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Chocolate Guinness Cake and the Dreaded Springform Pan

by TastefullyJulie on July 30, 2012

Time for another episode of culinary confessions. I’ve never owned or used a springform pan. Basically because they have always terrified me.

When it comes to things I’m afraid to do, baking in a springform pan ranks right up there with canning and using active dry yeast. (Of course there many things I’m much more terrified of that I’ll never do, e.g. bungee jumping or LSD. But this is a cooking blog so let’s try to stay on topic.)

My fear of canning comes from the distinct possibility that I’ll do it wrong and accidentally poison a lot of people. And I’m sure a number of people share my fear of baking with yeast. Proofing? Fermenting? Kneading? Yikes! I think that one’s pretty reasonable. But I can’t say why it is, exactly, that I’ve never been brave enough to tackle the springform pan. Many a cheesecake have gone unbaked due to this irrational phobia.

Wait. It’s a pan. And it’s in two pieces. How does the batter not leak through the seam and all over the oven? Then how on earth does it break away from the cake without crumbling the entire thing?

Actually, it’s not at all irrational.

But when my friends decided to have a beer themed dinner party, I couldn’t think of a more fitting dessert to bring than the chocolate stout cake that riddles the internet every St. Patrick’s Day. Just one problem. It has to be baked in a springform pan.

So I went to Walmart and wandered down the cookware aisle with trepidation. “Oh my God, am I really doing this? Am I actually going to purchase a crazy two-part pan with a latch and it’s own Wiki page?”. All my fear diminished once I saw the cutest lime green pan ever. I mean, really, What could be scary about lime green bakeware? Ridiculous.

As it turns out, this cake is ridiculous. Ridiculously easy to make, that is. It come together almost entirely in one saucepan and popped right out of that crazy pan with no problem. The frosting is simple, too. You don’t even have to frost the sides!

Be careful not to over bake this. It will appear underdone in the middle giving you the urge to leave it in the oven for an extra five minutes. Don’t do it. I did and I think the result was ever so slightly dry. I prefer a moist cake which this one should be for all the liquid ingredients.

In my opinion Guinness doesn’t really taste like much on it’s own so I definitely didn’t taste it in the cake. I’d love to try this again with a chocolate porter. Now we’re talking!

Oh, by the way, the recipe only calls for 1 cup of Guinness so you’ll have to measure it out and drink the rest of the can. Then you’ll have to have another full Guinness because that was barely any beer, let’s get real.

4.9 from 7 reviews

Chocolate Guinness Cake and the Dreaded Springform Pan

  • 1 cup Guinness stout (or other beer)
  • 10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/8 to ½ cup heavy cream

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and line bottom with a round piece of parchment paper, cut to fit. In a large saucepan, combine Guinness and butter. Cook over medium-low heat until butter melts, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and add cocoa and sugar, and whisk to blend.
  2. In a small bowl, beat together sour cream, eggs and vanilla. Add to Guinness mixture and mix well. Combine flour and baking soda and then add to the liquid ingredients; whisk until smooth. Pour batter into buttered pan, and bake for 45 to 55 minutes. Place pan on a wire rack and cool completely before removing sides of pan.
  3. For the frosting, add confectioners’ sugar and cream cheese to a medium bowl. Beat on low until smooth. Add vanilla and heavy cream, and mix until desired consistency has been reached. (I used only 3/8 cup of cream.)
  4. Carefully remove cake from pan and place on a platter or cake stand. Frost the top of cake only, so that it (slightly) resembles a frothy pint of Guinness.


Adapted slightly from

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Angie@Angie's Recipes July 30, 2012 at 7:23 am

The chocolate cake looks splendid! I love your apple green springform pan.
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2 Alison July 30, 2012 at 9:44 am

This cake was truly amazing Julie, and like I said I did have it for breakfast the next morning and it was just as yummy. Thanks for sharing :)


3 TastefullyJulie July 30, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Thanks, Alison. I was wishing I had some for breakfast but we ate the rest that same night!


4 Alison July 30, 2012 at 9:44 am

sorry forgot to rate it


5 Jessica@AKitchenAddiction July 30, 2012 at 9:45 am

I wish my springform pan was green! That might make me use it more!
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6 Part Time House Wife July 30, 2012 at 10:02 am

I was swayed by the pretty yellow of my springform pan…SO I bought it and then found a recipe so I could use it. I think they’re pretty dang amazing. Everything just slips and slides right out!
This looks devine Julie. I’m jealous of your friends that got to eat it!
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7 Jen July 30, 2012 at 11:10 am

Insanely delicious. I woke up thinking about it the next day. I may have to buy one of those fancy pans.


8 TastefullyJulie July 30, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Next time I’m going to use chocolate porter and make cupcakes so I can get a higher frosting to cake ratio! ;)


9 Patty July 30, 2012 at 11:38 am

It was delicious. Steve and Matthew ate the leftover piece we brought home!


10 CJ at Food Stories July 30, 2012 at 12:09 pm

OMG … I laughed through your whole post because I could’ve written it. For years, I refused to buy a springform pan because it just sounded so darn hard & intimidating. I bought one a few months ago and have never looked back … Should’ve done it years ago :-)
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11 TastefullyJulie July 30, 2012 at 2:10 pm

I know, it’s so simple! To think of all those missed cheesecake opportunities!


12 Jane July 30, 2012 at 5:32 pm

This looks so good! I guess I’m slightly scared of a springform pan too cause I don’t have one! Doh! That green one is cute!
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13 Choc Chip Uru July 30, 2012 at 5:40 pm

This cake has it all – taste, chocolate, fudginess, chocolat :D
It looks incredible!

Choc Chip Uru
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14 Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies July 30, 2012 at 8:51 pm

I have the same fear of canning! Botulism is invisible, yo! You don’t know you’ve poisoned everyone until it’s too late! How do you even know you canned things correctly? Yeah, that’s right, you don’t!

I love Guinness in baked goods. This looks fantastic!
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15 TastefullyJulie August 5, 2012 at 12:01 am

My neighbor says she is going to teach my to can tomatoes this year. Tomatoes! The most botulism-y of all canned things. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Or maybe I won’t.


16 Medeja July 30, 2012 at 9:57 pm

This cake has been on mu list I don’t know for how long! Yours looks really amazing!
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17 Carole July 31, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Just a quick note to let you know that you are featured in my Featured Food Blog list sidebar this month. Cheers
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18 TastefullyJulie July 31, 2012 at 8:06 pm

Thank you!


19 Mary@FitandFed July 31, 2012 at 8:11 pm

Beautiful, I love the dark cake with the white frosting, and I’m a sucker for stout plus chocolate. I’ve had my springform pans for decades (here I am sounding old again) but only use them on that rare occasion when I make a layer cake or a torte. They are plain silver, no fancy yellow or green, and short, for making cake layers. I’m more scared of using a regular layer cake pan and then not being able to get the cake out without some kind of disfiguring accident (though there’s always the camouflage of frosting). Though one of my springform pans is dented, might need a little extra frosting on that side these days.
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20 Robin July 31, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Oh my gosh, Julie, I’m with you!! I had a bad experience ONCE in college (I can’t exactly say if there was drinking involved or not…eh hem) with a springform pan and that was it. So funny! Also with you on the canning! So badly do I want to can. I really, really do. But then I think of botulism and I bet I wouldn’t trust myself and would think that I would possibly be poisoning my entire family by having them eat what I have canned. Must get over that fear. Anywho..I digress….I’m loving the idea of this cake because I think it would make the PERFECT cake for my husband’s birthday in September. Definitely going to bookmark this! Thanks! You’re sure it’s easy, right? :)
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21 Viviane Bauquet Farre August 1, 2012 at 10:51 am

So dark and devilish looking! I’ll bet this cake has a deep and moist luxurious flavor. Guinness always seems to work its way in nicely with certain desserts!
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22 kitchenriffs August 1, 2012 at 5:03 pm

I like Guinness, but I agree a chocolate porter would be a super choice in this. Really easy recipe. I’ll have to save it up for St Pat’s Day! Glad you got over your fear of springform pans. Yeast? Instant yeast is your friend – just mix it right in with the other ingredients, no proofing required. I buy it by the pound, and keep it in an airtight jar in the freezer (it lasts a lot longer that way). Fun post – thanks.
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23 Jennie @themessybakerblog August 2, 2012 at 11:31 am

We all have our little fears and irrational thoughts. For instance, I have a huge fear of bees. Supposedly they won’t bother you if you don’t bother them, but I believe that to be a bunch of bollocks.

Um, love the lime green pan! And this cake looks amazing. Bravo for getting over your fears, and potentially some cheesecakes to come in the near future (fingers crossed). Love reading your blog!


24 Hotly Spiced August 5, 2012 at 3:16 am

What a beautiful looking chocolate cake. I bet the guinness gives it great flavour. And I love the look of that springform pan. I don’t have a problem with springform pans – I grew up with a mother who had a cupboard full of them.
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25 Nancy/SpicieFoodie August 6, 2012 at 10:18 am

Yay, congrats on conquering your springform pan fear! I have to admit that I’ve never owned one. Not out of fear but not really sure why. I’m with you on the canning fear, that’s why I only do one small jar at a time. The cake looks to die for! Love the contrast of the black and white-so pretty:)
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26 Amy @ Food Crush August 8, 2012 at 4:56 pm

Your fear of springform pans is very rational. I had a bad experience a few weeks ago when I went to put a cheesecake in the oven and the entire filling fell through the base of the ban. Sadly, the pan was around the wrong way. I am scarred for life!


27 Roxana | Roxana's Home Baking August 16, 2012 at 9:21 am

I’m not afraid of baking with yeast or in a sping-form pan, but canning and baking in a bundl pan makes me shiver from head to toes.
The cake sounds just fit for a beer party theme and your green pan is so cute!
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28 Mary@FitandFed December 9, 2012 at 6:39 pm

Julie, I made your cake! With just a few changes, including using a chocolate-y porter as you yourself were considering for next time. It was easy and turned out amazing, disappeared quickly at a holiday party. Thanks for planting the bug in me to make this cake, it’s been at the back of my mind since July! I hope your computer problems are fixed and you’ll be able to post again soon.
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29 ~ callee ~ December 12, 2012 at 8:17 pm

I made this for a Christmas party last weekend and it was a hit! I love it because it’s not too sweet and the frosting and cake compliment each other so well. I added sea salt to both the batter and the frosting and it turned out rather well. I can’t wait to make it again!!!!! I LOVE IT!
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30 Elspeth January 28, 2013 at 1:45 am

I’m still not a Springform fan – I bought one and it didn’t close well enough :( It wasn’t hard to use, though. I really didn’t like this cake – the Guinness was overpowering and I didn’t like the icing so I added chocolate to it. The kids ate it all, though :)
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31 sally March 16, 2013 at 4:00 pm

I top this cake with chocolate ganache and it’s amazing!


32 Pambo October 17, 2013 at 5:25 pm

Stumbled onto your site while looking for a springform pan online and love it. I share your specific phobias about baking, fermentation and canning as well for exactly the same reasons you described. Unbelievable. We are kindred spirits concerning those touchy subjects. I am attempting a cheesecake for the first time for Halloween (one that looks like a ginormous piece of candy corn when you slice it), but I will branch out and give the Chocolate Guinness Cake a go by the next St. Patrick’s holiday (now that I know I’m not the ONLY one who is intimidated by a springform pan). Keep on keepin’ on!


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