Kells Irish Restaurant and Pub Chocolate Guinness Stout Cake

Kells' sous chef Carol Light adapted her German mother's chocolate cake recipe and added stout to make this rich and flavorful Irish version.



  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup Guinness draught stout
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk

Chocolate Guinness Sauce

  • 1/4 cup Guinness draught stout
  • 4 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Ganache Glaze

  • 10 ounces (1 1/4 cups) heavy whipping cream
  • 10 ounces semisweet dark chocolate, chips or bar, broken into small pieces


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F, and place rack in middle of oven. Grease and lightly flour 9-inch cake pan.
  2. Cake: In a small saucepan, combine cocoa powder and stout and heat over low-moderate heat until smooth. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  4. In a large bowl with an electric mixer on low-medium speed, beat butter until creamy. Gradually add sugar and beat until pale yellow in color. Beat in eggs, one at a time, and vanilla extract. Stir buttermilk into cooled cocoa and stout mixture. With the mixer on low, slowly add one-third of buttermilk mixture into creamed butter until incorporated. Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the remaining two parts of the buttermilk and ending with the flour. Batter will look grainy or appear to be breaking up.
  5. Pour batter into cake pan and bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan and a wooden pick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  6. Remove to wire rack with parchment or wax paper beneath it. Allow cake to cool in pan for 10 minutes, then slide knife around the edge of pan and invert to release cake, bottom side up, onto wire rack.
  7. When cool, use a fork to poke holes generously into bottom side of cake.
  8. Chocolate Guinness Sauce: Mix ingredients in small saucepan and heat over low heat until smooth. Allow to cool. Spoon 3/4 of the sauce over bottom of the cake, allowing sauce to seep into cake. Invert cake right side up onto serving platter. Poke holes in top of cake and spoon remainder of sauce on top of cake.
  9. Chocolate Ganache Glaze: Bring cream to a simmer in a small saucepot. Turn off heat and stir in chocolate pieces until sauce is smooth and creamy. Pour onto finished cake, smoothing ganache atop and along sides of cake. Ganache will pool at bottom of cake and can be removed with a knife. If desired, spoon extra ganache into ziplock bag, snip corner and squeeze atop cake in zigzag lines or decorative pattern. If ganache is too runny allow to thicken in bag until stiff. Or, reserve extra ganache in refrigerator to spoon over ice cream or form into truffles.

Yield: one 9-inch cake

Source: Sous chef Carol Light, Kells Irish Restaurant and Pub, Portland, Oregon