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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Guinness Chocolate Cake

I was thumbing through Nigella Lawson's Feast recently and slowed down when I hit the Chocolate Guinness Cake.  I figured what better time to try Chocolate Guinness Cake than right before St. Patrick's day.  I'm not a beer drinker, I am pretty sure this is the first Guinness that's ever passed my lips.  While I can't say I'll change my drinking habits any time soon I can certainly say there's certainly going to be more of this cake in my future.  The batter comes together in a snap.  Once baked the cake is dense without being heavy and moist without being fudgy.  The icing helps add some sweetness that is missing in the cake but is otherwise slightly disappointing.  I love cream cheese frosting but I don't think it complements the chocolate cake (the contrast also makes the cake extremely difficult to photograph with my iPhone) beyond adding sweetness which helps balance the slight bitterness of the cocoa in the cake.  When I make this again I am going to top the cake with chocolate ganache instead.

You'll Need:

1 cup Guinness stout
10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda


1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup heavy cream

Getting Started:

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter a 9-inch springform pan and line bottom with parchment paper.

Now You're Cookin':

In a large saucepan, combine Guinness and butter and heat over medium-low heat until butter melts, then remove from heat.

Add cocoa and sugar, and whisk to blend.

In a small bowl, combine sour cream, eggs and vanilla.  Mix well then add to the Guinness mixture.

Add flour and baking soda to the Guinness mixture and whisk until smooth.

Pour batter into the prepared pan, and bake until risen and firm, 45 minutes to one hour.

Place pan on a wire rack and cool completely in pan.  Once cake is cooled, prepare the frosting by combining confectioners' sugar, cream cheese and heavy cream with an electric mixer until fully combined, smooth and flexible.

Remove cake from pan and ice the top of the cake.


  1. somehow incorporate Bailey's into a buttercream frosting and you'd have an Irish car bomb cake

  2. I seriously considered adding Bailey's to the frosting. In hindsight I think it would have been the right call.

  3. Dear Erin: I made this cake last night with an Irish Cream icing - it was pronounced by all assembled (which included 2 non-cake, non-chocolate lovers) to be a smashing success! It will definitely become my go-to "show off" dessert. Thanks so much for sharing!