Chocolate Guinness Cake

"This is a dark, moist cake that keeps beautifully. It doesn't taste exactly of chocolate or Guinness, but a lovely deep flavor somewhere between the two. I can see the addition of some ginger doing very nicely in this. It comes together in a flash on the stovetop. From Nigella Lawson by way of Kim O'Donnell of the Washington Post."
photo by Izy Hossack photo by Izy Hossack
photo by Izy Hossack
photo by Erin P. photo by Erin P.
photo by Izy Hossack photo by Izy Hossack
photo by Izy Hossack photo by Izy Hossack
Ready In:
1hr 5mins




  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Butter a 9-inch springform pan and line bottom with parchment paper.
  • Pour Guinness into a large saucepan, add butter and heat until melted.
  • Whisk in cocoa powder and sugar.
  • In a small bowl, beat sour cream with eggs and vanilla and then pour into brown, buttery, beery mixture and finally whisk in flour and baking soda.
  • Pour cake batter into greased and line pan and bake for 45 minutes to an hour (Check at 45 minutes for doneness, poking a skewer in center).
  • Leave to cool completely in the pan on a cooling rack, as it is quite a damp cake.
  • When cake is cold, gently peel off parchment paper and transfer to a platter or cake stand.
  • Icing.
  • Place cream cheese and confectioners' sugar in a mixing bowl, and whip with an electric beater, until smooth (You may also do this with a food processor).
  • Add cream and beat again until you have a spreadable consistency.
  • Ice top of cake, starting at middle and fanning out, so that it resembles the frothy top of the famous pint.

Questions & Replies

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  1. phyllisb975jt
    What is a cup measurement in U.K. Grammes or ounces
  2. btilley1
    I only have Sierra Nevada pale ale on hand. Could I possibly use that instead of stout without ruining the cake? Could I use pale ale and add something else to the batter to substitute for the qualities that stout provides?


  1. Erin P.
    Do not let my horrendous looking photo fool you - this recipe was AWESOME! The cake itself turned out slightly dense, not too sweet, an excellent level of chocolate - and you really couldn't taste the beer, other than a slight richness to the overall flavor. I deviated slightly with the fact that I took the beer and butter mixture off of the stove and put it all into a food processor (my saucepan was too small) and let it blend for a few minutes. The frosting... well, I couldn't figure out why it was so thin, since I followed the recipe... or so I thought. It turns out that I used regular white sugar instead of the confectioners/powdered sugar. I was delicious, though! I could have eaten it straight from the bowl. But yeah, follow the recipe and use the confectioner's sugar, as noted, your results will probably be much better than mine. This was my first ever attempt at a cake from scratch (I made with another one at the same time) and I was really happy! Took the leftovers to work, and they disappeared! ~~~BE SURE to look at the other photos of this cake, other than mine!!!~~~
    • Review photo by Erin P.
  2. jackieliz
    I have been making this cake for years, it is always my husbands birthday cake. The only problem I have is that it always sinks a bit in the middle-my remedy is to whip the icing up nice and firm, pile it one can tell there's a dip in the middle.
  3. Kristen N.
    Amazingly rich and dense cake. I topped with dollops of caramel buttercream and a salted caramel drizzle. Got rave reviews at work!
  4. Candi F.
    I've been making this cake for years and my coworkers and husband can never get enough.
  5. Tamara S.
    I made this cake yesterday for St. Patrick's Day; it was a hit! I made no modifications and the texture and flavor were great. I will definitely make this again!


  1. Kristen N.
    frosting, added a salted caramel drizzle.


I am a web producer and copy editor at an online newspaper. Many of my favorite foods are down-home Southern comfort food like my grandmother and mother made, but I also live in an ethnically diverse area and have been able to learn a lot about different styles of cooking. I especially like Asian, Mediterranean and Indian food. I'm working on learning to cook Indian food and I'm discovering that, like most traditional cuisines, it involves a lot of long complicated processes and a lot of intuition and background knowledge on the part of the cook. Hope I can begin to grasp some of that knowledge eventually.
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