Guinness Applesauce Cake with Lemon Icing

Last year I discovered the sweet flavor that the yeast and hops in an Irish stout contribute to baking.  I have used beer many times in marinades and for flavoring hearty stews, but baking, as is pointed out by Margaret Johnson the author of The Irish Spirit, isn't usually on the radar.

We usually associate Guinness and chocolate this time of year...but when I was perusing Margaret's  cookbook and saw this Guinness Applesauce Cake, I knew it was coming to my kitchen soon!  The cake was super moist and so flavorful...this goes on the rotation....why would I have to wait for St. Patrick's Day to make it again!?

Guinness Applesauce Cake with Lemon Icing
adapted from The Irish Spirit

Serves 8 to 10

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup Guinness
1/2 cup chopped golden raisins
1/2 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Lemon Icing
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted Kerrygold Irish butter, at room temperature
Juice and grated zest of 1 lemon (I used about 3 tablespoons...adjust to your taste.)
1 confectioner's sugar (I increased this to 1 1/3 cup....adjust per your taste.)

Lemon slices and a sprinkling of zest for garnish.  (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease an 8 inch square pan and line it with parchment.  Then grease the parchment.

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

In a larger bowl, stir together the applesauce, brown sugar, oil, and stout.  Mix thoroughly.  Add the flour mixture, a little at a time, beating well after each addition.  Stir in the raisins, dates and walnuts.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Invert the pan onto a plate, remove the parchment paper, and set the cake upright to cool completely.

In a large bowl, combine the butter and lemon zest.  Sift the confectioner's sugar into the butter and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.  Stir in enough lemon juice to make the icing soft enough to spread easily.  spread the icing on top of the cake and smooth the surface with an offset spatula.  Decorate with lemon slices and a bit of zest, if desired.


I am participating in Cuisine Kathleen's St. Patrick's Day blog crawl...I have been participating in Kathleen's blog crawl for four is so much fun.

Take a look at my other Irish posts.

Shepherd's Pie and Colcannon
Cottage Pie with Beef, Carrots and Party Potatoes  (Just...a little on the English side...)
Medieval Stew with Stout
Not Just Any Irish Soda Bread
Mrs. O'Callaghan's Irish Soda Bread
Corned Beef and Cabbage
Ganache-Filled Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Bailey's Irish Cream Frosting

I am also participating in Full  Plate Thursday hosted by Miz Helen's County Cottage and Foodie Friday hosted by Michael at Rattlebridge Farm.


  1. This looks like a great cake Kate! Pretty pics too-enjoy:@)

  2. Lemon, dates, walnuts, beer. I don't know what else I need to have a happy day.

  3. Yummy! I love applesauce cake but this is a definite twist! The recipe sounds so delicious and the lemon icing is just the right touch. Thanks for sharing and I am now very hungry for this particular cake!
    Have a Happy March 17th!

  4. Mmmm, my mouth is watering just looking at your wonderful cake! Happy St. Paddy's Day to you!

  5. I found that Guinness Stout goes so well with chocolate desserts! Another great example. Delicious.

  6. yummy.. Wishing you a Happy St. Patrick's day and sending all the good Irish blessings your way.. xo marlis

  7. This looks delicious, Kate! I'm your newest GFC, Google+, Pinterest and Facebook follower. I wanted to thank you for stopping by and leaving a fun comment on my Banoffi Pie post. I hope you'll visit again soon and maybe even follow me back. Have a great week.

  8. This looks so scrumptious. I love beer bread, this has to be ten times better. Visiting from Cuisine Kathleen's blog crawl. xo

  9. I'm sitting here having a piece of chocolate cake, but wishing for a piece of this delicious looking cake. Will have to try this one. Thanks. Happy St. Patrick's Day! ~ Sarah

  10. Kate, Your cake looks absolutely delicious!! I printed the recipe and will definitely be making it. I have some Guinness in the fridge! Linda

  11. Wow, that looks SO tasty! I'll have to make this for my son-in-law, who is a big fan of Guinness.

  12. My husband will love, not so much with raisins!

  13. Lovely cake! It looks really rich and delicious.

  14. Beautiful looking! Very interesting flavors combination, makes me with I could taste it :)

  15. So glad you linked up for the crawl again!

    That cake looks wonderful! I will be trying it.

    Happy St. Pat's Day!

  16. Hi Kate,
    I can almost taste this awesome cake! Have a great St. Patrick's Day and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday!
    Come Back Soon,
    Miz Helen

  17. First, you had me at Kerry Gold. (I'm a little obsessed with the stuff) Then, one look at the photos and I could see how deliciously moist it is. Add the lemon icing, and this is one cake that will definitely be showing up on my table very soon. Stopping by from Kathleen's party. Thanks for the great recipe!

  18. Congratulations!
    Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Have a great weekend and enjoy your new RED PLATE.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen


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