Indulge in the ultimate chocolate lover’s dream with this authentic Guinness Stout Chocolate Layer Cake. Topped and filled with bittersweet icing and a layer of currant jam and stout drizzling syrup, this cake’s rich, complex flavor makes it the perfect Irish treat.
Guinness Stout Chocolate Layer Cake
When you indulge in this exceptional chocolate cake, you’ll understand why it stands out from the rest. This Guinness cake’s lustrous black exterior hints at what awaits inside. From the moment you take a bite, you’re taste buds are greeted with velvety texture and complex flavor that melts in your mouth.
I give the credit for this masterpiece goes to a blend of premium ingredients: the creamy and malty richness of Guinness, the depth of dark chocolate and cocoa, and the tangy sharpness of buttermilk. Each ingredient contributing to the cake’s impeccable taste and texture, resulting in a unique and unforgettable dessert experience.
The Guinness lends a distinct depth and complexity to the cake’s flavor profile, while the dark chocolate adds a rich and indulgent chocolatey taste that perfectly complements the bitterness of the beer. Meanwhile, the buttermilk provides a tangy and acidic balance to the sweetness, resulting in a harmonious blend of flavors.
The cake’s moist and tender crumb is a testament to the recipe’s careful balancing of ingredients, and it’s a treat that you’ll find difficult to resist. In short, this chocolate cake is more than just special; it’s an exceptional dessert that deserves its rightful place at the top of the pack.
Why Are Guinness Stout and Chocolate a Dessert Match Made in Heaven?
If you’ve ever had a chocolate milkshake made with Guinness stout, you already know it’s a unique and irresistible flavor profile.
The dark and malty flavors of Guinness complement the richness and depth of the chocolate, while the bitterness of the beer enhances the chocolate’s flavor in a complex and indulgent way.
When it comes to baking, the carbonation in Guinness creates a light and fluffy texture especially in cakes and brownies. The carbon dioxide released from the beer during baking creates air pockets in the batter, resulting in a tender crumb that is moist and light.
In general, stout beers are a type of porter beer brewed with roasted malt or roasted barley. These are known to be dark, strong-bodied brews are most acclaimed and loved for their caramel notes and belly-filling qualities.
- Bittersweet icing requires a cooling period. Make it first and it will be ready at the end of the baking process and ready to use.
- This is not a difficult recipe, but does require more steps than the usual cake. Make sure to read the whole recipe once through before making.
- When measuring Guinness, let the foam subside after pouring to make sure you have the right amount.
- I never have a problem finding red currant jelly, but if you do, I have found that grape jelly is a close substitute.
- If you love walnuts, they are amazing with this cake. Use a cup of coarsely chopped walnuts to sprinkle on top and sides of this cake.
- Store cake in the refrigerator since the icing is dairy based.
- This cake is very rich and decadent, a small slice is all everyone needs.
More Guinness Recipes
Adding Guinness to recipes adds rich and complex flavor to so many dishes, even savory ones like stews, braises, and sauces. It helps tenderize meat and adds depth to desserts with chocolate. I hope you get to try some of these.
- Chocolate Guinness Doughnuts
- Guinness Braised Brisket
- Guinness Sundae
- Guinness Stout Ginger Cake
- Beef Irish Stew
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Guinness Stout Chocolate Layer Cake
- 1/3 cup (79 ml) Guinness stout (measured after foam subsides)
- 1/3 cup (65 g) dark brown sugar
- 3 tbsps. (18 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup (158 ml) Guinness stout (measured after foam subsides)
- 2/3 cup (55 g) dried Zante currants (find them next to the raisins)
- 1/3 cup, plus 2 tbsps. (27 g) unsweetened cocoa powder, divided
- 2 oz. (58 g) semisweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
- 3/4 cup (177 ml) buttermilk
- 1-3/4 cups, plus 2 tbsps. (175 g) granulated sugar, divided
- 2 cups, plus 2 tbsps. (240 g) all-purpose flour, divided
- cooking spray
- 2/3 cup (151 g or 1-1/3 sticks) butter, softened
- 4 large eggs
- 1-1/2 tsps. (8 ml) vanilla extract
- 1-1/2 tsps. (6 g) baking soda
- 1/2 tsp (3 g) baking powder
- 1/4 tsp (2 g) table salt
- 1/2 cup (180 g) red currant jelly, warmed (Bonne Maman is the easiest brand to find (sub with grape jelly if you cannot find))
- Garnish: (optional) mini chocolate chips
- 1-1/2 cups (355 ml) heavy cream
- 6 oz. (170 g) dark chocolate (85% cacao), chopped
- 4-1/2 tbsps. (35 g) confectioners' sugar
- 4-1/2 tbsps. (23 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1-1/2 tsps. (8 ml) vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp (1 g) table salt
Icing recipe and instructions are at the end, but require a 4 hour lead time. I advise beginning with the icing so it's ready at the end of the baking process to use. It is worth reading through the whole recipe before beginning to bake this amazing cake.
- To prepare syrup, combine all ingredients in a small, heavy saucepan, whisking until smooth. Heat over medium heat, until sugar dissolves and syrup is smooth. Set aside.
- Pour stout over currants; soak until plump, about 15 minutes.
- Drain currants, reserving stout. Add stout to a small saucepan. Whisk in 1/3 cup cocoa and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat; add semisweet chocolate, stirring until chocolate melts. Cool slightly. Stir in buttermilk.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine leftover 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa, 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar and 2 Tablespoons flour. Coat two 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray; dust with cocoa mixture, shaking out any excess.
- Beat butter with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Gradually beat in remaining 1-3/4 cups sugar until well blended. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in vanilla extract.
- Combine remaining 2 cups flour with baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with chocolate mixture, beating on low speed until blended. (Do not overmix!). Stir in currants.
- Divide batter equally between pans. Bake for 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes before inverting onto a rack. Let cool 30 more minutes.
- Poke tops of cake layers with a skewer or toothpick. Spoon drizzling syrup over tops. Place one cake layer on a platter. Spread warmed jelly over layer on the platter. Chill 30 minutes. Cover chilled jelly layer with about a quarter of the bittersweet icing (previously made). Place second cake layer on top of the jelly layer and finish icing the whole cake.
- Store cake in the refrigerator since icing is cream based.
- While cake layer is chilling, make the icing.
- Bring cream to a simmer (do not scorch). Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl, pour hot cream over it, and whisk until chocolate melts and is thoroughly combined. Cover and chill, 4-6 hours.
- After chilling, the chocolate mixture will be hard. Put bowl in some hot water to help start the loosening process. When it is softened, sift in powdered sugar, sweetened cocoa, vanilla and salt. With a hand-mixer, whip until combined and icing is spreadable.
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