Nigella's Chocolate Guinness Cake

Easy Guinness Chocolate Cake, adapted from Nigella Lawson

Nigella's Chocolate Guinness Cake - easy & great anytime!

St. Paddy’s is just around the corner, so it’s time to think about partying just a little, isn’t it? When I was a kid, that meant anything green. Green ice-cream cones, cupcakes tinted green, and green beer.

Nigella's Chocolate Guinness Cake

Nigella’s Chocolate Guinness Cake

This Guinness Chocolate Cake from Nigella Lawson is a bit more sophisticated. Never fear, the cake doesn’t taste like beer – it just has a certain sumpin, sumpin. Undeniably rich. Very moist. And just a bit dense.

Use the old-fashioned Guinness Stout in this recipe; it plays so well off the dark cocoa flavors of the cake and you’ll be very happy with the billowy cream cheese frosting liberally piled on top to represent the frothy “head” on a pint of Guinness.

Best of all, Nigella’s Guinness Cake is a very easy cake to make, frost and present. I did tinker, just a bit, and used 1/2 cup of natural cocoa and 1/4 cup of Hershey’s Special Dark and adapted for the superfine sugar.

Nigella's Chocolate Guinness Cake

Nigella’s Chocolate Guinness Cake

The biggest issue with this cake? This cake only uses a cup of Guinness. Now, what’s to be done with the leftover?

Seriously, there were two very minor flaws in this cake; first a slight sinking in the center and a little crispness on the outside edges that I found just a bit off-putting. For such an easy cake, I can live with that.

Shop for Guinness around St. Patrick’s Day, when there are bound to be sales, and always pick up cream cheese when it is at a low. It keeps for weeks and weeks and can be frozen, too.

Nigella's Chocolate Guinness Cake

Nigella’s Chocolate Guinness Cake

Nigella Lawson's Guinness Cake

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 cup Guinness stout
  • 10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa (try 1/2 natural & 1/4 Dutch)
  • 2 cups plus 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking soda

For the cake: heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch spring form pan and line with parchment paper.

In a large saucepan, combine Guinness and butter. Place over medium-low heat until butter melts, then remove from heat. Add cocoa and sugar, and whisk to blend.

In a small bowl, combine sour cream, eggs and vanilla; mix well. Add to Guinness mixture. Add flour and baking soda, and whisk again until smooth. Pour into buttered pan, and bake until risen and firm, 45 minutes to one hour. Place pan on a wire rack and cool completely in pan. After about 10 minutes, run a thin knife between the cake and the pan.


  • 1 ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup milk, half & half or heavy cream

By hand, with a food processor or with beaters, mix confectioners’ sugar to break up lumps. Add cream cheese and blend until smooth. Add heavy cream, and mix until smooth and spreadable.

Topping is meant to be rather light and fluffy, but add as little or as much liquid as you desire.

from the kitchen of, slightly adapted from Nigella Lawson


You know I’ll be bringing this to our Throwback Thursday #27 Link Party, hosted by Quinn of Dad What’s for Dinner, Meaghan of 4 Sons are Us, Alli of Tornadough, Carlee from Cooking with Carlee and Moi! That’s right – me!

Click over to our Throwback Thursday post for links to their blogs and social media, rules and more info or just click on the blue leapfrog, below, to view all the Throwback Thursday Posts or enter your own!

I will also be bringing these over to Angie’s Link Party, Fiesta Friday # 108, Hosted this week, by Suzanne from Apuginthekitchen and Zeba from FoodfortheSoul! It should be another great party!!

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33 thoughts on “Easy Guinness Chocolate Cake, adapted from Nigella Lawson

  1. Though I don’t particularly like the flavor of beer, I discovered last St. Patrick’s day, while trying a new recipe, that stout and chocolate are wonderful together! The stout kind of deepens the richness of chocolate. I am excited to give this cake a try. Unfussy cake sounds great to me!

    • As the kids say, “I know, right?” lol! I’m not much of a beer drinker, either but this cake is great. And I really love that you just plop the frosting on top…

  2. I do love Nigellas Guinness Cake. You could use any other stout or ale really. I have even thought about using Innis and Gunn. My hubbie took care of the remaining Guinness when I made this cake!

  3. This looks wonderful! I have always wanted to try a version of this cake, and this recipe looks yummy! (A good excuse to buy some Guiness too). 🙂

    • Hi Jenny, and thanks, and it’s a great version of this cake. I’ve made one from Epicurious called a Stout Cake before, three layers and chocolate ganache, but I’ve gotten a little over make huge presentation cakes – fussy and hard to serve.

      As it is, this serves 12! I think that’s enough for most households, eh?? lol!

    • The taste seems to morph a bit. To me, right of the bat it tasted incredibly chocolaty, that evening when we served it, I thought the stout came out a bit more. The next night with a leftover piece, the stout had mellowed a bit more, but the chocolate took a more background role. I haven’t tried it this am, but it’s there…lol…and I might have to have a smidge after breakfast!!

  4. I love guinness cakes, you are so right there is a certain sumpin sumpin about them. Rich and moist and so so good. Now I want cake. My zoodles just don’t cut it, trying to diet and reading blogs is not a good thing,

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