Guinness Stout Ginger Cake

There are many variations on the recipe using Guinness Stout to make a ginger bread cake.  What follows is an amalgamation of what Melissa Clarke from the NYTimes, Claudia Fleming in her book,” The Last Course,” and Peggy Knickerbocker from Sunset had to say on the topic. What was consistent in all was the flexibility in their choice of spices added to the classic recipe. My favorite spice is star anise so I threw that into the mix.  Then, I had a few slices of candied orange rind hanging around which I thought might be a tasty addition.  Be brave and add your own interpretation to this Irish dessert You’ll find it is a crowd pleaser at St. Patrick’s Day as well as during fall and winter months.  It is an intense, moist cake which benefits from a dollop of whipped cream, crème fraiche or scoop of vanilla ice cream.  A generous spoonful of apple or pear compote would also be delicious.


2 Tablespoons sweet butter, room temperature (I suggest Kerry Gold)

½ cup raw sugar

1 cup Guinness Stout

1 cup molasses

5 pieces of star anise

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ Tablespoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg

¼ teaspoon all spice

¼ teaspoon salt, fine sea salt preferred

2 Tablespoons fresh grated ginger

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 Tablespoon grated lemon rind

1 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

1 Tablespoon grated lemon rind

¾ cups safflower or other vegetable oil

½ cup finely diced candied orange rind



Preheat your oven to 350° F. 

Liberally coat a 6-cup Bundt pan with butter. Sprinkle in the raw sugar and move it around the pan so that it coats all sides. Tap the pan’s bottom on the counter top to release any excess sugar. At the sink, turn the pan over and toss out excess sugar. 

In a saucepan, add the Stout, molasses, and star anise and bring to a light boil.  Remove from the heat and add the baking soda.  It will foam up so be careful.  Allow it to cool to room temperature.  Then strain out the star anise putting the liquid into a large glass measuring cup.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, all of the spices and salt.  Set aside.

Using your standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, add to bowl the grated ginger, eggs, vanilla extract, lemon rind and both sugars.  Beat at medium speed for 5 minutes.

Turn off the motor and add the Stout and molasses mixture again beating at medium speed for 5 minutes.

Add the flour mixture in four batches, mixing each one thoroughly. 

Add in the candied orange rind and mix thoroughly.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and cook for 55 to 65 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Transfer the cake to a wire rack, place a towel over it and allow to cool for 20 minutes.  Place a serving platter on top of the pan and turn it over.  Serve warm.

Serves 8-10 generous pieces