The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Beer Bread

beenjamming's picture

Beer Bread

I'm planning to do a bit of baking this weekend and i've been meaning to make some beer bread. The ithaca bakery sells a delicious sourdough jalapeno and cheddar loaf made with becks. I was wondering if anyone had any recipes for yeasted beer bread or the typical baker percentage of beer you'd use for something like this. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

staff of life's picture
staff of life

If you have Rose Levy Beranbaum's Bread Bible, she has a recipe in there.  If you don't, just take a standard lean white dough, add a bit of whole wheat (it doesn't have to be a lot), a tad of sugar and replace all the liquid with beer.  My preferred brand is Yuengling, but so long as you don't use a cheap domestic, you should be fine!

qahtan's picture


 I often use Guinness in my bread, I make  Guinness and walnut which is very good, and I have used just Guinness instead of water......

 Not only in bread but I have the recipe for the  best chocolate cake you ever tasted, that is if you like chocolate cake, it takes 14 ounces of Guinness in it......



browndog's picture

can you post the recipe? for the cake I mean? Let us eat cake!

Paddyscake's picture

  I cut & pasted,didn't know how to post a link without my hubby's help ;  )Submitted by qahtan on November 1, 2006 - 8:26am.

 Note 1) when I make this cake I add the grated chocolate also, usually about 6 ounces of dark. If you follow this recipe to the word it comes out perfect. I have made it  several times. It's simple and easy.

 It also freezes well as sometimes  when it's cold I slice it into about 12, devide each slice with food grade plasic between each slice and freeze, that way I can remove as many slices as and when I want.  qahtan


This is a chocolate cake with a difference. It's a basic chocolate cake recipe with the addition of rich stout which makes a very deep, rich cake, not only with the flavour of stout but also the colour to go with it. Guinness works very well in this recipe. The combination of the soft brown sugar and stout gives you fuller texture and taste. Also 100-225g (4-8 oz) of plain chocolate can be grated into the mix to give an even stronger taste. It's very good to eat as a cake, or for real chocoholics, you could warm a slice in the microwave and serve it with a Rich Chocolate Sauce .

225g (8 oz) unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
350g (12 oz) soft brown sugar
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
4 eggs, beaten
400 ml (14 fl oz) stout (Guinness)
225g (8 oz) plain flour
100g (4 oz) cocoa

Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350 F /gas 4. Butter a 20-25 cm (8-10 in) deep cake tin. Cream together the butter with the soft brown sugar.

note 2)    I find 10 inch spring form best.

Gradually add the beaten eggs. Sift together the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Mix the stout with the cocoa powder. Now add the flour and stout mixes alternately to the butter and eggs until completely and evenly bound. You will find the consistency to be quite soft.

Spoon into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 1 to 1-1/2 hours until set. You may need to cover with a piece of brown paper after an hour to prevent it browning too much. Allow to cool before removing from the tin. The stout cake is now ready -cheers!


Pouring a glass of stout always leaves you with a lovely finish on the top. You can do exactly the same with this cake. Melt 100 to 175g ( 4-6 oz) of grated white chocolate with 100-175 g (4-6 oz) of butter and 1-2 measures of Irish whiskey until just softened, then leave to cool. You now have a rich white chocolate icing to spread on top of the cake.

To make a glass of Stout Cake Pudding, simply blitz some of the cake to a crumb stage and spoon into 300 ml (1/2 pint) glasses, leaving 1-2 cm (1/2 û 3/4 in) clear at the top. Soak the sponge crumbs in a flavoured syrup or perhaps add freshly grated chocolate or even fruits or raisins. Finish the dish with Irish Whiskey Sabayon (p.245) and pour on top. This, as you can imagine, looks just like a real half pint of thick creamy stout and tastes just as good!

Here's the sabayon to go with the cake variants. Enjoy it.


Sabayons go particularly well with ice-creams or can be spooned over tarts or flans and then made into a golden brown glaze under the grill. This recipe is different from the original. You can add almost any flavours and tastes to suit the dessert of your choice.

4 egg yolks
6 tablespoons Marsala,
50 g (2 oz) caster sugar

All these flavours can be made using the same method, whisking together the yolks with the sugar and the flavour of your choice over a pan of simmering water, which will at least double the volume.

MAKES 900 ml (1-1/2 pints)

Note: The sabayon can also be made in an electric mixer. To help it along, simply warm the bowl first.


There are many other flavours that can be added to a sabayon. To this quantity, the grated zest of 1-2 lemons, oranges or limes can be added, replacing half the Champagne or white wine with the juice of the fruit. This will give you a very strong citrus fruit sabayon that will eat well with a steamed sponge or maybe ice-cream of the same flavour. Of course, all of the flavours can be mixed. A good home-made or bought raspberry ice-cream or sorbet with a lemon sabayon is delicious. Or perhaps chocolate ice-cream or steamed sponge with orange sabayon or a good white chocolate ice-cream with lime sabayon.

To add even more taste to these, three-quarters of the liquid, wine or flavouring can be replaced with lemon curd or good orange marmalade to make it even more flavoursome.

Reducing the sugar content to 25 g (1 oz) and adding 3-4 tablespoons of golden syrup with 1-2 tablespoons of water gives you an amazing golden syrup sabayon. Eating that spooned over a golden syrup steamed sponge instead or as well as custard is wonderful.

YIELD: MAKES 1 x 20-25 cm (8-10 in) cake
SOURCE: Gary Rhodes

browndog's picture

This'll be Easter dessert. Two of my husband's favorite things in the world besides me and Chinese food- Guiness and chocolate.

ehanner's picture

I can picture my shaking hand trying to pour a bottle of stout into the bowl, sacrificed for the betterment of mankind. Can't wait to try this.


browndog's picture

Time to make the Guiness cake. I went over the recipe and I wondered two things- do you think it would work in a 6-cup bundt pan, and do Irish whiskey (in the frosting) and Guiness in the cake taste good together?

Paddyscake's picture

The cake is an extremely heavy cake, dense and moist. I made a cheesecake today in a 10" springform. The recipe called for 4 c sour cream, 2(8) oz pkgs of cream cheese and a few other ingredients and came within an inch of the top, so I guess a 6 c bundt pan would work. I just worry a little about unmolding. I suppose it you lightly butter and use cocoa powder (instead of flour) it might work. The cake is almost black in color and the cocoa powder will change the appearance slightly. I did not make any frosting and liked it that way. I think a little powdered sugar would be good too. My husband likes Irish whiskey & scotch, but neither one of us liked the idea. Is that what they call a "Black & Tan"? His suggestion was to go with a good Mocha frosting.

Let us know how it turns out for you !

PS..BTW..your loaves in the brotforms look isn't it?

summerbaker's picture

Holy cow that sounds wonderful!  I love baking quick breads with beer, but CAKE?  Even better!


strattor's picture

As far as beer choice, you should choose something dark and malty. Since you live in Ithaca I would suggest the Ithaca Brewery's Nut Brown Ale. Victory's Moonglow or Smuttynose Brown Dog Ale would also work well.

beenjamming's picture

thanks for the tips. I think the library has beranbaum's bible so i'll head over and see what see reccomends. As for your beer reccomendations strattor, i was planning on using nut brown or ommegang (my current fridge stock). nut browns a bit cheaper and ommegangs a bit tastier so i think i've made my mind: bake with nut brown while drinking the ommegang. i'll post pictures when i get around to making it.

qahtan's picture

 This is a Guinness loaf I made and baked under a cloche some time ago....


beenjamming's picture

well, i ended up using a saranac black and tan and putting in carmelized onions. caraway seeds  and sharp cheddar rather than what i had planned on. either way,  the bread turned out nicely enough. i was surprised at how much beer softened the final loaves.

chuppy's picture

That looks out of this world!!  How was the taste and consistancy with the onions?

beenjamming's picture

the onions added a really nice dimension to the breads sweetness, contrasting the  beer's maltiness but texturally i had a few regrets. i minced them very finely so their flavor was very evenly distributed in the final loaf. The were very soft, like the bread itself and were hard to detect. If i make this again i'm going to leave the onions in longer piece, about that the grated cheese, so that they'll have some more integrity in the final product.


browndog's picture

bottle-conditioned beer has live yeast in it.

pattycakes's picture

I make a hard cider bread that I leave to rise overnight with just a teaspoon of yeast to a 13 oz. bottle of cider and enough whole wheat dough to make a fairly loose sponge. In the morning I add some white bread flour and knead it a little, letting it remain soft and fairly loose, then let it rise. I shape it as a ciabatta and then bake it at 450 or so on a stone. It's a simple bread with a lovely flavor. I do notice that the crust is always chewy, not crisp.

Next time I make it I'll write down the proportions and post a picture. I use the Trader Joe's apple or pear cider.


Bingowings's picture

There was about 300ml of this

hanging around the fridge and I'm backing off my sourdough exploits until I have some quality flour so.

310ml of Ale mixed with very warm water,

2 tbsp of hazelnut oil,

1.5 tsp salt

1.5 tsp honey

2 tbsp dried milk powder

600g of plain flour (yes I know but I'm trying to use it up)

1 tbsp of bran

7g of dried active yeast and a lot of vigorous stirring and just five hours in a warm spot covered, baked at 230c for about 40mins and I got a satisfying quick loaf with lots of flavour and bounce and a coffee coloured crumb.