Zac Young Shares St. Patrick’s Day Recipe: Guinness Green Velvet Cake


Zac Young print rollout recipe
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Zac Young’s boozy twist on a classic red velvet cake is the perfect treat to get Us into the St. Patrick’s Day spirit.

The Food Network star, 41, exclusively shared the recipe his delicious Guinness green velvet cake in the latest issue of Us Weekly.

“The cake has just a hint of cocoa and lets the malty, hoppy flavor of the Guinness shine through, especially paired with the whiskey-spiked, salted caramel frosting,” Young tells Us of the dessert.

Not only is the recipe festive and fun, but it’s also versatile. “Try it as a loaf, a single-layer round or even cupcakes!” Young adds. The recipe amplifies the flavors and look of a typical red velvet cake by adding Guinness’ famous stout and a splash of green food coloring. Not to mention, the frosting also contains a bit of Irish whiskey and is topped with green and gold sprinkles.

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Holiday-themed baking is something Young has enjoyed ever since getting his start at the Institute of Culinary Education. Young has worked as Pastry Director of Craveable Hospitality Group since 2012, helping to curate desserts featured in the company’s restaurants and bars, and was even named by Dessert Professional as one of the Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America in 2015.

Food Network fans, however, may also recognize Young for coming in fourth place on the inaugural season of Bravo’s Top Chef: Just Desserts in 2010, as well as appearing on a number of cooking and baking shows such as Unique Sweets, Bakers vs. Fakers, Nailed It!, Chopped, Beat Bobby Flay and Halloween Baking Championship.

In addition to coming up with creative bakes such as his Guinness green velvet cake, Young is perhaps best known as the creator of the cake/pie combination, the PieCaken. He included his green velvet cake in a St. Patrick’s Day-theme version of the desert, dubbed the “Saint PatCaken,” which fans can order via Goldbelly.

“We start with our whisky pecan pie. The next layer is Baileys cheesecake, followed by our ridiculous good Guinness green velvet cake,” Young said via voiceover in an Instagram baking video on Monday, March 11. “It’s all bound together with our salted caramel frosting and covered in sprinkles. Lots of sprinkles.”

Keep scrolling to check out Young’s full Guinness green velvet cake recipe:

Zac Young print rollout recipe
Courtesy of Zac Young

Guinness Green Velvet Cake

Serves 6-10


For the cake

  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup Guinness
  • 1 tsp green food coloring

For the frosting

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp Irish whiskey
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ cup powdered sugar

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1. Preheat the oven to 340 degrees. Coat a standard-size loaf pan with nonstick spray.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda together until no lumps remain.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk the brown sugar and eggs together until smooth.

4. Into the egg mixture, whisk in the oil and then the buttermilk.

5. Slowly whisk the flour mixture into the egg mixture and mix until just combined into a batter.

6. Whisk in the Guinness and food coloring until mixed together. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan.

7. Bake 35 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

8. When cool, remove the cake from the pan.

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For the frosting

1. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the butter until melted, about 30 seconds.

2. When butter is melted, whisk in the brown sugar and microwave for another 30 seconds, or until the sugar is dissolved.

3. Stir in the whiskey, salt and powdered sugar, whisking until smooth.

4. Cool the frosting to room temperature, then spread the frosting over the cooled cake.

5. Decorate with green and gold sprinkles, and sanding sugar as desired.

6. For the prettiest results, allow the cake to sit for at least 30 minutes so that the frosting forms a crust before slicing.

With reporting by Crista Lacqua

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