I love St. Patrick’s Day because it’s a fun excuse to get together with great Irish music, food, friends, and family. It doesn’t hurt that I have some Irish heritage in my blood so when it came time to host, I decided to take my baking game to the next level.
In addition to the usual corned beef and cabbage stew, this year I baked “Irish Car Bomb” cupcakes, along with some particularly delicious Guinness raisin bread. But this post isn’t about bread – it’s about THE BEST CUPCAKES IN EXISTENCE. I used a great set of directions from this website for the basis and just tweaked a tiny bit to make it my own.
Give this recipe a try and impress the calories right off of your friends. (Seriously, don’t bother counting calories on this one. Sometimes you just have to indulge.)
Here’s what you’ll need …
For the Guinness Cupcake Base:
- 1 cup Guinness stout
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup sour cream
For the Jameson Ganache Filling:
- 8 oz bittersweet chocolate
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tsp Jameson Irish whiskey
For the Irish Cream Frosting:
- 2 cups unsalted butter
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 8 tbsp Coole Swan Irish cream
Let’s get baking!
First, let’s make the cupcakes. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners. Bring the Guinness and butter to a simmer on the stove in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once simmering, slowly add the cocoa powder and whisk until the mixture is smooth. It might get a bit chunky but don’t worry, just make sure you’re gradually blending. Once mixed, remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Next, whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Beat the eggs and sour cream until combined. Add the Guinness-chcolate mixture you created on the stove into the egg mixture and beat together. I used my large standing mixer for this process. Then, gradually add the flour mixture and beat/fold to combine. Divide the cupcake batter evenly among the cups – you can use a small ice cream scoop to help with this process! Bake until a knife/toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, but 17 minutes worked great for me. Cool the cupcakes and leave them alone for now.
Next, let’s make the filling! Chop up the chocolate bars into small pieces. Most likely you will eat a square in the process, but don’t worry – it won’t mess up the recipe. Eat your chocolate, person. You earned it. Transfer the pieces to a heat-safe bowl. On the stove, heat the heavy cream until simmering and then pour it over the chocolate pieces. Wait a few moments before stirring the mixture until combined. Then add the butter and Jameson whiskey, stirring the mixture until it’s one beautiful chocolate delicacy. Allow to cool slightly – do NOT stick in the fridge – until it’s solid, but soft enough to be piped into the cupcakes.
So your cupcakes are cooled, right? Take a 1-inch round cookie cutter or the bottom of a large decorating tip (what I did) to cut the center out of the COOLED cupcakes. Don’t go all the way down to the bottom or they will fall apart. Once the inside has been removed, fill with the ganache. You can either pipe it or use a small butter-knife (what I did) to fill them.
Now, the best part! It’s time to make the icing! First, stand in awe at the amount of butter and sugar you are about to mix together. Next, whip the butter for about 5 minutes until it’s no longer in bar form. Gradually (1 cup at a time – slowly) add the powdered sugar into the mixture, continuing to mix – this is when I use my stand-up mixer again. Once all of the sugar is incorporated, it’s time to add the alcohol. Begin to add the Coole Swan (I prefer this instead of Bailey’s) and whip together until you have produced fluffy icing. Let solidify for a few moments in the fridge, and then use a decorating tip or just a knife/spatula to frost the cupcakes. Feel free to just eat out of the bowl by the spoonful (I also might have done this).
You did it!
Make sure to save one for yourself because these cupcakes have a tendency to disappear FAST. And just as a word of warning, while the Guinness has been cooked, the whiskey and Irish cream have not been cooked so these cupcakes DO have an alcoholic content to them. Please do not feed them to underage cupcake enthusiasts and eat responsibly. Sláinte!