Guinness Brownies

These Guinness Brownies are made from reduced Guinness Stout. They're fudgy, rich, and topped with espresso powder and Guinness infused frosting! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I asked you about St. Patrick’s Day desserts last month. I received a few requests for green desserts that aren’t necessarily mint chocolate. That one’s coming on Monday. (Any guesses??) But the outpouring of “anything with Guinness” convinced me to pick up a 6 pack and begin recipe testing. My kitchen smelled like a brewery at 9am on a Tuesday morning, but the result was well worth my boozy wake up call.

These Guinness Brownies are made from reduced Guinness Stout. They're fudgy, rich, and topped with espresso powder and Guinness infused frosting! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Before you run away at the thought of beer brownies, let me explain. These Guinness brownies do NOT taste like beer. Guinness stout, with its roast coffee and caramelized flavors, is often paired with chocolate in baking. They’re a natural duo because Guinness not only intensifies chocolate, but adds a malty background.

A quick internet search for “Guinness brownies” will spew out a million results. Even still, I wanted to try my hand at this popular dessert because even though brownies seem pretty basic, it’s difficult to maintain a desirable texture when you begin adding all sorts of stuff. And I was ready for the challenge.

Guinness Extra Stout

LET’S TALK FLAVOR + TEXTURE

Dark chocolate comes to mind first. These Guinness brownies aren’t overly sweet, so you’ll find yourself grabbing another. (If it’s not the brownies that are addicting, it’s the frosting. More on that below!) If we’re talking texture, they’re very dense and very moist. In fact, they’re the moistest brownies I’ve ever baked… because they’re the only brownies I’ve ever baked with Guinness! Unlike my chewy fudgy homemade brownies, these Guinness brownies are not particularly chewy. They taste like fudge. A square of dark chocolate fudge.

HOW IT WORKS

To impart enough flavor into the brownies, we’d have to use a lot of beer. But adding liquid to brownies makes absolutely no sense. We’re not making fluffy cake. We’re making dense brownies. So let’s take what we learned from homemade strawberry cake and reduce the beer down on the stovetop first. The heat evaporates the liquid, but leaves the flavor. Little liquid, lots of flavor, won’t turn our brownies into cake. We also do this with champagne in mimosa cupcakes and these wedding cupcakes.

This step is really easy and requires zero effort from you. Pour an entire 12 oz bottle of Guinness into a saucepan. (The whole bottle! Nothing to waste!) Leave it alone to simmer for 20ish minutes, until it’s reduced down to 2/3 cup. This is less than half the liquid we started with, but triple the flavor!

We’ll use 1/2 cup of reduced Guinness in the brownie batter and the remaining 2 and 1/2 Tablespoons in the frosting.

Reduced Guinness stout for Guinness brownies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

The rest of the brownie ingredients are usual suspects. Butter, sugar, eggs, flour. Instead of cocoa powder, we’re using pure solid chocolate. Sometimes I use a combination of pure chocolate AND cocoa powder in brownies, but I wanted to keep things really simple since we’re taking extra time to reduce beer on the stove.

Besides Guinness, you know what else intensifies chocolate’s flavor? Coffee. I add espresso powder to both the brownie batter and frosting on top. It’s optional, but if you really want a deep dark chocolate brownie, don’t leave the espresso powder out.

Look at this gorgeous batter! Have I mentioned how rich these brownies are?

How to make Guinness brownies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Espresso powder and Guinness infused frosting on sallysbakingaddiction.com

FROSTING

The brownies are great alone, but better with this frosting. Their decadent nature screams for something creamy! (That being said, eat one with a pint of Guinness in the other hand.)

This caramel colored frosting is an interesting flavor. Interesting in a good way! It’s mostly espresso flavored, though there are lingering notes of maple too. Not sure how it tastes like maple, but I suspect it’s the combination of reduced Guinness, vanilla, and confectioners’ sugar. I’m not a beer expert, maybe there’s maple in Guinness?! Whatever the reason, it’s SO GOOD because it’s SO DIFFERENT.

These Guinness Brownies are made from reduced Guinness Stout. They're fudgy, rich, and topped with espresso powder and Guinness infused frosting! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

These Guinness Brownies are made from reduced Guinness Stout. They're fudgy, rich, and topped with espresso powder and Guinness infused frosting! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

While I urge you to make these Guinness brownies for your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, I hope you don’t limit them to March 17th. Both the texture and flavor are irresistibly decadent and unique, they deserve to be a year round treat!

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Guinness Brownies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 16-20 brownies
  • Category: Brownies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These Guinness brownies are made from reduced Guinness Stout. They’re fudgy, rich, and topped with espresso powder and Guinness infused frosting!


Ingredients

  • one 12-ounce bottle Guinness Extra Stout
  • 3/4 cup (12 Tbsp; 175g) unsalted butter
  • two 4-ounce bars (226g) semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped*
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (250g) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • optional: 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder

Guinness Frosting

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick; 115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups (240g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 23 Tablespoons reduced Guinness (from step 1)
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, bring the Guinness to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce to medium heat and allow to simmer until reduced down to 2/3 cup, about 20-22 minutes. Set aside to cool for at least 10 minutes. You will use 1/2 cup in the brownies and the rest in the frosting.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and grease a 9×9 inch pan or line with aluminum foil or parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the sides to lift the finished brownies out (makes cutting easier!). Set aside.
  3. Place the butter and chopped chocolate in a large microwave-safe bowl. Melt in 30 second increments, whisking after each, until completely smooth. Whisk in the sugar and 1/2 cup of reduced Guinness until completely combined. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract. Finally, whisk in the flour, salt, and espresso powder (if using). The batter will be thick and shiny. Pour/spread evenly into prepared pan.
  4. Bake for 32 minutes, then test the brownies with a toothpick. Insert it into the center of the pan. If it comes out with wet batter, the brownies are not done. If there are only a few moist crumbs, the brownies are done. Keep checking every 2 minutes until you have moist crumbs. My brownies take about 35 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting or cutting into squares.
  6. Make the frosting: In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the butter on high speed until completely smooth and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the confectioners’ sugar, beating on low at first then increasing to high speed. Once creamy and combined, beat in 2 Tablespoons of reduced Guinness, the espresso powder, vanilla extract, and salt. Taste. Add the remaining reduced Guinness if needed. If you want the frosting a little thinner, add a splash of milk.
  7. Frost cooled brownies.
  8. Cover and store leftover brownies at room temperature for up to 1 week.


Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: Freeze frosted or unfrosted brownies up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then bring to room temperature before serving.
  2. Special Tools: KitchenAid Hand Mixer | Glass Mixing Bowls | Saucepan | 9×9 Baking Pan | Icing Spatula
  3. Chocolate: You can find 4 ounce chocolate baking bars in the baking aisle. I like using Ghirardelli or Baker’s brand. You can use 8 ounces (heaping 1 and 1/3 cups) of quality chocolate chips instead, such as Ghirardelli brand.
These Guinness Brownies are made from reduced Guinness Stout. They're fudgy, rich, and topped with espresso powder and Guinness infused frosting! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

113 Comments

  1. Wow!!! These look amazing!! My husband loves Guinness, so I can’t wait to turn it into a batch of brownies!!!  

  2. Oh my goodness Sally – the photography is stunning! It’s so crazy how you can go from “cute and sweet” to “this is serious stuff”(that pouring-the-batter shot is insane). You can definitely see improvement throughout the years (not that the old ones are bad – just that these are stunning!) Quick question: Do you think this is ok to serve these to kids because the alcohol is cooked so long?

    1. I appreciate that, Sofia! I can’t decide which style I like better. The light/white or this dark/sultry. Depends on what I’m shooting I suppose. 🙂
      The alcohol is cooked out when the Guinness is reduced on the stove, so these are perfectly fine for kids.

  3. These look amazing and I can almost smell them! I know what I am making next weekend! Have you ever tried a stout float? Guinness with ice cream floating on top.  This next comment is completely off topic, but the wedding cookies in your new cookie book with the cinnamon are divine and i am going to be baking about 300 for wedding favors for my son’s match 25th wedding! So delicious and no nuts to worry anyone with allergies! Thank you !

    1. Well now I know what to do with the couple of leftover bottles in my fridge! 😉
      What an amazing parent you are to make all of the wedding favors! I hope it’s a wonderful celebration!

  4. Hi Sally,
    OMG! Guiness in brownies. Holy moly – who would have ever thought? I haven’t had Guiness in the States but I would be willing to pick some up here just for these. They look fabulous.
    ~smile~ Roseanne

  5. YEP – It happened. That brownie batter pouring out of the bowl just became my desktop wallpaper on my work computer. Beautiful!!! Can’t wait to try these!

  6. Hi Sally! the photo is so beautiful I am drooling. My twins turn 2 next week Saturday – yup St Patrick’s Day – there will be cake for sure but these brownies look so irresistible I’ve gotta serve it as well, I’m glad it’s kids friendly.

  7. Sally, these look amazing! I’ve never used espresso powder – can this be found in the regular grocery store? Do you have a brand you prefer? Thanks!

    1. Yes, it’s in my regular grocery store with the coffee! I don’t have a favorite brand – you can use whatever brand your store carries. Enjoy!

  8. I was trying to think of a dessert to serve for our dinner party tomorrow night, and was going to go with your Ultimate fudge brownies (that I LOVE), but I want to try these instead! Pictures are some of my favorite I have ever seen from you… I agree with Katie that Guinness should pay you. And come on – they are Guinness Brownies! I’ll report back if I make it to the liquor store and make these.

  9. Yum! I’m guessing something green that isn’t mint chocolate could be… lime? Key lime pie? Or perhaps a dessert with pistachios? I’m looking forward to finding out.

  10. Gorgeous photos Sally! I particularly love the pouring batter. Such a different look compared to most of your other food photos – I love it!

  11. I made these last night, but dairy free and they still turned out great! The Guinness took longer to reduce also because I live above 7000 feet.

  12. Hi Sally, an Irish girl living in France thought I’d say that chocolate Guinness cake with cream cheese frosting is delicious and the recipe is from a famous baker in the Uk. Don’t have to reduce the Guinness, everything done in a saucepan to melt the butter first then sugar, whole bottle of Guinness in, Flour. Always a crowd pleaser and so easy. Really worth a try. The cake is very fudgy and would do for brownies I think. Love the sound of your frosting too.
    A special request Sally I am trying to stay dairy free, cows dairy especially due to the possible inflammation caused as I have a chronic condition. I’m experimenting at the moment. Can you imagine the difficulty in France….no butter! Horror on the faces! Any recipes and substitutes greatly appreciated by many I would think. 
    Thankyou for a wonderful blog.

    1. Hey Lulu! I have a pretty hilarious/annoying sensitivity to dairy, so I’ve definitely done my fair share of experimenting. Not sure quite what they have in France, but here in the U.S., there are certain brands of dairy-free butters that work REALLY well in place of real butter and you can usually find them at health food stores! (Sometimes margarine and shortening work in place of butter, too, but there are some flavor differences that accompany them.)

      I like using almond milk in baking/cooking, but realistically, it’s not the BEST choice for some recipes. Cashew milk or coconut milk are even better to replace cow’s milk because they’re fatty and generally maintain the original texture in baked goods – and you can make really rich creams out of them, too. You can also use coconut cream to make a yummy frosting, but it’s usually very light and coconut-y, so I’d stick to the butter substitutes if you want something rich.

      Just a few things that I’ve noticed through my own substitution experiments but not everything works for everyone, of course! I hope your transition into Dairy-Free-Land goes smoothly!

      1. To Katie, thanks for your dairy free substitute suggestions. 
        I’ve started using coconut milk with granola and my other half has too
        I managed to pickup margarine and it says it is ok for pattiserie and shows a cup cake so will give it a go.
        Off to our local biologic shop, Organic in France today so I will investigate further.
        Thanks for taking the time for the tips. Love reading them
        Thanks to Sally for her great blog. Videos are great!

    2. I want to know more about this Guinness cake! Sally, these look amazing but espresso…ergh. Maybe I could do the Guinness brownies with your cream cheese frosting, thanks to Lulu’s tip. 

      1. Hi Ashley, the cake recipe is Nigella Lawson, think I’m allowed to say that
        It comes up on the web. I bake it in an 8” 8” pan and the cream cheese frosting works really well if short of time but I must try Sally’s for the extra Guinness hit.
        Hope you had a good St Patrick’s. The French love the Irish here and our local restaurant was full of French having Irish Faire! And Jigging along!
        Lulu

      2. Ashley forgot to say I just leave out the coffee but still use the liquid quantity. Hope that makes sense

  13. These look delicious! Can’t wait to try it out! Does it have to be the extra stout Guinness? I already have some Guinness draught stout and was wondering if it’ll be the same. 

  14. Ahaha I didn’t know the Guinness Brownie, I need to taste it !
    I made your receipe of your “Death By chocolate Brownies”, I translated it in french for my blog. Very delicious !

  15. Hi Sally!
    Yes! I was hoping for something with Guinness and chocolate, and coincidentally, I bought a bottle of chocolate stout at the grocery store a couple of weeks ago. I haven’t been baking a lot lately bc I am trying to lose weight but I really want to try these. The frosting alone looks unbelievable! And, as other have mentioned, I also noticed the gorgeous photography. 

  16. My hubs who is not into chocolate much other than an occasional brownie is looking forward to me making these soon! (:

    Semi-random question: Have you ever done a blog post about how and when you brainstorm and plan for your recipes? And how you think of enough new ideas to post new recipes so often. Or one with an inside look at the step-by-step trial-and-error that goes into (that must go into!) creating new recipes. Like, what even made you try orange juice in your pumpkin chocolate chip bread? Because I’ve made it with OJ and with milk and the OJ is unmistakably preferable, which honestly shocked me. Anyway, please point me to these posts or perhaps consider doing one or two 😀

  17. HI Sally -What would you say is the baking time for an 8X8 brownie pan instead of 9X9? I’ve had great success with your recipes; this one is my agenda for tomorrow!!

    1. Hi Shannon! They’ll take awhile in a smaller pan. I’m unsure of that exact time, but use a toothpick to test for doneness. A few moist crumbs are OK, but no wet batter.

  18. Looks so delicious!  I’m definitely going to try for St. Paddy’s day!  I’m intrigued with your parchment paper!  Is it ok to have it crinkly?  Looks much easier than folding, creasing etc.

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