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Guinness Chocolate Cake

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This Guinness Chocolate Cake is moist, fudgy, infused with just the right amount of stout flavor, and topped with a simple Baileys Irish Cream frosting.

Chocolate Guinness Cake with Baileys Frosting

I love a good boozy dessert. And this Guinness Chocolate Cake is no different.

This is a moist, spongy, fluffy, fudgy, dark chocolate cake spiked with Guinness Stout and topped with a Baileys Irish Cream frosting.

To make this cake, I took my original chocolate cake and made some adjustments to the sour cream, and leavening agents. The carbonation in beer actually acts as a leavening agent as well. It took a couple of tries, but I am so excited about the end results!

If you’re looking for more reasons to bake with Baileys, you’ll also love this Baileys Chocolate Cheesecake.

Key Ingredients

  • Oil – Be sure to use a neutral flavored oil such as vegetable oil to add moisture to the cake.
  • Sour Cream – Sour cream is the key to a super moist texture. Be sure to use full-fat sour cream.
  • Espresso Powder – This is optional, but recommended. You don’t taste any coffee, you just get an even deeper chocolate flavor.
  • Guinness – You’ll need just 1 1/4 cups of the stout beer for this recipe. Make sure it’s fresh!
  • Baileys Irish Cream– Use for the simple Irish cream frosting. You just need a touch.

How to Make Guinness Chocolate Cake

This Guinness Chocolate Cake takes just 15 minutes to prepare! The most time-consuming part is waiting for the cake to cool before you add the frosting. Here’s a quick summary of the recipe:

  1. Combine the wet ingredients: In a bowl, mix together sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Add in the sour cream, then beat until combined.
  2. Add the dry ingredients and Guinness: In a separate bowl, sift the dry ingredients. Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet batter followed by half of the Guinness. Combine, then repeat with the remaining dry ingredients and beer.
  3. Bake and cool: Pour the batter into a baking pan, then bake until a toothpick comes out of the center clean.
  4. Make the frosting: Soften the butter in the microwave, then cut into blocks. Beat until softened and silky, then mix together with some of the powdered sugar and vanilla. Once incorporated, add the remaining powdered sugar followed by the Baileys. Beat until incorporated, then increase the speed and beat until light and fluffy.
  5. Frost, slice, and serve: Spread the frosting over the cooled cake, dust with cocoa powder, sprinkles, or chocolate ganache, then slice and serve or store in an airtight container.
side view of a piece of chocolate cake topped with frosting and chocolate.

Does Guinness Chocolate Cake Have Alcohol?

Technically, yes. Guinness itself contains a measurable amount of alcohol. When it’s baked into a cake, most of that alcohol cooks out. The frosting, however, does contain alcohol and is not cooked at all.

So, while it’s unlikely that you get a buzz from a slice of this cake, it is not meant for anyone under the age of 21 or anyone trying to avoid alcohol.

Why Does My Cake Sink in the Middle?

There could be a couple of reasons your chocolate cake looks sunken in the center. Here are a few tips to hopefully prevent this from happening!

  • Use fresh leavening agents. The role of the baking soda and baking powder is to lift the cake and help it stay lifted. If they’re expired, the heat will cause the cake to rise, but there won’t be anything working to keep it lifted. Make sure your leavening agents are fresh!
  • Bake right away. The longer the batter sits, the more aggressively the baking soda and powder are going to react with the beer. If it sits too long, the batter will puff up a lot as soon as it gets into the. oven which will inevitably cause the middle to sink a lot when it’s taken out. Bake the batter sooner than later after it’s mixed up.
  • Don’t underbake. If the cake is underbaked, the center will be soft and the top can easily sink into it. Make sure it’s baked all the way through so it can maintain its structure.
a square of chocolate cake topped with baileys Irish cream frosting on a white plate with a fork.

Recipe Tips and Notes

  • Sift the dry ingredients. Pushing the dry ingredients through a fine mesh sieve ensures there are no clumps in the batter.
  • Measure the dry ingredients carefully. One of the things that makes this cake so special is its insanely moist texture. The last thing you want is a dry cake because you over-measured the flour and cocoa powder. For the best results, weigh them on a kitchen scale! Otherwise, follow the spoon and level method as shown in this tutorial.
  • Use softened butter. Softer butter beats much more smoothly with the powdered sugar. This is key for the perfect frosting texture. No lumps here!
  • Want to make a layered cake? You can make two layers using standard 8-inch or 9-inch round cake pans.
  • Want to make Guinness chocolate cupcakes? Just bake the batter up in a cupcake pan instead, it should make 24 cupcakes. Start with 15 minutes of baking time, then add time as needed.

Preparation and Storage

Want to prep your cake ahead of time? An unfrosted either at room temperature or in the freezer. Simply bake as directed, cool completely.

If you’re planning to serve within two days, keep it in an airtight container at room temperature. A fully frosted Guinness Chocolate Cake will last in an airtight container for 2-3 days at room temperature.

To freeze, tightly wrap the cooled cake in plastic wrap and a layer of foil and freeze for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to serve, thaw to room temperature, then add the frosting and serve.

More St. Patrick’s Day Desserts

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closeup of a square slice of chocolate cake topped with chocolate ganache.

Guinness Chocolate Cake

  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 28 minutes
  • Total Time: 43 minutes
  • Yield: 12-15 slices

Description

This Guinness Chocolate Cake is moist, fudgy, infused with just the right amount of stout flavor, and topped with a simple Baileys Irish Cream frosting.

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 1 ½ cups (285g) granulated sugar 
  • ½ cup (118 ml) vegetable oil 
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure vanilla extract 
  • 3/4 cup (180g) sour cream, at room temprature
  • 2 cups (280g) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • ½ cup (40g) cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon (5g) espresso powder (optional)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons (5g) baking powder 
  • 1 teaspoon (4 g) baking soda 
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) salt 
  • 1 ¼ cup (355 ml) Guinness, cold 

For the frosting

  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter 
  • 4 cups (520g) powdered sugar 
  • 3 tablespoons (44ml) Baileys Irish Cream 
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

For the Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until well incorporated. Next mix in the sour cream and beat until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. To the batter, alternate adding half the dry ingredients followed by half of the Guinness and mix just until the flour starts to incorporate. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir the batter from the bottom to the top to ensure it’s well mixed.
  4. Pour the batter into a 9×13-inch pan and bake at 350°F for 28-30 minutes. Test the cake for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

For the Frosting:

  1. Remove the butter from the refrigerator and microwave for 10 seconds. Cut the butter into 1-inch blocks. Beat the butter for 2-4 minutes until it is softened and silky.
  2. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and the vanilla extract and beat until well combined.
  3. Next, add the remaining powdered sugar 2 cups at a time, followed by the Baileys. Start beating slowly until the ingredients are incorporated and then increase the speed to high and beat for another minute or two until the frosting is light and fluffy,
  4. Spread frosting over cooled cake and then dust with cocoa powder, sprinkles or chocolate ganache. Keep in an airtight container.

Equipment

Notes

Storing

  • An unfrosted cake can be stored either at room temperature or in the freezer. Bake as directed, cool completely. If you’re planning to serve within two days, keep it in an airtight container at room temperature. A fully frosted Guinness Chocolate Cake will last in an airtight container for 2-3 days at room temperature. 
  • To freeze, tightly wrap in plastic wrap and a layer of foil and freeze for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to serve, thaw to room temperature, then add the frosting and serve.

Nutrition Information:
494
52.9 g
268.9 mg
20.1 g
72.4 g
3 g
8 g
43 mg
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: chocolate Guinness cake, baileys frosting, Guinness Desserts, St. Patricks Day Desserts

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