St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, and this year we decided to swap green food coloring for this rich, velvety chocolate Guinness cake. The perfect adult-pleasing treat for St. Paddy’s Day, this cake strikes a delicious balance between the complex caramel and coffee flavors of the Guinness-based cake and the sugary sweetness of the lager-infused icing. We’re confident even non-drinkers will enjoy this decadent dessert. Read on for our recipe!


Chocolate Guinness Cake

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, divided
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp Wilton Clear Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup Guinness® Stout

Harp Irish Lager Icing

  • 3 bottles (12 oz. ea.) Harp® Irish Lager
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 4 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare two 8 in. x 2 in. round pans with vegetable pan spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  3. In a large microwaveable bowl, melt 6 ounces of chocolate and butter on 50% power for one minute. Stir and continue to melt at 50% power until smooth. (Mixture can also be melted on top of the stove in a heavy saucepan over low heat). Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Add sugar and beat with an electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until combined. Add flour mixture and Guinness® Stout, alternating between the two; beat until just combined. Divide evenly between two prepared pans, filling pans about 2/3rds full.
  4. Bake 38-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans; remove and cool completely on cooling grid.
  5. For icing, combine Harp® lager and salt in a large skillet. Heat over medium-high heat until liquid has reduced to about 1/3 of a cup; about 30-35 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely.
  6. In a large bowl, beat butter and shortening with electric mixer until fluffy. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, one cup at a time, beating on low speed. Add reduced lager, one tablespoon at a time, continuing to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. If icing is too soft, add additional confectioners’ sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
  7. To assemble, spread icing onto one layer of cake; top with second cake layer. Using a spatula or spoon, ice top and sides of cake with remaining icing. Shave remaining 2 ounces chocolate with peeler; press onto sides of cake.

Can’t resist the siren call of green-tinged desserts? Add a few drops of Kelly Green Gel Icing Food Color when mixing your icing! Wishing you a Happy St. Patrick’s Day from all your friends at Wilton. Cheers!