Chocolate and Guinness cake

Categories baking, cake, chocolate, chocolate cake, Food, Hummingbird Bakery, Recipe

This chocolate and Guinness cake by the Hummingbird Bakery is possibly the best chocolate cake I have ever tasted. Big statement, I know – and possibly a biased one seeing as I baked it! But, as someone who will always choose traditional Victoria sponge over chocolate cake, this was a revelation, and I’m embarrassed to say, two of us polished it off in no less than four days.

The recipe states that you need an electric whisk, but I’m happy to report that it turned out fine doing it all by hand. So, read on and you’ll never need to purchase a Colin the Caterpillar from M&S again!

Serves 12-14 (apparently)


250ml (9fl oz) Guinness
250g (9oz) unsalted butter
80g (3oz) cocoa powder
400g (14oz) caster sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
140ml (5fl oz) buttermilk
280g (10oz) plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp baking powder
50g (1¾oz) unsalted butter, softened
300g (10½oz) icing sugar
125g (4½oz) full-fat cream cheese (such as Philadelphia)
Cocoa powder, for dusting (optional)
One 23cm (9in) diameter spring-form cake tin


1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F)/gas mark 3, then line the base of the tin with baking parchment.

2. Pour the Guinness into a saucepan, add the butter and gently heat until it has melted. Remove the pan from the heat and stir the cocoa powder and sugar into the warm liquid. Mix together the eggs, vanilla essence and buttermilk by hand in a jug or bowl (mine looked like it had curdled at this point but it was absolutely fine once added to the mixture) and then add this to the mixture in the pan.

3. Sift together the remaining sponge ingredients into a large bowl or into the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer. Using the mixer with the paddle attachment or a handheld electric whisk, set on a low speed, pour in the contents of the pan – I just whisked it in gently by hand with a balloon whisk. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue to mix thoroughly until all the ingredients are incorporated.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for approximately 45 minutes or until the sponge bounces back when lightly pressed and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean – my oven isn’t the most efficient so it took more like 1 hour 15 but it turned out fine. Set aside to cool, and then remove from the tin onto a wire rack – make sure the cake is cold to the touch before you frost it.

5. Using the electric whisk or the freestanding mixer with paddle attachment, mix the butter and icing sugar together until there are no large lumps of butter and it is fully combined with the sugar in a sandy mixture. Add the cream cheese and mix on a low speed, then increase the speed to medium and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.

6. Place the cooled cake onto a plate or cake card and top generously with the cream cheese frosting. The cake can be decorated with a light dusting of cocoa powder.

Happy baking!

✎ Travel writer
☼ Adventurer
≈ Waterfall chaser

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