Vegan Chocolate Guinness Cake

March 15, 2012


I made vegetarian meat loaf a few weeks back and when my husband told his father about it, he replied, “Sounds nasty.” He seriously said that. If you know him, you won’t be surprised.


But vegetarian and vegan foods don’t have to be “nasty.” This cake is as far from nasty as you can get. Unless nasty equals delicious and, if so, this cake is the nastiest.


In case you’re confused (I think I am!), this cake is amazing. It’s thick, gooey, supremely chocolaty. It’s down right luxurious. The kind of cake you’d take a bubble bath in, or paint your toes with, or sip on the beach. It’s that good. Seriously. Now run off and make one because Saturday will be here before you know it!


Adapted from Joy the Baker

2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup Guinness (extra stout)
1 Tablespoon instant espresso powder
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
small handful of vegan chocolate chips

Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, espresso powder, Guinness, and vanilla. (If the coconut oil is solid at room temp, melt it and allow to cool before mixing with the other ingredients.)


Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.


Pour the batter into a lightly greased cake pan, bunt pan or pie dish (I used a pie dish).  The batter will be thick and gooey.


Bake for 25 minutes, until done.


Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.


Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.


See how nasty that looks?


Happy St. Patty’s Day!

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Lucia January 14, 2015 at 5:35 pm

Can you please either change the beer brand or the title of this recipe? For those that are unwitting will inadvertently make a non-vegan cake using non-vegan Guinness. Thank you!

Xal November 14, 2014 at 1:59 am

Guinness isn’t vegan!!
Sadly, Guinness beer is not vegan because it uses isinglass in its production. Isinglass is made from the swim bladders of fish, and although there isn’t a trace of it in the beer, it is a direct product used in the manufacturing process.

Ashley @ Blissful Basil April 21, 2014 at 3:41 pm

I’ve been meaning to comment on this cake for so long! I’ve made this 7-8 times over the last year, and it’s always a HUGE success. Such a deliciously fudgy, dense, and decadent chocolate cake, and non-vegans rave about it just as much as vegans do. Amazing recipe!

Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods June 10, 2014 at 7:24 am

Wonderful! So glad you enjoy it. :)

Krush August 1, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Thanks for the great recipie, is it ok to miss out the espresso and use sunflower oil instead..?

Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods January 5, 2014 at 1:51 pm

I would advise against it.

Krush August 1, 2013 at 3:21 pm

Great recipie – thanks! Is it ok to miss out the espresso ans use sunflower oil? Thanks so much for sharing this great recipie!

Plant_Based_Living March 17, 2013 at 11:33 pm

Guinness Extra Stout, brewed in Canada by Labatt is vegan friendly and can be used. Look at if you want to know if your beer, wine or liquor is vegan friendly.

Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods March 18, 2013 at 7:44 am

Thank you!

Plant_Based_Living March 24, 2013 at 7:56 pm

You’re welcome and thanks for the recipe. I’m going to try it this evening, right after I finish with vegan chocolate mini cakes and (baked) pumpkin spiced donuts. In cake type recipes you can also substitute up to one half of the oil in a recipe (or even 2/3 but requires experimenting) with the same amount of apple sauce for a healthier alternative, I do this with pretty much every recipe now. Happy vegan baking.

Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods March 25, 2013 at 9:02 am

You know, I haven’t tried apple sauce but canned pumpkin is another great oil substitute. Thanks again for the tips! :)

R January 24, 2013 at 6:31 pm

This recipe is a contradiction. Guinness is not vegan and is filtered through a vat of fish isinglass to filter out the yeast. Please research your recipes before you misinform people.

Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods January 25, 2013 at 10:41 am

My research shows that the Guinness extra stout is in fact vegan.

Aparna B. @ Not A Leaf March 23, 2012 at 8:45 am

YUM! I love how people can take something so unique or savory like beer and use it for baking! I guess it kind of makes sense though. There are chocolate beers and stuff out there. I’m not a big Guiness fan, but if you’re going to put it in cake, I think I’d be up for it ;)

sasha March 17, 2012 at 3:42 pm gives a valid, thorough list of vegetarian/vegan alcoholic bevs.

Mireya @myhealthyeatinghabits March 17, 2012 at 3:07 pm

A friend of mine made a chocolate beer cake and it was the best cake I ever tasted! This is a different type of cake but it looks just as wonderful.

Lauren Kuhn March 15, 2012 at 10:19 pm

HOWEVER I wonder if Youngs Double Chocolate Stout would work… :) It is vegan friendly!

Lauren Kuhn March 15, 2012 at 10:17 pm

Posting this on there for those that think Guinness is vegan friendly:

Strict vegetarians can’t drink Guinness …
The production of the stout involves the use of isinglass, a byproduct of the fishing industry derived from dead fish. Isinglass is used as a fining agent for settling out suspended matter in the beer vat, and while it’s kept at the bottom of the tank, some isinglass may end up in the final product. So if you’re the type who avoids gelatin and whey in your diet, you’re out of luck.

Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods March 16, 2012 at 7:37 am

Thank you, Lauren! I also heard that the extra stout Guinness does not involve fish byproduct. This is great info that I was not aware of before posting. It’s truly amazing how many products contain or involve animal products. For the strict vegans and vegetarians (and pescetarians), this is most helpful info! Although I don’t love the idea of fishies in my beer, I am not opposed as I do eat fish.

LL March 12, 2014 at 1:26 pm

In North America, Guinness Extra Stout does not involve any fish byproduct.,0,

Sandra March 15, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Hi there, maybe I missed where you pour in the guinness?

I read it over a few times to see if I missed and there’s nothing mentioning if you put the guinness in with the coconut oil first or after.

I’m new to baking vegan so I want to make sure I follow it :)

Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods March 15, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Yes, put the Guinness in with the wet ingredients! Thanks for pointing that out. :)

Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table March 15, 2012 at 11:00 am

Now I have to go on a beer run after work. I love Guinness bread and am so glad to see a vegan chocolate dessert I can use it in as well. Kind of vegan at least… did you know they use fish bladders in the filtration process? The only truly vegan Guinness is the Extra Stout. Crazy!

Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods March 15, 2012 at 11:46 am

Oh my, I had no idea! It’s amazing what unsuspecting foods use gratuitous animal products. In any case, you could sub in the extra stout (as you said) or use red wine or coffee.

Lauren at Keep It Sweet March 15, 2012 at 10:20 am

This cake looks absolutely delish!

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