Guinness Chocolate Cake Recipe with Creamy White Frosting

Guinness Chocolate Cake Recipe

No fuss. That’s the first rule when baking in our home…there are a couple reasons for that:

1. Dishes, we hate them — the less dishes to clean, the happier we are.

2. We want to eat it now. We are not patient and when a 9-inch cake is sitting on our counter, we get all weak in the knees and cannot stand to wait! Could you?

This cake is rich, crazy moist and has the most tender crumb. The frosting is so easy, too. You’ll want a big slice of this one, promise.

Our Favorite Moist and Easy Guinness Chocolate Cake

First, we combine melted butter and stout. (This recipe uses about 1/2 of the bottle, so grab a chilled glass and enjoy the rest while the butter melts).

Guinness Chocolate Cake Recipe with Creamy White Frosting

We whisk in some rich cocoa powder — then we pour into the dry ingredients and mix.

Guinness Chocolate Cake Recipe with Creamy White Frosting

In goes some eggs and sour cream — making it moist as ever — and you’re done.

Guinness Chocolate Cake Recipe with Creamy White Frosting

How to Make Fluffy White and Creamy Frosting

This is such an easy cream cheese frosting (and is actually our favorite because it’s so fluffy and light). Just beat cream cheese and powdered sugar together. Then, to make the frosting extra creamy, add cream — it’s so delicious.

Guinness Chocolate Cake Recipe with Creamy White FrostingYou just can’t lose with this one— it really is one of our favorite recipes. Easy, fast and so delicious.

Guinness Chocolate Cake Recipe

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5.0 from 6 reviews
Guinness Chocolate Cake Recipe with Creamy White Frosting
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
About half a bottle of beer is added to an already moist and rich cake. The cake is deep, dark and chocolately with just a hint of stout.

Since the cake is quite rich, we love topping with a simple no-fuss cream cheese frosting.
Created By:
Yield: 8
You Will Need
For the Cake
  • 3/4 cup (about half of a 11.2 ounce bottle) Guinness Stout beer
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter plus more for pans
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder plus more for pans
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Frosting
  • 8 ounces (1 package) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup whipping or heavy cream
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter then dust the bottom and sides of a 9-inch round cake pan.
  2. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat then add beer and warm through. Remove from heat, and then whisk in cocoa powder until completely smooth. Cool 1 minute.
  3. In the meantime, add flour, sugar, baking soda and salt to a large mixing bowl then use a clean whisk to combine. Make sure you whisk for 20 seconds or so, you want to make sure everything is combined. In another small bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream and vanilla until well blended.
  4. Pour cocoa and stout mixture into the dry ingredients then use a spatula or large spoon to gently stir together. You do not need to beat, just stir until incorporated. Now, add the egg and sour cream mixture and continue to stir until incorporated.
  5. Evenly fill prepared cake pan then bake in the oven about 40 minutes until a tooth pick can be inserted and come out clean and when you tap the top of the cake, it bounces back. Transfer cake, in pan, to a cooling rack and cool 10 minutes then turn cake out of the pan onto the rack and cool completely.
  1. Add cream cheese and vanilla extract to a large bowl then use a hand mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add powdered sugar a 1/4 cup at a time, mixing after each addition.
  2. Add cream and beat until frosting is light and creamy. Frost top of cake.
Notes and Tips
Recipe adapted and inspired from two fantastic Stout cakes, one from Nigella Lawson's book, Feast and the other printed in Bon Appétit Magazine, September 2002.

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30 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Adele January 7, 2017, 11:39 pm

    Made this cake for a dinner party and everyone loved it. One of the best chocolate cakes ever!! I added some strawberries on top to look pretty. Great pics and directions. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Mel November 23, 2015, 2:57 am

    Hi! I love your website! Tried your muffins and they were to die for. Tried to bake this last night but my cake came out with a mound in the middle (,uneven rising?) And my frosting was quite runny…can I check if I am supposed to use the handmixer for the powdered sugar addition and the heavy cream parts too? Or just the handmixer for the cream cheese and vanilla? Tastes heavenly though! My husband found the frosting a tad sweet but what does he know? Haha…will make this again!!

  • Cathy F. May 28, 2015, 9:22 am

    I’m making this cake for my husband’s birthday and have followed instructions to the “T”. When looking at the ingredients and procedure I cannot find where to put the 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla! I ended up putting it in at the end by itself. It is in the oven now so hopefully it turns out as delicious as everyone says. Let you know after it’s done.

    • Joanne May 28, 2015, 10:42 am

      At the end is perfectly fine. The vanilla is added with the sour cream and eggs — there was a typo in the recipe (sorry!!). It is fixed now. Happy birthday to your husband and we hope he loves the cake 🙂

      • Cathy May 29, 2015, 8:58 am

        Thanks. The cake turned out beautiful. My husband had some health issues so I had to modify for him. I used no salt margarine and no fat sour cream. The taste is still there and I’m sure he will love it. Thanks again Joanne for this recipe.

      • Cathy June 2, 2015, 12:50 pm

        Hi Joanne:
        Thought I would get back to you. Had my husband’s birthday with family and friends. All loved the cake even though I tweeked it for my husband. In the cake I used no salt margarine and non fat sour cream and in the frosting I used light cream cheese and no fat sour cream in lieu of whipping cream. The cake turned out beautiful and I give it 5 stars. Thanks for this recipe. I will use it a lot.

  • Tracey March 15, 2015, 11:42 pm


  • Lina Poznyak February 14, 2015, 1:00 pm

    Hello, Joanne and Adam!

    I’m from Belarus.
    I baked this today and the result was awesome! Already tried several of your recipes – they perfect! My family loved it. Thank you for the recipe.

  • Patty May 11, 2014, 8:26 pm

    A great cake, dense and delicious! I also love it’s simplicity.

  • Deb Ragno January 19, 2014, 1:33 pm

    You wrote: “How to Make Fluffy White and Creamy Frosting

    This is such an easy cream cheese frosting (and is actually our favorite because it’s so fluffy and light). Just beat cream cheese and butter together then add powdered sugar. Then, to make the frosting extra creamy, add cream — it’s so delicious.”

    Butter is not listed in the ingredients for the frosting.

    • Joanne January 21, 2014, 9:22 pm

      Oops, you’re correct. Butter is not necessary. Sorry about that, it’s fixed now.

  • Lauren August 29, 2013, 6:53 pm

    Hi, not sure what happened, maybe I used the wrong 9″ cake pan, but my cake overflowed all over my oven! Was I supposed to use two 9″ rounds?? The cake is still delicious, but it’s tiny and thin….I really think i must have missed something!

    • Joanne August 29, 2013, 7:10 pm

      Oh no! Our pan is 2 inches deep — is that the same for you? So sorry it overflowed.

  • Daman June 26, 2013, 8:31 pm

    Hi there,
    I would like to make this too and i am also confused about the butter. It says to use 1 1/2 cups of butter in the cake but what about the frosting? Please clarify. Thanks.

    • Joanne June 27, 2013, 1:08 pm

      There’s no butter in the frosting. Thanks!

  • Sarah April 26, 2013, 3:35 pm

    Excited to try it! The frosting though… no butter in there? At the top pictures it says it’s an easy mixture of cream cheese, vanilla, butter and powdered sugar… but in the bottom list and pictures, no butter is mentioned…

    • Joanne June 27, 2013, 1:07 pm

      Nope, no butter — it really doesn’t need it. The frosting is extra creamy without it. We updated our wording above — we made a mistake. It’s fixed now 🙂

  • Elen March 27, 2013, 2:27 pm

    What kind of “cream” are we talking about here? Are you referring to whipping cream? Half/Half? What’s the butterfat content? Thanking you in advance. 🙂

    • Adam March 27, 2013, 3:19 pm

      Hi Elen — We just edited the recipe to read “whipping or heavy cream” — both will work. Thanks!

      • Elen May 3, 2013, 6:46 pm

        I just remembered to come back here and let you know that I made this for a dinner party and Easter. It was well-received on both occasions as in, “Don’t touch my cake.” 🙂 The next time I make it, I’ve decided to split the layer in half and put have the frosting between the layers. Oh, yeah.

  • Yiranna March 19, 2013, 10:34 pm

    That looks delicious!!!!!
    I’m planning to try it this weekend, but can I leave out the beer? My family, especially my parents doesn’t approve of alcohol, and we don’t have beer in the house. Will it affect the overall taste?Or is there any way I can replace it with something non-alcoholic?

    • Joanne March 20, 2013, 9:53 am

      Yes, you can leave out the beer — just replace the same amount with another liquid — we have tried coffee with lots of success (the coffe brings out the deep chocolate in the cocoa and makes it extra chocolaty). A soda should be great, too.

  • March 17, 2013, 8:56 pm

    I made this for our family St. Paddy’s Day dinner, and it was a huge hit. I added some green food coloring and peppermint extract to the frosting to make it more festive. Everyone loved it! Thanks for the recipe!!

    • Adam March 18, 2013, 4:46 pm

      Sounds so festive! Thanks for coming back and sharing 🙂

  • Atikah December 6, 2012, 2:29 pm

    this was awesome

  • Nan November 20, 2012, 2:48 pm

    this cake is INSANE. I’m making it for our Thanksgiving dessert table and then on Saturday for my husband’s birthday. I made it about a month ago and I’ve been thinking about it ever since! Fantastic recipe. Thanks for the helpful photos. Perfect cake!

  • Christina Crews October 26, 2012, 12:02 pm

    One of the best chocolate cakes ever!!! Made it for company yesterday and they were totally impressed. Keep up the good work.

    • Joanne October 26, 2012, 2:04 pm

      So happy you liked it!

  • Heidi Leon March 13, 2012, 11:08 am

    yeah, totally my kind of recipe. easy and super yum. and I love that I can even enjoy the leftover beer 😉

    • Adam March 13, 2012, 12:01 pm

      yeah, that extra beer helps when waiting for everything to cool 🙂


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