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Chocolate Guinness Cake Recipe

**This post is made in partnership with Guinness Beer. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Everyone loves a good chocolate cake, but a Chocolate Guinness Cake is what everyone needs for St. Patrick’s Day (or if you’re into Guinness cupcakes check out this Beer and Pretzel Cupcake or this  Irish Cupcake recipe).

Chocolate Guinness Cake recipe with step-by-step photos.

This chocolate cake is layered with a creamy ganache frosting and the cake layers are soaked in a Guinness syrup—that’s in addition to Guinness being added into the batter—to really drive the flavor home.

Chocolate Guinness Cake recipe with step-by-step photos.

Chocolate Guinness Cake recipe with step-by-step photos.

Layer cakes take a little longer to make and involve a few more components, but this one is well worth it. To ease the flow and logistics, you can break out the assembly of this cake over two days.

How to assemble a layer cake

Chocolate Guinness Cake recipe with step-by-step photos.

Chocolate Guinness Cake

Yield: Serves 10

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup rye flour (this will add some nuttiness, but using all-purpose flour will work too)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 cup Guinness Beer (measured without the head)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup olive oil (vegetable oil will work too)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Guinness Syrup

  • 1/2 cup Guinness Beer (measured without the head)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • Chocolate Frosting  (to have the cake as heavily frosted as you see in the picture, double the frosting recipe)

Chocolate Frosting 

  • 1lb. milk chocolate, chopped
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
  • Pouring Ganache

Pouring Ganache

  • 12 oz. bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup warm water

Instructions

Heat oven to 350 F. Lightly cover two round 8-inch pans with non-stick spray.

To make the chocolate cake: In a large bowl, whisk together granulated sugar and brown sugar, all-purpose flour, rye flour, baking soda and salt; set a side.

In a large saucepan, over medium heat, bring Guinness Beer and water to a simmer. Remove saucepan  from heat and whisk in cocoa powder, set aside too cool, about 5 minutes. Once cooled, add in oil, eggs and vanilla extract, whisk until well combined. Add the flour mixture and whisk until combined and no lumps remain.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until cake slightly springs back when pressed in the center and inserted cake tester comes out free of wet batter, about 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely, about 1 to 2 hours.

In the meantime, make the Guinness syrup: Combine the Guinness Beer and sugar. Stir over medium heat until sugar is completely dissolved. Set aside to cool.

Next while the cake is still baking make the frosting: Combine the chocolate and cream in a bowl. Set bowl over a saucepan filled with 1-inch of simmering water (make sure the  bottom of the bowl does not touch the water). Whisk until mixture is homogenous and glossy, about 10 minutes. Remove bowl from sauce pan. Add the butter and whisk until fully incorporated. Transfer chocolate ganache to to the refrigerator to cool and thicken, about 30 minutes. Remove from the refrigerator, don’t worry if the butter has separated. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer beat the ganache frosting until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Note: The longer you beat the ganache frosting the lighter it will become in color.

To assemble the cake: Use a serrated knife and carefully halve cakes lengthwise. Gently brush each cake with Guinness syrup. Don’t be overzealous, with the syrup. The cake is already moist, this is just to add flavor. Too much syrup will lead to a soggy crumb.

Place 1 cake layer, cut side up, on a platter. Using a spatula, spread about 1/2 cup of ganache frosting on top, spreading to edge. Place another cake layer, cut side down and spread another ½ cup of ganache to the edge. Top with remaining cake layer (do not frost the top). Chill the cake for an hour.

Remove partially assembled cake from the refrigerator. Before you start frosting, reserve and set aside about 3 cups of frosting. Spread remaining buttercream all over the top and side of cake. Return the fully frosted cake to the refrigerator to chill for an hour.

In the meantime, make the pouring ganache: Combine the chocolate and cream in a bowl. Set bowl over a saucepan filled with 1-inch of simmering water (make sure the  bottom of the bowl does not touch the water). Whisk until mixture is homogenous and glossy, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add powdered sugar, whisk to combine. Add water, 2 tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition until pouring consistency is reached. Set aside to cool until warm.

Remove fully frosted cake from the refrigerator and drizzle pouring ganache on top. Set aside for ganache to set, about 20 minutes.

Transfer reserved frosting to a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe frosting on to the top of the cake. Optional finish: Place Ferrero Rochero candies on top of piped frosting.

Notes

**NOTE: 

Layers cakes take a little longer to make and involve a few more components, but this one is well worth it. To ease the flow and logistics, you can break out the assembly of this cake over two days:

  • Day 1: Make the cake, cover it well in plastic wrap and then keep it chilled in the refrigerator. The latter will make frosting the cake that much easier as it’ll be sturdier and the frosting won’t catch the and tear at the cake.
  • Next make the Guinness simple syrup. While this isn’t totally necessary, it does bring added flavor to the cake. Go easy with it though, the cake itself is very moist on its own. Too much of this will over soak the cake and make for a soggy crumb.
  • Day 2: Make the frosting. Keep in mind it will thicken as it sits, so don’t wait too long to frost the cake. If the frosting does thicken too much, and is hard to spread, add room temperature heavy cream (place in microwave if necessary to warm) to the frosting and beat it with a hand or stand mixer until the desired consistency and texture is achieved. The frosting is best made the day you are ready to frost and cover the cake. If you make this any earlier, the frosting tends to stiffen beyond spreading consistency (think cold peanut butter over soft bread). But life happens, and if you find a day passes from when you made the frosting to when you can cover the cake, there's a solution. Place the frosting in a stand mixer bowl and beat it for 1 to 2 minutes to break it up. Next add room temperature (not cold) heavy cream to the frosting and beat it for a few minutes more, about 2-3 minutes, to soften the frosting to a spreadable consistency.
  • Make the pouring ganache the day you are ready to assemble the cake.