This Chocolate Guinness Cake is a rich dessert spiked with Guinness ale and topped with cream cheese icing. This easy one-layer chocolate cake recipe makes the perfect St. Patrick’s Day dessert!

With St. Patrick’s Day approaching, I decided to update this old post for an Irish dessert. Nigella’s Guinness Cake is a rich, dense chocolate cake flavored with an Irish brew that was perfect for the holiday.

Chocolate Guinness Cake | Rich chocolate one layer cake spiked with Irish brew and topped with cream cheese icing.

Why You Must Make

  • Green desserts seem to be the trend when it comes to St. Patrick’s Day treats. But a delectable chocolate cake flavored with some Guinness definitely qualifies as celebratory Irish fare.
  •  A Stout Chocolate Cake is a nice change of pace from the green and mint desserts associated with the holiday.
  • Even if you aren’t a fan of beer or stout, you’ll love this cake. Adding alcohol to a cake recipe helps enhance the flavors without adding an alcoholic taste.
  • Chocolate cake + Cream cheese frosting = A delicious dessert.
overhead image of a cream cheese frosted Guinness infused chocolate cake.

Expert Tips

  • Make sure to grease your springform pan well and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper. This will make for a clean release from the pan.
  • PRO-Tip: Cool the cake completely before removing it from the pan. As it cools, it will shrink a bit, making it easy to remove while keeping the sides pristine.
  • PRO-Tip: My last Guinness cake recipe sunk a bit in the middle. I found that if I baked for the longer time listed in the recipe, the cake did not sink at all. It was still very moist. As always, baking times are dependent on how your oven cooks.
  • To frost, scrape the frosting into the middle, then start swirling it with a knife or offset spatula. Leave a small rim of the cake exposed for the best presentation.
  • Store in the refrigerator, but wrap the sides in plastic wrap to prevent the cake from drying out.
  • Try a chocolate stout instead of Guinness to shake things up.
  • A touch of Baileys Irish Cream in the frosting is delicious, too.
  • Serve with a glass of Guinness for a real Irish treat!

This chocolate Guinness cake recipe is from Nigella Lawson, one of my favorite chefs. She adds some Guinness stout to her chocolate cake recipe and tops it with a cream cheese icing fluffed up to imitate the head of foam on your favorite brew. It’s perfect for a St. Patrick’s Day dessert. Even if you don’t enjoy drinking beer or stout, you’ll love this chocolate cake recipe.

Overhead image of a cream cheese frosted Guinness infused chocolate cake.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Children Eat Guinness Cake?

Unless there is a true alcohol allergy, this Guinness cake should be OK for children to eat. Much of the alcohol evaporates during the baking process. Cakes that are soaked in an alcohol syrup should be avoided.

How Long Does Guinness Cake Last?

If stored airtight so the cake doesn’t dry out, it should stay fresh for at least 3-4 days.

How Do You Decorate a Guinness Cake?

This Guinness Cake Recipe was created to resemble a glass of Guinness stout. The chocolate cake represents the dark stout and the fluffy frosting represents the frothy head of foam that tops the glass.
To decorate, frost only the top of the cake and use an offset spatula to make swirls.

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Chocolate Guinness Cake | Rich chocolate one layer cake spiked with Irish brew and topped with cream cheese icing

Chocolate Guinness Cake Recipe

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Yield 12 servings

A rich, dense chocolate cake made with Guinness stout and topped with a fluffy cream cheese frosting.


For the cake:

  • Butter for pan
  • 1 cup Guinness stout
  • 10 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking soda

For the frosting:

  • 1 ¼ cups powdered sugar
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and line it with parchment paper.
  2. In a saucepan, combine Guinness and butter. Place over medium heat until butter melts, then remove from heat.
  3. Add cocoa and sugar, and whisk to blend.
  4. In a large bowl, combine sour cream, eggs, and vanilla; mix well. Add Guinness mixture to bowl and whisk.
  5. Add flour and baking soda, and whisk again until smooth.
  6. Pour into prepared pan, and bake until risen and firm, 45 minutes to one hour. Place pan on a wire rack and cool completely in pan.
  7. Sift powdered sugar into a medium bowl to break up lumps. Add cream cheese and blend until smooth. Add heavy cream and vanilla, and mix until smooth.
  8. Remove cake from pan and place on serving dish. Ice top of cake only, so that it resembles a frothy pint of Guinness.


Recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson.

Using a springform pan helps the sides release cleanly.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 473Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 91mgSodium: 422mgCarbohydrates: 63gFiber: 1gSugar: 46gProtein: 5g


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