Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Irish stout, whiskey, cream cupcakes | Recipe

Some will take offense if I called these Irish car bomb cupcakes so in an effort to be PC, this is a Guinness chocolate cake filled with a ganache spiked with Jameson and topped with a Bailey's cream cheese frosting. Google "Guinness cupcake" and you'll get over a dozen different iterations of a chocolate stout cake with some kind of Irish cream flavored frosting, plus minus ganache spiked with whiskey in the middle (my original is the fourth image on the image search). Whatever you decide to call them, they are more delicious than chugging a pint of the same combination before it curdles.

This is my old recipe upgraded with a filling of Jameson whiskey infused ganache making it more true to the original cocktail.

Guinness Chocolate Cake
2 cups or 10 ounces unbleached all purpose flour, sifted
1/2 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 ounces/6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
2 tablespoon canola oil or other neutral oils
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 egg
1/2 cup sour cream
1 12 fl. oz. bottle/1 1/2 cup Guinness or stout beer

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 2 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners or butter the cups.

Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment beat the butter for a minute until light and fluffy, add the granulated sugar and again beat for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the oil and 1 egg, beat for 1 minute, scrape down the sides, add the second egg, vanilla extract and continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Mix in the sour cream.

Sift half of the dry ingredients into the egg and butter mixture and mix the batter slowly. Stop the mixer frequently to scrape down the sides.

Slowly pour in the Guinness while the mixer runs on the slowest setting to gently mix it into the batter. Sift the remaining dry ingredients into the batter then run the mixer on the lowest speed again until the batter is even and no flour pockets remain. Stop the mixer frequently to scrape down the sides and bottom as flour can often get trapped at the bottom.

Use a 1/4 cup ice cream scoop and evenly portion the batter into the prepared muffin tin. The batter should yield 23 - 24 cupcakes, any extra batter can be divided evenly amongst the cupcakes.

Bake at 350 degrees F on the middle rack for 18 - 22 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake in the middle of the pan should come out clean. After 15 minutes, rotate the pans 180 degrees.

Set on a rack to cool to room temperature before frosting.

For layer cakes: baking 25 – 30 minutes, rotate the pans around halfway, a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes should come out clean.

Jameson Whiskey Ganache
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2 fluid ounces/1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon Jameson or other whiskey, preferably Irish

Chop the chocolate into small chunks.

Option 1: add the chocolate to the cream in a heatproof bowl and microwave on low power, stirring every 30 seconds until melted.

Option 2: heat cream gently in a small saucepan on the stovetop over low heat and add chocolate, stir constantly until melted.

Cool the chocolate ganache mixture until it is just warm (while waiting for it to cool, now is a good time to scoop out the center of the cakes) then stir in one tablespoon of Jameson.

Bailey’s Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces/1 bar of cream cheese, softened
4 ounces/1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
2 cup powdered sugar
4 to 6 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream

In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer, add the cream cheese and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Add powdered sugar and mix until no lumps of sugar remain. Add butter and mix until fluffy. Slowly add Bailey's and beat until frosting is evenly mixed.

Assembling the cupcake

Use a 1/2 teaspoon scoop and scoop out the center of each cupcake and set aside (baker's treat)
Use the same 1/2 teaspoon scoop to fill the center with the melty ganache. The ganache will harden as it cools so the best time to fill the cupcake is when it is still melted.
Lastly, frost the cupcakes when they are completely cooled. There are multiple cupcake frosting techniques to experiment with. Youtube is a good resource.

If creating a layer cake

Wait until the ganache is spreadable but not runny then spread the entire batch on the first layer cake. Top with the second layer cake, then frost the cake with the cream cheese frosting.


  1. Seems a wonderful recipe, is there an option for Bailey's Irish cream?

    1. Hi Anita, Bailey's is a mix of whiskey and cream and a mix of other unknown flavors. I suspect there is vanilla and coffee in the mix so I bet the frosting will taste good with a spoonful of espresso and vanilla extract.

  2. This is my "go-to" birthday cake recipe [minus the ganache]. I make my Bailey's frosting a wee bit differently ... but it started with this recipe. Thank you for sharing, this is my favourite cake recipe!

    1. I'm so happy to hear that! I'm going to experiment with the Bailey's frosting recipe some more this year. Maybe nix the cream cheese entirely.