There is a little story behind this recipe that I would like to share with you. I have a close friend of mine, Jo, who is the real queen of Guinness cakes. We have been colleagues for two years (and “neighbours” since a year ago) and I can tell you, hand on heart, that no matter how many recipes I’ve tried, how many versions of this cake I’ve tasted, Jo’s Guinness cake is by far the best one. My recipe is very similar to hers and hopefully you are going to love it!
This is a classic one. Every person who likes baking and Guinness at some point in their life tried to make a Guinness cake. If you search on Google, you’ll easily find pages and pages of recipes. Nigella Lawson has one, Delia has one (though it is disguised as Stout Cake)…. and I have one. Why it is such a hit? well, bake one and you’ll understand. What will come out of your oven is a delicious, super-moist and dense black heaven with a Guinness-ish kick. The frosting makes all the difference: do not, and I repeat, do not leave this cake without it. Also, don’t go healthy – get your full fat cream cheese!
Last confession before the recipe: I like baking (a lot), but goodness me I hate cleaning up afterwards. Another reason why I like making this cake is that you will only need a pan, a jar and a bowl. End of. For the cake (serves around 12 generous portions)
- 250ml Guinness
- 250g unsalted butter
- 80g cocoa powder
- 400g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 140ml plain yogurt
- 280g plain flour
- 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
For the frosting
- 50g unsalted butter, softened
- 300g icing sugar
- 125g full fat cream cheese (I used Philadelphia)
To begin with, line a 23cm spring-form tin cake and preheat the over at Gas mark 3. Mine was a little smaller (but not much). Put a pan on a very low heath and pour Guinness into it. Add the butter and let it melt gently. Do not make the Guinness boil! Stir gently with a whisk until incorporated, then take the pan off the heath and add cocoa powder and sugar to this black mixture.
Take a jug and pour yoghurt, eggs and vanilla extract into it. Give all these ingredients a stir with a fork, then pour this mixture into the pan gently; keep whisking the mixture in the pan whilst you do and don’t stop until all is nicely incorporated.
Finally, add the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate. I admit it , I put all the flour in one go because I’m lazy and I couldn’t be bothered, but it would be better to add it a bit at a time.
Pour everything into the tin and bake for around 45 minutes. The mixture is really black and your cake will only get darker when cooked so do not trust your eyes: insert a skewer into the middle of the cake and, if it comes out clean, that is the sign your cake is ready. Leave it to cool in the tin for a bit, then move it to a wire rack.
To make the frosting, place all ingredients into a bowl and whisk everything together with an electric handheld whisk till it is fluffy. Tip to not reduce your kitchen like an icing sugar hell: give a stir by hand gently first. Do not frost the cake unless it is cold – not warm, not lukewarm, but properly nice and cold. You don’t want to end up with melted frosting….