Chocolate Guinness Layer Cake


  • Prep Time30 mins
  • Total Time30 mins
  • Makes12 wedges
*PLUS Baking Time: 25 minutes
Chocolate Guinness Layer Cake

Believe it or not, beer does amazing things for cake. Our St. Patrick's Day special is dense and rich, with the slightest undertone of stout.


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder

  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 1 cup lightly packed brown sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 1 cup dark stout beer, such as Guinness

  • 3 cups icing sugar

  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 1/3 cup milk or beer

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 1 large pinch of salt

  • 1 1/4 cups candied beer nuts


  • Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Lightly oil or spray two 8-in. (20-cm) round cake pans. Sift flour with cocoa, baking powder, soda and salt into a medium bowl. Stir to mix. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter with sugar for 3 min. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after additions. Beat in vanilla. Using a wooden spoon, stir about one-third of flour mixture into butter mixture. Add half the beer. Repeat additions, ending with flour. Stir just until evenly mixed. Pour batter into pans and smooth top.

  • Bake in centre of oven until a cake tester inserted in centre of cake comes out clean, 25 to 28 min. Cool in pans on a rack for 10 min. Run a knife around inside edge of each pan, then turn cakes out onto a rack. Cool completely.

  • For icing, sift icing sugar with cocoa into a bowl. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter until creamy, 2 to 3 min. Gradually beat half the icing-sugar mixture into the butter, scraping down the sides as needed. The mixture will be dry at this point. Gradually beat in beer or milk, vanilla and salt, then remaining icing-sugar mixture.

  • To frost, place 1 cake, top side down, on a cake plate. Spread one-third of the icing overtop. Sprinkle with 1 cup (250 mL) nuts. Place remaining cake on top, domed side up. Gently press down. Spread it with half the remaining icing, then spread the sides with icing. Garnish with remaining nuts. Cake will keep well, covered, at room temperature, up to 2 days.

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories 453, Protein 5g, Carbohydrates 66g, Fat 21g, Fibre 3g.

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