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slice of cake on a plate

Chocolate Guinness Cake

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  • Author: Stephanie
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: British


Nigella’s chocolate guinness cake is one of my favorite cakes in the whole wide world. Dense, rich, fudgy, moist and flavorful, it’s everything you want in chocolate cake and more. The silky cream cheese frosting on top is a delicious bonus.


Units Scale

For the cake:

  • 1 cup Guinness extra stout
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups granulated sugar*
  • 3/4 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

For the topping:

  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Chocolate shavings, for topping (optional)**


  1. First, make the cake: Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with butter, then line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, heat Guinness and butter just until butter is melted. Remove from heat; whisk in cocoa powder and granulated sugar until well-combined. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk sour cream, eggs and vanilla extract until combined. Add to Guinness mixture along with flour and baking soda; whisk again until smooth. Pour batter into prepared baking pan. Place pan on a rimmed baking sheet (to catch any potential drips); place on center rack of oven.
  4. Bake cake 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the edges of the cake are firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer cake to a cooling rack; cool completely. (The center of the cake may dip slightly as it cools; this is normal and the frosting will cover it up!)
  5. Meanwhile, make the topping: In the bowl of a food processor, pulse powdered sugar a few times to remove any lumps. Add cream cheese and process until mixture is smooth. Add heavy cream; process until well-combined into a smooth, spreadable frosting.
  6. Remove fully cooled cake from springform pan; transfer to a serving plate or cake stand. Top cake evenly with frosting so it resembles a frothy pint of Guinness. Garnish with chocolate shavings, if desired. Serve immediately.
  7. Store any leftover cake covered tightly with plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


  • *The original recipe calls for 2 cups superfine sugar, which is effectively granulated sugar with a finer crumb. If you want to make it as close to the OG as possible, you can pulse granulated sugar in a food processor for a few seconds to make it more fine, then add it to the recipe. Be sure to not to over-process, or you’ll end up with powdered sugar.
  • **To make chocolate shavings, run a vegetable peeler along the narrow end of a chocolate bar.
  • Recipe adapted ever-so-slightly from Nigella Lawson.