Oh my, these cupcakes are everything. Perfectly moist chocolate cake, amped up with a stout beer of your choice, topped with a sweet Irish cream frosting you’ll want to eat by the spoonful. I used Guinness in the cupcakes, which was, if I may say, excellent.
These would most definitely be welcome at any St. Patrick’s Day celebration in your future, but let’s not limit ourselves. Any day of the year would be better with a batch of these in it.
Admittedly this is a glimpse into my strange, baking-obsessed mind, but… the morning I planned to make these, I woke up seized with the question of whether the chocolate stout cake would go better with a cream cheese or Irish cream frosting. And, of course, I promptly quizzed my husband on this oh-so-important subject matter. (He did not offer a viewpoint, but kindly brought me some coffee instead. Smart man.)
Only a couple hours and a quick Internet search later did the obvious occur to me: Bailey’s cream cheese frosting. The best of both worlds.
Now, most frosting recipes that include cream cheese call for it be softened, but I have to align with the minority on this point – I strongly suggest using cold cream cheese! You will have to whip the frosting slightly longer and at a higher speed to make it smooth, but your patience will be rewarded with a frosting that holds its shape and texture beautifully.
Best of all, you can have these ready in about an hour, so if you need an impressive, festive dessert in a hurry, this has you covered. Only caution is that you most likely will not want to share! Be forewarned! 🙂
chocolate stout cupcakes with irish cream frosting
Yield 18 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
- 6 tbsp. butter
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup creme fraiche or sour cream*
- 6 oz. dark stout (I used Guinness)
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
For the frosting:
- 1 cup (8 oz., 2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup (8 oz.) cream cheese, cold
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- a pinch of kosher salt
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup Bailey’s Irish cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). Line cupcake pans with paper liners and set aside.
- Melt butter in the microwave or on the stovetop, and set aside to cool slightly.
- Using an electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream or creme fraiche together at medium-high speed until well-combined. Add beer and vanilla, and mix again until mixture is even.
- Combine cocoa powder, sugar, flour, baking soda, and cinnamon in a separate bowl. Whisk or stir briefly with a fork to blend.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet batter, mixing continuously to blend. After all the dry ingredients are incorporated, add the melted butter and mix again until batter is evenly combined.
- Pour batter into cupcake liners, filling each about 3/4 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow pans to cool on wire racks for about 10 minutes, then remove cupcakes and let cool completely.
- To make the frosting, using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese. Gradually add the powdered sugar, mixing until light and fluffy, then add the salt and vanilla. Beat well to combine, then add Irish cream, and beat again until frosting is a smooth consistency for piping. Frost cupcakes as desired.
*Plain greek yogurt would almost certainly work as a substitute for the creme fraiche/sour cream.