Ana Patty’s Chocolate Guinness Cake

May 3, 2012 · 10 comments

A version of this post first appeared on the Gathering Together Farm blog here.

Every Tuesday, I go in to Gathering Together Farm to hang around the restaurant kitchen, taking photos of the week’s new menu. When I rolled in this week, one of the kitchen staff quickly escorted me to the back, insisting that he had something that he urgently needed me to photograph. That’s when I first saw this lovely, dark cake. Two members of the kitchen crew had birthdays this week, so the GTF pastry chef decided to bring in a chocolate Guinness cake to celebrate. After snapping a couple quick photos, the cake was cut and passed around among the employees. Apparently they had been waiting for me to arrive and document the moment before eating the evidence.

I hadn’t really planned on blogging about this cake, but later that day I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It’s moist, dark, and richly flavorful. The added Guinness isn’t an afterthought or a subtle “secret” ingredient but more like the star of the show. The crumb tastes like beer but in a delicious, chocolately way, and the light touch of Bailey’s Irish Cream in the whipped cream topping adds a little boozy complexity. I asked Ana Patty (the pastry chef) if she would like to share her recipe, and lucky for us, she agreed.

Chocolate Guinness Cake 

makes two 8″ round cakes

very loosely adapted from a chocolate buttermilk cake recipe in Caprial’s Desserts

for the cake:

3 1/8 (1 lb) all purpose flour
2 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 good eggs
3 good egg yolks
2 1/2 cups Guinness beer
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons strong coffee

for the topping:

 1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ounce Bailey’s Irish Cream or other flavored syrup
dark chocolate (grated) or extra cocoa powder

*This recipe can be done with or without an electric mixer.

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Mix dry ingredients together, and make sure no lumps remain. Add the oil and buttermilk and mix until thoroughly combined. Gradually add in the eggs and egg yolks a little at a time and mix until thoroughly combined. Add in the beer, vanilla extract, and coffee mix until thoroughly combined. The batter will be very runny (the consistency of chocolate syrup).

Grease two 8-inch pans and pour in the batter. Bake. Check the cakes after 20 minutes to make sure they’re not burning. Remove the cakes from the oven when an inserted toothpick comes out clean (about 30 minutes total).

When the cakes are cool, whip the cream and then fold in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Spread a layer of whipped cream on top of each cake and then use a pastry brush to paint on the Bailey’s Irish Cream or flavored syrup. Sprinkle on grated dark chocolate or cocoa powder.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura May 4, 2012 at 1:00 am

Wow – this looks amazing! I’m a sucker for chocolate cake – well chocolate anything, really. Don’t know if I can get the alcohol or syrup out here – but your gorgeous photos have confirmed my plans for making some form of chocolate cake this weekend! Thanks for the recipe and the inspiration!


ivey@durangomom May 4, 2012 at 5:48 am

goodness…it looks so rich and dense. i think i’ll give it a whirl!

thanx for sharing and your photos are lovely.


mel May 5, 2012 at 12:14 pm

oh my, how I’d love a slice of this! I’ve been threatening to make a Guinness milkshake for years now, and seeing this cake just reminded me! why have I not acted on the Guinness inspiration?! Now, after seeing this recipe, I have two reasons to get some of the dark, wonderful stuff and incorporate it into our diet in delicious ways… (although I probably wouldn’t give any of my samplings to my 7-year-old… and then he’d be jealous. but I don’t want to break the law and make the poor kid tipsy!)


Camille May 6, 2012 at 10:47 pm

The cake is definitely non-alcoholic after the baking. You could substitute another flavored syrup or leave the whipped cream plain for the topping if you want to make it more kid friendly.


mel May 7, 2012 at 11:34 am

thanks for pointing that out, Camille–of course you’re right (it’s just like when I use alcohol for flavor in sauces or soups and such… it’s harmless when finished). now I have no excuses; I simply must locate m’self a pint-a Guinness.

hope this week is better than that bad day you recently had. we’ve all had ‘em, and thankfully they pass.


MrsDG@TalesFromHomemadeHouse May 5, 2012 at 1:02 pm

I know so many people who would give their right arm for this cake…I may just have to give it a go! Thanks for sharing! :)


Michelle May 5, 2012 at 7:07 pm

OMGosh, this looks soooooooooooo yummy! Thanks for sharing the recipe!


Cara May 13, 2012 at 9:47 pm

Yay- thanks for the recipe, Camille. I make guiness chocolate cake every st patty’s day (as irish as i get) so I’ll have to give this recipe a try. Might need to try it out sometime soon actually. Yum!!


Theresa May 16, 2012 at 6:49 pm

I used this reciped this past weekend for my husband’s birthday cake. It was fabulous!!! Just to let you know: not sure about 8″ pans, I used 9″ pans and the cakes rose and were really tall even so. Also, no way 30 minutes is long enough. Mine cooked for at least 50-60 minutes.

Highly recommend this recipe…it was such a treat.


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