This recipe for Guinness Chocolate Cake is intensely chocolate; it’s moist with Guinness stout and sour cream, topped with Irish Cream Liqueur Cream Cheese Frosting, with its assembly giving a nod to a frothy, foamy-topped pint of your favorite Irish beer. What’s not to love? St. Patrick’s Day is coming. Be ready with this decadent dessert.
As I was thinking about St. Patrick’s Day foods this year, I decided I needed, no I really wanted, to do a dessert. Of course, the first thing that came to mind was the customary green, green, green everything. Frankly, while there’s nothing wrong with all the green, it just doesn’t suit me.
First of all, in order to get desserts green like that, for the most part, it takes a boatload of green food coloring. Which dyes your lips and tongue and teeth green when you eat it? No, thanks. So, I thought of doing mint chocolate chip cookies, but the images I looked at online looked…well, they looked kind of green around the gills; as if they’d been on a bender and were feeling poorly.
Then (the way my brain works), that notion immediately brought to mind Guinness stout. Since it’s a favorite consumable on St. Patrick’s Day, and since if you partake of too much of said stout you too would look like those green-around-the-gills chocolate chip cookies, I decided to find a dessert that incorporated Guinness.
I didn’t have to look far. Nigella Lawson had a Chocolate Guinness Cake recipe and it sounded amazing. Deeply, darkly chocolatey; moist with Guinness and sour cream, no mixer needed, and topped with creamed cheese frosting? Perfect.
The original recipe called for superfine sugar, but since the sugar was being dissolved in the melted butter and beer, I used regular granulated sugar. Superfine can be more difficult to find in the markets here, and while you can grind granulated sugar to a finer crystal, there isn’t that much difference in volume and I have substituted them in equal measure before without issue. If you can find superfine, fine. Use it instead.
I took the topping one step further than Nigella did, and used some Irish Cream liqueur instead of heavy cream in the frosting. Thud.
The cake is only frosted on the top. Because? Well because if you look at it just right (or after having a few of those beers), it kind of looks like a pint of Guinness stout.
- FOR THE CAKE:
- Butter for pan
- 1 cup Guinness stout
- 10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1 teaspoon black cocoa powder (optional)
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- ¾ cup sour cream
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- FOR THE FROSTING:
- 1 ¼ cups confectioners' sugar (sifted)
- 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
- 1-2 tablespoons Irish Cream Liqueur (I used Bailey's)
- FOR THE CAKE:
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Butter a 9-inch springform pan and line it with parchment paper.
- In a large saucepan, over medium-low heat, combine Guinness and butter until the butter melts.
- Add cocoa and sugar, and whisk to blend.
- In a small bowl, combine sour cream, eggs and vanilla; mix well.
- Slowly add to Guinness mixture, whisking while you combine them.
- Add flour and baking soda, and whisk again until smooth.
- Pour into the prepared springform pan, place in the preheated oven, and bake until risen and firm, 45 minutes to one hour.
- Place pan on a wire rack and cool completely in the pan.
- FOR THE FROSTING:
- To the bowl of a food processor, or mixer, add the sifted confectioner's sugar and cream cheese and blend until smooth.
- Add the Irish Cream Liqueur a bit at a time, and mix until smooth and spreadable.
- Remove cake from pan and place on a platter or cake stand.
- Ice top of cake only, so that it resembles a frothy pint of Guinness.