Guinness Cake with Baileys Frosting

My mother is visiting from down south this weekend with her friends for a boozy night out for my Auntie’s 50th birthday. She expects cake when she is down, and this one is a firm favourite of hers, I think because it is so boozy! If you do not like Guinness, please do not move to another recipe, I know people who out and out hate the stuff, but love this cake. This cake is soft, moist and fudgey in flavour, and the Baileys Frosting gives a huge kick. You can always omit the Baileys and keep this as a cream cheese frosting, but this really lifts this cake to another level. You can also half the amount of Baileys, but this is for my mother, and the old girl loves her booze!

For the Cake

250g unsalted butter
250ml Guinness stout
400g caster sugar (golden if you have it, if not normal is fine)
85g cocoa powder
150ml soured cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
235g plain flour
2.5 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda


240g full fat cream cheese
150g unsalted butter, at room temperature
870g icing sugar
3-4 tablespoons Baileys (or less, to your taste)

First of all, grease and line 3 x 20cm sandwich tins, and turn your oven to 160C fan / 180C / Gas Mark 4.

In a pan, but your butter and Guinness, and slowly heat until the butter has melted (not to boiling). Once this has all melted, turn of the heat and whisk in your cocoa and sugar. Now leave off the heat to cool slightly for a few minutes.

Mix your Eggs, Soured Cream and Vanilla together, and then whilst still whisking, add the Guinness Chocolate mixture, and then your flour and bicarb until fully combined. This is a very wet mixture, so don’t panic when you do this and realise it looks more like liquid than cake mixture, this is meant to happen!

At this point, you need to transfer the mixture into your cake tins. My mixing bowl is basically a giant jug, but if yours does not have a lip, transfer to a jug (possible in batches) otherwise this will become seriously messy for you!

Once you have done this, place your mixture into the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean, and remove from the oven. Allow to cool in the cake tin for 5 minutes before you transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. As this is a sticky cake, transferring to a wire rack with some baking parchment could prove helpful for assembly later on!

While you cake is cooling you can make your frosting. I use a freestanding electric mixer for this, but a handheld electrical whisk is great. This may be a little more hardgoing if you do so by hand, but it can also be done!

Firstly, beat your butter and cream cheese together for about 3 minutes, until this becomes pale in colour. Now gradually add the icing sugar, until this is all combined.

Now for the Baileys. Mix this into the mixture, again until fully combined. If the frosting becomes a little runny, simply add a few spoonfuls of icing sugar to take this back to the right consistency.

Now you need to ice your cake. I use a round nozzle, but you can decorate this however you wish.

What I did was place a blob of icing on a cake board, and placed one of the sponges on this so that it will not move. Then place blobs around the edges of the sponge, and a swirl in the middle, and place the other sponge on this, and repeat again. For the top sponge, put blobs around the edges and a swirl in the middle, and then with a clean butter knife run it through the blob and towards the middle. Easy peasy!

Now to enjoy this boozy lush cake!

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