Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Guinness Cake is deeply dark, rich and indulgent. It’s a true classic – a moist, malty chocolate cake topped with a white blanket of tangy cream cheese frosting. It truly is one of Nigella’s finest recipes.
nigella lawson chocolate guinness cake
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve made this chocolate Guinness cake by Nigella Lawson. The recipe is from Nigella’s brilliant cookbook “Feast – food that celebrates life”.
Nigella says the best way to describe this cake is to say that it’s like gingerbread without the spices. I would definitely agree – the texture of the cake itself is very moist and damp – there is simply no other way to describe it – and the Guinness provides a slight malty flavour.
If you don’t like Guinness, please don’t be put off by trying this recipe. I’m not a fan of drinking it at all but I use stout all the time for cooking. I have posted recipes for chocolate Guinness brownies, chocolate Guinness cupcakes and this rich beef and Guinness stew recipe is also a must try.
I often turn to Nigella’s books when I’m looking for a good cake recipe – I find them easy, foolproof and delicious! This chocolate Guinness cake is one of her very best and once you’ve tried it, I’m sure you’ll agree.
Nigella’s easy clementine cake is also one of my regular bakes – it’s made by blitzing whole oranges with sugar and ground almonds. As you can imagine, it’s light, extremely moist and not too sweet. It’s lovely with a dollop of Greek yoghurt and fresh berries. What’s your favourite Nigella cake?
Nigella lawson chocolate guinness cake ingredient list
Full measurements and detailed instructions can be found in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page. Please have a read of the step by step guide and tips before attempting this recipe!
- unsalted butter
- cocoa powder
- caster sugar
- sour cream
- two large eggs
- vanilla extract
- plain (all purpose) flour
- bicarbonate of soda
- instant espresso powder (optional)
for the cream cheese frosting:
- full fat cream cheese
- icing sugar
- vanilla extract
- double (heavy) cream
how to make Nigella lawson’s chocolate guinness cake
In a large saucepan, gently heat the Guinness and butter over a low heat, stirring until the butter has melted. Whisk in the caster sugar and cocoa powder. Whisk well to eliminate any small lumps that might have formed.
Place the sour cream in a large jug or bowl. Beat in the eggs, then the vanilla extract. Pour this mixture into the pan of melted Guinness and butter and whisk well.
Sift together the dry ingredients – flour, bicarbonate of soda and espresso powder, if using.
Pro tip – I try and avoid sieving where possible, but after making this cake several times, I find sieving prevents tiny little lumps of flour from forming in the batter!
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk well until you have a smooth, rather liquid batter. Stop whisking as soon as the batter is smooth and there are no little pockets of flour.
Pour the batter into a greased and lined 23cm (9 inch) springform cake tin. Bake at 180C/160Fan/350F for 45-60 minutes or until the cake is risen and a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake emerges with no raw batter. If the cake springs back to the touch when lightly pressed in the centre, it’s ready.
remove the cake from the oven and place the tin on a wire cooling rack to cool completely (I leave it in the tin to cool.)
step five – make the cream cheese frosting
Using a stand mixer or hand held electric mixer, whip the cream cheese until smooth, then sieve over half of the icing sugar and mix until smooth. Add the remaining icing sugar and mix again.
Pour in the double cream, then whip on medium speed until you have a smooth, spreadable frosting.
assembling the cake
Remove the cold cake from the tin and peel of the baking parchment. Sit the cake on a serving plate, then top with the cream cheese frosting, swirling it with a small palette knife to create the “froth” on the top of a pint of Guinness!
storing chocolate guinness cake
Since the cake has a cream cheese topping, it should be stored in a tupperware box in the fridge. It will last for about three days, although it never lasts longer than a day in my house!
faqs and troubleshooting
chocolate guinness cake has sunk in the middle
Because this cake is made from quite a liquid batter, it has a tendency to sink ever so slightly in the middle. However, it shouldn’t dip too much. If your cake sank badly, then I’m afraid it was removed from the oven before it was baked properly.
can you freeze chocolate guinness cake?
It’s best to freeze the cake without the frosting. Wrap the entire cooled cake in double layers of cling film and tin foil or a large freezer bag/box. Freeze for up to three months. Defrost the cake in the fridge overnight before decorating and serving.
can i serve chocolate guinness cake to children?
Just as in cooking, the vast majority of the alcohol bakes out during the baking process, so unless there is an allergy, chocolate cake containing Guinness should be ok for children. If you still don’t feel comfortable, you could always make this alcohol free chocolate fudge cake instead!
did you make this nigella lawson chocolate guinness cake?
- 250ml (one cup) Guinness
- 250g (2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 75g (3/4 cup) cocoa powder
- 400g (2 cups) caster (super fine) sugar
- 150ml (2/3 cup) sour cream
- 2 large eggs (not fridge cold)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 275g (2 cups) plain (all purpose) flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder (optional)
- FOR THE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- 300g (8 ounces) full fat cream cheese
- 150g (1 1/4 cups) icing (confectioners') sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 125ml (1/2 cup) double (heavy) cream
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160Fan/350F/Gas mark 4. Grease and line a 23cm (9 inch) springform cake tin.
- Pour the Guinness into a large, wide saucepan and add the butter. Melt slowly over a low heat, stirring occasionally.
- As soon as the butter has melted, whisk in the cocoa powder and caster sugar.
- In a medium jug or bowl, beat the sour cream, eggs and vanilla extract together. Pour this mixture into the pan of Guinness and melted butter and whisk well.
- Sieve together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and instant espress powder, if using. I know this is a pain, but it will help eliminate lumps forming in the cake batter. Whisk the dry ingredients into the pan of wet ingredients. As soon as you have a smooth batter and no pockets of flour remain, stop whisking.
- Pour the cake batter into the lined tin and bake for 45-60 minutes or until the cake has risen and a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake emerges with no wet batter.
- Place the cake tin on a wire cooling rack and let it cool completely in the tin.
- To make the frosting, lightly whip the cream cheese until smooth, then sieve in half of the icing sugar. Beat until smooth, then add the remaining icing sugar and beat until smooth. Pour in the vanilla extract and double cream and beat until you have a light, smooth frosting.
- To assemble the cake, carefully remove it from the tin and peel off the baking paper. Set the cake on a serving plate, then top with the cream cheese frosting, swirling the top with a small palette knife to make it look like the top of a pint of Guinness.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 306Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 78mgSodium: 591mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 0gSugar: 4gProtein: 3g
Calories and nutritional information are provided by a third party application and should be viewed as indicative figures only.