Guinness Chocolate Cake with a Bailey’s Buttercream and a Bourbon Chocolate Ganache

I had to share this recipe as this has become one of the most popular cakes I make. I’ve been making them almost every weekend for some special order or another, and have to admit – I’m a bit jealous that everyone else is eating these in Monrovia, I need to make one for myself soon!

I want to eat you

I made this for a friend’s birthday recently, where we had an “around the world pub crawl.” Each of my friends that live in the same compound, four total, hosted a country-themed party in their apartments, with snacks and drinks to match. The first was China, and we had this amazing mochi cake, and American beers (my friends that hosted this one work for the embassy so have imported alcohol, so we all forgave them for not having Chinese drinks! 😉 ). The second house was Mexico, with chips and salsa, margaritas and tequila shots (necessary for parties).

close up on drizzle

The third was the UK with a tea party theme, and we ate this cake, drank Pimms cocktails, and kept saying “God Save the Queen,” which is apparently what you do in England, of course. Finally our last house was Liberian, and we had tropical cocktails out of coconuts, and popcorn.

with party attire

All in all it was a delightful evening, and I think my next birthday should be structured the same – don’t you? 🙂

Anyway, back to this cake. Honestly, this cake is so wonderfully delicious, and such a crowd pleaser. While not the easiest cake to explain (such a long title), it really doesn’t matter – no one is going to remember it. All they’re going to remember is that: This. Is. Good. And the buttercream tastes like Bailey’s. What else do you need? 😉

cake everywhere

I hope you get a chance to make this soon, and enjoy!

Guinness Chocolate Cake

  • Servings: one 9 inch cake
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Recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson

1 cup Guinness
17 tablespoons (250g) unsalted butter
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
cup plain yogurt
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking soda

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit / 180C degrees celsius. Butter and line a 9 inch springform tin (preferred), or a 9 inch round cake pan (*see starred note below).

Pour the Guinness into a large wide saucepan. Add the butter in slices and heat on medium heat until the butter’s melted. Keep on the heat and whisk in the cocoa and sugar quickly (it helps to have them measured out before and whisk in once the butter has melted). Remove the saucepan from heat.

Beat the yogurt with the eggs and vanilla, and then pour into the pan and mix with a spatula. Whisk in the flour and baking soda.

Pour the cake batter into the greased and lined tin and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Leave to cool completely in the tin on a wire rack – as noted before, it’s a very damp cake, so this will help make sure it doesn’t break! When it’s completely cooled, remove from the springform pan, or carefully tip out of the regular pan. With a regular pan you may have to use a knife to cut around the edges, so do so carefully, and place upside down on a plate and gently knock on the pan until the cake is released.

*This cake is very damp. Do be careful when removing from the tin – if you have a springform pan to bake it in that will make it easier to remove. However, I only have a 9 inch round regular cake pan, and just am quite careful when removing it and have *mostly* had success. Yes, sometimes it leaves a bit of cake behind, but that’s just a special bit for me to enjoy while I frost it! And once you’ve layered it with the Bailey’s buttercream (heaven) and then poured bourbon chocolate ganache all over it, no one will even notice a slight bit missing from the top. 🙂

Bailey's Buttercream

  • Servings: makes enough to frost one 9 inch cake
  • Print

1/2 cup (1 stick or 113g) unsalted butter, softened
3 tbsp Bailey’s
3 to 4 cups of powdered sugar
Heavy cream, as needed
Pinch of salt, as needed

In the bowl of  stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream the butter until pale yellow and slightly fluffy. Add the Bailey’s, and mix briefly. Add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly in between and scraping down the sides as needed. Add in as many cups as you need to achieve the consistency you are looking for. If you accidentally add too much powdered sugar, you can add in heavy cream (or more Bailey’s! 😉 ), 1 tsp at a time, to achieve the desired consistency. This is also a rather sweet frosting, so add a pinch of salt if it becomes too sweet, and mix thoroughly.

Once the cake has cooled, cover in frosting, and then douse in the bourbon chocolate ganache!

Bourbon Chocolate Ganache

4 oz dark chocolate (113 g or 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1-2 tbsp bourbon

In a saucepan over medium heat, add the dark chocolate and heavy cream, and heat until the chocolate has melted, stirring frequently. Remove from heat once the chocolate is completely melted and mixed. Add in the bourbon, 1 tbsp at a time, until you are happy with the flavor (namely how much you would like it to taste like bourbon!) Allow to cool slightly.

Once you have frosted the cake, mix the ganache again after allowing to cool – it should have, for lack of a better word, congealed a bit (**see note below). Stir, and pour over the cake. Serve, and enjoy!

**If the ganache hasn’t congealed (gotten thicker as it cools), the ganache may be too thin, so add more chocolate and reheat until the chocolate is melted.

This is a sign of success. Messy plate with an almost devoured cake - managed to get this shot before being pushed aside so my friends could finish it! :)
This is a sign of success. Messy plate with an almost devoured cake – managed to get this shot before being pushed aside so my friends could finish it! 🙂 Also, please note, directly behind the cake is a picture of Queen Elizabeth, and a can of Nestea, in keeping with the party theme!

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