The best chocolate cake ever courtesy of the Domestic Goddess

chocolate guinness cake 2
I’ve had more requests for this Chocolate Guinness Cake recipe than any other by a long shot. It’s legendary in our family and is quite simply the best chocolate cake ever. People never believe me when I tell them that it’s super easy to make but it’s true. There’s hardly any mixing involved and limited measuring as you use a whole pat of butter, a whole carton of sour cream etc. Just make sure you buy a good quality spring form cake tin – my original cheapo Tesco one was leaky and it was heart breaking when the runny mixture ended up on the bottom of the oven.

You can’t really taste the Guinness (it just adds a malty stickiness) so don’t be put off making it if you’re not a fan. I’m never sure whether the addition of Guinness means that you ought not to give it to children. Surely the alcohol burns off in the oven?! Call me a bad mother but I DO let my children have a slice and they don’t seem to be any more vibrant than usual after a sugary chocolaty fix.

The ingredients are pretty expensive (around £6) but you do end up with a large cake which can be cut into at least 12 large slices.

I usually end up tinkering with even the best recipe but the only change I’ve made to this one is to leave the double cream out of the icing. It means one less ingredient to buy and I think it tastes fresher with just cream cheese and icing sugar (if you want to keep to the original then you add 125ml double cream after mixing together the cream cheese and icing sugar). The main cake is exactly as Nigella makes it.

Nigella’s Chocolate Guinness Cake (from ‘Feast’)

Makes 12 large slices

For the cake

  • 250ml Guinness
  • 250g butter
  • 75g cocoa
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 1 x 142ml pot sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon real vanilla extract
  • 275g plain flour
  • 2½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda

For the icing

  • 300g Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 150g icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 180oC fan and butter and line a 23cm spring form cake tin.

Pour the Guinness into a large wide saucepan, add the butter and heat until the butter has melted. Then whisk in the cocoa and sugar.

In a separate bowl beat the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla, then pour into the saucepan with the butter, cocoa and sugar.

Finally, whisk in the flour and bicarbonate of soda.

Pour the cake mixture into the tin and bake for 45 to 1 hour (for me this timing is frustratingly vague – from experience I usually opt for nearer to 45 minutes as it’s better for this cake to be slightly too moist than overdone. I just do the usual skewer test after 45 minutes and if it comes out clean then I take it out then). Leave to cool completely in the tin on a cooling rack.

When the cake is cold sit it on a flat plate ready for icing.

For the icing, lightly whip the cream cheese until smooth and then add the icing and beat again until incorporated.

Put the icing on top of the cake, and distribute roughly so that it looks like the frothy top of a pint of Guinness.

NOTE: Don’t be tempted to use half fat cream cheese for the icing – the lower fat content makes it too runny. I also find that it pays to use branded Philadelphia even though it’s more than double the price.


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