Irish Chocolate Cake

Everybody needs a good chocolate cake that they can conjure up to appreciative groans and lip licking smiles.  Because, let’s face it, there are times when only chocolate will do!  As for the Irish part well that would be the use of either buttermilk or Guinness (depending on preference/age group) both of which are very Irish ingredients and each giving a very tender crumb to the cake.

You can have this cake with a cuppa or as a pudding served with creme fraiche.  You can decorate the ganache icing anyway you choose.  Or leave it plain.

Of the two “Irish” ingredients well, If you choose to use Guinness it gives the chocolate a slightly spicy, sophisticated kick and if you use buttermilk it becomes slightly lighter and fresher   As well as Guinness/buttermilk and chocolate the cake uses dark brown sugar to give an extra fudgey taste.


The cake

  • 225g  butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 225g soft dark-brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 275g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking-powder

Buttercream filling

  • 75g butter, slightly softened
  • 75g icing sugar
  • 75g soft dark-brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp Guinness/buttermilk

Buttermilk icing

  • 150g good-quality plain chocolate, broken into small pieces
  • 75ml  buttermilk
  • 75ml double cream
  • 4 tbsp soft-dark brown sugar


  1. Set oven to 175c.   Bottom line and grease 2x 20cm sandwich tins
  2. For the cake beat together sugar and butter until light and fluffy
  3. Slowly add eggs until all incorporated then add vanilla extract and beat again till well mixed
  4. Fold in flour, baking powder, cocoa and either the Guinness or buttermilk
  5. Divide mixture between the two tins, spread out evenly and bake in preheated oven till done (about 30 mins)
  6. Leave  to cool in tins for 5 mins before turning out to cool completely.
  7. For the buttercream – beat together sugars and butter until fluffy
  8. Add cocoa powder and Guinness/buttermilk and beat again until thoroughly mixed
  9. For the icing – warm together all the ingredients stirring until glossy. Leave to cool and thickened
  10. When cakes are cool, put buttercream on one half of cake and spread to edges
  11. Place the other cake on top and pour over icing.   Decorate and serve     Listen to the appreciative groans and watch people lick their lips as they eat it!!




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