Monday, November 9, 2009

Guinness & Bailey's Irish Cream Cupcakes

Remember that time when I attempted alcohol & cupcakes? Yea, wasn't too successful. Well, being the person that I am, I attempted it again. And guess what? Yep, successful. And who do I owe my success to? No one other then the Smitten Kitchen queen herself, Deb.

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes. THREE different kinds of alcohol! I went from failing at alcohol & cupcakes to stuffing alcohol into each and every part of the cupcake! Let's start with the chocolate stout cake. When it comes to chocolate cake, I love it dense. Give me a dense, thick-as-hell chocolate cake over a fluffy-airy one any day. This cake was dense, rich with just a hint of the stout. Definitely delicious.

Next, onto the chocolate ganache. I've always had a problem with it. For some odd reason, it never comes out right. No matter what recipe I try, it just never seems to thicken up. This ganache was perfect. Thickened just enough to handle with a spoon but not too much so that when you bit into the cupcake, ganache would spill out. I think next time though, I would nix the alcohol from the ganache, as the cupcake was a bit too alcohol-y for my taste. BUT if you are a self-proclaimed alcohol/ Bailey's lover then go ahead and add some more!
Lastly, the Bailey's buttercream... how could you go wrong? Butter, sugar and Bailey's. I think they call that the Trifecta, if I'm not mistaken. Yummm is all I can say about this one. I actually loved the alcohol in this, so perfect with the stout cake. Overall, I think the cupcake was delicious but still a little too sweet for my taste as I did use a traditional buttercream rather than my preferred Swiss Meringue Buttercream. I think the perfect accompaniment to the stout cake might be a Bailey's cream cheese frosting... YUM must try that next time!

Guinness and Bailey's Irish Cream Cupcakes
Yields: 24 cupcakes
Original recipe can be found here.

For the Guinness chocolate cupcakes:
1 cup stout beer/ Guinness
2 sticks unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

For the Bailey's ganache filling:
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tbsn. butter, room temperature
2 tsp. Irish whiskey OR Bailey's Irish cream

For the Bailey's buttercream frosting:
8 tbsn. unsalted butter, room temperature
3-4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
4 - 8 tbsn. Bailey's Irish cream
(I also used some half&half to thin the frosting out w/o adding more alcohol)

Use the cone method to remove a little hole:
Then fill with ganache, and pop those extra cake pieces in your mouth and enjoy!
To make the cupcakes, preheat oven to 350 F. Line a cupcake tin with liners and set aside. Combine stout and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat together the eggs and sour cream to blend. Add stout mixture and beat to combine. Mix in dry ingredients on low until incorporated. Divide batter among cupcake liner about 2/3 full and bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Cool completely.

To make the ganache, place chocolate in heatproof bowl. Heat cream in saucepan until simmering, then pour over chocolate, let sit for 1 minute, then stir until smooth. Add butter and Bailey's and stir until combined. Set aside until cool and thick enough to be piped (you can use the refrigerator to speed the process but stir every 10 minutes to ensure even cooling). Meanwhile, cut a portion from the center of the cupcake using the cone method and once the ganache is of the right consistency, pipe the ganache into the centers.

To make the frosting, place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium high until light and fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar until incorporated. Mix in Bailey's until smooth. Add more if necessary until frosting has reached a good consistency for piping or spreading. Frost the cupcakes as desired and enjoy!

** Decorate with excess chocolate ganache


  1. Hi Michelle,
    While your blog is generally lovely, and I know that in America there used to be a cocktail using Baileys Irish liquer popularly known as the Irish Car Bomb, I just have to let you know that the post title is really offensive to Irish people. We're only a decade removed here from people being blown up on the streets of Northern Ireland - to put it in context for you, it's a bit like naming a souffle a Palestinian Suicide Bomber Surprise.
    Just thought you might want to be made aware of this as your blog post is starting to do the rounds on Irish Twitter and you might end up with slightly less reasonable responses in your comments than mine.

  2. Oh yeah I have made a similar cupcake to this before and it was really, really good! Guiness in chocolate cake is genius :P

  3. Wooooooow is this real? Am I dreaming? Or in heaven? These look/sound amazing. Great job!! I will definitely be trying these, you can count on it.

  4. Looks good, very pretty. Makes me wish I like chocolate cake.

  5. Thanks Sue! I had no idea and had no intention whatsoever of offending anyone, title has been changed.

  6. Smitten Kitchen is the best. I too made these cupcakes, and frosted them with a star tip like Deb, but I like your way better! the frosting looks like whipped cream and hot fudge. mmm, I want some Baileys now...

    (for what it's worth, none of my Irish friends care about the name. it's just a silly cocktail! pick your battles, people.)

  7. Car bombs, Black and Tans, always somehting not to like. Its all in the context. Dont sweat it.

  8. Oh Michelle, you've gone and done it. And just when I was giving the cupcake pan a rest. I've been hearing about cakes using beer for a while now and can't wait to try it.

  9. These are delicious and fun to make! However, our frosting didn't turn out very fluffy. Do you have any tips on how to make fluffy icing with just a hand mixer?

  10. Hmmm... a hand mixer should work fine but this recipe itself doesn't yield much frosting to begin with, so maybe that's why it doesn't look fluffy. If I figure out another way, I'll get back to you :)

  11. Just tried these (I made a half recipe)...fantastic! The cupcakes were so moist! I'm definitely a fan!

  12. Lovely, these will go great along with my Al Quaeda twin tower of waffles.

  13. Lovely, these will go great alongside my Al Queada Twin Tower of waffles.

  14. Maybe you can call your Guiness cupcakes "Irish Boilermakers"

  15. Love the camera work! The cap on the cupcake is very clever

  16. Wow...these look delicious!!!! I can't wait to try them. I will be using my homemade Irish Cream. It tastes fantastic with a really fresh taste that is sometimes missing from a bottle. Check out the recipe that I use.

  17. Yum yum yum! Made these yesterday for St. Patrick's Day (except I cut the tops off, removed the point, and re-topped the cupcakes with the flattened removed piece, then iced it) and they are amazing!!! Served them to a bunch of college guys who had been celebrating (by drinking green beer) since 1 in the after noon and they could not get over them! Ha. Thanks to you and Smitten Kitchen. (Hopefully I can pawn the rest off on some more friends before I eat them all... and the two sticks of butter that come with them. :P)

  18. I am Irish and not offended by the name "Irish Car Bomb"...but I AM offended by the fact that it tastes like vomit. I'm an Irish girl, not an Irish guy - things roll off my back quite easily! Ha!

    Just had to say - I'm new to your site and I now bow to you. These look absolutely amazing and I'll be making them ASAP!

  19. Glad I found your recipe. This has been posted on so many other blogs. But when I got to yours, it gave me the idea of using Jameson in the ganache, instead of using Bailey's in both the ganache and frosting. About to go make them!

    And don't worry about Sue's comments. It's insulting for her, because she lives in the past. It's like the Americans who still walk around, over 10 years later, with a chip on their shoulder about 9/11. At some point, you have to get over it and move on without taking small things like Cupcake Recipes personally.