adult | alcohol | beer | birthdays | cupcakes | frosting | I love... | recipe

Jay’s birthday “Car Bombs.”

May 22, 2010

As I said the other day, tomorrow, May 23rd, is Jay’s birthday. And every year for his birthday I ask him what kind of cupcakes he wants, then I make him an entire batch of whatever he requests all for himself. Usually he shares them with his family or co-workers, since he’s not going to eat 12 (or 24) cupcakes all by himself. Previously he’s asked for these cupcakes two years in a row, and last year he wanted Funfetti cupcakes (which I made with no help from Pillsbury, thankyouverymuch). So this year I asked him really early,  in March, just randomly, what cupcakes did he want for his birthday. And it must have been close to St. Patrick’s Day when the Bailey’s cupcakes were still fresh in his mind … because he said without hesitation (as a matter of fact, practically interrupting me mid-sentence): “Guinness cupcakes with Bailey’s frosting- Irish car bomb cupcakes!”

Easy enough. Car Bombs are, in case you don’t know…

An Irish Car Bomb is a beer cocktail similar to a boilermaker made with Irish stout, Irish Cream, and Irish whiskey.[1]

The name refers to the drink’s Irish ingredients – typically Guinness stout, Baileys Irish Cream, and Jameson Irish Whiskey – and the car bombings notoriously used by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) during the Troubles. The whiskey is floated on top of the Irish Cream in a shot glass, and the shot glass is then dropped into the stout. Once mixed, the drink must be consumed quickly because it will curdle.[2][3]

They’re so delicious. And really, what kind of improvement could you make on a car bomb except for making it into a cupcake? Guinness cupcakes (or chocolate stout cupcakes) are a really easy and unique spin on the regular chocolate cupcake. Even if you aren’t a fan of stout beer drinking-wise, in a cupcake it’s a totally different ballgame. And I kicked some of these up a notch with some Jameson Irish Whiskey filling. Those aren’t for the faint of heart, believe me.



  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 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


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.



  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (maybe more) Bailey’s Irish Cream


  1. Cream the butter on high speed for approximately 3 minutes.
  2. Add the Bailey’s and mix thoroughly. Slowly add the powdered sugar until well blended.
  3. If necessary, add more Bailey’s to thin or more sugar to thicken it to desired texture.

Obviously the cupcake recipe makes around 24 cupcakes. The frosting should be plenty enough to frost that many, I can’t remember exactly, but I halved both and got the perfect amount.

Half of the cupcakes are filled with a “glaze” made with Jameson Irish Whiskey. This is really easy to make, just add a few tablespoons (up to a quarter cup) of Jameson to a cup or so of confectioner’s sugar, until it reaches a consistency that works. You don’t want it runny but you don’t want it to be a paste. It has to be a thick mixture that makes it easy to fill the cupcakes, yet not too thick or too drippy. Eyeball it, test it, and you’ll be fine. I poked holes in the cupcakes using a 1A Wilton tip, removing part of the cake. Then I just filled the holes with the Jameson filling, allowed it to set a little, then frosted them. On the other half I didn’t use the filling, but I put some chocolate shavings on top to differentiate. We’re having dinner with Jay’s family for his birthday, & his grandma & sister probably wouldn’t be down with a Jameson filling. Especially since that shit is STRONG as hell! Yes, it really does taste like Jameson. A bit sweeter thanks to the sugar, but there’s no amount of sugar in the world to compete with the taste of Jameson. So please believe me… if you don’t like whiskey (a LOT), aren’t a big drinker, or aren’t a big fan of Jameson… steer clear of the filling. It’s potent.

The Jameson filling
The filled cupcakes, all frosted
Both the filled & non-filled cupcakes together in harmony…


The chocolate shavings are easy, too. I just took a 1-ounce square of semi-sweet baking chocolate bar and grated it using the small part of a grater. You could also use a regular Hershey or Cadbury bar. And if you like, you can use any kind of stout in this recipe, not just Guinness. Sam Adams Cream stout, Brooklyn Brewery Black Chocolate stout, etc. I have another cupcake recipe specifically for chocolate/cream stouts that you can use also, but it’ll be totally fine to substitute for this recipe as well. Feel free to use a local stout of your choice. I’ll take this time to pimp Lyns at Sweet Cuppin’ Cakes Bakery & Cupcakery Supplies for her awesome black & white polka dotted liners. I swear, they’re the most masculine ones I have, and without them Jay would’ve had pink plaid or leopard print liners for his birthday.

Happy birthday Jay! I love you!

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  1. Just found out I need to do a cake for a guy that’s REALLY into his Irish heritage so this is PERFECT! Thank you.

  2. Nice! Guinness cupcakes are the shiznit and this is one of the only ways to make them even better. They look amazing!

  3. These tasted so fabulous and I would love to make them again but for a few tiny problems and I hope you can help me fix them!! 🙂

    My frosting wilted by the following morning (I made them the night before). I read on another blog that when adding alcohol, you should add Crisco or another shortening. Would you recommend this as well and if so, how much?

    Also, in the whiskey glaze, my whiskey drained right out, soaked the cupcake and left me with a lump of powdered sugar in the middle of the cupcake. Any ideas what I did wrong? The cupcakes I ate right after I assembled them were terrific, but the ones the morning after weren’t half as good.


  4. Hiya Betsy-

    I didn’t have the same frosting issue. The problem with the frosting is that your frosting wasn’t the right consistency before you frosted them. My basic rule is this: when I read a frosting recipe, I use it as a guide. I really follow my instinct, if it’s too thin I add more sugar, if it’s too thick I add more liquid- no matter WHAT the recipe says. The bottom line is having a perfect consistency. So this particular recipe may not have worked out based on the temp/humidity where you live, etc. Frosting is a tricky thing, and I’ve said before I don’t think I’ve ever made it the same twice. It’s really just about finding a balance and creating a frosting that works no matter what the recipe says. If it’s really humid, adding some shortening will definitely help.

    The issue of the filling- I did have the same problem, however my cakes were going to be eaten immediately, so I wasn’t concerned. Jay did eat some the next day and day after that and it didn’t bother him much, that’s basically what’s going to happen because the alcohol just sucks all the moisture out… but if it does bother you or you need the cupcakes for a few days later, etc then you can try adding a little melted butter in with the mixture. I don’t know why I think that would help, maybe the fat in the butter might help retain some moisture. But I think no matter what the moisture will end up being depleted at some point.

    Hope that helps ya!

  5. Hey again! I did my own version of these and can’t wait to try it. I’m posting some time over the weekend and will definitely know by then 🙂 Again, thanks for the idea.

  6. So I am looking to use this cake recipe but want to try something different for the frosting. I want to make them for a football tailgate party. I was thinking about a play on beer and peanuts? So I was going to put crushed salted peanuts on top but do you have any suggestions for a different frosting? Maybe fudge or a basic butter cream? Any ideas? I would appreciate any advice. Thanks!

  7. Hey Sarah… I think a peanut butter frosting with crushed peanuts would be amazing! Especially on this cupcake. You could also do a stout buttercream with crushed peanuts… or like you said a chocolate too. But I’d definitely go with peanut.

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