These Guinness brownies are easy and a delicious dessert, incorporating the iconic Irish stout beer into a classic brownie recipe. The addition of Guinness to the brownie batter gives them a rich and complex flavour, with ever so slightly bitter and earthy note, ideal to balance out the sweetness of chocolate and caramel.
If you never baked with stout beer before, this brownie recipe is a great way to try it. I promise that the bake will absolutely not taste of beer! A distinct, roasted character of stout is often perceived as dark chocolate or coffee, and that is why it's soooo good in chocolatey bakes.
Stout brownies are a great dessert option for anyone who loves chocolate and beer. They are perfect for St. Patrick's Day celebrations or any occasion where you want to indulge in a sweet treat with a bit of a kick. It's a super moist and fudgy brownie, with slightly malty and tangy flavour that perfectly compliments the rich, dark chocolate.
This recipe is based on my Easy Homemade Brownies, with an addition of Guinness reduction, and some caramel drizzle. If you enjoy the combination of chocolate and Guinness, be sure to check out my Guinness Chocolate Loaf Cake recipe.
Ingredients and substitutions
Guinness chocolate brownies are made with the following ingredients:
- Guinness - The star of this recipe, Guinness stout beer. You can use any type of Guinness (from the can or from the bottle), whether it is draught, Guinness extra stout, smooth or the alcohol free version. You can also use any other type of stout.
- Cream (optional) - Double cream (heavy cream) to make the salted caramel. I'm adding salted caramel to the brownie batter and some for the drizzle on top. Alternatively, you can also use store-bought salted caramel sauce, or skip it from the recipe completely.
- Sea salt flakes (optional) - We are adding it to the salted caramel and to the finished bake.
- Chocolate - I like to use dark chocolate, but milk chocolate or a combination of both is also fine. Use the chopped chocolate bar, semi-sweet or sweet chocolate chips, or chocolate discs.
- Butter - Use salted or unsalted butter. If choosing salted butter, skip the extra salt from the brownie batter.
- Sugar - My go-to is always white caster sugar or golden caster sugar (for some extra buttery and caramel notes), but granulated sugar is also an option.
- Eggs - Stick to large eggs and make sure they are room temperature before using.
- Cocoa powder - I like to use the unsweetened cocoa powder to intensify the chocolate flavour even more. If you don't have any, or don't want to use it, you can just skip it from the recipe, it will still taste great!
- Flour - Plain, all purpose flour.
Scroll to the bottom of this post for the recipe card and the full list of the ingredients.
Start by making the Guinness reduction. Reducing the Guinness first concentrates its flavour and prevents the brownie batter from becoming too liquid.
Pour the stout into a medium saucepan and boil over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, keeping an eye on it to make sure it doesn't overflow. You want to reduce it to 150 ml (if using the caramel drizzle), or to 100 ml (if you are not using the salted caramel drizzle).
Next, make the caramel drizzle and set it aside (optional).
Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water or in a microwave and set aside.
Beat the eggs and sugar until pale, fluffy and thick, about 5 minutes.
Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture along with the Guinness reduction. Sieve in the flour and cocoa powder and fold until combined.
Pour the batter into the baking tin (add a layer of salted caramel drizzle, if using) and bake for 28-30 minutes.
Hint: Leave the brownies in the baking tin to cool completely, then transfer to the fridge for at least 1 hour, allowing them to firm up and to set. You can also leave them in the fridge overnight.
Once cooled, drizzle your chocolate stout brownie with the remaining caramel, and sprinkle some extra sea salt flakes on top (optional). Slice into squares and enjoy!
My easy Guinness brownies are fantastic on their own, but if you want to make them extra-special, try one of the following versions:
- Add frosting or buttercream - I'm using the salted caramel drizzle in this recipe, but you can also try them with cream cheese frosting (use the frosting from my chocolate Guinness cake recipe ). They will also be delicious with simple buttercream flavoured with Guinness reduction (mix 100g of soft butter with 200g of icing / powdered sugar, and add 2-3 tablespoons of Guinness reduction). I also tried them with some irish cream topping, and they were out of this world! Check out this No Bake Baileys Cheesecake post for the topping recipe.
- Enhance the flavour - Add a tablespoon of an espresso powder or super-fine instant coffee to the brownie batter, to enhance the chocolate flavour even more. A couple of spoons of vanilla extract will also be a lovely addition.
- Chopped nuts - Mix a handful of chopped pecans, walnuts or hazelnuts to the brownie batter for an extra flavour and an extra crunch.
- More chocolate - Save a handful of chopped chocolate or chocolate chips, before melting the rest. Stir the chocolate chunks into the batter right at the very end, or use them as a topping.
- 8" x 8" (20cm) square baking tin - This is my go-to for all of my brownies recipes. Mine is also a loose-bottom, making the removal of the brownie bake much easier, but it's not necessary. Round baking tin with same dimensions will also work.
- Parchment paper - For lining the baking tin with. For a simple way to line a square tin, measure out two lengths of baking parchment that are long enough to run up the base and sides of the tin with a little overhang. Trim them so they are the same width as the tin, then layer them in a cross pattern, one on top of the other, so that each side is covered in baking parchment. Use the overhang on the top layer to pull the brownie out once it's baked.
- Standing mixer or a hand-held electric mixer - Although not completely necessary, but helpful for whipping the eggs and the sugar. If you don't have an electric mixer, you can use a simple kitchen whisk instead.
Store these Guinness brownies at room temperature, in an air tight container for up to 4 days. Alternatively, keep them in the fridge for up to a week (bring to room temperature before serving).
Stout brownies are also suitable for freezing for up to 3 months. Thaw them in the fridge overnight, then bring to room temperature before serving.
Do not skip reducing the Guinness/ making Guinness reduction. It may seem like an unnecessary hassle, but this step is really important. Reducing the liquid in beer will ensure that brownies won't turn into a cake instead.
When we boil the stout, the liquid evaporates from it, reducing its volume, but it concentrates that caramelized coffee flavour.
Yes you can. Although Guinness, like most beers and ales is not gluten free, there are plenty of gluten free stouts available in the shops these days. Choose a gluten free stout and swap the flour for a plain gluten free flour instead.
Absolutely, but you may have to adjust the recipe or a baking times. If the baking tin is only slightly bigger (like 9 x 9 for example), the brownie will not be as thick, therefore it will bake quicker. If your baking tin is significantly bigger (like 9 x 13), you will have to double the recipe ingredients and bake them for longer. Check out this handy baking pan sizes & conversions guide from Once Upon A Chief.
No, they do not taste like beer. The role of stout in this recipe is to intensify the chocolate flavour and to add a subtle malty background flavour to the brownie.
To pin this recipe and save it for later, use the button on the recipe card or on the photos above.
If you try this recipe, or any other recipe on Anna Banana, please take a moment to rate the recipe and/ or leave me a comment. I love hearing from you, but it also helps other readers who are thinking of making the recipe.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
- small saucepan
- 20 cm (8") square baking tin or 20 cm round cake tin
- freestanding mixer or hand-held electric mixer
- baking parchemnt
- mixing bowls
For the salted caramel drizzle (optional):
- 70 g sugar caster or granulated
- 10 g butter
- 50 ml double cream (heavy cream)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
For the brownies:
- 440 ml can of Guinness
- 150 g butter cubed
- 225 g chocolate (chopped) or chocolate chips dark, milk, or both
- 280 g sugar caster or granulated
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 115 g plain flour
- 70 g cocoa powder
- Preheat the oven to 175°C (160°C fan). Lightly grease and line the baking tin with baking parchment, leaving plenty of overhang. Pour the Guinness into a small saucepan set over a medium heat and simmer until its volume is reduced to 150ml (if you are using salted caramel drizzle) or to 100ml (if you are not using the salted caramel drizzle), about 15-20 minutes. Set aside.440 ml can of Guinness
- If using the salted caramel drizzle, make the salted caramel. Place the sugar and 2 tablespoons of water in a small saucepan over a small heat, and stir gently with spatula or wooden spoon until all the sugar has dissolved. Now turn up the heat and cook WITHOUT stirring, until it caramelises and turns an amber colour.70 g sugar
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter, until melted, then pour in the double cream and 50 ml of the Guinness reduction, and add ½ teaspoon sea salt flakes. Put it back over a low heat and stir vigorously until it becomes smooth again. Simmer it for 3-5 minutes to reduce. It should have the consistency slightly thicker than a double cream. transfer into a small bowl and set aside.10 g butter, 50 ml double cream (heavy cream), 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
To make brownies:
- Place the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (make sure the bowl doesn't touch the water), stir it from time to time, until both have melted completely. Remove from the heat and set aside.150 g butter, 225 g chocolate (chopped) or chocolate chips
- In a bowl of your mixer, beat together the sugar and the eggs, until pale, thick and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Next, slowly fold in the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and add the remaining 100 ml of Guinness reduction and ½ teaspoon salt. Sieve in the flour and the cocoa powder and fold everything together until well combined.280 g sugar, 3 large eggs, ½ teaspoon salt, 70 g cocoa powder, 115 g plain flour
- If you are not using the salted caramel drizzle, simply pour the brownie batter into the lined baking tin and place in the oven. If using salted caramel drizzle, pour half of the batter into the baking tin, then drizzle with half of the salted caramel (reserve the rest for later), then pour over the remaining brownie batter. Bake for 28-30 minutes, or until skewer or toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with few moist crumbs attached to it (but no raw batter). Allow to cool completely (you can also place cooled brownie in the fridge overnight), drizzle with the remaining caramel and sprinkle with extra sea salt flakes. Slice and enjoy!
Please note that all my recipes are developed and tested in metric grams. I recommend that you use digital scales for a more accurate results. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.
- Salted caramel drizzle - Salted caramel drizzle is optional. If you don't want to use it, reduce the Guinness to 100ml. If you want to use the caramel drizzle, then reduce the Guinness to 150 ml, as you will need to add extra 50 ml to the caramel.