Chocolate Irish Guinness Cake


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If you have one bowl, a few pantry staples, and Guinness beer, you can make a Chocolate Irish Guinness Cake for dessert tonight. Guinness Stout adds rich, malty flavor to this incredibly simple cake that doesn’t require eggs. Serve it on its own or add Irish Cream frosting on top!

one bowl guinness chocolate cake on a wooden tray

Oh friends…have I got a good one for you today!

Chocolate cake needs very little explanation. A great chocolate cake is a great chocolate cake. But it’s always a bit better if that chocolate cake takes only a few minutes to make, in one bowl, with no mixer, and is the sort of thing you could just throw together on a Tuesday night. So today, I bring you that chocolate cake.

And with St. Patrick’s Day on the horizon, I wanted to take my go-to One-Bowl Chocolate Cake and give it an Irish cake twist. This Guinness cake recipe is light and tender, moist enough to be just fine (possibly even better) if made a day or two ahead, and sure to be the best dessert to pair with your St. Patrick’s Day meal. 

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overhead image of using a a pie server to remove a slice from a round chocolate Guinness cake

How to Make It

So fast, so easy!

  1. In one large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt). (Tip – I’ve provided all of the dry ingredient measurements by weight, so just put the bowl on your kitchen scale and measure that way. You’ll have almost zero dishes to wash!)
  2. Pour liquid ingredients over dry (vegetable oil, Guinness stout, and vanilla extract). Stir to combine.
  3. Pour in a greased 9-inch cake pan.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F until the center is set – 27 to 30 minutes.
  5. Top however you’d like (see below for ideas).
  6. Slice and serve!
pouring chocolate cake batter into a round cake pan

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  • Flour – All-Purpose Flour is the best bet here. I’ve also tested with White Whole Wheat flour with great results. (I’d guess that a gluten-free blend / sub would also work really well in this simple recipe, though I haven’t tried it.)
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – Look for natural unsweetened cocoa powder, not cocoa powder labeled Dutch-process. I use this Hershey’s Special Dark for this cake. (I love that super dark cocoa powder! It’s also used in my Salted Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Cookies.)
  • Vegetable Oil – I keep vegetable oil on hand for baking, so this is the only oil I used in testing this recipe. I’m sure another neutral cooking oil would work.
  • Guinness Stout – You’ll need slightly less than a full single can or bottle of Guinness Stout which is a very dark Irish beer. The cans are often labeled as “Guinness Draught Stout”. Either the can or bottled beer will work fine. 
  • Sugar, Pure Vanilla Extract, Baking Soda, Salt – Standard baking ingredients.
overhead image of dry ingredients for chocolate cake in a bowl on a kitchen scale
Guinness stout in a glass measuring cup on a grey countertop

Optional Topping – Bailey’s Irish Cream Frosting

For even more boozy Irish flavor, top this One-Bowl Chocolate Guinness Cake with Bailey’s Irish Cream Frosting! The recipe includes my favorite Light and Fluffy Vanilla Frosting with the addition of Bailey’s Irish Cream. 

While most of the alcohol in the cake should cook off during baking, keep in mind that the Bailey’s is never heated, so it will retain all of its alcohol when served. 

a can of Guinness and a bottle of Bailey's on a white tabletop
mixing bowl with icing next to a hand mixer

More Topping Ideas

If you want to skip the Bailey’s Irish Cream Frosting, try these toppings instead:

  • A dusting of powdered sugar (this is so easy and always my favorite for a weeknight dessert)
  • Creamy Chocolate Frosting (this recipe makes just the right amount for this 8-inch cake)
  • Nutella Frosting
  • Whipped Cream + Chocolate Shavings
  • Sprinkles (shamrocks or other green sprinkles would be fun for St. Patrick’s Day!)
frosting a chocolate cake with a silicone spatula


Does it taste like beer?

If you’re not a big beer drinker (or not a big Guinness Stout drinker), you might be wondering if an Irish Guinness Cake tastes like beer. The answer is…not really. In fact, the flavors in Guinness pair so well with chocolate that it really just enhances the chocolate flavor of the cake and gives it a slightly smoky, malty flavor. If you’re at all on the fence about using Guinness in the cake, just use water instead of Guinness (as with the One Bowl Chocolate Cake this recipe is adapted from).

Can you freeze it?

Yes! Bake the cake and let it cool completely. Wrap tightly and freeze for up to 6 months.

How long does it last?

This is a great cake for making ahead. The cake will last up to five days. I find it’s best stored in the fridge in a well-sealed container. It gets a rich, fudgy texture when cold.

Is there a non-alcoholic substitute for the Guinness?

Just use water in place of the Guinness for a rich, delicious, chocolate cake.

What kind of cocoa powder should I use?

Use regular, not Dutch-process cocoa powder for this cake.

one bowl chocolate Guinness cake on a wood cutting board next to a glass of Guinness

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removing a slice of Guinness chocolate cake with a pie server

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a round One-Bowl Chocolate Guinness Cake on a wooden tray
4.13 from 91 votes

Irish Chocolate Guinness Cake Recipe

A light, moist chocolate cake with Guinness Stout that adds rich, malty flavor. This is a great cake for a weeknight because it can be made in just a few minutes in one bowl.
This cake is great with the Irish Cream Frosting recipe provided, but can also be served with just a dusting of powdered sugar.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 9


  • 9-inch round or 8-inch square pan
  • Mixing Bowl


Chocolate Guinness Cake

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (150 grams)
  • 1 cup sugar, granulated (200 grams)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process cocoa)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cup Guinness Stout (can or bottle)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Vanilla Frosting (with optional Bailey’s Irish Cream)

  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup heavy / whipping cream, chilled
  • 2 ounces Bailey’s Irish cream (optional)


For cake:

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Spray a 9-inch round or 8-inch square cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. (Note: If you have a pan that tends to stick, line the bottom with parchment.)
  • In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add oil, Guinness, and vanilla extract all at once and stir just until everything is combined and no dry spots remain.
  • Pour batter into prepared cake pan.
  • Bake until the cake is set in the middle, 27 to 30 minutes. (Note: In a thicker pan made of glass or ceramic, the cake may take up to an extra 5 minutes to cook all the way through.)
  • Allow cake to cool completely.

For frosting:

  • Combine cream cheese and powdered sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer. Turn the mixer on medium and beat until evenly combined.
  • Turn the mixer down to medium-low speed and slowly pour the heavy cream and then Bailey’s (if using) down the side of the bowl with the mixer running.
  • When all of the cream has been added, increase speed to medium-high until stiff peaks form (this could take 3 to 4 minutes). If the frosting is too thick to spread with a spatula, add more heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time.
  • At this point, frosting can be refrigerated up to 1 day.
  • Spread frosting on cake just before serving (after it has cooled completely).


Frosting / Topping – If you prefer the frosting to have less of an alcohol flavor, just skip the Bailey’s Irish Cream. If you’re short on time, you can skip the frosting altogether and just top the cake with a dusting of powdered sugar.


Calories: 318kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 290mg | Potassium: 166mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 516IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $6.50
Calories: 318
Keyword: cake, chocolate cake, dessert, easy dessert recipe, St Patrick’s Day
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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

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    1. Hi Barbara, the cake should be cooked all the way through before you take it out of the oven. A tester should come out totally clean or with a few moist crumbs when the cake is done cooking. It’s a tender cake but should be fully set when removed from the oven. Hope that helps!