Guinness Cake with Pretzels

St. Patrick’s Day is just a couple days away – Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you!  I hope some lovely Irish blessings find their way to you this year.  I’ve been eyeing Rosie Daykin’s Guinness Cake with Pretzels recipe for awhile, and after making her Irish Coffee Cupcakes last year, I thought this would be the year to make the cake!  The cupcakes were so good, I thought I’d give her Guinness Cake a try.  It is quite yummy as well and not as sweet as your typical chocolate cake.

Guinness Cake with Pretzels

2 cups flour

1/3 cup dark cocoa

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup butter, room temperature

1 3/4 cup granulated sugar

4 large eggs

1 cup Guinness

Guinness Butter Cream

3 cups icing sugar

1/2 cup dark cocoa

1 cup butter, room temperature

3 tablespoons Guinness

* one large bag of pretzels sticks, for the finishing touch

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl.  Set aside.  In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  With the mixer running on low speed, add the dry ingredients and beer alternately.  Begin and end with the dry ingredients.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl at least twice during the mixing process.

Divide the batter evenly into two prepared eight-inch circular cake pans (I sprayed with coconut oil).  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.  Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then invert them onto wire racks to cool completely.  You may need to run a sharp knife around the edges of the pans if the cakes do not easily fall with first inverted.  Meanwhile, prepare the Guinness Butter Cream.

To make the Guinness Butter Cream, sift the icing sugar and cocoa.  Set aside.  In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until very pale.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Turn the mixer speed on low, and slowly add the icing sugar and cocoa.  Mix until well combined and then add the beer.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl again.  Turn the mixer speed to high and let it run for at least 10 minutes, until the butter cream is light and fluffy.

Transfer the cakes to a cutting board or rotating cake stand and use a large serrated knife to cut each cake in half on the horizontal to create four layers.  Place your first layer on your cake stand or serving plate.  Using a large offset spatula, spread butter cream evenly across the layer.  Top with the next layer and repeat the process until all the layers are frosted.  Use your offset spatula to evenly coat the top of the sides of the cake with the butter cream.  Don’t worry too much about how smooth the sides are because the pretzels will cover it up.  Once the cake is iced, press the broken pretzel sticks into the side of the cake until it is fully covered.

Credit:  Butter Celebrates!

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