Thursday, 24 January 2013

Guinness and Ginger Coffee Cake

This week's weather has been horrible: Antarctica colds (minus 28 degrees Celsius!), bitter winds, ice pellet showers and other such unpleasantness. I didn't really dare poke my nose outside: I have a wonderful drawing room where I can read, drink tea and play with the cat all day long when Mother Nature gets crazy. But being cooped up inside eventually gets to my mood, and I ended up needing very serious cheering up...

Baking and cooking is always a balm on my nerves, so I put on my apron, slipped a "Sons of Anarchy" DVD in the PS3, and got whisks and mixing bowls ready! Baking therapy-mode engaged.

Marilla of Cupcake Rehab recently posted this little recipe for Guinness and ginger cake. I absolutely love stout, and ginger has got to be one of my favorite things in the world: I had to try it! I made Guinness cupcakes before, and the results were wonderful: stout adds a subtle but addictive taste to baked goods, so I knew it would be delicious. Also, I feel so bad ass when I bake with beer...

 I added some cocoa, because chocolate, stout and ginger sounded too good to pass up, and I threw some candied ginger in the batter. The result was a pick-me up cake that is just sweet enough, boozy and pleasantly spicy!

3/4 cup Guinness Irish stout
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2/4 cup molasses
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup finely chopped candied ginger

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour an 8-inch square baking pan, and set aside. Over medium heat, bring the Guinness to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring occasionally. Take off the heat and add the baking soda. The mixture will be frothy.

When the foaming subsides, stir in both sugars and molasses in until dissolved. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together remaining dry ingredients.

In another large bowl, pour the Guinness mixture. Whisk in the eggs and oil until thoroughly combined.

Whisk the wet mixture into the dry mixture in thirds, stirring until completely smooth between each addition. Do not over-mix. Gently fold in the candied ginger.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and gently tap it on your counter to get rid of any air bubbles.

Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the top of the cake is just firm and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a rack, about 1 1/2 – 2 hours. Cut into squares and serve.

I lightly dusted the cake with some confectioner's sugar before cutting it, but you could also decorate it with more candied ginger (I wanted to, but I ran out). You can get ready British about it and serve it with whipped or clotted cream when you have your Earl Grey at 4 o'clock, but I had it plain, and my mood was suddenly blissfully elevated.

It's not quite a dessert, but it's wonderful to nibble alongside a nice cup of coffee or tea, hence why I refer to it as a coffee cake. It would also make a great St-Patrick Day's snack, but don't wait for a special occasion to give it a try! The mix of rich stout, sharp ginger and the lovely hint of cocoa is heavenly! If you like any or all of those flavors, you will go mad for this cake.

My boyfriend loves Guinness, but he isn't as ginger-crazy as I am... so guess who had really happy co-workers? That would be moi!

It's the best way to bring a little sunshine to a cold, dreary morning (or coffee break!).


  1. Isn't it awesome? I love it. Glad you did too.

  2. It's such an awesome recipe! Thanks for the great idea! :-)

  3. Just warm from the oven, but I cheated and microwaved a glob, added some cream cheese icing and wolfed it down! Incredibly delicious!

  4. Oh, cream cheese icing on this cake would be heavenly! Such a good idea!

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