Chocolate Guinness Cake

St. Patrick's DayBakingChocolate

Guinness Chocolate Cake - rich, moist, chocolate cake spiked with stout beer. Malty, sweet, and perfect for a St. Patrick's day party.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Get in the mood for St. Patrick’s Day with this rich, chocolatey, moist, out-of-this-world chocolate guinness cake, adapted from Nigella Lawson by Simply Recipes contributor Garrett McCord. And for more ideas, see our St. Patrick’s Day recipes section. ~Elise

Chocolate + Stout Cake

I’m not a big chocolate person. Nor am I a huge stout drinker. Yet, combine the two together for Guinness chocolate cake, and you have my attention.

The two ingredients have a lot of dark, husky flavor notes in common and combined with a bit of flour, sugar, and sour cream they blend into a rich as old money dessert that’s perfect for any St. Patrick’s day party.

A simple cream cheese frosting blends perfectly with the slightly bitter crumb and makes it all the better. This stout cake is best served with you guessed it – a pint of stout or porter beer, such as Guinness, so be sure to buy a six pack so you have enough to drink with your slice of cake.

This chocolate Guinness cake recipe is a riff on the classic Nigella Lawson recipe, but with some of the white refined sugar replaced with dark brown sugar which brings out some of the malty, twangy flavors of the beer; and a bit of salt added to highlight the chocolate. For something sweeter use all white sugar and add a tablespoon more of cocoa powder.

From the recipe archive. First posted 2012.

Chocolate Guinness Cake Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Makes one 8 or 9-inch cake


  • 1 cup Guinness extra stout
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa
  • 1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
  • 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cream cheese frosting recipe


1 Preheat oven, prepare pan: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 8 or 9-inch springform pan with butter and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper.

2 Heat Guinness, butter, add cocoa and sugar: In a large saucepan place the stout and butter. Cook over medium-high heat until the butter has melted. Add the cocoa powder and sugars and whisk together. Take off heat and allow to come to room temperature.

3 Beat sour cream, eggs, vanilla, then add to stout butter mixture: In another bowl beat together the sour cream, eggs, and vanilla extract until very, very well combined. Add to the butter-stout mixture and whisk together.

4 Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, add to stout-butter mixture: In another bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the stout-butter mixture and whisk together until it just comes together.

5 Bake: Pour into the prepared pan and give the pan a few short drops onto the countertop to shake the air pockets in the batter to the surface and out of the cake. Bake at 350°F for 50-60 minutes.

6 Cool: Allow to cool on a wire rack. Run a knife around the edge to separate the cake from the pan and pop the ring off the springform.

7 Frost: Spread frosting on the cooled cake and serve.

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Chocolate Guinness Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting on Cake Stand

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Garrett McCord

Garrett McCord is a professional writer and recipe developer whose work has appeared in many print and online publications such as Gourmet Live, Saveur, Huffington Post, Smithsonian, and NPR. Past clients also include numerous food companies, wineries, and distilleries. Garrett writes about cocktails on his website, Coupe de Grace.

More from Garrett

113 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • VincyBaker21

    This recipe is perfection. Simple yet amazing. It is the first recipe i’ve ever used for Guinness Chocolate cake and I have never seen the need to experiment with any other recipe. I always get great reviews whenever I make Guinness Chocolate cakes and cupcakes.


  • fluffypickles

    I love to cook but am usually an unsuccessful baker, but OMG this recipe is simply amazing, easy and so decedent. I used mini cupcakes using a silicone pan and in 13 minutes I had a tiny bit of heaven in my mouth. I made the cream cheese frosting but I found ganache frosting took it to another level. Given the chocolate topping, I only added 1 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup brown. There is no beer taste which might be a good or bad thing depending on what you are looking for. This will by my go-to cake recipe from now on. Thank you for making me feel like I can actually bake something and have it taste really dang good!


  • judi

    Would you sub Greek yogurt for sour cream in a pinch?

  • Linda

    Oh, WOW. I’m not even a chocoholic, but I decided to take this to our gourmet dinner group last week-end and it is just delicious. I didn’t really taste any Guinness, but the cake was so moist and I loved the color…it was almost black. Everybody loved it. I opted to skip the icing, since the cake had so much sugar in it. I served it with plain whipped cream and topped with a few little green sprinkles that I use for Christmas cookies. I had a package of sparkling shamrocks that I use for a table decoration and put some of those on the plate. Guests were impressed. I would definitely make this again. Thanks for a winner!


  • Bill Brooke

    I have a simple solution for cakes that seem to sink in the middle – I put a tube bottom in my springform pan or just use a simple stainless steel ring, placed in the middle of the cake tin and pour around it…. No more sunken center because there is no center. In an emergency, I have even used the tube from bathroom paper or kitchen roll for the tube in the center. I always grease and use oven paper on bottom and sides, including the tube. THis saves so much concern about sticking!!!! Great time saver in the end.

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