Guinness Brownies with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

guinness brownie with vanilla bean cream cheese frosting in front of more brownies on a piece of parchment.

Intensely rich and fudgy Guinness brownies with vanilla bean cream cheese frosting are easy to make with just one bowl. They're the perfect  St. Patrick's Day dessert, or a fun treat for any beer lover! 


  • 2 1/2 ounces (about 1/2 cup chopped) unsweetened dark chocolate
  • 1 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp Guinness stout beer
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the frosting:

  • 3 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or 1-inch piece of vanilla bean, pods scraped out
  • a splash of milk, only if necessary


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line a square 9x9" pan with parchment or lightly grease.
  2. In a large microwave safe bowl, melt the chopped chocolate by heating in 30-second intervals in the microwave, stirring in between each.
  3. Add brown sugar, oil, vanilla and Guinness to melted chocolate and whisk to combine. Add eggs and whisk very well.
  4. Add flour, cocoa powder and salt. Mix until well combined.
  5. Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If your oven tends to run cool, yo may even need a couple minutes more. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.
  6. To make the frosting, add cream cheese, butter, sugar, and vanilla beans to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Use a spoon to stir the powdered sugar into the other ingredients to avoid a cloud of powdered sugar before beating with a hand mixer or the whisk attachment. Beat until smooth, adding a splash of milk if needed to reach spreading consistency.
  7. Spread frosting over cooled brownies and cut into squares.
  8. Cut into squares. Store any leftovers in an airtight container.


  • Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
  • If you don't have Guinness, you can make these brownies with coffee instead. They will be a little more dense and bitter, but still delicious.
  • Frosting can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 3 days.

Keywords: guinness brownies, guinness brownies with vanilla bean frosting, brownies with cream cheese frosting, St. Patrick's Day brownies