A bakehouse.

Salted Stout Cake

A single layer dark chocolate Guinness cake topped with creamy Guinness buttercream, a generous pour of Bailey's salted caramel, and flaky sea salt.

Lately, I’ve been big into little luxuries. You know…those little things that just make you feel good and nurtured in your soul. We could all use more of those in our life, right? Like wearing fuzzy socks, lighting your favorite candle, reading a gripping mystery novel, or enjoying a really good bite of cake. Like, I’m-definitely-going-to-have-to-unbutton-my-pants-to-eat-this-but-I’m-doing-it-anyway kind of good. If you are in dire need of the latter, I got you with this Salted Stout Cake.


Salted Stout Cake is one of those cakes that lives by the motto “the messier, the better” in the best way possible. It’s a one layer dark chocolate Guinness cake, that’s baked with instant coffee and brown sugar to really bring out those darker, maltier notes of the Guinness. It’s then topped with a creamy, 3-ingredient Guinness buttercream and a very generous amount of Bailey’s salted caramel that oozes off the sides. Sprinkle it with flaky sea salt, and you have yourself a little luxury. 🙂


Here’s What You’ll Need To Make This Salted Stout Cake:


  • Guinness (I used Guinness Draught)


  • dark chocolate chips, Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder, instant coffee


  • melted unsalted butter


  • flour, baking soda, salt


  • vanilla and apple cider vinegar or white vinegar


  • dark brown sugar and granulated sugar


  • eggs (room temperature)


  • granulated sugar, cold unsalted butter, whipping cream, Bailey’s Irish cream, and salt for the salted caramel sauce


  • softened unsalted butter, powdered sugar, and Guinness, for the buttercream



Let’s start by reducing the Guinness. In a medium-sized pan over medium heat, bring the Guinness to a boil. As soon as it starts to boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 15 minutes. While it’s simmering, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside. Then, toss the chocolate chips, cocoa powder, and instant coffee into a large mixing bowl. While the the Guinness is still hot, pour it and the melted butter over chocolate, cocoa, and coffee mixture. Let it sit for 5 minutes before whisking smooth.


*Important note: there will be leftover Guinness, but we’ll use it later.*


Now we’re going to whisk in the vanilla, apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar), and both sugars. Fun fact: you don’t see brown sugar in many cakes, but the reason it’s in this one is to help enhance those deep, malty flavors of the Guinness.


Then whisk in your eggs. Making sure they’re at room temperature first will make this a lot easier and reduce your chances of over mixing.


















Pour the batter into a parchment-lined and greased 8-inch round pan and bake at 350 for 27-29 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. The batter will be thin.


Quick tip: Set the bottom of your pan on a square of parchment. Trace it with a pencil and cut the circle that’s leftover out of the parchment. Spray the bottom of the pan with non-stick spray before setting your parchment down in the pan. Then spray the sides of the pan to make sure the cake doesn’t stick.



While the cake is baking, now is a perfect time to make the Bailey’s salted caramel. Start by heating the granulated sugar over medium head in a medium sized, heavy-bottomed sauce pan. (A medium pan may feel excessive, but it’s best to play it safe when making caramel). As the sugar starts to melt, it will look really clumpy at first. Keep at it and eventually it will turn into a hot puddle of amber-colored liquid.



Next we’ll cube up the cold butter and carefully drop it into the melted sugar, stirring constantly with a whisk until it’s all melted. Then carefully…and I mean very carefully and slowly pour in the heavy whipping cream, whisking constantly.


The reason you want to be so careful here is because the steam that rises at this point rises way faster than you’d think and burns. I didn’t know this the first time I made caramel and ended up flinging my whisk with hot sugar on it out my hand as a reflex and it landed on my bare foot. I ended up with a scar in the shape of smiley face on my foot, so it could’ve been worse. Moral of the story: be careful and probably wear shoes or those cozy socks we talked about earlier.


Remove the mixture from heat and whisk in the salt and the Bailey’s Irish cream. Pour it in a heat-safe bowl and put it in the fridge to cool down.



Once everything is cool, make the buttercream by beating the softened unsalted butter, powdered sugar, and leftover Guinness with a hand mixer. Beat until smooth, creamy, and delicious.


Using a pastry brush, brush the top of the cake with the remaining Guinness. This will give it more of that signature flavor and keep the cake extra moist. Then, plop a very generous amount of buttercream onto the cooled cake and use an angled spatula or a spoon to push it out to the edges, starting from the center. You want to create a sort of well–thin layer of buttercream in the center, thick layer on the edges. Think of it like a pizza crust.



Lastly, pour the cooled Bailey’s salted caramel into the well letting it seep over the edges. Remember, the messier the better.


Sprinkle with flaky sea salt, and voila! You have yourself a little luxury. 🙂


Take care of yourself. Buy a pair of cozy socks. Read a good book. Enjoy the little luxuries. And enjoy this Salted Stout Cake. Full recipe is below. Happy baking!


Salted Stout Cake

A single layer dark chocolate Guinness cake topped with creamy Guinness buttercream, a generous pour of Bailey's salted caramel, and flaky sea salt.


Dark Chocolate Guinness Cake

  • cup dark chocolate chips
  • ½ cup Hershey's special dark cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp instant coffee heaping
  • ¾ cup reduced Guinness hot
  • ½ cup unsalted butter melted
  • 1 tsp white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp table salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs

Bailey's Salted Caramel

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter (4 Tbsp) cold, cubed
  • cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp Bailey's Irish cream
  • ¼ tsp table salt
  • Flaky sea salt for sprinkling

Guinness Buttercream

  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp reduced Guinness cold


For the Dark Chocolate Guinness Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F and prepare one 8-inch round cake pan with parchment and cooking spray.
  • Reduce the Guinness. In a medium saucepan, bring the Guinness to a boil over medium heat--no need to stir. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer for about 15 minutes. Save ¾ cup of the reduced Guinness for the next step and let the rest cool in the fridge. You'll need in later steps for the buttercream and for the assembly.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the dark chocolate chips, cocoa powder, instant coffee. Pour the ¾ cup hot reduced Guinness and the ½ cup melted butter over the ingredients and let stand for 5 minutes before whisking until smooth. Then add the vanilla, vinegar, and the sugars.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt and pour them into the chocolate mixture. Whisk until just combined, being careful not to overmix.
  • Add the eggs one at a time and whisk until just combined. The mixture should be fairly thin and smooth.
  • Pour the cake batter into your prepared cake pan and bake on the middle rack for 27-29 minutes. Or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cake. Let the cake cool in its pan for 10 minutes before removing. Then wrap it in plastic wrap and place in the freezer to cool and keep in the moisture.

For the Bailey's Salted Caramel

  • While the cake is in the oven, make the Bailey's Salted Caramel. In a medium saucepan, heat the granulated sugar over medium heat until it becomes liquid and golden in color, stirring frequently with a whisk.
  • Add the cubed butter and stir until melted. Then very carefully--and slowly--pour in the heavy whipping cream, whisking constantly. I wear an oven mitt when I do this, because the steam will rise rapidly and burn if you're not careful. Continue to whisk for another 30 seconds to a minute.
  • Remove the saucepan from heat and whisk in the salt and Bailey's Irish cream. Note: if you don't want to use Baileys, replace it by adding 2 more Tbsp of heavy whipping cream to the previous step.
  • Pour the caramel sauce into a heat-safe container and place it in the fridge to cool.

For the Guinness Buttercream

  • In a medium bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the softened butter until light and fluffy. Add half of the powdered sugar at a time, alternating with the cold reduced Guinness after each addition. Whip until smooth and add more powdered sugar--¼ cup at a time--as needed if the buttercream is too soft. This step can also be done using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

For Assembly

  • Once your cake is cooled, brush the top of the cake with the leftover reduced Guinness. Then spoon the buttercream into the center of the cake. Using an angled spatula smooth the buttercream over the top of the cake--working from the center outwards--in a way that creates a well in the center and a ridge around the perimeter.
  • Once the caramel is cooled, pour a generous helping of it into the well. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and serve with extra caramel if you didn't use all of it in the well. Best enjoyed immediately!


If you have extra cake leftover, you can leave it on the counter for a day or two or freeze it to enjoy later. Simply cut the cake into slices and wrap in plastic wrap before freezing. Whenever you're ready to enjoy a slice, let it thaw fully.







In this kitchen, we play with our food.

I’m Rachel–baker and writer. On this blog, you will find the place where curiosity, creativity, and courage meets. Let’s bake something, learn something, and have fun while doing it. :)