Indulge in the rich, decadent flavours of this Guinness chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting. This mouth-watering bake is a perfect combination of moist chocolate cake with a hint of bitterness from the famous Irish stout, and a creamy, tangy frosting that complements the sweetness of the cake.
Whether you're a fan of chocolate cakes or looking to try something new, this Guinness chocolate cake is sure to impress your taste buds and become a favourite dessert for any occasion.
Guinness chocolate cake is a versatile dessert that can be enjoyed any time of the year, but it is particularly suited for special occasions or celebrations around and during St. Patrick's Day. It's rich and decadent flavour makes it a perfect dessert for a dinner party or any gathering with friends and family.
Just like in my Guinness Brownies, this easy loaf cake is infused with stout beer to enhance the flavour and the texture of the bake. The bitterness of the stout complements the sweetness of the chocolate, creating a rich and complex flavour that is both delicious and unique.
Ingredients and substitutions
This Guinness chocolate loaf cake is made of the following ingredients:
- Guinness - Use any type of stout - draught, extra stout or smooth. It can be from the can or from the bottle. You can also use an alcohol-free or gluten-free stout instead.
- Butter - Salted or unsalted butter. No need to bring it to room temperature, as it will be melted anyway.
- Cocoa powder - Use good quality, unsweetened cocoa powder: Since the chocolate flavour is a prominent part of this cake, be sure to use a high-quality cocoa powder to get the best taste.
- Sugar - Go for caster sugar or granulated sugar. I'm using golden caster sugar, which adds a subtle caramel flavour to the sponge.
- Buttermilk - To help us create that super soft and tender, moist crumb. Alternatively, you can make your own buttermilk by combining milk with some lemon juice, or use sour cream instead.
- Flour - Plain, all purpose flour.
- Baking soda and baking powder.
Additionally, for the cream cheese frosting you will also need:
- Butter - Softened, room temperature salted or unsalted butter.
- Icing sugar/ powdered sugar.
- Cream cheese/ soft cheese - Full fat, room temperature soft cheese.
Scroll to the bottom of this post for the recipe card and the full list of the ingredients.
Heat the Guinness and butter in a medium saucepan until the butter has completely melted. Allow this mixture to cool just for a couple of minutes, to make sure it's not too hot when adding an egg mixture.
Add the cocoa and sugar to the melted butter and stout mixture.
Stir in the buttermilk, egg and vanilla (optional) into the stout mixture.
Place dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
Transfer the batter into the baking tin and bake for 35 - 40 minutes. Allow the cake to cool completely before adding the cream cheese frosting.
Hint: Don't be alarmed if the batter for this chocolate and Guinness cake looks really runny. It is meant to be that way!
- Cupcakes - You can use this Guinness cake recipe to make chocolate Guinness cupcakes instead! You should get about 12-15 cupcakes (make sure to fill the cupcake cases no more than ⅔ full), just remember to adjust the baking time to about 15-18 minutes. Spread each cupcake with cream cheese frosting and sprinkle with chocolate shavings or cocoa powder.
- Traybake - This Guinness chocolate cake can also be baked as a traybake instead of a loaf cake. Use 9" x 13" (22cm x 32cm) rectangular baking tin, but double the ingredients. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean (few crumbs attached are fine).
- Different frosting - Swap couple of tablespoons of icing sugar for cocoa powder to turn it into chocolate frosting, or free to use your favourite type of buttercream instead. My chocolate ganache frosting from this recipe for One Bowl Chocolate Cake will also work great. For any whiskey fans, I can also recommend topping this Guinness chocolate cake with whiskey buttercream (check out this recipe for Whiskey Buttercream from Charlotte's Lively Kitchen).
- Gluten free stout cake - Check out this Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Cake with Irish cream frosting for a gluten free option.
- Baking tin - To make this stout chocolate cake, you will need 1 Lb loaf tin. Mine is 22 cm x 11.5 cm (8.5" x 4.5"). Alternatively, you can also use deep 8" round baking tin (add few extra minutes to the baking time), or double the recipe and use rectangular 9" x 13" baking tin (bake for about 40- 45 minutes).
- An electric hand-held mixer or standing mixer with paddle attachment - Although you can make the sponge for this Guinness chocolate cake recipe by hand, you will need an electric mixer to make the cream cheese frosting.
- Medium saucepan, large mixing bowl and a spatula.
Store this Guinness stout cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Remove the cake from the fridge and bring it to room temperature before serving.
The cream cheese frosting can be sensitive to temperature changes and may become runny or separate if exposed to high temperatures. So, it's always best to keep the cake refrigerated until just before serving.
Unfrosted cake can also be frozen for up to 2 months. Wrap it tightly in a double layer of cling film, wrap in kitchen foil and place in the freezer. Thaw in the fridge overnight and bring to room temperature before serving.
The cream cheese frosting can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw it overnight in the fridge. You may have to re-whip it again briefly, so it has that spreadable consistency.
When making cream cheese frosting, make sure you are using full-fat cream cheese. Because this is what gives that super thick and extra creamy texture. Swapping it for fat-free or reduced fat option will result in runny and watery frosting.
Also, if the frosting feels too soft or runny, place it in the fridge for 20 minutes, allowing it to firm up.
Frequently asked questions
Adding stout to a chocolate cake recipe can result in a more flavourful and tender cake. It enhances that rich chocolate flavour, and adds a unique twist that sets it apart from other chocolate cakes. Stout, with its roast coffee and caramelised flavours is often paired with chocolate in baking. Plus, the carbonation in the stout can also help to lighten the texture of the cake, resulting in a moist and tender crumb.
This chocolate cake contains Guinness beer, which is a beer that has a low alcohol content of around 4.2%. However, the alcohol in the Guinness typically burns off during the baking process, so the cake should be safe for consumption by people who avoid alcohol. Alternatively, you could also use an alcohol-free version of stout beer.
There could be few reasons for that: If the cake is not fully baked in the centre, it can collapse and sink as it cools. Overmixing the batter can lead to too much air being incorporated, which can cause the cake to rise too much in the oven and then collapse in the centre as it cools. Also, if the oven temperature is too low, the cake may not set properly and sink in the middle.
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.
Guinness Chocolate Loaf Cake
- baking paper
- 1 lb loaf tin (22cm x 11.5cm or 8 ½" x 4 ½")
- medium saucepan
- large mixing bowl
- freestanding mixer with paddle attachment or a hand-held electric mixer
- 125 ml Guinness or any stout beer
- 125 g unsalted butter
- 40 g cocoa powder
- 180 g caster sugar or granulated sugar
- 1 large egg room temperature
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract optional
- 70 ml buttermilk, room temperature *see notes for an alternative
- 140 g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
For the frosting:
- 50 g unsalted butter softened and cubed
- 300 g icing sugar
- 150 g full-fat cream cheese (I used Philadelphia) room temperature
- Preheat the oven to 170 C (160 C fan). Grease and line the baking loaf tin with baking paper and set aside.
- Pour the Guinness into a medium saucepan and add the butter. Cook on medium heat until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the cocoa powder and sugar into the warm liquid. In a small jug or mug, mix together the egg, vanilla and buttermilk, and add this to the mixture in the pan.125 ml Guinness, 125 g unsalted butter, 40 g cocoa powder, 180 g caster sugar, 1 large egg, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, 70 ml buttermilk, room temperature
- Sift the flour, baking soda and baking powder into a large bowl or a bowl of a freestanding or an electric mixer. Set the speed on low and pour in the contents of the saucepan. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl and continue to mix until all the ingredients are incorporated, 1- 2 minutes.140 g plain flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking tin and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the sponge bounces back when lightly pressed and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Set aside to cool, then remove from the baking tin to the wire rack to allow to cool completely.
For the frosting:
- Using a freestanding mixer with paddle attachment or an electric whisk, mix the butter for couple of minutes until pale and fluffy. Gradually add the icing sugar in three batches, until you have sandy mixture. Add the cream cheese and mix on low speed, then increase the speed to medium and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.50 g unsalted butter, 300 g icing sugar, 150 g full-fat cream cheese (I used Philadelphia)
- Once cake is completely cool, top it generously with the cream cheese frosting. You can decorate the cake with chocolate curls or dusting of cocoa powder. 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.
- Buttermilk substitute - Mix 70 ml of milk with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and set aside for 5 minutes. Use as per the recipe instructions.
This recipe was originally published in March 2021. It has been updated with new photos, video, revised recipe and tips in March 2023.