Vegan Guinness chocolate cake - this intensely chocolatey layer cake is moist, rich and delicious. It has a deep flavour thanks to the addition of Guinness which gives it a malty, almost bitter tang and prevents it from being overly sweet.
Paired with a rich Guinness ganache and whiskey buttercream this is a cake just for grown-ups!
This vegan Guinness chocolate cake is incredibly rich, moist and delicious, with a deep chocolate flavour.
I can't say that you can truly taste the Guinness, but it does lend the cake a malty, tangy note which balances out the sweetness and amplifies the chocolate. It also helps to keep the cake lovely and moist!
What Do I Need To Make Vegan Guinness Chocolate Cake?:
Guinness: Fortunately, Guinness changed their manufacturing technique so all Guinness is now vegan (as far as I'm aware). You don't have to use Guinness however, any stout will work.
Oil: Any neutral flavoured oil such as sunflower, canola or mild olive oil will work.
Yogurt: This gives the cake a lovely moist texture. Use an unsweetened one. I use soy but coconut will also work.
Plain flour: Just regular plain (all-purpose) flour. I don't recommend swapping it for wholemeal, it will make the cake too dense.
I haven't tried making this cake gluten-free, but I suspect that it would work ok with a gluten-free flour blend plus ¼ tsp xanthan gum if the flour doesn’t already contain it.
Cocoa powder: I use dutch processed. For those of you in the UK, that is just regular cocoa powder.
Sugar: I use half caster sugar, half light brown, but you can use all caster sugar if you want. Granulated will also work. For the buttercream you will need icing (powdered) sugar.
Baking powder and soda: A mix of the two provides the best rise and light, soft texture.
Vinegar: This cake uses the reaction between the acid from the vinegar and the bicarbonate of soda to help it rise. I use either apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar. You can also use lemon juice instead.
Vanilla: Extract is better than essence and you can also use vanilla bean paste.
Dark chocolate: I use 70% dark chocolate. Don't use anything with a higher cocoa percentage than that or it can make the ganache more likely to split.
Cream: You can either use full fat coconut milk or a vegan double cream alternative such as Elmlea.
Vegan butter: The buttercream MUST be made with a block variety of butter or it is more likely to split. I use Naturli vegan block.
Whisky: This is optional, but I like to add a dash of whisky to the buttercream for extra flavour.
How To Make Vegan Guinness Chocolate Cake:
(Full measurements and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the page)
Whisk together the oil, Guinness, yogurt, vinegar, vanilla and sugar until smooth.
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and salt.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir with a balloon whisk until no dry lumps remain.
Divide the batter between two greased and lined 20 cm/8 in round cake tins. Bake for 30 minutes.
To make the ganache, place the chopped chocolate in a bowl. Heat the cream and Guinness together until almost simmering. Pour over the chocolate, let stand for 5 minutes then stir until smooth. Stir in the melted butter.
To make the buttercream, whisk the butter, icing sugar and whiskey together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
All of my recipes are developed using grams, and as with all of my baking recipes I really do recommend using the metric measurements with a digital scale rather than the cup coversions. Cups are a wildly inaccurate measuring system and you will get far better, more consistent results using a scale, not to mention that it is also easier and less messy than cups!
Make sure that you don't over-beat the batter as that can make the cake tough. Just mix it until no dry lumps remain. I recommend stirring it by hand with a balloon whisk.
The cake will keep for up to 4 days in an airtight container at room temperature. If it is warm out store it in the fridge.
To make the cake easier to slice, use a hot knife.
The cake can be made with 200g melted vegan butter instead of the oil, the texture is a bit more dense and fudgy. The one in the photos is made with butter but I personally prefer the oil based version.
It would be delicious served filled or topped with whipped cream instead of the buttercream. I recommend Elmlea plant for whipping.
You could also make a cream cheese frosting which is more traditional for this kind of cake.
The guinness chocolate cake is also great just served plain as it is so flavourful. If you want you can halve the recipe and bake just a single 20 cm/8 in cake.
Can I Freeze It?:
The cake layers can be frozen for up to 3 months. Make sure that they are completely cool first and wrap them well to prevent freezer burn.
I do not recommend freezing the iced cake.
More Vegan Chocolate Cakes:
- Vegan chocolate hazelnut cake
- Vegan german chocolate cake
- Vegan chocolate raspberry mousse cake
- Easy vegan chocolate cake
- Vegan chocolate fudge cake
- Vegan chocolate banana cake
- Chocolate, pear and hazelnut cake
- Vegan beetroot chocolate cake
- Vegan chocolate sheet cake
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Vegan Guinness Chocolate Cake
- 160 ml (⅔ cup) neutral oil ( I use sunflower)
- 240 ml (1 cup) Guinness
- 180 g (¾ cup) unsweetened non-dairy yogurt (I use soy)
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 150 g (¾ cup) light brown soft sugar
- 150 g (¾ cup) caster sugar
- 280 g (2 ¼ cups) plain (all-purpose )flour
- 80 g (¾ cup) cocoa powder (dutch processed)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 150 g (5 ½ oz) dark chocolate (70% cocoa) finely chopped
- 100 ml (⅓ cup + 4 teaspoons) vegan cream (I use Elmlea double)
- 60 ml (¼ cup) Guinness
- 10 g (2 teaspoons) vegan butter melted
- 85 g (⅓ cup + 1 teaspoon) vegan block butter (NOT the spreadable kind. I use Naturli Vegan Block) cold
- 200 g (1 + ⅔ cup) icing (powdered) sugar sifted
- 2 teaspoons whiskey
- Preheat the oven to 180°/160°C fan/350°F/gas mark 4. Grease and line two 20 cm/8 in round cake tins.
- Whisk together the oil, Guinness, yogurt, vinegar, vanilla and sugars in a large bowl until smooth.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir with a balloon whisk until no dry lumps remain.
- Divide the batter evenly between the tins. Bake for about 30 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for 10 minutes then carefully turn them out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
- To make the ganache, place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream and Guinness together in a pan until almost simmering but don't let it come to the boil.
- Pour the cream over the chocolate, let stand for 5 minutes then stir gently until smooth. Stir in the melted butter. Set aside until it becomes thick and spreadable. If you accidentally leave it too long and it becomes too thick, you can gently re-warm it over a pan of hot water (don't let the base of the bowl touch the water).
- Meanwhile make the buttercream. Whisk the butter, icing sugar and whiskey together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
- To assemble the cake, trim the tops of the cakes to level them if necessary. Place one cake layer on a cake stand or serving platter and spread over the buttercream. Place the other cake layer on top and spread over the ganache.
- All of my recipes are developed using grams, and as with all of my baking recipes I really do recommend using the metric measurements with a digital scale rather than the cup coversions. Cups are a wildly inaccurate measuring system and you will get far better, more consistent results using a scale, not to mention that it is also easier and less messy than cups!
- See post above for tips, details and step-by-step photos.