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.

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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

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

132 Comments / Reviews

No ImageChocolate Guinness Cake

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Amy T

    This cake tastes like oreos!! (Probably not supposed to but we loved it haha)


  2. Sheryl

    I was disappointed in this cake. Both my husband and I were expecting more. My springform pan is black, so I think I should have reduced the baking temp by 25 degrees. The cake fell in the middle, not sure if that was because of the black pan, but also had a pretty significant “crust” on the edges. I also felt it could have used more frosting to spruce it up a little. Not sure why it wasn’t moist and rich unless it was the black pan.


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  3. Tere

    I didn’t like the taste. Very disappointed. Too much baking soda probably. I will certainly try again reducing the soda to 1-1/2 tsp or find myself another recipe.


  4. Sarah D

    This was such an easy recipe with great results! Made it for a family birthday and everyone loved it. I didn’t have any dark brown sugar so I had to sub 1/4 cup light brown and 1/4 cup dark corn syrup. Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly. My springform was leaking a tiny bit so I only banged the pan once before putting it on a baking tray and into the oven. Because of this, the centre bubbled up quite quickly and then burnt a tiny bit. But the centre didn’t fall at all and I just sliced off the tiny bit of burnt from the top, and flipped it over to frost and serve. 55 minutes was perfect – very moist but cooked through. I also added a few chocolate shavings over the frosting to decorate.


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  5. Gayle D

    the subtraction of 1/2 cups super fine sugar and the addition of 1/2 cup brown sugar changes Nigella Lawson’s recipe, which i have made. Trying this version tonight! Can’t wait!

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