Irish Porter Cake

First of all, I’d like to wish all my readers (that is assuming I have more than one…) a very Happy St. Patricks Day. I just couldn’t let the day go by without marking it in some way with a recipe now could I?! (I had intended to post this first thing this morning but everything was going against me today!)

While clearing my house of junk a couple of weeks ago (that task is still ongoing by the way) I came across a recipe for an Irish Porter Cake that a friend had given me a few years ago. I remember at the time I had a couple of cans of Guinness in the house that I wanted to use up but himself was refusing to drink them as he reckons it doesn’t taste the same out of a can and this was a great way of using it up. Anyway I’ll stop waffling now, here’s the recipe!

What you need:

225g margarine

225g brown sugar

275ml (1/2 pt) stout (this time I used Beamish)

675g mixed dried fruit

125g peel

575g plain flour

1/2 level tsp bread soda

1 tsp mixed spice

1tsp nutmeg

3 eggs

Tin: 9″ round or 8″ square, lined.


Preheat oven to 180c.

Place the margarine, sugar and stout in a saucepan and bring slowly to the boil stirring until the sugar is dissolved and the margarine has melted. Add the mixed fruit and peel. Simmer ofver a low heat for 3-5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool to luke warm.

Sieve the flour, bread soda and spices into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre.

Beat the eggs in a small bowl and add with the cooled fruit mixture to the flour.

Stir quickly together mixing well.

Turn into the prepared tin and smooth the top.

Bake in a pre heated oven for 1½ – 2 hours approx (recipe says approx, it took mine an extra 15 mins or so this morning)

Test with a skewer, if the skewer comes out clean the cake is cooked. Leave in the tin to cool. Turn out, remove the paper, wrap in greaseproof paper and store in an airtight tin.


  1. nessa robins says:

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
    A porter cake is something very handy to have in the press as it lasts for ages. I have been meaning to make one for ages so I will try out your recipe tomorrow!
    Thanks for sharing. Nessa.

  2. Briona says:

    this is the best porter cake i make 1lb loaf tins out of the mixture and give as presents at xmas time goes down really well !!!

  3. Jackie says:

    For years, my husband has been wanting me to make a porter cake like his mother used to make in the West of Ireland about 40 years ago, or more; I think I’ve found the recipe – I’ll let you know.

  4. Finola says:

    Thank you for the recipe. I haven’t tried it yet but I gave been looking off a porter cake recipe where you heat the stout. Very few recipes do that. I used to make porter cakes many years ago with my mom and adore them,,,,we lost the recipe so I think this one could be a winner…

    Thank you again!

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