One of my favorite bloggers, Brown Eyed Baker blogged a recipe for Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes last year and I immediately saved it to my favorites. The idea of using beer in a cake was interesting, and the addition of sour cream seemed like a nice alternative to making my ultra-moist buttermilk-based cake...I always seemed to buy a giant container of buttermilk for that cake recipe and end up with a lot left over.
So, this St. Patty's Day, I decided to give the recipe a try. However Chris and I aren't ones to keep Irish Whiskey or Irish Cream in the house. And frankly, I'm too cheap to drop a bunch of money on alcohol we won't drink. So, I adapted the recipe to make "plain" Guinness Cupcakes with a vanilla buttercream frosting. Trust me, these are rich little cakes of goodness too.
The addition of Guinness to the cake has a similar effect as adding coffee or espresso. It just brings out the natural chocolate flavors that are already going on. Sour cream in the cake gives the cupcakes a really nice moistness.
As far as the frosting goes, a vanilla buttercream works really well here, but honestly, if you have some Bailey's around there's no reason NOT to whip some into the frosting instead of the vanilla!
In all honesty, these cupcakes turned out marvelously well, and certainly shouldn't be limited to St. Patty's Day!
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker, Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes
- 1 cup Guinness stout
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- ¾ teaspoons salt
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- To Make the Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring the Guinness and butter to a simmer in a heavy, medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
- Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl to combine. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sour cream on medium speed until combined. Add the Guinness-chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and beat just to combine. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture and beat briefly. Using a rubber spatula, fold the batter until completely combined. Divide the batter among the cupcake liners. Bake until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Cool the cupcakes on a rack.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker, Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Using the wire whisk attachment of your stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl once or twice.
- Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar. Once all of the powdered sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high and add the vanilla, mixing until incorporated. Whip at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed.
You can store any unused buttercream in the refrigerator in an airtight container; let it come to room temperature and then give it a quick whip in the mixer before using.