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frosted chocolate cupcakes with polka dot liners on a white plate

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes feature a Guinness chocolate cupcake filled with Irish whiskey ganache, topped with Baileys Irish Cream buttercream! These are delicious edible variations of the politically incorrect cocktail of the same name. Regardless of what you call them, they are delicious celebratory sweets perfect to honor St. Patrick's Day!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Irish
Servings 24 cupcakes
Calories 426 kcal


Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes:

  • 1 cup Guinness stout beer
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sour cream

Whiskey Ganache Filling:

  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon Irish whiskey or to taste

Baileys Buttercream:

  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 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 2/3 to 3/4 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. 20 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 2/3 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 Baileys 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.

Notes & Nutrition

  • 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.
Servings 24.0 * calories 426 * Total Fat 24 g * Saturated Fat 15 g * Monounsaturated Fat 4 g * Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g * Trans Fat 0 g * Cholesterol 98 mg * Sodium 140 mg * Potassium 61 mg * Total Carbohydrate 48 g * Dietary Fiber 2 g * Sugars 37 g * Protein 4 g
*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.*