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Chocolate Guinness Cake

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Chocolate Guinness Cake is a rich chocolate cake spiked with Guinness ale and topped with cream cheese icing. This easy 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. This rich, dense chocolate cake flavored with an Irish brew seemed perfect for the holiday.

Chocolate Guinness cake topped with cream cheese icing on a white cake stand

Chocolate Guinness Cake

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. The hubby is not a fan of mint, unless for toothpaste, or lime, so to celebrate his Irish heritage, this Chocolate Guinness Cake is the way to go.

slice of Chocolate Guinness Cake on a white dessert plate with a fork next to the cake

Irish Dessert for St. Patrick’s Day

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

The first time I made this chocolate Guinness cake, it received mixed reviews, but both Katie and hubby loved it. Nick is not fond of cream cheese in anything, so I think that skewed his viewpoint. And Tom said it was fine, not exactly a glowing endorsement, but I did notice he ate a slice every night till it disappeared.

I thought it was excellent!  Note that the middle was sunken a bit with my most recent effort, but since the cake was cooked through (often under cooking causes an indentation along with a gooey raw middle), it just became a well for more frosting. No one complained about that! I could have easily trimmed it flat or flipped the cake over, but I thought of those options after I starting icing. Oops. This Irish dessert still looks pretty, at least I think so!

overhead image of a cream cheese frosted Guinness infused chocolate cake

 More St. Patrick’s Day Recipes You’ll Love:

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

Chocolate Guinness Cake

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

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


For the cake:

  • Butter for pan
  • 1 cup Guinness stout
  • 10 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

For the frosting:

  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and line with parchment paper.
  2. In a saucepan, combine Guinness and butter. Place over medium heat until butter melts, then remove from heat. Add cocoa and sugar, and whisk to blend.In a large bowl, combine sour cream, eggs and vanilla; mix well. Add Guinness mixture to bowl and whisk. Add flour and baking soda, and whisk again until smooth.
  3. 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.
  4. Sift powdered sugar into medium bowl to break up lumps. Add cream cheese and blend until smooth. Add heavy cream and vanilla, and mix until smooth.
  5. 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.

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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89 comments on “Chocolate Guinness Cake”

  1. The cake’s texture looks great, very rich! I like cream cheese frosting, so I’m sure I’d eat lots of those slices 🙂

  2. I should have known this was you when I spotted it in the link up. Wonderful job as always and mmmmm Guiness cake. I can taste it. Is it wrong that I want a slice of this for breakfast?

  3. fantastic ..i wouldn’t mind diggin’ in my fork into that lovely cake.

  4. I love Nigella…she makes food so sensual. 😉 I can’t just picture her facial expressions when making this cake. Yours looks perfect.

  5. Yummy! I am dreaming about that cake for a long time.. you are tempting me to try making it 🙂

  6. Guinness Lizzy inside? anything that makes me float and high is my fav, I like that thick frosting on top.

    Must make this for my friends who love to boost on Guinness, they will jump up and about.

  7. Fabulous Lizzy – love that head foam frosting.


  8. Beautiful cake and icing so thick love it andi

  9. It is hard for me to wrap my mind around a cake/beer combination….but, I must admit it sure looks moist and the frosting…yummy!

  10. How can anyone not like cream cheese? I’m still trying to get past that one. Of course, with me not liking chocolate I guess I should sit down and shut up, huh. 🙂

    This look fantastic. I’d think that the molasses flavor from that dark beer would marry well with the chocolate flavor. The cream cheese; sweetener extraordinaire.

    As always, you did a beautiful job (rassin frassin).

  11. haha I always click on desserts first on a blog too! haha. Wonderful choice for SRC!

    Glad to be in Group C with you!

  12. Finally…something useful & yummy comes from the taste of Guinness!

  13. Oh yeeeeah. Not a big beer drinker, unless it’s encased in a sugar-flour pillow. And the cream cheese head? Pure brilliance!

  14. Sounds like a good cake to me! Love making desserts for SRC!
    Hope you had a good trip to IC!!

  15. Amazing and delicious recipe dear Lizzy (Like always dear) and your pics absolutely beauty!, gloria

  16. So glad to be in Group C with you Lizzy, this cake looks fantastic! Great SRC post!! xoxo

  17. Wow! That is one awesome looking cake!

  18. Yum! One of my favorites, too!! Great choice 🙂

  19. Oh my your cake looks good and you can never go wrong with cream cheese frosting, YUM!

    If you haven’t already, I’d love for you to check out my SRC recipe this month: Thin Mint Irish Coffee.

    Cook Lisa Cook

  20. Lizzy, you’ve done it again, beautiful job! I love that she has a “Delicious and Unhealthy” section on her blog! We all need that!
    Looks delicious and I have to say, MUCH better than Friday’s dish. 😉

  21. Mmmmmm Guinness and chocolate and sour cream and cream cheese – Lizzy, you’ve done it again. Sigh!

  22. Wowza! I made a guinness brownie once but this takes the cake (haha look at me being funny). I really like how the frosting looks like the foam for the beer. Yum!

  23. I’ve been making this cake for a few years now, and it’s always a big hit! I’m so glad you liked it too.

  24. I sorta want to make this for dinner. And eat the leftovers for breakfast. Looks DELICIOUS!

  25. Do the red velvet cake next! 😀

  26. yummy looking cake

  27. Beer in a cake, how could you not love that. And Guinness has a chocolate flavor to it. Love it.

  28. Lizzy-I’ve never had a chocolate cake, or for that matter any cake with Guiness in the batter. I bet it made it more moist, and decadent. Your cake turned out beautiful…as always!
    The frosting is so yummy, and delicious. Overall, superb job!

  29. Hi Liz, your time of posting your recipe seems to coincide with me coming back home from work and how not to look out for all the amazing desserts. Have been trying some simple ones and will share soon.

    You take care Liz.

  30. I have no idea what Guinness is , but the cake looks so delish and I love and always use cream cheese frosting , not a big fan of buttercream .

  31. Guinness is good enjoyed any way and I can imagine that this would become one of my favorites.

  32. I have always thought that Guinness’s rich malty flavor was a good pairing with chocolate! I am glad this is just a one layer cake-anything bigger would have been too much. Adding That thick layer of cream cheese icing is a nice plus. Thanks for pulling this one out to showcase, I have saved the recipe. Well done.

  33. Cream cheese frosting is the best! I would eat my arm if you covered it with that stuff. Mmmmmm! Beer in cake… give it to Nigella to come up with that one! You did an excellent job as always Lizzy! I still drool over the way you apply your icing. So very pretty! 🙂

  34. I’ve seen these done as cupcakes before but your cake looks just beautiful!!

  35. As usual, your cake looks delicious, and this time so new for me!! I love the idea of mega chocolate bar in the background of your pics 🙂

  36. Your cake looks divine! Love the ingredients – have seen this recipe in Nigella’s book but never made it – I think I will now!
    Thanks 🙂
    Mary x

  37. That chocolate ake rocks!
    Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  38. Wow what a wonderful cake. Looks like you got a great blog for SRC. Thanks for sharing.

  39. I’ve always been curious about trying chocolate cake with stout, its supposed to add lot of flavour and moistness. Eating a slice everyday is evidence enough that he liked it

  40. I love how this looks like a pint of guiness with the foam! great job liz!

  41. This cake sounds so delicious! I’m not surprised at all that you picked it. Lovely SRC post.

  42. Lizzy, I’m with you–I LOVE Nigella–and cream cheese icing!

  43. I can definitely see why you picked this cake! It looks so rich and yummy!

  44. Another great cake!!! love the British baking recipes.mmm

  45. Beautiful cake. I’d like a piece of cake. 🙂

  46. This cake sounds fantastic and is so pretty to look at. What a great post!

  47. Yum, Liz! What fun flavors. It’s so beautiful, as always!

  48. Liz, beautiful cake, especially with the cream cheese frosting…great pictures!
    Hope you have a great week ahead 🙂

  49. love guinness cake! this looks wonderful!

  50. I can never keep Guiness around long enough to bake or cook with it! This sounds delightful though. I may have to hide away one and make this. Great SRC choice!

  51. LOVELY!!!!
    Liz you make such awesome dessert sweetheart that now I have no more words to describe how amazingly delicious and awesomely beautiful they look and sound….
    I only wish if I could dig my for into this rich beauty right now…

  52. YUM! I love stout cakes and the cream cheese frosting just sets this one on fire! Delicious!

  53. Delicious! I’m constantly surprised at how delicious stout is with chocolate. We used to live near an artisan chocolatier who made stout chocolate truffle….and it was incredible! A surprising taste that was amazing!

  54. This cake looks fantastic! I have never had stout with chocolate and after seeing your cake, I think I need to change that soon!

  55. What an awesome cake, Liz! I love cream cheese icing and I love how that sits so thick and perfect on top of that slice! What a great assignment you got. Love to discover new blogs, too!

  56. Not only it looks beautiful but this cake has beer in it? Wow! While I don’t bake any cake and drool over your sweets, you are constantly baking something yummy. I have a lot to catch up in terms of baking. 😉

  57. Intriguing post using Guiness, and judging by the comment count a pretty popular click or maybe it’s just you 🙂
    Great SRC post!

  58. Pretty flower pattern of cheese frosting. The cake sounds amazing!

  59. The cream cheese frosting looks and sounds super delicious! chocolate and guinness … umm. I would like my share NOW! 😉

  60. I love Guinness cake so much! Isn’t it just so delicious with the frosting?? I love the kind of coffee flavor the cake gets with the Guinness… mmmmmm

  61. Very tempting, and I like the fluffed up cream cheese frosting.

  62. GAH! This is amazing! Chocolate guiness cake?! WHOA…I am on overload right now…deeeeeelish

  63. This is such a unique and delicious looking cake. I can only imagine how thick and moist it is, and that cream cheese frosting is really gilding the lily…but I wouldn’t have it any other way. 🙂

  64. What an unique beer flavored chocolate cake and it looks so delicious, moist and love those cream cheese frosting especially. 😉

  65. This is a very elegent looking cake and I love that your frosted just the top.

  66. Interesting… I would have never thought to add Guiness beer to a chocolate cake. Your photos look beautiful, though I’m not a huge fan of chocolate cake. I’d love that frosting!!

  67. Lovely! I love the look of that slice. It sure looks mouth watering. Can’t wait to have one. Thanks a lot for the recipe. Hope I can bake it just like the way it is.

  68. I hope you enjoy it, Bear Giant! Thanks for stopping by~

  69. I just thought I’d let you know I featured this recipe on my blog today! Have a great day!! 🙂

  70. It looks perfect!
    May I have a slice, please?

  71. This looks like sin on a plate. Yum.

  72. One of my favorite cakes to eat and make! A great way to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day and a little Guinness!

  73. What a yummy cake to serve for this festive holiday time!

  74. The cake sounds great… and so do those onion rings:@)

  75. Oh Liz this looks fantastic! I have some Guinness left over from a new recipe I just made, I’ll have to try this one soon!

  76. Oh that cake is so good, I know it well. Guinness really paris so well in bothswet and savory recipes. And you can still go goreen after drinkign to make Guinness beers lol!

  77. This is definitely a winner in my books, I adore Guinness and when I’ve used it in stews it bakes into a rich thick sauce and I can well imagine how wonderful it is aired with chocolate. And then there is the cream cheese icing, so delicious. I love Nigella too, I used to love her show, particularly when she would sneak down in her dressing gown to steal a bite of her food!

  78. What a luscious, fluffy cake! I love it!

  79. Love Guinness and love this cake! We don’t make it often, but always devour the whole thing in record time when we do. 🙂 Yours looks excellent — good recipe. Thanks!

  80. This is my kind of cake, and I love that thick layer of dreamy frosting!

  81. I love Nigella her cakes are always the best and this one looks amazing 🙂

  82. I set out to make this last year in a bundt pan. The pan had some scratches and the cake didn’t release well at all. Not willing to toss the cake I made cake truffles instead. Waste not want not! Hopefully this year I’ll have better luck.

  83. I’ll substitute the green for the Guinness in cake any day! Cream cheese and cream in frosting works for me, too =)

  84. Another Nigella fan here! And this cake looks insanely good! Thanks for mentioning my Guinness Double Malted Chocolate Milkshakes!

  85. what a wonderful cake to celebrate St Patricks Day! love it!

  86. This is such a beautiful cake. The flavors of the chocolate and Guinness go so well together!

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