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How to Make a Moist Guinness Fruit Cake

Charlie has worked with many top British chefs and has decided to share some great recipes and cooking techniques.

Rich, dark, moist fruit cake made with succulent cherries, mixed fruit, and a pint of Irish Guinness

Rich, dark, moist fruit cake made with succulent cherries, mixed fruit, and a pint of Irish Guinness

Guinness Fruit Cake Recipe

How about a lovely rich Guinness cake for your St Patrick`s day celebrations.

I have a bit of sweet tooth and love a nice slice of fruit cake. I also like a good pint of Guinness, too. So naturally, I fell in love with this dessert because, well, it's perfect. I know Guinness is not a drink that's to everyone's taste, but if you like fruit cake, then you'll love this recipe.

This cake is not any harder to make than any other fruit cake, but it does make one tasty treat. The sweetness from the cherries and mixed fruit mellow out the strong, bitter taste of the alcohol and transform into a rich, moist, succulent dessert that everyone will love. So, let's get the Irish music on, pour the Guinness and get cooking.

A delicious, moist cake

A delicious, moist cake

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

3 hours 20 min

2 hours

5 hours 20 min

12 good slices of cake


  • 1 pound / 450 grams dried fruit (sultanas, currants and raisins)
  • 1 perfect pint of Guinness
  • 5 1/2 ounces / 150 grams softened butter
  • 5 1/2 ounces / 150 grams dark, soft sugar
  • 4 medium-sized eggs
  • 12 ounces / 350 grams plain flour
  • 1 pinch of allspice (sweet spice) or nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 8 ounces / 225 grams glace cherries, halved
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar (optional for topping)
  • 5 1/2 ounces / 150 grams ground almonds


  1. Put the dried fruit in a bowl, pour Guinness in and stir. Cover and leave for 3 hours, a little longer is fine too.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, 170 degrees Celsius or Gas 3.
  3. Line your round cake tin with greaseproof paper or baking parchment. The cake tin should be 8 1/2-inch (22-centimeter) round cake tin.
  4. Put your softened butter and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Using an electric hand whisk or mixer, cream the butter and the sugar until light, fluffy, smooth and creamy.
  5. Beat up one egg and add to the creamed butter, then add a quarter of the flour and mix. Repeat this process until all the eggs and flour are used up.
  6. Add the sweet allspice or nutmeg to your cake mixture and mix gently on a very low speed or using a spoon or spatula. Stir in the baking powder.
  7. Drain half of any Guinness left in the dried fruit mixture and set it to the side. Sprinkle your ground almonds onto your dried fruit, glace cherries and mixed peel and make sure they are all nicely coated. Coating your fruit with something dry will help stop the fruit from sinking during cooking.
  8. Now, add the extra Guinness that you set aside to your cake mixture. You might not need it all as you don't want the mix to become too runny—it all depends on how much Guinness your fruit soaked up. Your cake mixture should stirrable but not too runny and you should drop off a spoon in dollops.
  9. Stir the fruit into the cake mixture gently until all the fruit is all incorporated into the mixture. Stir gently so as not to knock all the air out of the cake mixture.
  10. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and gently level the surface. Sprinkle on light brown sugar. Cook in the preheated oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until you can stab a knife into the middle and it comes out clean. It should be a nice golden-brown colour.
  11. Cool on a wire rack, and your fruit cake ready.

Facts About Guinness

A few facts about the drink you're putting into your dessert:

  • Guinness is a stout. The word 'stout', meaning 'strong' or 'full-bodied', was originally made in the brewery of Arthur Guinness at St. James's Gate, Dublin.
  • Guinness has become one of the most successful beer brands worldwide.
  • It is brewed in almost 50 countries, and 10 million pints of Guinness are sold worldwide every day.
  • If you look carefully you will see that Guinness is not black. Yes, it's not black; it's actually ruby red!
  • In the 1920s, an advertising campaign slogan was 'Guinness is good for you'. People used to say they felt better after a pint of Guinness.
  • Pregnant women and patients used to be told to drink Guinness as it contains high amounts of iron.

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

Question: What diameter tin is this recipe made for?

Answer: This recipe 12 inch tin.

© 2013 Charlie Cheesman