I may have made these cute little cupcakes for St. Paddy’s Day this year but don’t be mistaken…no one will complain if you bring these to work say, in the middle of August.  I had heard so so much about the now famous Guinness and Baileys cupcakes and honestly, at first, I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of beer cupcakes.  In fact, it took me two St. Paddy’s days to finally work up the courage to make them. But boy am I glad I did!  I absolutely loved how they turned out and since the Guinness gives just a little undertone of flavor to the chocolate cupcakes, I was able to concentrate on the awesomeness of the Bailey’s Irish Cream buttercream.  Oh.My.Goodness. The buttercream was seriously great.  Because the buttercream isn’t cooked, the Baileys is a prominent flavor so if you’re serving them to those who are averse [ahem] to alcohol, they should probably be forewarned. Everyone who tried these cupcakes raved over them, even those who didn’t know there was alcohol in them, and I will not hesitate to make them again for anyone who requests them.

  • Prep Time: 45min
  • Cook Time: about 17min
  • Yield: 20-24 full-size cupcakes or 48-52 mini cupcakes

Notes

You can bake the cupcakes a week or two in advance and store them, well wrapped, in the freezer. You can also fill them before you freeze them. They also keep filled — or filled and frosted — in the fridge for a day. If you make mini cupcakes instead of full-size, reduce the baking time to 12 minutes.

Ingredients

For the Guinness chocolate cupcakes:

1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
¾ cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1  ½ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

For the ganache filling:
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 to 2 teaspoons Irish whiskey (optional)

For the Baileys frosting:
3 to 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 stick (½ cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 to 4 tablespoons Baileys (or milk, heavy cream, or a combination thereof)

Instructions

  • 01

    To 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 ¾ 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 the batter until the flour is completely combined. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to ¾ of the way.

  • 02

    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.

  • 03

    To make the filling: Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof 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 (if you’re using it) and stir until combined.

  • 04

    To 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 to keep the edges from cooling faster and becoming chunky).

    Meanwhile, using a 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.

    Fill a piping bag, fitted with a wide, round tip, with the ganache and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.

  • 05

    To 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 Baileys (or milk) 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.

    Decorate the cupcakes to your heart’s content.

adapted from Smitten Kitchen