Having a smidge of “Irish in me blood,” St. Patrick’s Day does have some meaning in my family. While we love making Leprechaun traps and doing other doing other fun St. Patrick’s Day activities for kids in our household, we do like making some classic Irish recipes. However, I can do without the standard cornbeef and cabbage.

When my Mom made that classic Irish dish every year growing up, I was forced to eat it, so I am not a big fan as an adult. I was also not a fan of bangers and mash (sausage and mashed potatoes) for a similar reason. While my DNA may have a large percentage of Irish in it, my taste buds have fully embraced my mixed American roots. However, there is one recipe that I do love and it’s not your standard St. Patrick’s Day dish, but it’s a classic Irish recipe nonetheless. Why a classic? Because it has Guinness in it!


Ingredients for Chocolate Guinness Cake:

  • One cup of Guinness (or any dark beer really, but don’t tell my great-great grandmother that…)
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda

For the topping you will need:

  • One package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream


  1. Grease a 9-in. springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. You could skip the latter step, but it does help get the cake out easier once cooked.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat beer and butter until butter is melted. Remove from the heat; whisk in sugar and cocoa until blended.
  3. Combine the eggs, sour cream and vanilla; whisk into beer mixture. Combine flour and baking soda; whisk into beer mixture until smooth. Pour batter into greased springform pan.
  4. Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Remove sides of pan.
  6. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until super fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar and cream; beat until smooth. Only until smooth. Don’t over beat it.
  7. Remove cake from the pan and place on a platter or cake stand.
  8. Ice top of cake. Bonus points if you can frost it so that it resembles a frothy pint of beer.

So, give a go and see if this may be something you make every St. Patrick’s Day to give you the Luck o’the Irish for the rest of the year!

Originally published as Chocolate Guinness Cake in Country Woman February/March 2011.