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Guinness Cake

Updated: May 18, 2021

from Farmleigh, Castleknock, Co.Dublin

I’ve made chocolate cake with Guinness before, but this is a delicious alternative. Dense in texture, this cake resembles more a fruit cake than chocolate cake. For this recipe, using Guinness in both the cake and frosting adds a caramel taste that I haven’t experienced in other fruit cakes. Poking holes after the batter is baked to add a bit of Guinness, elevated the flavor of the grapefruit rind. If you are not a fan of grapefruit because it maybe too bitter for you, it can be omitted from this recipe. Instead just use the orange rind.


  • 2 ( 4 ounces each) butter sticks, at room temperature

  • 11/3 cup granulated sugar

  • 3 eggs

  • 2 cups shifted all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon allspice

  • 1/3 cup mixture of orange and grapefruit zests

  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen cherries, chopped

  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

  • 6 tablespoons Guinness beer (Save the remainder of the Guinness to add to the cake after its baked)


  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

  • Guinness beer

Yields: a 7- inch round cake

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour


  1. Preheat oven to 325°f and grease a 7-inch round cake pan.

  2. In a stand mixer, beat the butter with sugar until nice and creamy.

  3. Add the eggs one at a time until each is well incorporated.

  4. Add the allspice. Followed by the flour.

  5. Remove the bowl from the stand.

  6. With a wooden spoon, fold in the cherries and walnuts until they’re completely coated by the batter.

  7. Add 6 tablespoons of the Guinness beer. Place in the cake pan, and bake for 1 hour.

  8. To make the icing, add the powdered sugar in a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon at a time of the remaining beer until you obtain a smooth mixture.

  9. Allow the cake to cool in the pan.

  10. Un-mold the cake and place on a plate upside down.

  11. Prick the base with a skewer and spoon over 1/4 cup of Guinness beer.

  12. Let the cake rest for about half an hour before turning over on a nice cake plate to spoon the icing over the top.

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