Guinness, Baileys and Whiskey Cake

Warning: This cake is BOOZY. If you aren’t a fan of Guinness, or Baileys, or boozy confections, stop. right. here. This is not for you.

If you’re not a fan of cocoa and rich, soft, not-too-sweet, slightly Guinness-flavored cake, step away. This is not for you.

If you don’t drool of the thought of butter melting in beer (butter melting in beer!!) or bittersweet chocolate melting in heavy cream and whiskey (heavy cream AND whiskey!!!), by all means, walk away and leave this for the rest of us.

If Baileys doesn’t do it for you, then really, you just shouldn’t bother.

Slightly sweet, moist cake plus super sweet, super boozy Baileys icing, plus barely sweet, deep, dark, intense whiskeyed ganache equals one hell of a birthday cake.


Guinness, Baileys and Whiskey Cake

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen. Makes one, 2-layer 9″ cake.

This cake started out it’s life as a batch of cupcakes over at Smitten Kitchen. This is my cake adaptation. I tend to like rustically-decorated cakes, so I used a thick layer of icing between the cakes, skipped icing the sides, and flooded the top with the ganache that used to be the cupcake filling. I can see any number on combinations (fill with the ganache, ice with the icing OR ice with the icing, then pour the ganache over the whole thing and let drip, etc), but I’ll give you directions for my tactic below. 

Guinness Chocolate Cake
1 1/3 c stout (such as Guinness)
1 1/3 c (1 stick + 5.33 T )unsalted butter
1 c unsweetened cocoa powder
2 2/3 c all purpose flour
2 2/3 c sugar
2  tbaking soda
1 t salt
3 large eggs
3/4 c +2 T sour cream

Baileys Frosting 
5-6 c powdered sugar
2 sticks (1 c) unsalted butter, at room temperatue
1/2 c Baileys

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 T Irish whiskey


Make cakes:

  • Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 2 9″ round cake pans
  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt beer and butter and bring to a simmer. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool a little
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 t salt
  • Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sour cream in another large bowl. Add the beer-cocoa mixture to the eggs and beat until combined
  • Add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture and mix on low until just combined-do not over mix! In fact, it’s a good idea to stop the mixer before the flour is totally combined and finish the mixing with a spatula
  • Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and bake ~25 min or until a tester comes out with moist crumbs attached
While the cakes bake, make the frosting:
  • In the large bowl of an electric mixer, whip the butter until light and fluffy, fluffy, fluffy (use a spatula to scrape the bowl down a few times)
  • Add the powdered sugar, a few spoonfuls at a time, allowing it to combine completely before adding the next spoonfuls
  • When all of the sugar is combined, slowly add the Baileys and mix until well combined
  • If the icing is too thin, add a bit more sugar
Start to assemble:
  • First, level your cakes using a long serrated knife (like a bread knife). They don’t have to be perfectly flat, but you should remove most of the dome from both cakes so that they stack nicely. This will also provide you with cake scraps to eat-yay!
  • Place one cake on the platter you’re going to use. You can slip waxed paper under the edges to keep your plate clean, then remove them later
  • Next, using an offset spatula, spread a THICK layer of frosting (I used about half, maybe more) on the bottom cake, spreading all the way to the edges. Refrigerate for ~10 min or so-this allows the frosting to stiffen up a bit so that the second cake doesn’t squish it all out (technical term) when it’s placed on top
  • Place the next cake, cut side down, on top of the frosted cake. The bottom of the cake will be on top, which provides a perfectly flat surface for decorating! Yay!
  • Unless you used a LOT of really soft frosting, there will probably be a bit of a gap where the cakes meet in the middle. I fill this using a pastry bag and a large round tip. It just makes the cake look a it more oozy and delicious. And rustic. love.
  • Using an offset spatula, spread a thin layer of frosting over just the top of the cake. Then, using the pastry bag again, pipe a “wall” of frosting around the outer edge of the cake. This icing wall will act as dam and keep the ganache from oozing over the edge
  • Refrigerate while you make the ganache
Make the ganache:
  • Place the chopped chocolate in a small, heat-proof bowl
  • In a small heavy saucepan, heat the cream until simmering. Pour over the chocolate
  • Let sit 20 seconds, then stir until fully melted
  • Add the butter and the whiskey and stir until combined
Finish her off:
  • Pour the ganache into the center of the cake and use an offset spatula to spread it right up to the icing wall, flooding the top of the cake with chocolatey goodness
  • Refrigerate until ready to eat. Remove from fridge at least 30 minutes before serving (maybe more, I only allowed 30 minutes and wished it was a teeny bit softer. But, if you want pretty slices, colder is better)



9 thoughts on “Guinness, Baileys and Whiskey Cake

  1. I am going to try not to say some inappropriate things here Cali, but this cake…OH MY GOD! I would die to eat this cake. It’s gorgeous, chocolatey, boozy and FANTASTIC looking. I am so sad I didn’t get a slice. P.S. This cake is anything BUT rustic looking.

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