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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 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.


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