Nigella’s Chocolate Guinness Cake – eventually!

Hi folks

A few weeks ago, I held a charity bunfight in aid of The MS Society. They hold one every year, called Cake Break, and it’s all backed by the Hairy Bikers. I did debate inviting them to show up, but I bottled it at the last minute 🙂

Anyway, I made myself even more insufferable than usual by pestering all my Facebook and Twitter pals to bake me goodies to sell to raise money. Those of you that follow me there will no doubt already be shuddering at the memory! However, the very gracious host of this blog made me the Infamous Courgette Bread to sell. And then even more graciously invited me to share the recipe for the Chocolate Guinness Cake I made myself for the event with all you lovely foodies. Because, even if I do say so myself, dang, it was Good!!!

My version is detailed here, based on a couple of things I forgot to buy and had to sub instead, or that I always use alternatives for anyway. I will be posting a link to the original at the end. Nigella’s site has a nice picture on it too (I forgot to take any, I was so busy selling. Which was a good thing!)


250ml Guinness
250g unsalted butter
75g cocoa
400g fruit sugar
1 x 142ml pot sour cream
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla essence
275g wholemeal flour
2 1/2teaspoons bicarbonate of soda


300g Morrisons extra light cream cheese
150g icing sugar
125ml Elmlea double cream

  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C (mine’s a fan oven so I set it at 175°C), and butter and line a 23cm springform tin (it doesn’t say what with, so I used tinfoil, worked fine).
  2. Pour the Guinness into a large wide saucepan, add the butter – in spoons or slices – and heat until the butter’s melted, at which time you should whisk in the cocoa and sugar. Beat the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla and then pour into the brown, buttery, beery pan and finally whisk in the flour and bicarb. (The smell by this time is incredible!)
  3. Pour the cake batter into the greased and lined tin and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. (I cooked it for an hour, but made the mistake of putting it in the top of the oven. The top 2mm of the cake did catch slightly, but I just trimmed it off).
  4. Leave to cool completely in the tin on a cooling rack, as it is quite a damp cake.
  5. When the cake’s cold, sit it on a flat platter or cake stand and get on with the icing. Lightly whip the cream cheese until smooth, sieve over the icing sugar and then beat them both together. Or do this in a processor, putting the unsieved icing sugar in first and blitz to remove lumps before adding the cheese.
  6. Add the cream and beat again until it makes a spreadable consistency. Ice the top of the black cake so that it resembles the frothy top of the famous pint.

Now, the original recipe calls for caster sugar. I have used fruit sugar for everything for years, as at one time I was on a strict low GI regime. It will taste just as good, I promise you. In fact, probably better. I also always use Elmlea instead of cream, a holdover from when I had gallstones. But the wholemeal flour was just a happy accident; it was all I had in and I suspect it stopped it from being a bit sad and gloopy. All I know is, I consider myself a passing fair cook and this astounded even me! It was truly delicious.

One last thing – remember I mentioned the top of the cake caught in the oven? Well, I trimmed about 1cm off, which still left a substantial cake. These quantities also made a lot of frosting, so i just turned the burnt bit over, put the rest of the frosting on it, and had another mini cake all to myself! Mega!

And Nigella’s unadulterated original is here:

Try it. And let me know if yours is as nice as mine was 🙂 And cheers Becka for inviting me to blog.

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