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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 is makes the perfect St. Patrick’s Day dessert!

With St. Patrick’s Day approaching, I decided to update this old post. 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

Nigella’s Chocolate Guinness Cake Recipe

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.

The first time I made this 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. It still looks pretty, at least I think so!

overhead image of a cream cheese frosted Guinness infused chocolate cake

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

Chocolate Guinness Cake Pinterest Collage
Chocolate Guinness Cake

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 (1 stick plus 2 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 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 350ΒΊ. 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.


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88 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 πŸ™‚

  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. πŸ˜‰ 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 πŸ™‚

  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. πŸ™‚

    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 πŸ™‚

  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. πŸ˜‰

  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! πŸ˜€

  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! πŸ™‚

  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 πŸ™‚

  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 πŸ™‚
    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. πŸ™‚

  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 πŸ™‚

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