Javin loves to bake. It’s seriously the reason I ask my neighbor if I can borrow her hand mixer a couple times a year. He said he wanted to make a cake, and I thought about St. Patrick’s Day. I wanted to do something different and festive. I wanted to make a cake with beer.
Just kidding, beer cake wasn’t actually my idea, although a brilliant one. I saw a recipe for Guinness Cake on Clodagh McKenna’s blog, and thought what, the what?! I had to talk Javin into being open-minded about dumping beer into our butter mixture, and we got started. He even took this picture of me with the ingredients:
Guinness Cake from Clodagh McKenna’s book “Clodagh’s Irish Kitchen”
2 sticks of unsalted butter
1 cup Guinness
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 cups of very fine sugar
2 tsps vanilla essence
3/4 cup of buttermilk
2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
For the icing
1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
2 cups of powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 package of full-fat cream cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the base of a cake pan with baking parchment. (I always skip the parchment part because really, who has parchment?)
2. To make the cake, heat the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat until melted. Stir in the Guinness, then remove from the heat and stir in the cocoa powder.
3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla essence and buttermilk and then slowly add the Guinness mixture, whisking all the time.
4. In a separate large bowl, sieve together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder. Using an electric whisk, slowly pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and keep whisking until it is all well combined.
5. Transfer the mixture in to the cake tin and bake for approximately 45 minutes. Test to make sure the cake is cooked by inserted a dry skewer into the middle of the cake – if it comes out clean, the cake is cooked. Set aside to cool a little, and then remove from the tin and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
6. Meanwhile, make the icing by blending all the ingredients together using an electric hand whisk until light and fluffy.
7. Place the cooled cake on a plate and generously spread the icing on top. The cake will keep for up to 1 week in an airtight container.
What I love about this recipe is that it’s festive for St. Paddy’s Day but without using a bunch of green coloring. It’s unique, interesting, and so delicious. My husband told me so, and he doesn’t lie.
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