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Guinness Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Guinness Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting |

Happy Guinness Week!

That’s right. Instead of gearing up for St. Patrick’s Day with the usual corned beef and cabbage recipes, I have decided to celebrate instead with one of my other Irish favorites — Guinness. Not the world records, the stout. :)

(Ok, I’m watching “Friends” as I type, and Chandler’s humor is rubbing off on me.)

For our first recipe, I couldn’t resist bumping this one up on the schedule after I made and loved it again today — Guinness Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. Oh my heavens, people. I’ve had and made a handful of Guinness cakes over the years, but this recipe is the winner by a landslide. It is ridiculously good.

The chocolate cake is really moist and overflowing with rich chocolate flavor, with a hint o’ Guinness in the background. But it is made all the better when paired with this heavenly cream cheese frosting. I thought about going with something different for the frosting, but there’s a reason cream cheese is the classic pairing here. My friends and I all agreed that they are absolutely perfect together!

So be sure to tune in this week for more great sweet and savory Guinness recipes to come!

Guinness Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting |

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Guinness Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.3 from 3 reviews
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 65 minutes
  • Yield: 12 slices 1x


This is the best Guinness chocolate cake recipe I’ve found! It is, of course, made all the better with rich cream cheese frosting.



For The Chocolate Guinness Cake:

  • 2 cups Guinness (or other stout)
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate unsweetened cocoa powder (or regular unsweetened cocoa powder)
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups sour cream

For The Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 3 (8 oz.) bricks cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 6 cups powdered sugar


To Make The Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans with 2-inch-high sides, and line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper. Butter paper.
  3. Bring the Guinness and 2 cups butter to simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth and no lumps remain. Transfer the mixture to the freezer and let cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in large bowl to blend.
  5. In a stand mixer, beat the eggs and sour cream on medium speed until combined. Add the slightly-cooled Guinness mixture to the egg mixture, and beat on low speed just until combined. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed for 10 seconds. Using rubber spatula, fold batter the rest of the way until completely combined. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. (I use a kitchen scale to be sure that the cakes are even.)
  6. Bake cakes until a toothpick inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes. Transfer cakes (within their pans) to rack, and cool 10 minutes. Then carefully turn cakes out onto rack and cool completely. Frost with cream cheese frosting once cooled. Keep cake covered in a sealed container, and refrigerate for up to 3 days, although this cake is best enjoyed the day it is made!

To Make The Frosting:

  1. Using an electric mixer, cream together cream cheese and butter on medium speed for 1 minute or until smooth with no lumps remaining. Add in vanilla extract and salt, and continue mixing until combined. Lower speed to medium-low and gradually add in powdered sugar. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until combined. If frosting is too thick, you can add in a teaspoon or two of water. If it is too thin, you can add in more powdered sugar.


Cake recipe adapted slightly from Epicurious

Guinness Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting |

Guinness Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting |

Guinness Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting |

Guinness Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting |

Guinness Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting |

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63 comments on “Guinness Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting”

  1. What an absolutely beautiful cake!

  2. I love St Patty’s recipes. Can’t beat Guinness in recipes, esp cakes.

    Cake looks lovely!

  3. Yay Guiness Week! This is one gorgeous cake. I love the way you frosted it!

  4. What a stunner of a cake! I’m not much of a Guiness drinker but Guiness cakes are always so delicious. Can’t wait to make this!

  5. OK, this looks SO good!!! Beautiful cake and the flavors sound awesome!

  6. Love this Ali. Gorgeous photos of a truly gorgeous cake!

  7. I’ve made the epicurious version before – INCREDIBLE. Makes me want some right now!

  8. Oh my gosh, Ali! That froooooosting. Yum.

  9. GORGEOUS!!! wish I could taste it through the screen lol!

  10. Oh my gosh I love this!!!! I actually make guiness chocolate cup cakes most St. Patrick’s Days – it’s just the best! This is gorgeous!!!!!!

  11. I love the way your frosted your cake – it’s simple but looks so gorgeous! Looking forward to the other Guinness recipes coming up!

  12. I love how much frosting you used! Wow!! I’m looking forward to seeing what else you have up your sleeve this week ;)

  13. This looks freakin’ amazing! I’ve never baked with Guinness. I think that needs to change.

  14. Can you believe I still have never actually tasted Guinness? I really need to fix that someday. Maybe I’ll let a gorgeous chocolate stout cake like this one usher me in. It looks incredible! :-)

  15. this does look delicious- any given day i would take a slice of this cake rather than cabbage and green beer :)

  16. Looks like a perfect excuse to try Guinness for the first time! Yum!

  17. This looks heavenly!! I dont generally drink guiness, but I could definitely love this!!

  18. wow! this cake looks phenomenal. I’m a big guinness fan, and adding chocolate never hurts!

  19. I don’t usually like Guinness, but I can totally get on board with a cake like this! It’s gorgeous!

  20. you should try Guinness cake with Bailey’s frosting… so good! i’ve had people asking me to make those cupcakes again since last st. patrick’s day. :)

  21. Wow! THat is seriously an amazing looking cake. I have actually never baked with beer, but I am convinced I need to give it a try! And all the frosting coming out of the layers…swoon!!!!

  22. That is one gorgeous cake Ali! I’ve been meaning to make a Guinness cake this year, yours is so calling my name!

  23. Yum! This cake looks divine!

  24. Oh. My. GOODNESS! And, I mean Guinness Goodness! Wow. This sounds AMAZING! And, perfect timing for my Irish husband’s upcoming birthday this week! THIS will be his birthday cake for SURE! Thank you for the inspiration. :) LOVE your blog. LOVE IT! Will definitely need to blog about his bday cake and give props to you! Thanks!
    ~doreen at

  25. This is just heaven covered in frosting!! Have I told you lately I love you?

  26. I love you’re doing Guinness Week and this cake! Oh my! My favorite dessert/cake combo is chocolate and cream cheese. Sounds amazing! I also read your Aldi posts. I’ve never shopped at Aldi. My mom does. We only have 1 locally and it isn’t anywhere close to me but now I’m totally curious and next time I’m in the area I’m stopping in! Hope you’re doing well. It’s been a while. :)

  27. I’ve made Guinness chocolate cupcakes before but instead of regular cream cheese frosting I made Bailey’s cream cheese frosting. It was amazing. Try it!

  28. What a fun week! And I love the amount of cream cheese frosting on this. All other frosting? Eww. But put some cream cheese in there and just give me the bowl and a spoon. No cake needed! ;)

    But if I did need a cake, I’d want it to be this one. :)

  29. Oy vey, come to mama! Guinness beer is way too rich for me to consume on its own, but I can totally get down with enjoying it via a moist and decadent chocolate cake. And the cream cheese frosting!

  30. I made this cake on Friday for my hubbie’s birthday and OMG was it awesome! He’s not a huge fan of anything cream cheese (yeah, I don’t get it either…) so I just used a chocolate frosting – though I did sneak in a thin layer of cheesecake frosting in between and I can see how frosting the whole cake in that would take it over the top. It was a bit hit with our whole family and we had fun playing “guess the secret ingredient” (the Guinness of course). Will definitely make this again!! Loved it!
    Now, to try the Guinness floats once I have my baby (due in 3 weeks)!

  31. I made this cake for a bridal shower. It was a HUGE hit! Thanks for posting the recipe.

  32. this looks great for St.Paddys day company. My question is can I serve it to kids-2 to 12?? Does the alcohol bake off? If not I can always serve cupcakes to them, but Id rather know for sure

    • Hi Dot,

      Sorry for the late reply. Alcohol never completely boils off when baking/cooking. But the amounts would be very trace when divided amongst the entire recipe. Still, serve (or not) at your discretion.


  33. Making this today for my husband’s birthday cake. I have no doubt he’ll be in absolute Guinness heaven. Thanks, Ali!

  34. How can I make it double layer?

    • Hi Giovana! To make this two layers, we think you should be fine to cut everything back by 1 1/2. We hope this helps and that you enjoy! :)

  35. I added some grated orange rind to the frosting and the pairing, with the deep chocolatey Guinness flavor, was stunning!

  36. How can I convert this recipe into cupcakes?

  37. I don’t have guinness or any stout. What could I substitute? Thank you for this recipe. Gorgeous cake and photography!

  38. Just went to buy all the ingredients and realised I forgot the stout!! ? I’ve heard of coke a cola in cakes do you think I could substitute with that? 

    • Oh no! Hmm, we think it’s worth a try! Definitely let us know how it turns out!

  39. If I wanted to adapt these to be cupcakes, do you know how I’d adjust the baking time and temp? Any other considerations I’d need to take into account?

    • Hi Lauren! For cupcakes, they’ll still bake at 350, but should only need about 15-20 min in the oven (test them with a toothpick at the 15 min. mark). We hope this helps, and that you enjoy them! :)

  40. Hi!
    Is it possible to bake the cake in advance and freeze it (without the frosting)?

  41. This is the second time I’ve made this cake. It is wonderful, but definitely takes more than a half an hour to make. So worth it though!!

  42. How would you suggest reducing the sugar content for someone pre-diabetic? With Stevia or xylitol?

    • Hi Carole! Unfortunately we’re not familiar enough with Stevia or Xylitol, and haven’t experimented with anything like that in this recipe. Additionally, we’d be afraid to make any suggestions since we aren’t dietitians or medical professionals. We would definitely recommend checking out Carolyn’s blog though — she works with those ingredients all the time and is an excellent baker! We hope this helps.

  43. Hello there. I was wondering if this recipe could fit a 13×9 pan? Thank you

  44. Hello! I’m making this in a few days and I was wondering if you have any suggestions on making the layers with 9 inch round pans? Should I make more batter? How long do you think I should cook cakes for?

  45. I have maded this cake a number of times and it is FABULOUS. It is dense, fudgy, moist, and super flavorful. Absolutely love it with the cream cheese frosting, but I could honestly eat it bare and be happy as a clam. I plan on making it again today for a birthday celebration this weekend- with chocolate frosting :) Possibly with salted caramel sauce on top? We’ll see.
    For anyone interested in making this in advance, the last couple times I’ve made it, I baked the layers ahead of time, wrapped them in plastic wrap and stuck them in freezer bags after they cooled, and froze them. I find frozen cake layers SO much easier to frost, and this cake has frozen beautifully for me each time. Love this recipe, its my go to chocolate cake especially for birthdays.

  46. *made lol

  47. This one didn’t work for me — split the batter between the three cake pans, like the recipe called for, and the pans were VERY full. It the rose quite a bit (unevenly too), and spilled over into the bottom of my oven. When it was finally cooked, the cakes didn’t come out of the pans well (I buttered generously and used parchment), and texture was very crumbly. Tastes great, but not an easy textured cake to work with.

  48. I made this recipe for my family a year ago and it is now the most requested dessert that I make! Perfect balance of everything. Not too sweet. I laughed when you said it can last for 3 days, because we have never made it that long! It disappears!!
    Just make this cake, it’s a sure winner!