Guinness and chocolate are baked together into a deeply chocolatey, malty cupcake that is then filled with a chocolate whiskey ganache, and topped with whipped Irish cream buttercream. This cupcake is a true baking project, but I find that half the fun.
Set aside an afternoon, and throw yourself into the joy of baking something impressive from scratch.
This recipe was passed on to me from The Smitten Kitchen blog over ten years ago, and the only tweak I felt it needed was doubling the icing recipe. For many years, these cupcakes were a staple as my husband’s birthday cake.
It travels well to parties or bars and definitely adds to the festivity. While the alcohol of the beer bakes out of the cupcake, the ganache and buttercream remain boozy. If this doesn’t fit your crowd, replace the Irish Cream with heavy cream and skip the whiskey in the ganache.
Making Baileys Cupcakes
Baileys cupcakes come together like most cupcakes, with the addition of making a beer and chocolate sauce by warming butter, beer, and cocoa powder together. When this has cooled some, it's added to beaten eggs and sour cream followed by dry ingredients and baked at 350F for about 17-20 minutes.
The ganache is just as easy.
You could melt chocolate and heavy cream together by using a double boiler or a heatproof bowl placed on top of a saucepan with some water in the bottom, carefully microwaving and stirring it in short bursts, or heating heavy cream and pouring it over the chocolate and letting it sit before stirring.
Once the mixture comes together, add butter and whiskey and stir until smooth.
Once the stout cupcakes and ganache have cooled, cut a hole out of the center of the cupcake with an apple corer, small cookie cutter, thin knife, or whatever you have available. I use the edge of a cannoli mold.
A piping bag or a storage bag with the corner snipped off makes piping easy. It doesn’t need to be perfect, as it’s going to be covered by frosting.
The most important thing is to let the cupcakes cool completely, otherwise, they will just suck up the ganache, leading you to fill it again and again until you have created dangerous chocolate booze bombs. Ask me how I know.
The final step is to make the buttercream by whipping butter until light and fluffy and slowly adding confectioners sugar. By adding the sugar a few tablespoons at a time, the frosting won’t turn gritty. Once the frosting has thickened up, drizzle in the Baileys.
Then, ice the cupcakes. You can get fancy with a piping bag and adornments like sprinkles and chocolate balls, or slather it on with a spoon or knife. Either way, these Baileys cupcakes are going to be a hit.
Tea and Cake
All cake goes best with a cup of tea, and Baileys cupcakes are no exception. The Irish Breakfast in Plum Deluxe’s Fog Cutter tea is a perfect pairing. The creamy, vanilla builder’s tea in House Blend would also accompany the rich and creamy flavors of these Baileys Cupcakes.
There’s no reason you can’t pair the cake with more cake, right? If you want a selection of sweets, then check out these Irish-inspired St. Patrick’s day desserts, Irish scones, and Irish apple cake.
- 1/2 cup stout (such as Guinness)
- 9 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/3 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 4 ounces bittersweet or dark chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon of Irish whiskey
- 2-4 cups confections sugar
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2-4 tablespoons Irish Cream
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line a cupcake tray with 12 liners.
Bring stout and butter to simmer in a heavy saucepan over medium heat.
Add cocoa powder and whisk until the mixture is smooth.
Set aside to cool.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
In another bowl, use an electric mixer to beat eggs and sour cream until fluffy.
Slowly add the cooled stout-chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and beat to combine.
Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed to just combine.
Using a spatula, fold batter until completely mixed. Don’t overmix.
Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 full. Don’t overfill.
Bake cakes until the tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 17-20 minutes.
Cool cupcakes completely on a rack.
Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
Heat the cream and chocolate in a double boiler until melted, stirring often. Turn off the heat.
Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined and remove from heat.
Allow to cool until thick, but soft enough to be piped. The fridge can speed this up, just keep an eye on it and stir it so it doesn’t set up too thick to work with.
Make a hole in the center of the cupcakes. Only cut about 2/3 of the way down into the cupcake, leaving the bottom intact.
Fill the cupcakes with ganache. Try not to overfill over the top of the cupcake.
Whip the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, for several minutes, until very light and fluffy.
Then, slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time, letting the mixer run for a few minutes in between.
When the frosting has thickened, drizzle in the Irish Cream and whip it until combined and the frosting reaches desired consistency.
Decorate the cupcakes with the finished frosting.
Recipe makes 12 cupcakes.