I’m Irish, I love Guinness, and I love cupcakes, so really what would stop me from making Guinness cupcakes? And really- what sounds cooler than beer cupcakes? In case you live under a rock and have no idea what it is, Guinness is a delicious stout that has an almost chocolate-y undertone and is a bit heavier (and sweeter) than regular beer. Coincedentally it lends itself perfectly to baking because of that amazing chocolate-y undertone. Its not a beer to drink with pizza, its a serious beer. It isn’t a teenybopper beer, or a frat boy beer. It’s an acquired taste and it has a very deep, rich flavor to it. That deep flavor is due to the barley that remains unfermented during the brewing process. See? You learn something new everyday!
Guinness is still made in the outskirts of Dublin in the famous St. James’s Gate Brewery since 1759, and remains the number one selling alcoholic drink of all-time in Ireland. Yes, folks, Guinness is older than the United States of America.
So back to the cakes. They turn out really nice- like a more complex chocolate cupcake. You don’t have to use this frosting recipe, I used a regular vanilla buttercream and it was quite tasty- but I figured I’d give it here anyway. Even if you don’t like Guinness, these are a must-try. You could make 31 of them, and then you’d have all the counties of Ireland represented (though technically only 26 are the Republic of Ireland… the rest are called Northern Ireland and may as well be called “Property of the Queen”). I’ll save my ‘Get England out of Ireland’ speech for another time, this is about cupcakes! Oh, and beer.
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa (plus more for dusting finished cupcakes if so desired)
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch fine salt
- 1 bottle stout beer (recommended: Guinness)
- 1 stick butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- ¾ cup sour cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt.
- In another medium mixing bowl, combine the stout, melted butter, and vanilla. Beat in eggs, 1 at time. Mix in sour cream until thoroughly combined and smooth. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.
- Lightly grease 24 muffin tins. Divide the batter equally between muffin tins, filling each ¾ full. Bake for about 12 minutes and then rotate the pans. Bake another 12 to 13 minutes until risen, nicely domed, and set in the middle but still soft and tender. Cool before turning out.
WHIPPED CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened at room temperature
- ¾ to 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 (1-pound) box confectioners’ sugar
- In a medium bowl with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy.
- Gradually beat in the heavy cream. On low speed, slowly mix in the confectioners’ sugar until incorporated and smooth.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Icing can be made several hours ahead and kept covered and chilled.
Enjoy! And I highly suggest drinking the other 5 bottles of stout while making these 🙂 Or, if you’re concerned about being unable to complete the task whilst imbibing, then wait until after they’re baked. Then polish off the other five.
Éireann go Brách!