Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with this delicious and always moist chocolate Guinness cake, topped with toasted meringue frosting.
I personally think that all occasions should be celebrated with chocolate cake. Don't you? And of course, when it comes to St. Patrick's Day, a chocolate Guinness cake is in order.
This chocolate cake is lovely, fudgy and moist and ever-so-slightly bittersweet. The frosting is a lovely cloud of creamy sweetness.
Now you may be looking at this cake and thinking it is probably over-the-top sweet. I admit, I worried about that too. But the reality is, as I mentioned, that the cake is slightly bittersweet and the frosting, while sweet, is just sweet enough to complement the cake - not cloyingly sweet. Together, it's an addictive little cake and worthy of the occasion.
One last note. This cake is made with regular old pantry items (well except for the Guinness, of course, which isn't typically in my pantry). The cake is made with just cocoa and other common ingredients and the frosting is simply egg whites, sugar and water. Super simple to make, without needing to gather any special ingredients together.
You can make the cake ahead. Once it's cooled, simply wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate and freeze. Then just frost closer to serving time.
The frosting keeps pretty well, though it's impossible to cover well unless you want to use toothpicks to elevate the wrap. Also, because the sides of the cake are naked, the cake will dry out more quickly. All that said, we enjoyed this cake for several days. (I just kept it on the counter and used plastic wrap pressed against the cut edges only.)
If you don't have Cream of Tartar around, it's not a deal breaker. You can omit. It's simply a stabilizer for the egg whites, but with proper whipping, you'll be fine.
Chocolate Guinness Cake with Cloud Frosting
For the cake:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup Guinness or other stout beer
For the frosting:
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 tsp vanilla or vanilla bean paste
- 2 egg whites
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- Preheat oven to 350° F. and grease a 9-inch round cake pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl with an electric beater or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter with the brown sugar on medium high for about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and beat in. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer (if using) and using a wooden spoon, stir in 1/3 of the flour mixture, then add 1/2 of the stout. Add another 1/3 of the flour, followed by the rest of the stout and finally the last 1/3 of the flour mixture. Stir until batter is evenly mixed. Pour batter into prepared pan and level top.
- Bake in pre-heated oven for about 40 minutes or until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the outside and remove from pan. Peel parchment from the bottom of the cake and then place cake on cooling rack to cool completely. Can be made ahead. Once cooled, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze.
- For the frosting: In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and once boiling, allow to boil, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved and mixture is clear. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. (I like to pour the mixture into a glass measuring cup at this point, to make it easier to add to the egg whites.)
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on high until soft peaks form when beater is lifted from the mixture. With mixer running on medium, slowly start adding the sugar mixture in a slow stream down the side of the bowl. Increase beater to high and beat until stiff peaks form, about 2-3 minutes.
- To assemble: Place cooled cake on cake plate or stand. Pile frosting on top and using the back of a kitchen teaspoon, move towards the edges and create swirls. If desired, you can lightly toast the frosting with a kitchen torch.
Nutritional information provided for general guidance only and should not be relied upon to make personal health decisions.