I realize this is not a traditional St. Patrick's Day recipe by any means, but it is a tasty way to use Guinness Stout beer, the king of Irish stouts, in your baking. Guinness and chocolate are a perfect pair, and they work especially well with the spicy ginger, pepper, and smoky cinnamon. The gingerbread only takes a few minutes to mix up, so it's a quick and easy dessert to serve at a St. Patrick's Day celebration or any time of year.
The gingerbread was a hit at our house and Michael even said it was the best gingerbread he'd ever tasted as he went back for seconds. The flavor and moistness kept us coming back for more.
[Updated April 2, 2011.]
Guinness Gingerbread Cake
- 9x9-inch baking pan, buttered and floured
- small glass measuring cup or mixing bowl
- medium mixing bowl
- large mixing bowl
- stand mixer with whisk attachment (or hand mixer and medium bowl)
- ⅔ cup Guinness Stout beer
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder (I use Droste.)
- 1¼ teaspoons baking soda
- 2¼ teaspoons ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- ⅔ cup molasses
- ¾ cup canola oil
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (plus 1-½ teaspoons )
- Place rack in center of the oven and preheat to 350° F/175° C.
- In the microwave, warm the Guinness Stout in the glass measuring cup, or you can warm it on the stove in a small sauce pan. Bring just to a simmer then remove from heat.
- In the medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, ginger, white pepper, and cinnamon.
- In the large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and molasses until smooth. Add the canola oil and whisk until thoroughly combined.
- Add the dry ingredients alternating with the beer (dry, beer, dry, beer, dry). Whisk as you add, then mix at the end just until combined. Do not overmix.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Place cake pan on a wire rack to cool.
- In the bowl of the stand mixer, beat the heavy cream and vanilla on medium speed until fluffy. Slowly add the sugar in a steady stream and continue beating until the cream forms medium-stiff peaks.
- Serve while still warm with a dollop of the whipped cream on top.