Black velvet cake

After the success of my red velvet cake a few weeks ago – (it was devoured in a matter of minutes when I took it into work!) – I thought I’d try my hand at a black velvet cake for St Patrick’s day.  I had a black velvet cupcake when I was in the gorgeous Sugarland in Chapel Hill, North Carolina last year but I’ve been unable to find out exactly what’s in a black velvet cake.  As such, I’ve adapted a recipe that I first tried when my mother-in-law made it: Chocolate Guinness Cake.

If you’ve never tried Guinness cake before, don’t worry. I have never and will never enjoy the taste of Guinness so I can promise you that this cake does not resemble the famous Irish beverage in the slightest.  The Guinness does however lend this cake a richness and makes it wonderfully moist.  If you’ve never tried it, give it a go. I have workmates who will bite your hand off for a piece!

Guinness cake

For the cake
240ml Guinness (I used Guinness original but I’ve been told it’s best to use normal Guinness)
225g butter, softened and cut into cubes
90g cocoa powder
2 eggs
160ml soured cream
250g flour
450g caster sugar
1 1/2 tsp bicarb
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the icing
500g icing sugar
200g full-fat cream cheese
175g butter
1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan and grease and line three 8 inch cake tins.
  2. Pour the Guinness into a large pan and add the butter.  Bring to just below boiling point over a medium heat and continue heating until the butter has melted.  Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cocoa and sugar until smooth. Set to one side and allow to cool.
  3. In a bowl, beat together the eggs, soured cream and vanilla.  Once the Guinness mixture is cool, pour into the eggs and stir until smooth to create a thick dark liquid.
  4. Finally fold in the flour and bicarbonate of soda until combined.  Divide the mixture equally between the three greased cake tins and bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean.
  5. Leave the cakes to cool in their tins for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Take care when taking the cakes out of the tins.  They will be very moist and therefore fragile when warm.
  6. To make the icing, whisk the cream cheese, icing sugar, butter and vanilla extract in a large bowl until combined.
  7. Place one of the cakes on a serving plate and spread with icing.  Sandwich another cake on top, spread with icing and place the final cake on top.  Cover the top and sides of the cake with the remaining icing.


3 thoughts on “Black velvet cake

  1. Really yummy!! i love using beers in cakes…adds a distinct malty flavour and keeps everything so moist!!!

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