Tanya’s favorite chocolate cake

Here it is, folks. I made this the other day and took this photo of it before we devoured it! The best chocolate cake on earth. Are you questioning why I think this is a chocolate cake when it clearly doesn’t have chocolate frosting? Is that white chocolate you might ask? Well, no. It is cream cheese frosting. If that isn’t of interest to you, it’s not going to be your kind of chocolate cake. But hear me out. It tastes divine with one if the key ingredients of this cake. Guinness! As in the beer. The cream cheese tanginess alongside the bitterness of the stout and the sweetness of the rest is heaven! This recipe was created by the genius Nigella Lawson. I have made some modifications to her recipe and some ingredient adjustments. But it’s truly her recipe in the end.

Ready to bake? Trust me, it is worth every minute of effort for this cake. And it really doesn’t take you long at all. The hardest part is having the ingredients on hand. The quality of your ingredients makes all the difference so to be specific, I make suggestions where I demand necessary on the ingredient list. Enjoy my friends and let me know how it goes. I am sure your loved ones will love you all the more this February 14th for this one. Happy Valentine’s Day!




  • 1 cup Guinness (no alternative here!)
  • 17 tablespoons unsalted butter (I like Kerry Gold)
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa (if you can, get Green & Black’s Organic dark cocoa. It is the best. I have tried them all. You can find it online. Otherwise, go for quality! The better the cocoa, the better the cake….)
  • 2 cups superfine sugar (Not necessary. You can use regular organic sugar)
  • ⅔ cup sour cream (full fat!)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2½ teaspoons baking soda



  • 8 ounces cream cheese ( I always bake with organic ingredients but here I prefer Philly cream cheese. The tang is the best. I have tried them ALL. Philly cream cheese always wins.)
  • 1¼ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup whipping cream



1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF, and butter and line a 9 inch tin. Ideally springform.

2. Pour the Guinness into a large wide saucepan, add the butter – in spoons or slices – and heat until the butter’s melted, at which time you should whisk in the cocoa and sugar. Beat the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla and then pour into the brown, buttery, beery pan and finally whisk in the flour and bicarb.

3. Pour the cake batter into the greased and lined tin and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Leave to cool completely in the tin on a cooling rack, as it is quite a damp cake.

4. When the cake’s cold, sit it on a flat platter or cake stand and get on with the icing. Lightly whip the cream cheese until smooth, sieve over the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch and then beat to combine.

5. Whisk whipping cream first to soft peaks, add a couple of spoonfuls into the cream cheese mixture and once this is combined, fold in the rest.

6. Ice the black cake with a generous layers all over. I love frosting so really go for it! You should have enough to cover the entire cake quite well.