It’s not very often that my friends on Facebook link recipes to me that they think would be good for my website, but when they do,
I prefer Dos Equis I always file it away for later. Because if there’s internet buzz around a recipe, of course I’m game for seeing what all the fuss is about. Especially if the recipe sounds delicious. Especially if there’s alcohol involved. Especially if I can make bad beer puns, even if it’s for a completely different brand of beer.
What is the slogan for Guinness beer, anyway?
“The king of beers”?
No, that’s not right.
“This is our beer”?
Ehh, still no.
“A better beer deserves a better can”? “It’s Miller time”?
“It’s Miller time”?
Okay, I had to google it. Apparently the US slogan for Guinness is: “Out of the darkness comes light.”
Well my, my, Guinness, aren’t we poetic!
So a friend suggested I try this recipe with Guinness and Baileys, and I had to oblige – especially since dark chocolate Guinness cake is a thing of internet legend. It always seems to crop up right around Saint Patrick’s Day, as if us Americans have all agreed that this is only time we’re willing to tackle the wily Irish beer that is Guinness. And even then, we’re going to need eggs, flour, sugar, and a dash of Bailey’s Cream to chase it down with. Which I’m totally okay with.
I can’t remember the last time I tried Guinness, but I did sneak in a sip of it in it’s true form while baking these cupcakes, and wow. Once I picked my face up off the floor, I think I could see the appeal. Especially wrapped in the arms of chocolate cake batter.
This recipe was originally designed to be a fully fledged cake, but you know what? I’ve made a lot of cakes recently and felt like I needed to switch it up a bit. I also noticed that I haven’t actually featured a real deal holy field cupcake recipe before, which seemed like a bit of a tragedy for a blog that’s already seven months old. So I moved a few ingredients around and transformed a dense boozy cake into luscious tipsy morsels.
As for how it turned out? I’ll be honest with you – I tried both the raw batter and the baked cupcakes, and the experience completely different with both. The batter tasted like any chocolate batter I’ve ever had, with just the slightest bite of alcohol, and at the time I was a little worried. Was I making Guinness cupcakes that wouldn’t taste like Guinness? I was so close to adding Guinness right then and there, but I steadied my hand and decided to let the internet guide my way, because every single recipe I looked at suggested only 1 cup of beer. No more, no less.
Now that they’re baked, I’m certainly glad I hesitated, because there’s something magical that happens to these cupcakes while they’re in the oven. The Guinness flavor winds up front and center, fighting for attention with the chocolate. It’s actually the Guinness that makes the chocolate taste like dark chocolate.
And what more can I really say about the frosting? It’s delicious sweet cream cheese a hint of smooth coffee. It tastes just as good as it sounds. It tastes so good I may have skimped a bit on frosting the cupcakes just so there’s be a little extra frosting left over in the bowl for me to eat.
That’s called baker’s privilege, my friends.
Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes with Baileys Cream Cheese Frosting
Celebrate the luck of the Irish with the best of both worlds: dark chocolate Guinness cupcakes with smooth Baileys Cream frosting!
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- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare muffin tin by adding cupcake cup liners.
- Place eggs in a cup of warm water (to get them room temperature) for 5-10 minutes while you complete the next step.
- In a medium saucepan, pour in beer and butter sticks. Set heat to low and allow butter to melt in the beer.
- Once butter is melted, slowly whisk in sugar until it has completely dissolved, then do the same with the cocoa powder.
- Remove saucepan from heat and allow chocolate mixture to cool for at least 5 minutes.
- In the meantime, sift together flour and baking soda in a small bowl, then set aside.
- Using a stand mixer (or a hand mixer + large bowl), add in sour cream, vanilla, and eggs. Beat on low until combined.
- Test that the chocolate mix is warm (not hot) to the touch, then slowly blend the chocolate with the sour cream and eggs, keeping mixer speed on low.
- Increase mixer speed to medium and scoop in the flour, one cup at a time. Be careful not to overmix. Once combined, run a spatula around the bottom and sides of the bowl to ensure there are no clumps. Batter will be watery - this is okay.
- Pour cupcake mix into the prepared cupcake cups (about 3/4 full). Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick tester comes out clean.
- Place muffin tin on a wire rack to cool for 5-10 minutes, then pop cupcakes out and allow to finish cooling on the wire rack. Wait until cupcakes are completely cooled before applying the frosting.
- Use a stand mixer (or a hand mixer + large bowl) on high speed to beat the softened butter until smooth and creamy, roughly 2 minutes.
- Drop speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar. Frosting may be and clumpy at this stage - that is okay
- Keeping speed on low, slowly beat in cream cheese. I'd recommend cutting the cream cheese into 4-5 pieces and mixing in one piece at a time.
- Finally, add in the Baileys Irish Cream. This frosting is very forgiving and easy to balance to your tastes. You can add up to 6 tablespoons of Baileys (total) or up to 5 cups of powdered sugar (total) to get the flavor and consistency you'd like.