Enjoy this rich dark chocolate cake that celebrates Ireland’s famous stout  

St Patrick’s Day on March 17 and Mother’s Day on March 19 easily warrant the making of a cake, and it is the former that has inspired this month’s bake. These days St Patrick’s Day is an international occasion as the Irish have emigrated to all parts of the globe. In the decades following the potato famine of 1845, over one and a half million people crossed the Atlantic to start a new life in North America, leaving behind the homeland where Arthur Guinness first brewed his Irish dry stout at St. James's Gate, Dublin, in 1759. It’s advertising slogan of ‘Guinness is good for you’ (in moderation) is true. It's high in iron, packed with fibre, and it contains folate, needed to make up our DNA, and ferulic acid which helps to improve our immune system. So, if you have any Guinness leftover after making this cake either drink it straight or add a little blackcurrant to sweeten it. For the more sophisticated amongst you try a Black Velvet cocktail – half fill a champagne glass with Guinness then top with champagne or sparkling wine.  Taitneamh a bhaint as! 


Guinness Cake with Irish Buttercream  

You will need a 9-inch round tin lined with baking parchment. 

250mls Guinness 

250g butter 

75g cocoa 

400g caster sugar 

150mls sour cream 

2 large eggs 

15mls vanilla extract 

275 g plain flour 

12g bicarbonate of soda 

For the icing  

250g icing sugar 

125g unsalted butter softened 

2 tbsp Irish cream (any brand or milk)  


Preheat the oven 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4. Warm the butter and Guinness in a saucepan, until melted, turn off the heat. Add the cocoa and sugar, whisk well to incorporate plenty of air. 

In a bowl, beat the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla until very light, pour into the melted ingredients in the pan. 

Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda together, whisk into the mixture in the pan. Pour the batter into the lined cake tin, bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. 

Allow to cool in the cake tin for about half an hour then turn out onto a wire tray to cool completely before icing. 

Make the icing: Beat the butter until soft and fluffy. Add the icing sugar, beating until smooth; add the Irish cream (or milk for a non-alcoholic version). I added a few drops of white food colouring, but this is optional. Decorate just the top of the cooled cake to resemble a glass of Guinness. 

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