Cakes I Made In January: Guinness&Chocolate + Gingercake

1 Feb 2016

January cakes
Answer me this; why is January the month we're supposed to reinvent ourselves? New year, new start and all that jazz but seriously?! January is, like, the WORST month. I mean, have you seen it? It's so dark, you actually forget what the sun is. They also pull down all the Christmas lights, just to press that impenetrable darkness against your eyelids even more firmly. And, jesus, is it cold. Not crisp, beautiful winter walks type-of-cold; more like scraping ice off my car at some obscene hour kind-of-cold. Because, obviously, this is also the month you're forced to go back to work and face the cold (did I mention the cold?) reality of your dead-end job and complete lack of direction in life.
But instead of battling on through as best we can, accepting that merely surviving the month will do, OH NO. This is also the month we have to 'go dry' (what on earth do you mean I can't have wine?), not eat sugar and spend no money. Have you ever heard of a more ridiculous challenge? This is the one time of the year that you most need the alcohol, the pointless shopping and, most of all, THE CAKE.

So, I didn't do it. Yeah, and what? Whilst other people posted Instagram shots of their new gym gear and plates of vegetables, I ate cake. I think we all know who had the better month.

Having the marvellous excuse of two family birthdays, Nigella and I hit the kitchen big time and these two gorgeous cakes kept me going through those first few dark weeks of the year.


Guinness & chocolate cake

January cakes

Yes, my darlings, you did read that right. GUINNESS AND CHOCOLATE. IN A CAKE. The other week, my friend at work made this cake for another friend's last day and I was blown away by how good it was. The office demolished this cake within minutes (literally) and everyone raved about it for the rest of the day. It was mere hours before I was in the kitchen making my own.

Don't be put off by the Guinness (if you're not a fan of the black stuff). You can't specifically taste it but it does add a unique tang to the taste that compliments the chocolate perfectly; stopping the cake from being too rich (as many chocolate cakes are) and making it dangerously moreish.

If that wasn't enough, the icing on this cake; oh booooooy. My friend described it as 'like crack' which really does sum up its addictive deliciousness. The creamy colour is perfect on top of the blackness, recreating the frothy top on a pint of Guinness.

For Guinness & chocolate cake, you will need:

Original recipe here.

A 9 inch springform tin

For the cake:
250ml Guinness (you can drink the rest)
75g cocoa powder
2 eggs
250g butter
400g caster sugar (oh boy)
150ml sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
175g plain flour
100g self-raising flour
1 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda

For the icing:
300g cream cheese
125ml double cream
150g icing sugar

Pour your Guinness into a saucepan, along with the butter. Heat until the butter has melted. Take off the heat and whisk in the cocoa and sugar.

January cakes

Beat the sour cream, eggs and vanilla together and whisk into the beer saucepan.

January cakes

Whisk in the flour and the bicarbonate of soda.

January cakes

Pour the mixture into the greased tin. It will be really runny so if it starts leaking, get into the oven quick! Bake for 45 minutes at 180c. Leave to cool completely in the tin - it's a very damp cake!

January cakes

Whisk the cream cheese and icing sugar together. Then add the cream and beat everything together.

January cakes

When the cake has completely cooled, spread the icing on the top of the cake. Layer it on thick!

January cakes


January cakes

The best word to describe this cake is squidgy. It's the only word that feels appropriate. You want to give this cake a hug, use it as a pillow, squish it between your hands like a stress ball. I don't actually recommend doing any of these things because, well, it would be weird but these are the kind of feelings this lovely gingercake induces. I recommend eating by a cosy fire with a good book.

For gingercake, you will need:

150g butter
125g dark muscovado sugar
200g golden syrup
200g black treacle
3 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
250ml milk
2 eggs, beaten
300g plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda dissolved in 2 tablespoon warm water

Melt the butter, ginger, golden syrup, black treacle, cinnamon and sugar in a saucepan.

January cakes

Add the milk, eggs and bicarbonate of soda water off the heat. Measure the flour out into a large mixing bowl and then pour in the liquid mixture.

January cakes

Mix until everything is well combined and then pour into a baking tin (it'll be another liquid mixture!) and bake at 180c for 40-45 minutes.

January cakes

January cakes

See ya January, you won't be missed.


  1. Missed this post! "While people posted pictures of their gym gear, I ate cake" amen sista.

    I can vouch for the ginger cake. Heaven.

  2. Missed this post! "While people posted pictures of their gym gear, I ate cake" amen sista.

    I can vouch for the ginger cake. Heaven.