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Spilt Pint of Guinness Cake

This cake was actually a personal request from my friend's parents as it's a favourite of theirs. My go to recipe has always been Nigella Lawson's Guinness cake, which I think many people will say same when asked. With that being said, and given the nature of the request, I wanted to see about putting my personal spin on this cake. By infusing the Guinness with cardamom and with the addition of coffee I've attempted to draw out key flavours in the stout. I've also added Guinness to the icing which makes it look and taste more like the head of a pint. The icing sets just enough so that if any runs over the side when you're decorating the cake it will hold in place and create the spilt pint look.

Serves 14-16

Hands-on Time 20 minutes (plus cooling)

Baking Time 50 minutes


350g (plus extra for greasing) Unsalted butter (softened)

50g plus 2 tsp Cocoa powder

250ml plus 2 tbsp Guinness

3 Cardamom Pods

150g Dark chocolate (70%)

350g Caster sugar

2 Eggs, large

300g Self raising flour

1 tbsp Instant coffee powder (fine)

Salt (pinch)

150ml Soured cream

100g Full-fat cream cheese (room-temp)

250g Icing sugar



Baking parchment

23cm Deep sided fixed bottom or springform cake tin

Small saucepan


Large bowl

Electric whisk or hand whisk

Wide bowl


Wire rack

Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C (Fan)/325°F/Gas mark 3 and then get on with making the cake!

Cut a piece of baking parchment into a circle for the base of the cake tin.

Grease the bottom and sides of the tin without the parchment in it using the extra butter.

Line the tin with the parchment and grease the sides and bottom again, this time greasing the parchment.

Add 2 tsp of cocoa powder and shake around the tin until the bottom and sides are coated.

Tap the tin over a sink so any excess cocoa is discarded.

Pour the Guinness into the small saucepan and place over a low heat.

Crack open the cardamom pods, just to expose the seeds, and add to the Guinness.

As the Guinness starts to heat up add the 250g of the butter and stir until it has melted.

Once it has, turn off the heat and add the chocolate, still stirring until the chocolate has melted.

Leave to cool.

In the meantime add the sugar followed by the eggs to the large bowl.

Whisk for up to 5 minutes until until a thick pale yellow.

Sieve the flour, coffee, cocoa, and salt over a wide bowl.

Remove the cardamom pods from the Guinness and chocolate mixture before stirring in the soured cream.

Add the Guinness mixture to the sugar and eggs, combining gently with the spatula.

Add 1/3 of the flour mix to the batter and gently fold in.

Add the remaining 2/3s, folding between the addition of each 1/3.

Pour the batter into the cake tin.

Tap the tin down onto the worktop a few times and shake a little to try and smooth the top out as much as possible.

Pop into the oven on a middle shelf and bake for 50 minutes.

When the cake has baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes.

Tip the cake upside down onto the wire rack and remove the parchment from the bottom.

Leave the cake to cool completely.

In the meantime add 100g of softened butter and the room-temp cream cheese to the cleaned large bowl you used earlier.

Whisk for at least 1 minute until smooth.

Add the icing sugar and gently whisk.

Once combined, add 2 tbsp of Guinness and give a final whisk.

When you’re ready to assemble the cake, spoon the icing over the centre of the cake slowly allowing it to spread outwards. It’s okay if the icing goes a little over the sides of the cake. It will make the cake look like a spilt pint.

Pop the cake immediately into the fridge to help the icing to set.

To really develop the flavour it’s best to leave the cake in the fridge overnight.


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