These chocolate Guinness cupcakes are filled with Irish whiskey ganache and topped with Bailey's Irish Cream frosting! These are delicious edible variations of a politically incorrect cocktail. Regardless of what you call them, they are delicious celebratory sweets perfect to honor St. Patrick's Day!
Long after your green tee-shirts and shamrock-covered hats are put into hibernation, these cupcakes will still haunt you. These chocolate Guinness cupcakes are inspired by a cocktail where a shot of Irish whiskey and Bailey's Irish Cream is dropped into a pint of Irish stout, typically Guinness.
Unlike the alcoholic beverage, which can curdle if not drunk fast enough, these cupcakes will not give you a hangover the next day (contrary to popular belief). The cupcakes themselves acquire an Earthiness from the Guinness, but otherwise taste mostly of chocolate. Moist, delicious, and fluffy chocolate. The best kind!
The whiskey ganache filling is reminiscent of those little chocolates filled with liquor from the mid-1990s. That whiskey ganache and the Baileys buttercream will collectively take these boozy car bomb cupcakes to a whole new level.
You may feel equally as guilty afterwards, be it from the decadent Bailey's buttercream frosting or the Irish whiskey-spiked ganache filling, but life is a celebration so I say just go with it. St. Patrick's Day is typically a holiday of excess so if you're not being a little naughty, then what's the point?
How to make them
Start by making the chocolate Guinness cupcakes. Bring Guinness and butter to a simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth.
Meanwhile, whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in large bowl to blend.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together eggs and sour cream. Add the slightly cooled stout-chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and beat just to combine.
Next, add the flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using a rubber spatula, fold the batter until completely combined. Divide the batter among 24 cupcake liners distributed between a couple muffin pans.
Bake until a cake tester inserted into center comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes completely before filling and decorating.
Meanwhile, make the Irish whiskey ganache filling by chopping the chocolate and transferring to a heatproof bowl. Heat cream until simmering and pour it over the chopped chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. Next, add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined.
Let the ganache cool until it's thick but still soft enough to be piped. Meanwhile, cut the centers out of the cooled chocolate Guinness cupcakes. Put the cooled ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.
To make the Bailey's Irish Cream frosting, whip room temperature butter in the bowl of an electric mixer for several minutes until fluffy. Add powdered sugar a little at a time, until fluffy and thick. Drizzle in the Bailey's and whip it until combined. Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag fitting with a decorative tip and frost the chocolate Guinness cupcakes as desired.
To cut out the centers of the cupcakes for filling, use a 1-inch round cookie cutter, paring knife, or melon baller to scoop or remove a portion of the interior of the cupcake. Go most of the way into the cupcake but do not cut through the bottom. Aim for ⅔ of the way.
To partially prep these chocolate Guinness cupcakes in advance, bake the cupcakes a week or two ahead of time 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. Any longer and they will start to get stale.
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Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes with Bailey's Frosting and Irish Whiskey Ganache Filling
Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes:
- 1 cup Guinness stout beer
- 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- ⅔ cup sour cream
Whiskey Ganache Filling:
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- ⅔ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 tablespoon Irish whiskey or to taste
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons Baileys Irish cream
- Make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring the Guinness and 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 salt in large bowl to blend.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat eggs and sour cream. 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 batter until completely combined. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them ⅔ to ¾ of the way. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, rotating them once front to back if your oven bakes unevenly, about 17 to 19 minutes. Cool cupcakes completely.
- 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. (If this has not sufficiently melted the chocolate, you can return it to a double-boiler to gently melt what remains. Twenty seconds in the microwave, watching carefully, will also work.) Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined.
- 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). Meanwhile, using a 1-inch round cookie cutter, paring knife, or melon baller (my personal choice), 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 ⅔ of the way. Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.
- Make the frosting: Whip the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer for several minutes until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar a little at a time, until fluffy and thick. Drizzle in the Bailey's 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.
- Frost the cupcakes as desired.
- Do ahead: 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. (Longer, they will start to get stale.)
- This recipe uses kosher salt (aka cooking salt, kitchen salt, coarse salt outside of the US). If you are using table salt, definitely scale down the salt as that is a saltier type of salt! The type of salt will make a big difference in how salty your food tastes, so keep that in mind.
*All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.*