Inspired by the American boilermaker-like drink made with Guinness, Irish whiskey and Irish Cream named the Irish Car Bomb this impressively rich, moist and densely chocolatey cake is sure to impressive!
[Editor's note: Several people have commented that they were offended by the name of this recipe. The drink The Irish Car Bomb is an American drink create in 1979 that refers to the dropping of a shot of Irish cream & Irish whiskey into a glass of Guinness. It is similar to a boilermaker drink, with the term "car bomb" referring to the dropping of the shot glass into the beer glass, otherwise known as a bomb shot. I truly apologize if this name offends anyone and I have subsequently changed the name of the recipe]
“I think I’ve seen Jesus…” blasphemed a friend of mine, after he took a bite of my Irish Drunken Cake. Apparently the combination of Guinness, Irish Whiskey and Irish Cream combined in a layer cake form was a religious experience to him. That or he had run out of accolades for my desserts. Either way, I was happy to take the compliment, though I’m sure my more sensitive friends would be offended. Thankfully they were out of earshot when he said it. (Jump directly to the recipe.)
Now, I’m not much of a drinking, something that perplexed many of friend and co-worker of mine. One Irish co-worker of mine at a temp job when I first moved to San Francisco was utterly confused when I mentioned to her that I didn’t really drink. “So what do you do for fun?” There was absolutely no irony in her question at all, as she was genuinely curious as to what I did for recreation. It seems the entire Irish culture revolves around going to the pub.
Now, if I could have found a drink like the Irish Car Bomb perhaps my life would have been different. Not that I could have ordered it with my Irish co-worker, as it’s strictly an American invention (try ordering the drink in Ireland, and you’ll either offend someone or just confuse the bartender). Of course I like those flavors even more in cake form, with the Guinness adding depth and moisture to the chocolate cake, while Irish Cream and Irish Whiskey laden whipped cream cheese frosting added just the right sweet tang to each fluffy frosting layer. Apparently my friend agreed. He had another slice immediately after finishing his first one.
Irish Drunken Cake, a chocolate Guinness cake with Irish whiskey and Irish cream
By Irvin Lin
Nigella Lawson popularized the Guinness Chocolate Cake but this Irish Drunken Cake takes it to a new level. I split the cake into four layers (don’t worry I give you instructions with photos on how to do that painlessly) but if you’re feeling lazy, just leave it as two layers and only make half the frosting. But trust me, this light and fluffy frosting is fabulous and you’ll want as much as possible of it so do try to split the cake layers if you can. It’s not too hard!
2 1/2 cups (350 g) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
10 tablespoons (140 g or 1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
1 bottle (11.5 oz or 1 1/2 cups) Guinness
3/4 cup (80 g) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups (300 g) granulated white sugar
1/2 cup (110 g) dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (115 g) Greek-style yogurt
2 large eggs
1/4 cup Irish whiskey
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, cold
16 oz (2 bricks) cream cheese, at room temperature
8 oz (1 tub) Mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
2 cups (230 g) powdered sugar, sifted
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoon Irish whiskey
3 tablespoons Irish cream
1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Spray two 9-inch cake pans with cooking oil, then line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment paper.
2. Place the flour, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt in a medium bowl. Using a balloon whisk, stir the dry ingredients together vigorously until well blended. Place the butter in a large pot on the stove and turn the heat to medium high. Cook, stirring constantly, until the butter is melted. Turn the heat off and pour the Guinness into the butter, stirring to blend with a whisk. Add the cocoa powder and both sugars to the pot and whisk until blended in.
3. Measure the Greek-style yogurt into a glass measuring cup and add the eggs and Irish whiskey to it. Stir until the eggs and whiskey are incorporated and the entire mixture is smooth. Add the yogurt and eggs mixture to the pot with the chocolate Guinness mixture. Whisk to incorporate. Add all the dry ingredients to the batter and whisk until incorporated. Divide between the two prepared cake pans (if you have a scale, it’s roughly 750 grams of batter per pan). Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until the sides of the cake pull away from the pan and a toothpick inserted in the middle of each cake comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes before inverting and letting cool on a wire rack completely to room temperature.
4. Once the cake layers have cooled completely (at least two hours or overnight if you can). Make the frosting by first whipping the cream until peaks form (you can use a stand mixer or do it by hand). Move the cream to another bowl (if you are using a stand mixer) and use the paddle attachment to beat the cream cheese, Mascarpone cheese and powdered sugar together until incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and beat until incorporated. Scoop the whipped cream back into the bowl and slowly (I “pulsed” the stand mixer on-and-off) beat the cream into the frosting. If you don’t have a stand mixer, use your hand to fold the whipped cream in with a large rubber spatula. Once the whipped cream is incorporated, scoop out about 1/3 of the frosting (it’s better to error on the smaller side so 1/4 to 1/3 of the frosting works, but you don’t need to be exact) and place it in the bowl that had the whipped cream. Add the Irish whiskey to the remaining 2/3rds of the frosting in the stand mixer bowl and beat slowly until incorporated. Fold (or gently stir) the Irish cream into the reserve 1/3 frosting in the separate bowl.
5. Once the frosting is made, assemble the cake by splitting the layers. Stick 8 toothpicks halfway up the side of one cake layer. Using the toothpicks as “guides” slice the cake layer horizontally into two layers each (resulting in two layers). I like to use a long serrated bread knife but use the longest and sharpest knife you have. Once the cake layer is split, use a thin cutting board, piece of plastic or stiff cardboard to slide the cake layers apart. Repeat with the other cake layer, resulting in four layers.
6. Place one layer on the serving plate or cake stand and scoop out 1/3 of the Irish whiskey flavored frosting on top of the layer. Spread the frosting to the edges and place a layer on top of the frosting. Repeat with 1/3 of the Irish whiskey frosting, spreading to the edge and place the third layer on top. Spread the remaining frosting on the third layer. If you find you don’t have enough frosting for the third layer, use some of the Irish cream flavor frosting, spreading to the edges of the cake. Add the final layer of the cake and spread all of the Irish Cream frosting on top, as if the cake had a frothy layer of beer foam on top. Serve immediately.
Makes 1 cake, serves 12-16 people, depending on how thin you slice the cake.
If you like this Irish Drunken Cake (a Guinness chocolate cake with Irish whiskey and Irish cream whipped cream cheese frosting), check out these other sweet and savory recipes that use Guinness from around the web:
Sprinkle Bakes‘ Guinness Pretzel Truffles
Closet Cooking‘s Bacon Guinness Chocolate Pancakes with Guinness Chocolate Syrup
Gimme Some Oven‘s Guinness Floats
Food Republic‘s Braised Beef Short Ribs With Guinness
The Messy Baker‘s Guinness Barbecue Sauce