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Decadent Guinness Chocolate Layer Cake: A Perfect Symphony of Flavors

Indulge your taste buds with the luxurious Guinness Chocolate Layer Cake—a delightful masterpiece featuring layers of moist Guinness chocolate cake, rich chocolate ganache, and heavenly Baileys buttercream frosting. Whether you’re a Guinness enthusiast or not, this cake promises a symphony of flavors that will leave you craving for more.

History and Origins

The Guinness Chocolate Layer Cake is a modern twist on traditional chocolate cake recipes. The addition of Guinness beer to the batter intensifies the chocolatiness of the cake and ganache, while Baileys Irish Cream imparts a delightful flavor to the frosting. The cake’s origins can be traced to the creative minds exploring ways to enhance the classic chocolate cake experience.

Tools, People, and Cooking Time

Tools Needed:

  • Three 8-inch cake pans
  • Parchment paper circles
  • Wire racks
  • Large serrated knife
  • Mixer bowl and beaters
  • Medium-sized bowl for ganache
  • Whisk
  • Cake stand or serving plate

Number of People:

The recipe yields approximately 16 servings.

Cooking Time:

  • Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes

Ingredients and Replacements

Guinness Chocolate Cake Layers:

  • All-Purpose Flour: 2 cups (260g)
  • Sugar: 2 cups (414g)
  • Cocoa Powder: 3/4 cup (85g)
  • Baking Soda: 2 tsp
  • Salt: 1 tsp
  • Eggs: 2
  • Milk: 1 cup (240ml)
  • Vegetable Oil: 1 cup (240ml)
  • Vanilla Extract: 1 1/2 tsp
  • Guinness: 1 1/4 cups (300ml)

Possible Replacements: None recommended for optimal taste and texture.

Guinness Chocolate Ganache:

  • Chocolate Chips: 9 oz (1 1/2 cups)
  • Guinness: 4 tbsp (60ml)
  • Heavy Whipping Cream: 2 tbsp (30ml)

Possible Replacements: None recommended for optimal taste and consistency.

Baileys Buttercream Frosting:

  • Unsalted Butter: 2 1/2 cups (560g)
  • Powdered Sugar: 10 cups (1150g)
  • Baileys Irish Cream: 1/2 cup (120ml)
  • Salt: To taste

Possible Replacements: None recommended for optimal taste and consistency.

Note: While substitutions are possible, sticking to the specified ingredients ensures the best results.


Making the Chocolate Cakes

  1. Prep for Baking:
    • Prepare three 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper circles and grease the sides.
    • Preheat the oven to 300°F.
  2. Combine Dry Ingredients:
    • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Add Wet Ingredients:
    • Mix in eggs, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract until well combined.
  4. Add Guinness:
    • Pour 1 cup of Guinness and mix until well combined.
  5. Bake:
    • Divide the batter between pans and bake for 33-37 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
  6. Let Cool:
    • Allow the cakes to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Making the Frosting

  1. Beat Butter:
    • Once cakes are cool, beat butter in a large mixer bowl until smooth.
  2. Add Sugar & Baileys:
    • Gradually add powdered sugar and Baileys, beating until smooth.
  3. Adjust Consistency:
    • Add more Baileys if needed to achieve the desired flavor and consistency. Add salt to taste.

Making the Ganache

  1. Prep Chocolate Chips:
    • Place chocolate chips in a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Heat Guinness & Cream:
    • Heat Guinness and heavy whipping cream until it begins to boil.
  3. Pour Over Chocolate:
    • Pour the heated Guinness mixture over chocolate chips, let it sit for 2-3 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool.

Assembling the Cake

  1. Level Cake Layers:
    • Use a large serrated knife to remove the domes from the cakes for a flat surface.
  2. Assemble First Layer:
    • Place the first layer on a serving plate, brush with 2 tbsp Guinness.
    • Spread 1 cup of frosting, pipe a dam around the edge, and fill with chocolate ganache.
  3. Finish Layering:
    • Add the second layer, brush with remaining Guinness, add more frosting and ganache, then top with the final layer.
  4. Frost:
    • Frost the outside with the remaining frosting.
  5. Decorate:
    • Drizzle the remaining ganache around the cake, pipe frosting swirls on the edge.

Top 4 Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

1. Rushing the Cooling Process

  • Mistake: Assembling the cake before it cools completely.
  • Solution: Patience is key. Let the cakes cool thoroughly to prevent structural issues.

2. Inadequate Domed Cake Removal

  • Mistake: Neglecting to level the cake layers properly.
  • Solution: Use a serrated knife to ensure flat layers for a stable and aesthetically pleasing cake.

3. Overmixing or Undermixing the Frosting

  • Mistake: Inconsistencies in frosting texture.
  • Solution: Gradually add powdered sugar and Baileys, adjusting until a smooth and creamy consistency is achieved.

4. Neglecting to Adjust Guinness Flavor

  • Mistake: Missing out on the full Guinness experience.
  • Solution: Brush additional Guinness onto layers during assembly for a more pronounced flavor.

FAQ for 5 Questions

1. Can I Make Cupcakes Instead?

  • Yes, you can turn this recipe into cupcakes. Let the ganache cool slightly before using it as a filling.

2. Using 9-Inch Pans Instead of 8-Inch?

  • You can use 9-inch pans, but consider adjusting the recipe to ensure proper cake height.

3. Freezing Extra Cake

  • Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Freeze for up to a month, thawing in the fridge before serving.

4. Amplifying Guinness Flavor

  • Brush additional Guinness onto the cake layers during assembly for a bolder taste.

5. Making a Chocolate Drip Design

  • Follow the provided tutorial for creating a stunning chocolate drip design on your cake.


Indulge in the decadence of the Guinness Chocolate Layer Cake—a culinary masterpiece that marries the rich flavors of Guinness, chocolate, and Baileys. With careful attention to detail and the avoidance of common mistakes, you’ll create a dessert that not only delights the palate but also becomes a showstopper at any celebration. Enjoy this heavenly creation for up to 5 days, savoring each moist and flavorful bite.

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