Guinness Chocolate Cake with Whiskey Caramel and Cream Cheese Frosting

I have to say I loved the disbelief everyone had over my Twitter comment “Just baked my first cake ever!” on the weekend, but I was being honest … honest! I’m not a baker at all especially yeast goods, yeast and I are not friends, more like immortal enemies *shakes fist* Seriously how can I put the ingredients in the bread machine for the same pizza dough in the same way but yet it doesn’t come out right but other people can?!

Anyways digressing…

When I wrote my 101 things in 1001 days my second item on the list was to bake a three layered cake. Not a one or two layered, but three (I like a challenge for my first time), but I didn’t know when I would exactly go out of my way to make it. We’re not much of cake fans in the house unless it’s Angel Food or Cream Cheese related. So who would eat all this cake if it wasn’t for some special occasion?

Then one foggy…. November day Lizzie Kimball sent me a Facebook comment of all the things she should do this week in memory of our first in person meeting. (I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since I finally met Lizzie Kimball and Kristin Carlson in person!) which may or may not have resulted in a half asleep daze of a response about baking from me.

7:25: ooo I should make cupcakes!
7:47: oo what about a caramel chai cupcake?
8:30: OOO or Guinness cupcakes with baileys cream frosting
8:50: OMG what about a three tiered Guinness cake?!
9:05: Now that i think about it cupcakes would be better for that flavour because of their small size but a three tiered black cake with white icing would be amazing!
9:15: Three layers of chocolate Guinness cake, two layers of some form of filling that incorporates Irish cream liqueur flavour covered in an airy white cream cheese frosting!

Then a little later Lizzie received “Ok got it! Three tiers of a moist dark chocolate Guinness cake. In between a whiskey/baileys caramel sauce, topped with airy cream cheese frosting!”

A quick text to K a little later resulted in plans for a baking extravaganza for the weekend. Impromptu plans are always the best.

It resulted in a dark cake with a hint of malty goodness with a tantalizing bite of whiskey throughout and a hint of sweet airy cream cheese that tied everything together. The flavours were there, but holy cow was it dry. Whoops! Despite the hiccup of one layer cracking down the middle, thinking I needed to make another layer since I didn’t think I would be able to cut the bigger one in half, running to the nearest grocery store before it closed on Remembrance Day and then having them dry out on me a little. I think my first attempt ever at baking a cake turned out quite good.

With a few tweaks (less thick layers more in between caramel sauce and more decadent frosting) this could definitely go into the repertoire for special occasions or if you LOVE cake who needs an excuse 😉

Note – Since I’m not a baker I did not come up with the recipe on my own. The chocolate cake was Ricardo’s Guinness Chocolate Cake (I bumped up the recipe a tad for three layers instead of two), the caramel sauce was from Paula Deen’s Caramal Cake (I added whiskey instead of vanilla) and the frosting was from Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Guinness Cake (no changes made).

Guinness Chocolate Cake with Whiskey Caramel and Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 4½ cups cake flour
  • 3 tsps baking soda
  • 1 lb unsalted butter
  • 1 can guinness (440ml)
  • 1½ cup cocoa
  • 2 /14 cup brown sugar
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1⅛ cup sour cream
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup whipping cream
  • 3 tsps whiskey
  • 1 packet (300g) Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 1.2 cups icing sugar
  • 125ml double or whipping cream
  1. With the rack in the middle position preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Line three 8-inch springform pans with parchment paper. Take ⅛ cup of butter and butter/flour the sides.
  3. In a saucepan, melt the butter with the beer and cocoa, stirring with a whisk and let cool.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the flour and baking soda. In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar and salt. With a whisk add the butter mixture, flour mixture and eggs alternatively to the sugar mixture.
  5. Add sour cream and beat until the mixture is smooth.
  6. Divide the batter among the pans and bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let them cool for ten minutes in the pans then unmold and let cool.
  7. In a saucepan combine butter, brown sugar and whipping cream. Cook and stir over medium heat for three to five minutes. Remove from heat and stir in whiskey.
  8. Set aside.
  9. Lightly whip the cream cheese until smooth in a bowl. Sift the icing sugar and beat this together till smooth. Add the cream and beat till it reaches a spreadable consistency. Make the cream cheese frosting just as you are ready to place it on the cake, I don’t believe it sits well.
  10. My cakes ended up with dome tops and the inverted gravity trick was not working so I cut parts of the tops off to allow each layer to lay flat. (As best as I could). Take a large serving platter and place the first cake down, give a generous dollop of caramel sauce and push around with a spatula till all the top is covered. Repeat with the next two layers. On the next two layers I placed toothpicks inside the cake just to keep it steady as a secrity measure. Dollop the cream cheese frosting and cover the entire cake. I did a crumb coat first and then K went back and refined the icing. (Yes he was the one who made the icing look all pretty, not me.)
If you are not a whiskey fan, start off with a lower measurement and taste as you go on. I like my whiskey so I wanted a decent kick to the sauce. I also used Jamieson’s because it’s what I keep in the house, plus I liked the play of an Irish stout with an Irish whiskey. You can try any whiskey you wish. Prep time may seem a lot but it took me awhile to get the hang of it, plus the cake needs to cool before icing.

Serves: A lot

If you make this, let me see! Tag your photo with #teawithmeblog on Instagram.


Share Your Thoughts

  1. Greetings,

    I was googling for a recipe for a similar cake, and just read through your recipe. But a little confused:
    In a large bowl, combine the brown and white sugars and salt
    There does not appear to be any white sugar listed in your ingredients.
    Also, for the caramel sauce in the ingredients field it reads 1/4 whipping cream. Would that be 1/4cup?
    Great post though and pleased to have stumbled across your post.

    1. Hello,

      Thanks for noticing that issue. You are correct that it is a 1/4 cup of whipping cream as for the sugars … Unfortunately, this is an incredibly old post and I don’t bake with wheat any more. Therefore I don’t use this recipe and cannot recall if there was both brown and white sugar to be used. You can find the updated grain free version here – Thanks!

  2. Heather, thanks for joining the cake extravaganza – I am simply blown away by all the fantastic cakes – and extremely hungry! Cheers

  3. Silly question, but the photo looks like you have a different color (ie different cake) in the middle. Top and bottom layer looks dark and the middle layer looks lighter. Is it just my computer? Because your recipe says to divide the same batter up in the three pans….

  4. H, I will be honest. Sometimes I think you are here to torture me! Seriously, this looks amazing along with all of your other foods & I wish I could eat every single thing you post! Need to come visit soon :)