing the top reduce the cream cheese frosting by a third to a half.


Meg Davies

About Our Expert Contributor

Meg Davies has been an enthusiastic home baker from a very young age. Now at university in Birmingham, she has been studying Food & Consumer Management for two years. She loves to come up with fun & interesting recipes that are easy for everyone to make at home and is in the process of making her own website charting her baking adventures.

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