Guinness Applesauce Cake with Lemon Icing

It would be, probably, nice to post it last Wednesday – St. Patrick’s Day, but I’ve been running behind my schedule lately. This recipe is slightly adapted from very old Guinness brewers’ recipe which produces a flavorful, moist eggless cake.

Makes one 8-inch square cake

For the cake:

  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 ¼ cups unsweetened applesauce
  • ¾ cup golden brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup Guinness stout
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped lightly toasted walnuts
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup chopped moist dates

For the icing (consider as an option; the cake is also good without it):

  • 4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter (ideally, Irish Kerrygold), at room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of about ½ lemon

Make the cake:

Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly spray an 8-inch square cake pan with oil and line with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the applesauce, brown sugar, oil, and Guinness. Gradually add the flour mixture, beating well after each addition. Stir in the nuts, raisins, and dates.

Spoon into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then unmold and cool completely on the rack before icing.

Make the icing:

In a medium bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar, lemon zest, and just enough lemon juice to make the icing soft and spreadable. Spread over the top of the cake, either smooth the icing or make swirls. Chill the iced cake briefly for neat slicing.

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22 Responses to “Guinness Applesauce Cake with Lemon Icing”

  1. mmm, I would like some for my breakfast :)

  2. That cake must taste wonderful!



  3. Absolutely gorgeous cake and I liked the way you tweeked it from a plain old Guinness cake. The flavours, dried fruit and nut sounds awesome.

  4. I am not a big fan of Guinness, but I recently tried a Guinness Chocolate Cake and it was delicious! I’m sure this is just as good – and how can you go wrong with adding dates?!

  5. Perfect timing, I have guinness left over from St. Patrick’s Day. This cake looks moist andtasty.

  6. Nice . . . This looks delicious, and I guess it is vegan without the frosting.

  7. That looks lovely, I didn’t manage to post anything for St Patrick’s day either. Better late than never!

  8. A week worries. Just cause it has beer doesnt mean it has to be for us Drunk Irish people!!!! Looks soooooo good!

  9. greek girl from queens on March 25th, 2010 at 4:37 am

    Looks too delicious not to try and bake it this weekend! Thanks for the recipe.

  10. Yum… Looks like a wonderful cake. I love baking with applesauce, and the lemon icing sounds like a perfect complement!

  11. Love the combo of lemon and ginger. Looks like a lovely cake….

  12. what an interesting cake. I like guiness :)

  13. Mmmm I made this with hard cider instead of guiness, and also included some shredded apple and lemon zest…. Delicious!

  14. Thank you all so much for the comments!

  15. Jen, I’m glad you liked it. I love what you’ve done with the cake.

  16. Wow this sounds like an unusal but utterly delicious recipe.

  17. this cake sounds delic! i’m going to try it out tonight and modify the icing to be vegan. thanks!

  18. Just to let you folks out there know, most Irish and British beers, Guinness included, are not vegan. The process in which they are made commonly involves bladders of fish. The majority of American beers are safe though :)

  19. Marcee, bladders of fish ?! That’s interesting :)

  20. I made this cake—with the icing—a few days ago, using the last remaining bottle of Guinness in the fridge (I don’t drink it, but I cook with it in March). Delicious! The lemon icing really compliments the spicy cake.

  21. I baked this cake two hours ago and have just swallowed my first bite. It is moist and spicy with a little tang from the applesauce. I did not have Guinness at home, since my dad is allergic to alcohol; so I substituted it with an egg. I will definitely be making this again. Thank you, Vera!

  22. So glad to find this lovely version of applesauce cake! Definitely worth giving it a try. My only question to those who have tried it may be a bit silly: does the baked cake really taste like Guineness?

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