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!
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.
How to Make It
So fast, so easy!
- 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!)
- Pour liquid ingredients over dry (vegetable oil, Guinness stout, and vanilla extract). Stir to combine.
- Pour in a greased 9-inch cake pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees F until the center is set - 27 to 30 minutes.
- Top however you’d like (see below for ideas).
- Slice and serve!
- 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.
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.
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!)
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).
Yes! Bake the cake and let it cool completely. Wrap tightly and freeze for up to 6 months.
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.
Just use water in place of the Guinness for a rich, delicious, chocolate cake.
Use regular, not Dutch-process cocoa powder for this cake.
More Weeknight-Friendly Desserts
- Easy Vanilla Snack Cake - This Easy Vanilla Snack Cake makes a celebration possible any day of the week with just a little bit of effort! This is a no-mixer-required cake that is baked in an 8×8 pan and comes out tender and soft. This Light and Fluffy Vanilla Frosting makes enough for an 8” round or square cake or a dozen cupcakes.
- The Best Chocolate Bundt Cake - This really, truly is the best chocolate bundt cake going. It’s got a deep not-too-rich chocolate flavor and is topped with a creamy, thick glaze that has just a hint of coffee.
- No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars - A peanut butter and graham cracker base, topped with a chocolate layer means these no bake bars are fun to make and even more fun to eat.
- Anchor 3-Piece Glass Mixing Bowls – My go-to mixing bowls for baking.
- 9-inch Cake Pan - Bake this cake in an 9-inch cake pan.
Irish Chocolate Guinness Cake Recipe
- 9-inch round or 8-inch square pan
- Mixing Bowl
Chocolate Guinness Cake
- 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour (150 grams)
- 1 cup sugar, granulated (200 grams)
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process cocoa)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 ¼ cup Guinness Stout (can or bottle)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Vanilla Frosting (with optional Bailey’s Irish Cream)
- 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup heavy / whipping cream, chilled
- 2 ounces Bailey’s Irish cream (optional)
- 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.
- 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).
Osage Bluff Quilter
I hope we have a Guinness left! Yesterday I went to our old drink refrigerator in the basement, it needed defrosting weeks ago. It was froze up, all the sodas had frozen and exploded, several beers popped their caps, others spewed. WHAT A MESS!
Oh my goodness - what a total mess! Hope you were able to find a Guinness intact!
Have you tried this in a Bundt pan? How does the cooking time vary?
I haven't tried this in a bunt cake pan, but I would guess it would work and that the cook time would be the same. Please let me know if you try it out - would love to know how it goes!
Can you make this with a wheat beer instead of Guinness? I don't have Guinness on hand.
I'm sure that would work just fine!
This is vegan if you replace the topping with vegan frosting. It's yummy warm with vegan ice cream. Or non-vegan as you choose.
I'm surprised there are no eggs in this cake... I don't recall ever making a cake that didn't use eggs.
Amazing, right? It's a style of cake often called a depression cake because it can be made without the more expensive ingredients - eggs and butter. You'd never believe it from tasting it. It's my all-time favorite chocolate cake!
How much Bailey's would you add to the frosting? Thanks
Oops, now I see the amount😊
No worries at all - glad you found it!
Made it today for our Moose lodge. It will be added to my recipe box.
So happy to hear!
The cake was very good. I made 12 cupcakes, and cooked them for 20 minutes. I think you may have transposed your measurements for your frosting, though. There was way too much liquid compared to the powdered sugar.
So glad you enjoyed it Jean! The frosting is a whipped cream frosting, so it includes a large portion of whipping cream that must be beat until stiff peaks form which can take 3 or 4 minutes (or more if using a hand mixer). I added a note to the recipe just to be sure this is clear. Thanks again for your feedback!
Help! Our postponed St Patricks Day meal is tomorrow night and I was going make your cake. All I have are 9 and 10 inch pans! My neighbors don’t have one either (and I’ve called 3 of them). Any ideas?
Sorry for the delay Martha! A 9-inch pan will be perfect! Just keep an eye on it - it may finish cooking a minute or two early.
Will it set up after baking?
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!