Nigella’s Chocolate Guinness Cake

Nigella’s chocolate Guinness cake has been on my bucket list for y-e-a-r-s. Because Guinness + chocolate + cake = my dream dessert and there’s no other cake that is more worthy or more perfect for St. Patrick’s Day.

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Guinness stout and chocolate collide in a moist, chocolatey cake. I love that this is not a layered cake and is baked in a 9-inch springform pan instead. The end result being one thick and decadent layered cake topped with cream cheese frosting– and you don’t even frost the sides! Nope, just spread over the top and you’re good to go.

Pat has always been a chocolate cake and cream cheese frosting fan, although he was skeptic at the thought of beer (and Guinness at that) and chocolate was going to be commingling with his beloved cream cheese frosting. But you guys, he actually really like this cake. Like he ate two pieces, back to back. My girls LOVED it too. But they’ve never had a chocolate cake that they didn’t like.

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They said, and I quote “This cake’s lit“.

Nigella's Chocolate Guinness Cake (1)

To start, gather all of the ingredients: flour, sugar, baking soda, unsweetened cocoa powder, butter, Guinness, eggs, sour cream and vanilla extract.

Nigella's Chocolate Guinness Cake (2)

Next, butter a 9-inch spring form pan with 2 tablespoons of softened butter. Then dust with 2 tablespoons cocoa powder. Tap out the excess cocoa and set it off to the side.

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In a large bowl, measure the flour and baking soda, whisk to combine and set off to the side.

Nigella's Chocolate Guinness Cake (3)
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Then in a wide sauce pan, combine the remaining 10 tablespoons of butter and the cup of Guinness. Heat on medium-low until the butter has melted, not boiling.

Nigella's Chocolate Guinness Cake (5)

Meanwhile, combine 3/4 cup of sour cream, 2 large eggs and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract.

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Once the butter has melted, add in the sugar and cocoa powder. I’m using 1/2 cup of regular unsweetened cocoa powder and 1/4 cup of black cocoa powder. Only because I did not have the full amount in the regular unsweetened. Black cocoa does give this cake a darker color, which I like. Whisk to combine the sugar and cocoa in with the beer and butter.

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Then add in the egg/sour cream mixture and whisk to combine.

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Now pour the chocolate mixture into the bowl with the flour and baking soda.

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Next simply stir until the wet ingredients have incorporated with the dry.

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Lastly, pour the chocolate Guinness cake batter into your prepared pan. Place the pan onto the middle rack of your preheated 350° oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a cake tester comes out with only a light trace of batter clinging to it.

I promise that I did take pictures of the finished baked cake and the frosting, but somehow they didn’t save to my SD card. They just disappeared.

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But you will want to allow the cake to cool completely before frosting. I started to use the cream cheese frosting recipe that was with the cake but found it to be too thin for my preference. So this the recipe below is my adaptation. It’s still easy peasy and tastes fabulous.

I do detect the faintest beer hints, but the chocolate rounds it out nicely. It isn’t an overly sweet cake, and it’s delicious served cold wit a steaming hot cup of coffee.

Slice. Serve. And prepare to fall in love with Nigella’s chocolate Guinness cake!

Enjoy! And if you give this Guinness Chocolate Cake recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!

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My cookbook Simply Scratch : 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easy is now available! CLICK HERE for details and THANK YOU in advance! 

Yield: 1 9-inch spring from or about 8 servings

Guinness Chocolate Cake

Guinness Chocolate Cake
Nigella's Guinness chocolate cake has been on my bucket list for y-e-a-r-s. Because Guinness + chocolate + cake = my dream dessert.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour



  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1 cup Guinness stout beer
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups ultra fine sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder plus 2 tablespoons for pan


  • 1 (8 ounce) brick cream cheese, softened
  • 2-1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of whole milk or heavy cream


Preheat your oven to 350° and butter a 9-inch spring form pan with 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Dust with 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, tap out the excess cocoa powder and set off to the side.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and baking soda and then set off to the side as well.

In a wide sauce pan, add the remaining 10 tablespoons of butter with the beer. Heat on medium-low until melted. Once melted, stir in the sugar and cocoa powder.

Meanwhile in a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, eggs and vanilla extract. Then add this mixture into the cocoa/beer mixture and whisk to combine.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the bowl with the flour and stir until incorporated, then pour the chocolate Guinness cake batter into the prepared pan.

Bake on the middle rack of your preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until a cake tester comes out with only a trace of batter attached.

Allow the cake to cool before frosting.


In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add in the powdered sugar and the milk. If frosting is too thick, add more sifted powdered sugar. If too thick, thin out with a little more milk. Once the frosting is smooth, frost only the top of the cake, leaving the sides of the dark brown cake exposed. The cake should resemble a pint of Guinness.

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Nigella's Chocolate Guinness Cake (18)

Recipe slightly and lovingly adapted from Nigella Lawson.

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8 Responses to “Nigella’s Chocolate Guinness Cake”

  1. #
    Steffanie — March 18, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    Please tell me you saw the face in the eggs, sourcream and vanilla extract picture!!! It jumped out at me right away!

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — March 25th, 2017 @ 10:54 am

      I so do! Ha ha! I love finding faces in food 🙂

  2. #
    Carolyn — March 19, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    First of all Thanks so much for all the great recipes! I have one quick question, I’m just verifying there’s no salt in this? Thanks!

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — March 19th, 2017 @ 4:30 pm

      Hi Carolyn! Correct, no salt. Enjoy!

  3. #
    Kristy Bartlett — March 17, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    This just came out of the oven!!! My house smells divine!! I can’t wait to eat it!! I had to change it up though !! No Guinness, so I used coffee. No sour cream, so I used mayonnaise 🙂 I’ll let you know how it turns out!

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — March 18th, 2018 @ 8:42 am

      Oh great! I’m excited to hear how the may worked in it 🙂

  4. #
    Susie — March 26, 2018 at 4:03 am

    Just wondering how you get the frosting to remain so white? Mine always come out a bit off-white or off-coloured; would love to get it to the white colour you have in your pictures!

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — March 30th, 2018 @ 8:28 am

      I blame the vanilla extract. My frosting is a little off white as well, but it could just be my lighting that makes it look as if it’s whiter. ❤️

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