Chocolate Guinness Cake

My favourite guilty pleasure is cake, any cake, as long as there is sponge and filling it’ll do me. While Victoria Sponge usually ranks number one my husband’s chocolate Guinness cake (stolen from Nigella)comes a close second.

I can’t bake, my baking talents extends to jam sponge squares. These consist of a basic of basic sponge cake baked in a square tin. Once it cools I slap jam on top and cut it into squares, even the kids are less than impressed but it is pretty tasty and hits a spot with a nice mug of coffee.

My husband was brought up with his dad baking for the family so he was taught from an early age, the only cookery lesson I’ve had was year 7 cookery class in school. No matter how hard I try baking it never turns out, I follow the recipe and it still turns into a disaster, my sponge squares are only a result of my father in law having some sympathy for me and explaining the basic of basic cake recipe I’m well known for. My cherry cake went down in family history not because of its taste but rather the fact all my Cherry’s sank to the bottom of the cake tin, it was edible what more could they ask!!!!!

Anyway as I was saying my husband has learnt from one of the great cake makers, so the whole baking situation comes very easy to him. He’s renowned for his cakes amongst our friends and his chocolate Guinness cake is his most asked for cake.

This cake is very rich and is an acquired taste. I personally didn’t like it at first the moistness of the cake put me off along with the actual cream cheese topping, but over time my palette changed and I now love it.



  • 250 millilitres guinness
  • 250 grams unsalted butter
  • 75 grams cocoa powder
  • 400 grams caster sugar
  • 142 millilitres sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 275 grams plain flour
  • 2½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda


  • 300 grams cream cheese
  • 150 grams icing sugar
  • 125 millilitres double cream (or whipping cream)


  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C/350ºF, and butter and line a 23cm / 9 inch springform tin.
  2. Pour the Guinness into a large wide saucepan, add the butter – in spoons or slices – and heat until the butter’s melted, at which time you should whisk in the cocoa and sugar. Beat the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla and then pour into the brown, buttery, beery pan and finally whisk in the flour and bicarb.
  3. Pour the cake batter into the greased and lined tin and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Leave to cool completely in the tin on a cooling rack, as it is quite a damp cake.
  4. When the cake’s cold, sit it on a flat platter or cake stand and get on with the icing. Lightly whip the cream cheese until smooth, sieve over the icing sugar and then beat them both together. Or do this in a processor, putting the unsieved icing sugar in first and blitz to remove lumps before adding the cheese.
  5. Add the cream and beat again until it makes a spreadable consistency. Ice the top of the black cake so that it resembles the frothy top of the famous pint.