If you love chocolate, then you'll love this Guinness beer chocolate cake! This cake is rich, fudgy, and decadent and best of all it's easy to make in your favorite bundt pan. Topped with a drizzle of ganache, it's the perfect dessert choice for St. Patrick's Day or any special occasion.
Why you'll love it
It's a an easy, delicious cake you can make from scratch, even if you're a beginning baker. There are no complicated steps involved, you don't even need a mixer! The method is very similar to making a quick bread.
Made with easy to find fresh and pantry ingredients! Guinness Draught Stout is an Irish beer that's available in most grocery stores or package stores. It comes in a 4 pack of cans. You will only need one cup, so if you can buy just one can, do it. However if you end up with a few extra cans, you can make this Guinness Beef Stew!
It's a versatile cake that's makes a great dessert for St. Patrick's Day or any family celebration. Everyone in our family loves it, and it's requested often by my husband for his birthday.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Butter- salted or unsalted.
- Guinness Draught Stout Beer or another dark ale if you must!
- Unsweetened Cocoa or Dutch Process- I usually make this with Dutch process cocoa, but it's been harder to find lately. I used unsweetened cocoa from Hershey's for this recipe.
- All Purpose Flour
- Baking Soda and Salt
- Sour Cream or Plain Greek Yogurt-full fat versions.
If making the ganache, you'll need:
- Baking Chocolate
- Heavy Cream
- Vanilla Extract
Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease or thoroughly spray (with cooking spray) a 10 cup bundt pan.
Add butter, Guinness beer, and unsweetened cocoa to a saucepan. Melt over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Allow to cool, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Mix dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, set aside. Add eggs and sour cream in a separate bowl. Mix well with a whisk. When Guinness beer mixture is cool, add it to the egg mixture. Stir to combine.
Add Guinness/chocolate mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix until combined and most lumps are gone. Don't use a mixer and don't over mix.
Spoon batter in a well greased bundt pan. Smooth the top and bake for 35-40 minutes. Don't over bake! Let cool in pan for 10 minutes then invert onto a rack to cool completely.
How to make chocolate ganache
Chop the chocolate into small pieces. Place in a heat proof bowl (glass is best).
Heat the heavy cream on the stove until bubbly but not boiling.
Pour warmed heavy cream over chocolate pieces. Let it sit for a minute or two, then stir gently until smooth and well combined. Let ganache cool and thicken before pouring over cake. Keep in mind that when completely cooled, the ganache will not be pourable. Rewarm in a double boiler if needed.
I used milk chocolate Ghirardelli baking bars for this ganache. You can use dark, semi sweet, milk, or a combination.
Recipe Notes and Tips
Can I use a different cake pan to bake this cake?
I find a bundt pan the best way to make this Guinness cake because it allows the cake to bake evenly. A tube pan will also work well, as will any high sided pan with a hole in the middle. I have also tested this recipe in a 9 inch springform pan. The cake will need a few more minutes to cook, so start checking for doneness around the 45 minutes mark.
Isn't Guinness cake usually made with cream cheese frosting?
This cake is delicious with ganache, cream cheese frosting, a dusting of powdered sugar, or as is. If you want to top with cream cheese frosting, you can pipe it onto the bundt cake, or make a layer cake and spread it on. Here's a great cream cheese frosting recipe to try.
Be careful not to over bake the cake. This Guinness cake is fudgy so the toothpick test will not come out clean. If your toothpick is clean, the cake is overdone! When the cake is slightly springy, it's ready. If the cake is wet, it needs more time. When you get close to time, check it every few minutes.
I don't like beer, will I like this cake? What does Guinness cake taste like?
This cake doesn't taste like beer! The Guinness actually enhances the taste of the chocolate, so if you love love chocolate, you'll love this cake. Expect to enjoy a dark chocolate flavor that's slightly bitter with notes of caramel and roasted coffee.
More dessert recipes
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Guinness Chocolate Cake
For the cake:
- 1 cup butter salted or unsalted
- 1 cup Guinness Draught Stout beer
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder or Dutch process (European)
- 2 cups flour all purpose
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- ½ tsp salt only if using unsalted butter
- 1 ¾ cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
For chocolate ganche:
- 8 ounces baking chocolate unsweetened, such Ghirardelli
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract optional
- Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease or thoroughly spray (with cooking spray) a 10 cup bundt pan.
- Add butter, Guinness beer and cocoa in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until butter melts then set the mixture aside to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
- Add flour, baking soda, (salt, if needed) and sugar in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, add eggs and sour cream, blending well with a whisk. Add cooled Guinness mixture to the egg mixture and stir until well combined. Add the Guinness mixture to the dry ingredients and stir well, without over mixing.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Spread the top evenly with a knife or spatula. Bake at 350º F for 35 to 40 minutes or until top is slightly springy. The cake is very moist so if you check for doneness with a toothpick, it should be somewhat fudgy, not dry and not wet!
- Let cake cool in pan for exactly 10 minutes. Use a knife or cake spatula around the edges of the cake pan to help it release from the pan. Carefully remove cake from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.
- When cake has cooled, drizzle with chocolate ganache or dust with powdered sugar
To make chocolate ganache:
- Heat 1 cup heavy cream over medium heat. Chop chocolate into small pieces and place them in a glass mixing bowl.
- When heavy cream is starting to bubble, but not yet boiling, remove it from the heat and pour it over the chocolate pieces. Let sit for a minute or two, then stir until melted.
- Let ganache cool to desired consistency before drizzling over cake. Ganache will thicken when completely cooled. Reheat in a double boiler over low heat.