Mr. Guinness’s Cake

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes one 8 inch single-layer cake; serves about


Appears in

This is a moist, light-textured, pale to medium gold cake, heady with spices and dried fruit, with a yeasty aroma. Guinness, the Irish family that founded the brewing company, has produced stout since 1759. This traditional Irish fruitcake recipe has been in the Guinness family for over 100 years.


  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh-grated nutmeg
  • ¾ cup ( sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup dark raisins
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • ½ cup chopped candied orange peel, or grated zest of 2 oranges
  • ½ cup chopped candied lemon peel, or grated zest of 2 lemons
  • ½ cup chopped candied or dried pineapple or candied red cherries
  • 1 bottle Guinness Stout, at room temperature
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for sprinkling
  • Halved candied cherries, for decoration (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and lightly flour an 8-inch springform pan. Sift cups of the flour, the baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, ginger and nutmeg onto a piece of wax paper; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the brown sugar until thoroughly combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Lower the speed to slow, add the flour mixture and beat just until blended.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the dark and golden raisins, orange and lemon peels or zests, pineapple or cherries and the remaining ¼ cup flour. Toss to coat the fruit with the flour. Add to the batter along with cup of the Guinness. Beat until well blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake the cake for 45 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees. Continue baking until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake emerges clean and the cake shrinks away from the sides of the pan, usually 25 to 30 minutes longer.
  5. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the sides of the pan; cool the cake to room temperature.
  6. When the cake is at room temperature, prick the top surface all over, reaching about halfway through, with a fork or skewer. Transfer the cake to a large plate. Slowly and evenly pour about ¼ cup of the Guinness over the cake; let the liquid sink in for a few minutes. Invert the cake and remove the bottom of the springform. Prick the bottom of the cake all over, as you did the top. Slowly pour on about ¼ cup more Guinness. Allow the stout to be absorbed, about 10 minutes.
  7. Turn the cake right side up and tightly wrap in plastic wrap. Wrap again in foil. Store in a cool place or in the refrigerator for at least 3 days. (The cake can be stored for about 1½ weeks in the refrigerator; the flavors will improve.)
  8. Bring the cake to room temperature before serving. Just before serving, dust the top of the cake with confectioners’ sugar. Decorate with a row of candied cherries, if you like.