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Delectable Chocolate Guinness Cake

October 8, 2011

It was Mr. B’s birthday a few weeks ago, and I decided it was the perfect opportunity to try out the recipe for Chocolate Guinness Cake I had found online. Mr. B loves his Guinness, and loves chocolate cake, so it was the obvious choice of cake really.

I don’t like Guinness (or any other stout for that matter), but O.M.G this cake was amazing. The texture of the cake was similar to gooey chocolate brownies, the Guinness didn’t overpower the flavour, rather just added a subtle bitterness that balanced the rich sweetness of the other ingredients perfectly. Combine the gooey cake with the tangy cream cheese frosting and, well, you have a perfect cake. Perfect.

I cannot recommend this recipe highly enough, as well as being utterly divine to eat it is such an easy cake to make. I am not a baker by nature, so if this was easy for me to make anyone can make it. If you click on the photos you will be taken to Design Sponge, with a recipe for the Chocolate Guinness cake. I adapted the recipe ever so slightly, mostly just because I had buttermilk in my fridge at the time, not sour cream.

Here is the recipe I used, based on Nigella Lawson’s recipe:



  • 250ml Guinness
  • 250g  butter
  • 75g cocoa
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 1 x 142ml pot buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 275g plain flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda


  • 300g  cream cheese
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 125ml double cream (whipped until stiff)


  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C, and butter  a 23cm springform tin (I didn’t bother lining it).
  2. Pour the Guinness into a large  saucepan, add the butter all chopped up and heat until the butter’s melted, then whisk in the cocoa and sugar. Beat the buttermilk with the eggs and then pour into the Guinness and butter mixture and then whisk in the flour and bicarb.
  3. Pour the cake batter into the tin and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Leave to cool completely in the tin on a cooling rack, as it is quite a damp cake.
  4. When the cake’s cold, sit it on a flat platter or cake stand and get on with the icing. Whip the cream cheese with the icing sugar so that you have a smooth paste.
  5. Add the cream and beat again until it makes a spreadable consistency. Ice the top of the black cake so that it resembles the frothy top of a pint of Guinness.

At thins point I am going to thank Nigella for her incredibly simple and easy to follow instructions, which I have pretty much copied here, just changing them slightly so I know what I did next time I want to make this cake. I think substituting the sour cream for buttermilk was fine as lots of other recipes for Stout cake I found online used buttermilk.

So, the cake was amazing, but my attempts at photographing it were not. I think food is one of the hardest things to photograph and one of the few things that should be left to the professionals. After hundreds of attempts at photographing the cake with no success I gave up and decided to use photos of the cake by Katie Quinn Davies, who is a professional food photographer and knows how to do it properly. The cake I made looked just like the one in these photos, my camera just refused to capture the cake as beautifully as Katie has done. Aren’t her photographs lovely?

I am a big fan of Katie Quinn Davies photography and recipes, and follow her on her blog What Katie Ate. She captures the food, and the atmosphere surrounding it, so well. She is bringing out a cookbook soon, which I am quite excited about, as I don’t really own many cookbooks, but the ones I do own are ones with beautiful photography inside them. I want to see the food, not just read boring recipes!

Try this cake, you know you want to!

All photographs by Katie Quinn Davies.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. October 8, 2011 12:22 pm

    Yum! That looks delicious!

  2. October 9, 2011 3:22 pm

    That looks fabulous and I love the photos. Great idea to use Kate’s photos, as I had never heard of her before and am now following her blog.

  3. October 10, 2011 12:19 am

    Yum – that looks gorgeous. Seriously lovely photography as well. I will check out her blog too.

  4. Sonia permalink
    October 11, 2011 8:05 pm

    I love both Guiness and Chocolate so this is perfect! Somewhere I’ve got a recipe for Guiness and fruit cake which is good too. You really don’t taste the stout but it enhances the other ingredients. Lucky Mr B!

  5. October 11, 2011 9:17 pm

    I know a man who would be your slave for life if you made this! So I suppose I’d better make it.

  6. October 14, 2011 8:22 am

    Never liked Guinness either, but this seems delicious! Thanks for the tip!

  7. November 9, 2011 3:27 pm

    Mine isn’t as dark as the pictures but its still delicious.

    I also add a capful of Baileys to the icing for just that little extra

  8. November 26, 2011 4:09 pm

    OMG, I can’t wait to try this. Your photo looks so amazing and then to find out it is made with Stout!!!! I love this! Thanks for posting it.

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