Guinness Cupcakes

In the past few years, ever since the economy went really sour, I’ve noticed the extreme popularity of tiny holidays. 

 -“What are you doing for Cinco de Mayo??”

-“Um nothing…should I be doing something?”

-“You’re so lame, everyone is going downtown to celebrate”

Basically, have that conversation for every other minute holiday: Labor Day, President’s Day, Valentine’s, and most of all St. Patrick’s Day. Maybe I never noticed the scale of St. Patrick’s Day before I was 21, but now in my mid-twenties I can see what a large drinking holiday this is. Perhaps these little holidays are the excuse for people to drink away the fact that they have foreclosed on their homes, have massive credit card debt, or cannot go out to eat every single night during these troubled times.

 Well heck, I’m not going to be a Debbie Downer and not partake in any of these celebrations. I’ve come to really enjoy celebrating St. Paddy’s because of this cupcake recipe. Guinness chocolate cupcakes, with a Jameson chocolate ganache, and Bailey’s frosting. Seriously, the best cupcakes ever.  The stout in the cupcake makes such a moist cake. They can be made ahead of time and frozen for up to 2 weeks (not the frosting and ganache).  The frosting recipe doesn’t yield much; I prefer to add just a dollop to each cupcake. Double it if you like more.

St. Patrick’s Day Cupcakes makes 20-24 ***

For the Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

1 cup of Guinness
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

Ganache Filling
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 to 2 teaspoons Irish whiskey

Bailey’s Frosting
3 to 4 cups confections sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 to 4 tablespoons Bailey’s (or milk, or heavy cream, or a combination thereof)

Special equipment: 1-inch round cookie cutter or an apple corer and a piping bag (though a plastic bag with the corner snipped off will also work)

Make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, rotating them once front to back if your oven bakes unevenly, about 17 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely.

Make the filling: Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heat proof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth.  Add the butter and whiskey  and stir until combined.

Fill the cupcakes: Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped (the fridge will speed this along but you must stir it every 10 minutes). Meanwhile, using your 1-inch round cookie cutter or an apple corer, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes. You want to go most of the way down the cupcake but not cut through the bottom — aim for 2/3 of the way. A slim spoon or grapefruit knife will help you get the center out.  Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.

Make the frosting: Whip the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, for several minutes. You want to get it very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time.

When the frosting looks thick enough to spread, drizzle in the Bailey’s and whip it until combined. If this has made the frosting too thin (it shouldn’t, but just in case) beat in another spoonful or two of powdered sugar.

Celebrating St Patrick’s Day is an excellent excuse to listen to the Pogues:

***Recipe taken from


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