Emily M. DeArdo


Friendship and Guinness Cake

food stories, recipesEmily DeArdo1 Comment

I've always loved to bake, even when I was a little kid and I didn't quite grasp that if you bake, you must clean up. And I've made a lot of cakes in my life, including a three layer Peanut Butter monstrosity for a friend's Christmas party one year. 

But this cake....this is really the only cake I make anymore. 

This is a Guinness Cake. Do you see the resemblance to a pint of Guinness with the foamy head? (No?) And this cake is really the only cake recipe you ever need. 

I have made this cake for parties, birthdays, dessert after a dinner party--you name it, this cake has been there. It's a cake that men adore, probably because it's not too sweet. This is a damp, rich cake that is also good for breakfast. (No judgment, right?) 

I almost never make it unless it's for a friend get-together, so when I make it, it brings back a lot of good memories. Try it, and make some memories of your own. 

But once you start making it, you'll never be able to stop making it. People will ask for it forever. It's a hard-knock life. But this cake is worth it.

Guinness Cake

from Nigella Lawson's Feast 

Notes: Before you start, make sure the butter, eggs, and cream cheese (for the frosting) are room temperature. You will have a much better cake! * I set the pot over medium heat--the recipe doesn't specify a temperature, but medium's always worked for me. * I usually bake the cake the day before the party, and then frost it the day of. The cake is so damp that it will hold very well. 


1 c. Guinness (I use extra stout) 

1 stick + 2 tbsp. unsalted butter

3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder

2 c. sugar

3/4 c. sour cream 

2 eggs

1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract

2 c. all-purpose flour

2 1/2 tsp. baking soda

For the icing: (optional)

8 oz. cream cheese

1 1/4 c. confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar)

1/2 c. heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 350. Butter and line a 9" springform pan with parchment paper. 

Pour the Guinness into a large wide saucepan (I use my Dutch oven, actually), add the butter in slices, and heat until butter's melted. Whisk in cocoa and sugar. In a separate bowl, beat the sour cream, eggs, and vanilla together and then add them to the beer mixture. Finally, whisk in flour and baking soda. Whisk until well-combined.

Pour the cake batter into the pan and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Leave to cool completely in the pan on a cooling rack. It's a very damp cake. 

When it's completely cool, make the frosting. Lightly whip the cream cheese until smooth, sift over the confectioner's sugar, and then beat together. Add the cream and beat again until it makes a spreadable consistency. Ice the cake. (This makes a lot of frosting. You want to frost this cake thickly, so try to use all of it, if possible.)