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 delicious!!

The Baileys is a prominent flavor in this boozy buttercream so if you’re serving them to those who are averse (ahem) to alcohol, they should probably be forewarned. And I definitely wouldn’t serve these cupcakes to kids since the alcohol in the buttercream isn’t cooked.

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.

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes + Bailey’s Irish Cream Buttercream

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


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.


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)


  • 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

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Leave a Comment

  • April 14, 2010 at 6:37 AM

    Aren’t these great? I just made these again, but without the ganache and they were a hit. I love my new mini cupcake pan.

  • April 14, 2010 at 9:36 AM

    These are so good. I’m glad you liked them. I was the same way about putting of making them and now I am ready to do it again.

  • April 14, 2010 at 3:25 PM

    I’ve made these and they have yet to be topped as the best thing I have ever created. Yours look awesome!

  • Annie
    April 16, 2010 at 12:23 PM

    But Tara, why didn’t you call them Irish car bomb cupcakes? Don’t you want tons of irrational people sending you hate mail 😉 Glad you finally tried these, we love them.

    • smellslikehome
      April 16, 2010 at 12:45 PM

      lol! i was thinking about you the entire time i was writing up this post!

  • Brandi
    March 23, 2011 at 12:37 PM

    These are beyond incredible! I made my first batch and everyone ate more than their fair share. I have already been requested to make these again. By far the best cupcakes I have made yet!

  • Ashley
    September 18, 2011 at 1:04 PM

    I made these last night for a house warming party!!! AMAZING!!!!!! I made regular size cupcapkes and they amount of batter was just right. The buttercream frosting was DELICIOUS but not enough to cover all cupakes, I had to make more. Thanks so much for this recipe! It will def me my new “to go” cupcakes for all parties! 🙂

  • Michelle
    October 1, 2011 at 1:59 PM

    I made these today as minis and 1/2’d the recipe, but didn’t 1/2 the Bailey’s. Thanks for the recipe. They’re wonderfully tasty. 🙂

  • […] having a potluck at work and I wanted to try an Irish recipe. I found this recipe but left out the ganache filling, since the minis seem a bit fragile already due to their small […]

  • Shannon
    January 27, 2012 at 3:12 AM

    Just made these and my house smells great! I havent eaten one yet because theyre for a dinner party tomorrow. I cant wait! The frosting is delicious and so simple to whip up. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Whitney Baze
    April 15, 2012 at 10:15 AM

    I made a similar recipe for St. Patrick’s Day this year and only recently came across yours. The hubs and his friends love Guinness so I’m going to try these. Our county only recently started allowing alcohol sells so Bailey’s was impossible to find. While picking up some milk, I spotted Bailey’s Irish Cream coffee creamer. Using the original flavor I was able to achieve great results. Thought I’d share.

    • April 16, 2012 at 3:08 PM

      Whitney: Great idea, especially for those who can’t consume alcohol!

  • Ally W
    December 7, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    Made these for my work Christmas party lastnight and they DISAPPEARED! Everyone loved them 🙂

    • December 11, 2012 at 9:02 AM

      Awesome to hear! It’s such a fun and unexpectedly delicious recipe!!