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Guinness Chocolate Cake with Irish Cream Frosting

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Two layers of rich, moist Guinness chocolate cake, sandwiched between layers of sweet Irish cream buttercream frosting. The deep, malty notes of the stout beer perfectly complement the luscious dark chocolate, creating a dessert that’s perfect for any Guinness lover!

cut guinness cake on white tray with flowers and two forks around, a slice of cake behind and empty glasses.

Now, I know what you might be thinking – “Guinness in a cake? ICK!” But trust me, the addition of the stout adds an incredible depth of flavor and moistness to the cake, without overpowering it with an unpleasant beer taste.

Oh, and the Irish Cream Buttercream? It’s the dreamy, velvety frosting that takes this cake to a whole new level!

Why Bake With Guinness?

Baking with Guinness adds a rich and complex flavor to your baked goods, with hints of coffee, malt, and caramel that can enhance the overall flavor. When used in a chocolate cake, the beer enhances the chocolate flavor and adds a moist, tender texture to the cake, making it perfect for creating delicious treats like our Guinness cupcakes! The slight bitterness of the Guinness complements the sweetness of the chocolate, resulting in a decadent and unique dessert. Plus, the carbonation in the beer can help create a lighter, fluffier texture!

Guinness cake with chocolate drips on white tray with flowers, glasses, and stack of plates behind.

Baking (With Beer) Is A Science – What You Need To Know

While we try to make baking as easy as possible for any level of baker, when it comes to baking with beer, it’s not just dumping some into your favorite chocolate cake recipe. There are a few things that have to be accounted for to ensure recipe success! So, let’s talk about it.

  • Extra liquid: This is the first thing you think of when wanting to add something like beer to a batter. The added liquid will throw off the proportions of the cake and it’s not as simple as just adding more flour to fix it. Instead, the liquid ingredients are adjusted to account for the new ingredient!
  • Leavening is still needed: While the carbonation in beer helps provide some natural lift to this cake, baking powder and baking soda are still very much needed in this cake to really give it the perfect texture and structure, but too much can make the cake bitter! So, it’s all about finding that perfect balance.
  • Temperature is important: Room temperature beer is a must! Cold beer won’t help the leavening. And you get less flavor integration because the cold beer won’t meld well with the ingredients in the cake. It can also cause the melted chocolate to harden, resulting in a ruined cake.

So, you can see it’s not always as easy as mixing in something that sounds delicious. Adding something as complex as beer takes some thought and serious recipe testing! Luckily for you, this cake is formulated FOR the addition of Guinness.

half of guinness cake cut into six slices on white tray with two forks and a slice behind.

What You Need To Make The Perfect Guinness Cake

  • All Purpose Flour – We wanted a moist, tender cake but one with enough structure to hold its shape without going to pieces. That’s where the all purpose flour comes in. It has the perfect amount of protein to create that structure.
  • Granulated Sugar – While adding the perfect amount of sweetness, it also helps with the texture and structure of the cake.            
  • Espresso Powder – Intensifies the rich chocolate flavor and adds a subtle coffee note that complements the Guinness.
  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda – The leavenings used in this batter, baking powder and baking soda each make their own contributions to the texture and structure. Baking powder both starts and finishes the process of rise in this cake, starting as soon as it is mixed with liquid and continuing more robustly once it is in the oven. Baking soda reacts with the acidity in the beer to give the rise a boost while also neutralizing enough of the acidity in the beer to keep the cake from tasting bitter.
  • Salt – Acts as a flavor enhancer, tempering the sweetness and bringing out the other notes in the cake.
  • Eggs – The binder that holds all the ingredients together, eggs also contribute structure, stability, moisture, and richness.
  • Vegetable Oil – Adds moisture to the cake, preventing it from drying out and creating a tender crumb.
  • Guinness – The key ingredient! Gives the cake a unique malty, slightly bitter flavor and a moist texture. It also helps activate the baking soda for some extra lift.
  • Vanilla Extract – Adding a subtle undertone, vanilla extract enhances the flavor of both the chocolate and the beer.
  • Bittersweet Chocolate – Our go to for most things chocolate, bittersweet chocolate has a rich, complex flavor that perfectly complements the Guinness without being overly sweet. We used Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate because it is balanced and smooth and is also readily available in most places.
ingredients for chocolate guinness cake.

⊹ Tip For Success! ⊹

Remember to let the melted chocolate cool before adding it to the wet ingredients! If you add hot, melted chocolate to the liquid ingredients, it could curdle the eggs.

The Secret To A Perfectly Delicious Guinness Chocolate Cake

If there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s chocolate cakes. From our Chocolate Fudge Cake to an Old-Fashioned Chocolate Sheet Cake, we have it all and over the years have learned the best ways to enhance subtle flavors to ensure each bite is better than the last.

The secret to this cake? Adding melted dark chocolate and espresso powder! When combined, the melted chocolate infuses the cake with a deep, rich chocolate flavor, complimenting the natural flavors in the beer. Meanwhile, the addition of espresso powder brings a subtle flavor that enhances the chocolate and malt flavors inside this cake.

angled close up of cut guinness chocolate cake on white tray with two forks.

What Type of Beer Should I Use?

For this recipe, we used Guinness Extra Stout. It had the flavor profile that we were looking for to compliment the flavors inside the cake! Though, we do recommend trying this cake with Guinness Nitro Cold Brew to add a bit of a creamy, more coffee-forward flavor to this cake.

You can also use any type of Irish Stout (or any stout, really!) in place of Guinness. Just make sure the flavor profiles in the beer will pair well with chocolate.

Let Get Mixing!

The first step to this cake is making the batter. This is SO easy and all you need to do is whisk the dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate bowls, then combine them into one luscious batter!

Bake To Perfection

Once you have divided the cake batter between your prepared pans, it’s time to bake! In a 350℉ oven, we found that these cakes takes about 30-32 minutes to bake all the way through.

⊹ Tip For Success! ⊹

Once the cake layers come out of the oven, allow them to cool for about 10 minutes (the pans should still be warm to the touch, but not too hot to handle) before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to finish cooling.

Irish Cream Buttercream Frosting

When developing this recipe, we talked about using our luxurious Chocolate Frosting or maybe our No-Fail Cream Cheese Frosting, but when it came down to it…we chose to make our classic Buttercream and flavor it with Irish Cream! It’s so simple, but it makes SUCH a difference in flavor. The Irish Cream brings a boozy creaminess to the frosting which perfectly compliments the Guinness and chocolate in this cake.

irish cream frosting in mixer bowl.

Assembly Tips & Tricks

When it comes to cake assembly, it can be quite daunting. Luckily, this cake is only TWO layers! It’s easy to assemble and effortlessly gorgeous. Here are some of our tried-and-true tips to help you build your best-ever cake!

  • Level your cakes: Trim off any domed tops to create even layers. You can use a serrated knife or a cake leveler to do this!
  • Use a turntable: This makes it easier to frost and assemble your cake evenly.
  • Frost the sides first: Begin by frosting the sides of the cake, then move to the top for a smooth finish.
  • Take your time: Building a layer cake is a process, so don’t rush it! Enjoy the process and know that it will be worth it in the end. 😉

Recipe FAQ’s

If you would prefer, you can use a non-alcoholic beer! It’s still best to use a stout-style or dark beer.

If you want to make this cake ahead of time, you can store the baked and cooled cake layers covered tightly at room temperature overnight (or in the freezer for 3 months!). The frosting can be prepared, then covered and refrigerated overnight. If your cake is frosted, then you can store it, covered, in the fridge for 3-4 days or freeze it for up to 2 months

More Recipes You Will Love

cut guinness chocolate cake on white tray.

When you make this Guinness Chocolate Cake with Irish Cream Frosting, leave a comment down below! We love hearing from you and answering any questions you might have! Also, be sure to tag us on social media and hashtag it #BakersTable.

Happy baking!
x, Caylie

cut guinness cake on white tray with flowers and two forks around, a slice of cake behind and empty glasses.
5 from 1 vote

Guinness Chocolate Cake with Irish Cream Frosting

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with this decadent Guinness Chocolate Cake! It's tender, moist, and FULL of flavor thanks to the combination of melted chocolate, espresso powder, and Guinness. So simple, but SO delicious!
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 32 minutes
Total Time: 57 minutes
Servings: 12 slices



  • cups all purpose flour*
  • 1⅛ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs , room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup Guinness, room temperature
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted


  • 1 cups salted butter, room temperature
  • 1⅞ cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • ¼ cup Irish cream, room temperature
  • ¼ cup whole milk, room temperature



  • Heat oven to 350℉.
  • Spray two 8 inch round pans with baking spray. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk flour, sugar, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk eggs, egg yolk, oil, beer, vanilla, and chocolate together.
  • Add dry ingredients.
  • Stir until combined, but do not over mix.
  • Divide evenly between prepared pans.
  • Bake for 32 minutes, or until cake tests done.


  • Beat butter and powdered sugar until smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Add Irish cream and milk.
  • Beat until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. (Add more milk if necessary to make the frosting spreadable.)


  • Level cakes, if needed.
  • Place one layer on serving plate.
  • Spread ½ frosting over top.
  • Top with second layer.
  • Frost as desired.

Notes + Tips!

*This recipe was written using an average of the dip and sweep method for measuring flour and the spoon and level method. If you are using a scale, you will need to add 3/4 oz or 22 g  to the measurement for each cup of flour.
  • Room temperature is about 70℉.
  • Use an oven thermometer to ensure accurate cooking temperatures.
  • To substitute unsalted butter for salted in the frosting, add 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  • Make sure the chocolate is cooled before adding it to the rest of the liquid ingredients.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 674kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 383mg | Potassium: 195mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 47g | Vitamin A: 581IU | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

When you make this recipe, remember to tag @bakerstble or hashtag it #BakersTable!

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