No one was more surprised than I to learn that desserts could be made with Irish stouts, beers, and ales. Drinking them was a no-brainer, and using them for marinades and flavoring stews was a great idea, but I thought desserts were another matter. That was before I realized that the sweet flavor produced by yeast and hops could easily translate to cakes, breads, and bars like these. This recipe originated with the brewers of Guinness more than three decades ago and remains a moist and delicious dessert or brunch dish.


Makes 27 bars


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup Guinness stout

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup chopped dates

1/2 cup chopped walnuts


Lemon Drizzle Icing

1 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

3 tbsp. milk

1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice


1. To make the bars, preheat the oven to 350º F. Grease a 9 x 13 in. baking pan and dust with flour; tap out excess.

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

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

4. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 20 minutes. Turn out onto on a wire rack and let cool completely. 

5. Cut the bars into 9 rows by 3 rows and drizzle with the lemon icing.

6. To make the drizzle, in a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, milk, and lemon juice.

Drizzle the mixture over the bars.


Find more recipes in The Wild Geese Irish Kitchen

Tags: Guinness, applesauce, baking, bars, cake

Views: 538

Replies to This Discussion

These sound great, Margaret.  You wouldn't have a photo of these somewhere, would you?


Unfortunately, no. I'm spread pretty thin these days contributing recipes to several sources and was moved today to post this recipe thanks to the "welcome" from some of my "fans." I do, however, have loads of recipes that do have images and will try to submit these in the future. I'm also writing another cookbook, so I've got lots of material that I can provide, AND I'm working on my "Flavors of Ireland" tour to take place in October, hoping to enlist more participants.


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