On this week’s episode of Sharp & Hot, Emily welcomes chef, television personality, food writer, and restauranteur Clodagh McKenna to the studio. Clodagh is the author of five best-selling cookbooks, including Clodagh’s Irish Kitchen and Homemade. She made her U.S. television debut with her hit TV series Clodagh’s Irish Food Trails, is a regular on the Rachael Ray Show, and has cooked on NBC’s Today Show, The Nate Berkus Show, The Late Late Show, Esquire TV and many more.


“It’s important to know your stuff. Media is extra, it’s how to communicate what you know.” [24:50] – Clodagh McKenna

Guinness Cake 

from Clodagh’s Irish Kitchen by Clodaugh McKenna

This cake can only be described as dark and majestic. The bitterness of the Guinness is balanced by the sugar and the vanilla icing adds a fluffy lightness to balance it perfectly. I make this at my restaurant, Clodagh’s Kitchen, using a locally brewed stout called O’Hara’s, which is similar to Guinness. If you don’t like stout, worry not – you will like this cake! The caramel and coffee flavors make this cake one of the best that I have ever made or eaten… Trust me!

Serves 10


2 1/4 sticks plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups Guinness

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

2 large eggs

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons superfine sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3/4 cup buttermilk

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder


For the frosting

7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cup cream cheese (not low fat)


1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Line the bottom of a 12-inch round springform pan with parchment paper.

2. Make the cake: Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until melted. Stir in the Guinness, then remove from heat and stir in the cocoa.

3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, and buttermilk, and then slowly mix in the Guinness mixture.

4. Sift together the flour, baking soda and baking powder into a separate large bowl. Using a handheld electric mixer, slowly mix the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and keep beating until it is all well combined.

5. Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan and bake in the oven for about 45 minutes. Test to make sure the cake is cooked by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake –if if comes out clean, the cake is cooked. Let cool in the pan, then transfer from the pan onto a wire rack.

6. While the cake is cooling, make the frosting: Using a handheld electric mixer, blend all the ingredients together until light and fluffy.

7. Place the cooled cake on a plate and generously spread the frosting on top.

This cake will keep for up to 1 week in an airtight container.


Recipe reprinted with permission