Guinness Stout Cake with Bailey’s Irish Cream Frosting

by FoodBabbles on March 15, 2012

Post image for Guinness Stout Cake with Bailey’s Irish Cream Frosting

Anyone who’s survived their 20’s and went through any sort of bar hopping, party phase knows that there are plenty of drinks out there with some pretty wacky names and there are plenty of drinks with names that are down right offensive to some people. Names that despite the tastiness of the beverage, they would never bring themselves to utter the words to even order the drink. I won’t elaborate but there are some dirty dirty names out there for sure. The Irish Car Bomb is one of those drinks that either you love or you absolutely hate. Sometimes that partially has to do with the name.

Rumored to have been created in Connecticut by Charles Oats, the drink gets its name from its Irish components and the common form of Irish domestic terrorism by the IRA (Irish Republican Army) during “The Troubles.” Which, if you’re not familiar with Irish history, was a very long period of conflict in Northern Ireland lasting from the late 1960’s until the Belfast Agreement in the late 1990’s. So understandably, the name enrages the Irish. However, this cake tastes exactly like a well-known shot with a hated name.

Irish Car Bomb Cake 1 Food Babbles #cake

If you aren’t familiar with the drink, it’s made by filling a shot glass half full of Bailey’s Irish Cream, then floating Jameson Irish whiskey on top. Next, the shot glass is dropped into a 3/4 full glass of Guinness. Now for the fun part…  You need to chug that sucker down quick before the foam overflows and whole thing curdles. If you do it right, this is one tasty drink! It’s smooth and almost tastes like a milkshake.

This cake definitely captures these flavors. You don’t actually taste the beer in the cake but it seems to enhance the flavor of the chocolate. But you definitely taste the booze in the filling and the frosting so consider yourself warned! Although I do include the non-alcoholic versions of both the ganache and icing if you don’t want to imbibe or you can always back it down to suit your tastes. Boozy or not, this cake is incredibly delicious and deeply chocolate.



Guinness Cake with Bailey's Irish Cream Frosting

1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 10-12 servings

Guinness Cake with Bailey's Irish Cream Frosting

Guiness chocolate cake filled with whiskey ganache and frosted with Bailey's Irish Cream frosting.


  • 1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • Ganache:
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons Irish whiskey (optional, more to taste)
  • Frosting:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Bailey's Irish Cream or milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


    Make the cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare two 8" cake pans with parchment circles on the bottom.
  2. Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
  3. Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend.
  4. Add the stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using a rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter evenly among the two cake pans. Bake the cake for 20 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees and bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 10 minutes longer. Cool cakes on a rack completely.
  5. Make the ganache:
  6. Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. Add the whiskey (if you’re using it) and stir until combined. Let cool to room temperature and until thickened a bit.
  7. Make the frosting:
  8. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl using a hand mixer until light and fluffy.
  9. Enjoy!


Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

healthyyou72 March 15, 2012 at 8:32 pm

Oh I love this cake, I bet it does capture all the gorgeous flavors! It looks so moist, and I love that you added in a layer of ganache:-) Beautiful! Hugs, Terra


FoodBabbles March 16, 2012 at 8:11 am

Hi Terra! Thanks so much for your kind comment. Let me just tell you, this cake was ridiculously good!! This is now going to be my “go to” chocolate cake recipe. I made an “unboozy” version and even if you take out the Bailey’s and Jameson, you still have a truly incredible cake.


Trisha March 15, 2012 at 10:54 pm

That is one good looking cake! How I wish I had some of it right now!


FoodBabbles March 16, 2012 at 8:11 am

Thanks Trisha!!


beti March 16, 2012 at 8:07 pm

this is mean, too much sweetnes that I want to have right now


FoodBabbles March 16, 2012 at 8:25 pm

Ha! Oh it is so irresistible… I wish I had some right now too, honestly!


Aunt Mary March 16, 2012 at 9:11 pm

This sounds DELICIOUS, you’d better bring it to some family party SOON !!!!!


FoodBabbles March 16, 2012 at 9:41 pm

Thanks, Aunt Mary!! 🙂 And I’ll definitely make it for you sometime. One of the best cakes ever!


Triin March 31, 2012 at 7:34 pm

Made this on St Patrick’s day and couldn’t have been happier with it! It truly was as delicious as I could have imagined from these pictures.

However, I have a question. For the butter cream you say it requires 1 pound of butter. Is that what it really has to be? I could only add about 250 grams of butter without feeling that even that was way too much. The egg white foam was tasty enough imho but it just got me thinking what the function of all that butter is? To hold the eggwhites fluffy and from denaturating? Surely 1 pound is way too much?

Anyway, thank you for sharing this delicious recipe, it’s definitely one of my favourites now 🙂


FoodBabbles March 31, 2012 at 8:32 pm

I’m so glad you made and enjoyed this recipe!! As for the buttercream, I honestly don’t have a definitive answer for you. It’s an adaptation from another’s recipe. I halved their recipe and added the Bailey’s. So I’m not sure if it “has” to be a pound or not. That’s always the way I make it but if less butter works for you then go with it! Maybe I’ll try using less next time also and see what happens. Thanks for the input!


hanna March 16, 2018 at 9:53 am

Where is there egg whites in this recipe for swiss merigue? And 1 lb. butter?Looks like it is just a buttercream


Kate April 9, 2018 at 9:11 pm

The frosting isn’t a swiss meringue frosting, that’s why the recipe doesn’t call for any egg whites. It’s a simple buttercream frosting.


Alice November 25, 2012 at 8:41 pm

This cake was amazing, especially the whiskey ganache. 🙂 I had some trouble with the buttercream though… the meringue seemed to separate from the butter rather easily and I couldn’t get it to a whipped consistency as the way frosting usually looks. It turned out rather wet and although it was tasty, I was wondering if there’s a trick to adding the butter to the meringue for the next time I make it. I also tried adding the meringue to the butter but that didn’t seem to help either.


Kate November 26, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Hi Alice! I’m so glad you enjoyed the flavor of this cake and I’m so sorry to hear you had some trouble with the frosting. In my experience making Swiss buttercream icing that sometimes the butter takes a bit of time to fully incorporate into the icing. The only thing I would advise is to make sure your butter is definitely room temperature, soft and cut into small pieces. When you add the butter just add it slowly and make sure it’s fully incorporated before adding more. I really hope this helps. If you happen to give it another try, do come back and let me know about the results. Hope this helps!


Karen January 19, 2013 at 1:06 pm

I have made this 3 years running for my husbands birthday party and mine. I have previously made it in cupcake form but am making the cake this year…. Thank you for sharing your recipe….it’s easier than my old one….


Karen January 19, 2013 at 2:17 pm

I have made this cake like a poke cake also. After cooling the cakes you can poke holes using a wooden spoon handle and fill the holes with ganache.


Kate January 22, 2013 at 10:31 pm

I’m so happy to hear you like this recipe! Love the idea of making it like a poke cake with ganache in the holes. Yum!! I need to try that.


Julie Moore March 17, 2013 at 7:25 am

THANK YOU for this recipe!! I made this last night, it was amazing!! Husband said he had died and gone to heaven! This was the first cake I actually ever made from scratch as was the frosting. My ganache however was a little runny, I know I used 2/3 cup of heavy cream, everything melted fine, but it did not seem to get as a frosting consistency like your photo showed. (maybe it is not supposed to?? as I said this is my first cake ever from scratch) I did let is cool down to room temp but is seemed like a thick syrup consistency and ran when I cut the cake…do not get me wrong it was amazing, just a little gooier, lol. I also dressed the top with the green sugar sprinkles and drizzled it with hershey’s syrup. I think next time I will drizzle the left over ganache instead 🙂


Kate March 17, 2013 at 8:33 pm

Congratulations on your very first homemade cake and frosting!!! I’m so glad you enjoyed this and sorry to hear the consistency of your ganache was a little “off.” That may have something to do with temperature or mixing. Sometimes that can cause ganache not to come together correctly but usually adding a little cold cream will bring it back together and to the right consistency. It won’t be thick like a frosting once it cools to room temperature but it should be thick kind of like pudding and then as it cools even further it should set up to a more firm texture. I’m so happy you liked this cake and so happy you made your first cake from scratch! That is just awesome!


Shauna May 1, 2013 at 10:37 am

Made this for the first time for St. Paddy’s day and I just pulled another out of the oven this morning to celebrate my husband’s birthday today!!! BEST cake recipe that I now have. THANK YOU!!!!!


Kate May 7, 2013 at 8:44 pm

Oh thank YOU Shuana! I’m so happy to hear you loved this cake as much as we did and that you’ve made it more than once. Thanks for coming back and taking the time to tell me about your experience.


Melanie February 3, 2014 at 4:55 am

This has become my go-to chocolate cake recipe. I frequently make them as cupcakes and bring them to work (without the Bailey’s – still have to try that). Thank you for sharing! I’ve made many of your recipes and look forward to trying more.


Kate February 5, 2014 at 12:30 pm

I’m so happy to hear that you enjoy this recipe! It’s a favorite around here too. Thanks for reading! Glad you enjoy the recipes you find here.


Erin March 14, 2014 at 5:09 pm

I really wanted this to be good but it has not gone well so far. The ganache didn’t set up. It has been in the fridge and it is still too runny to put in a cake. I also used Jameson’s whiskey and at two tsp I don’t even taste it. I would add more but that won’t help it set up. I love the idea but this recipe just didn’t work for me.


Kate March 23, 2014 at 8:27 pm

I’m not sure why the ganache wouldn’t set up and I’m so sorry to hear about your trouble Erin!


Sheila January 31, 2015 at 6:44 pm

Does this come out a little dense or was I dense reading the directions? 🙂


Kate February 1, 2015 at 9:48 am

Ha! That gave me a chuckle 😉 The cake is a dense, fudgy cake.


James Pagdon February 23, 2015 at 4:34 am

I have friends and family who would be upset by this name. Call it what you wish in your own house but to toss it out there explanation included or not and its offensive as The Washington Redskins.


Jennifer Nelson March 16, 2015 at 10:03 pm

Making this for everyone at work tomorrow for our St. Patty Day and March Birthday Celebration!!! Everyone can’t wait to try it, including me!


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