With St. Patrick’s Day on the horizon, many of us will be celebrating Ireland’s patron saint with one of the nation’s most iconic products, Guinness. And as much as we all love to drink the meal in a glass, those looking for more ways to enjoy the beloved stout will be happy to know that transforming it into a luscious chocolate cake is a worthy endeavor, and a festive way to celebrate the occasion.

Adding Guinness to a chocolate cake creates a moist texture that isn’t overly dense. The slight bitterness of the beer is offset by the addition of sour cream (and plenty of sugar), and a silky frosting adds just the right amount of lightness to the otherwise decadent treat.

Though the booze is mostly baked off in the oven, the stout adds a toasted coffee-like flavor and a deep, dark color to the cake. A bright white Baileys-spiked icing makes for a stark contrast — creating a stunningly mouthwatering presentation that evokes a perfectly poured pint.

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Just be sure to let the cake cool completely before you get the party started. Because it has a relatively wet batter, it can stick to the sides of the pan if removed too soon. But once it’s cooled and frosted, it’ll be a picture-perfect confection ready for any celebration.

Chocolate Guinness Cake (lightly adapted from Nigella Lawson)

Guinness Chocolate Cake is the best St. Patrick's Day dessert to make this weekend
Credit: Katie Brown

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE CAKE:

1 cup Guinness stout
10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups sugar
¾ cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt

FOR THE FROSTING:

1 ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
8 ounces cream cheese
½ cup heavy cream
2 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon Baileys Irish Cream

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and line it with parchment paper.
Pour Guinness into a large saucepan, add the butter, and heat until the butter is melted. Remove the pan from the heat, then whisk in the cocoa and sugar.
In a separate bowl, beat together the sour cream, eggs, and vanilla, then pour into the pan, whisking to combine.
Whisk in the flour, baking soda, and salt.
Pour the cake batter into the greased and lined pan, and bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool completely in the pan.
When the cake is cooled, carefully remove it from the pan and place it onto a platter or cake stand.

For the frosting: lightly whip cream cheese until smooth, sieve over the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch, and beat to combine.
Add heavy cream and Baileys, and beat until it’s fluffy and spreadable.
Ice the top of the cake so that it resembles the frothy top of a pint of Guinness.