An alcoholic Irish cake for Maisie

It’s St Patrick’s Day today…. so something Irish

I created this cake from the basic recipe for Black Velvet cake – a dark Guinness and chocolate cake topped with frothy white icing. It’s named after the Guinness and champagne cocktail (go here for a robustly exciting description by David Cottle of how to make the cocktail). You’ll have some Guinness left over after making this cake, so you could give the cocktail version a go – if you are especially adventurous trying the Marmite version.

But I decided that it was a bit solid and dry as a magnificent final course to a hopefully impressive black-tie dinner. So I decided to add hot chocolate sauce AND whiskey (which, of course, had to be Irish to go with the Guinness). With those additions it is splendidly outrageous, jaw-droppingly good.

Nevertheless, colleagues wolfed down slim slices, minus the two sauces, with their coffee the following day, and it proved very popular.

This is how to make it.


Recipe for splendidly outrageous, double-sauced, Irish cake for Maisie

Serves 8-14… perhaps even more with the two sauces


  • 250g/8 oz – a block of butter, plus 150g/5 oz for the icing)
  • 300ml/1¼ cups Guinness (a can is 440ml)
  • 100g/4 oz dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa)
  • 60g/4 tbsp good quality cocoa (from The Netherlands)
  • 300g/2 cups flour
  • 4 tsps baking powder (omit if you are using self-raising)
  • 300g/1½ cups golden caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 120ml/½ cup double cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 170g/1⅓ cup icing sugar
  • 250g/8 oz cream cheese
  • 50g/2 oz Green & Black’s white chocolate, grated.
  • 80 ml/⅓ cup Irish whiskey
  • 300g/1¼ cups good quality dark chocolate sauce


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and take the butter out of the fridge.
  2. Grease a 20cm loose-bottomed, non-stick cake tin
  3. Mix the butter, the chocolate, the Guinness, and the cocoa together in a large saucepan and heat gently until the butter has just melted
  4. Take it off the heat and mix in the caster sugar. Sift in the flour and stir.
  5. Then add the eggs, the cream and the vanilla paste.
  6. Pour into the cake tin and bake for 40 mins. Take out and leave until it’s cool enough to turn out onto a wire rack.
  7. Meanwhile make the icing by beating the butter and icing sugar together until fluffed up. Then add the cream cheese, and whizz again with your electric whisk.
  8. Make holes in the cake with a skewer and pour down the whiskey.
  9. Using a spatula, spread the icing over the cake. If you have any extra let it stray down the sides of the cake
  10. Just before serving heat the chocolate sauce (follow the packet instructions – you can do this quite safely – less risk of separation, in the microwave).
  11. Cut the cake into thin slices, and put a couple of slices onto each plate, pour over the hot chocolate sauce.


This post is dedicated to Maisie Clarke because she appreciates this cake so much!


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