Cocktail-turned-dessert ➝ guaranteed to be a good idea, am I right? I’d say it’s especially true when that cocktail is an Irish Car Bomb – aka a shot of creamy Bailey’s and a shot of smooth Irish whiskey dropped into a frothy cup of Guinness Stout. If those three PLUS a solid dose of dark chocolate don’t make for an epic cupcake, I don’t know what would. All I can say is these cupcakes are basically the definition of epic – wildly out of control, over-the-top, and ridiculously good. It’s the stuff of dessert fantasies (you know you have them). ;)
Since it’s pretty easy to get overwhelmed with all the layers of total indulgence going on here, let’s break it down one-by-one:
Layer 1: Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes: Think the absolute best, chocolatiest, moist and light cupcakes you’ve ever had, but with some nutty Guinness added in for extra layers of flavor and intensity. Would I eat them completely unfrosted and unadorned? You bet.
Layer 2: Whiskey-Spiked Coffee Buttercream: The name really says it all – a light, fluffy, oh-so-buttery frosting with a little bit of java to liven things up and a touch of whiskey to stay true to that boozy cocktail inspiration. It’s nothing too sweet either, which is exactly what you need when you’re topping a cupcake with frosting, ganache, AND a truffle. Woah.
Layer 3: Bailey’s Chocolate Ganache: A straight-up drizzle of creamy, rich, dark chocolate ganache spiked with Bailey’s… because a little extra chocolate can never be a bad thing.
Layer 4: Bailey’s Chocolate Truffle: a little something deep, dark, fudgy, and intense to sink your teeth into if you haven’t gotten enough already. Plus, why shouldn’t cupcakes be topped with extra chocolate? A dessert within a dessert sounds pretty dang good to me.
I think it goes without saying that all of this epic boozy grandness is the kind of thing we should all be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with (and by celebrating I mean maybeeee wearing a green shirt whilst digging into one of these babies), but they’re also way too good to be a once-a-year treat. We can totally celebrate all things Irish (drinks) as often as we want, right? Mmmmkayy good.
P.S. You should definitely make your own Bailey’s for this recipe too; NO REGRETS!
A cocktail-inspired dessert that incorporates three boozy Irish drinks in one epic cupcake: Guinness Chocolate Cake, Whiskey-Spiked Coffee Buttercream, a drizzle of Bailey's Chocolate Ganache, and a Bailey's Chocolate Truffle to top it all off. The perfect cupcake for getting your St. Patrick's Day cheer on (or just to indulge a little!)
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 3 5/8 ounces (7 tablespoons) heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 1/8 ounces (1/4 cup) Irish Cream Liqueur (e.g. Bailey's)
- cocoa powder, for dusting
- 6 ounces (3/4 cup) Guinness Extra Stout
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cubed
- 3 3/4 ounces (1/2 cup) brown sugar
- 1 1/8 ounces (1/3 cup) dutch process cocoa powder, sifted
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 1/4 ounces (1 cup, spoon and level) all-purpose flour
- 3 1/2 ounces (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
- 5/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1 egg, room temperature*
- 2 1/8 ounces (1/4 cup) sour cream
- 10 1/2 ounces (1 1/3 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 10 1/2 ounces (2 5/8 cup) confectioner's sugar, sifted
- 4 teaspoons strongly brewed coffee
- 4 teaspoons Irish Whiskey (e.g. Jameson's)
- pinch of salt
- green sprinkles, for garnish (optional, I used green sparkling sugar)
- 3 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 ounces (1/4 cup) heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons Irish Cream Liqueur (e.g. Bailey's)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons corn syrup (optional)**
- Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl.
- In a separate microwave-safe bowl, microwave cream and butter for about 40 seconds, until butter has melted and cream is just beginning to boil. Stir until smooth.
- Pour cream mixture over chocolate and let sit about 5 minutes. Stir until smooth, microwaving for additional 10-second increments as/if needed to ensure chocolate is smoothly melted. Stir in Irish Cream until evenly incorporated.
- Cover mixture with plastic wrap and transfer to refrigerator to chill until firm but scoopable, about 1 hr 30 min - 2 hours.
- Line a tray with parchment paper and sift a generous amount of cocoa powder onto plate. Scoop chocolate by 1-ounce portions (about the size of a ping-pong ball) and roll into balls. Roll each ball into cocoa powder to coat and set on prepared tray. Return to refrigerator until ready to garnish cupcakes.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
- Stir the Guinness, butter, brown sugar, and cocoa powder together in a small saucepan. Set over medium heat and whisk occasionally until butter melts and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat, whisk in vanilla, and set aside to cool to room temperature.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using a bowl and handheld electric mixer), whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, and espresso powder by hand. Add chocolate mixture and mix in on medium speed for one minute. Wipe down bowl and beater, add egg and sour cream, and continue to beat for another two minutes on medium; mixture should be smooth and batter will be very runny.
- Divide batter evenly between the prepared muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, just until a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean. Cool briefly in pan, and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or using a bowl and handheld electric mixer), beat the butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in confectioner's sugar, slowly increasing speed back up to medium-high as it incorporates, until frosting is fluffy and creamy. Wipe down bowl and beater and add coffee, whiskey, and salt. Beat in until smoothly incorporated.
- Transfer buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip (I used Ateco #808) and pipe onto cupcakes.
- Garnish with green sprinkles, if using.
- Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl.
- In a separate, microwave-safe bowl, microwave cream for about 30 seconds, just until it begins to boil. Pour over chocolate and let sit about 5 minutes. Stir until smooth, microwaving for additional 10-second increments as/if needed to make sure chocolate is completely melted. Stir in Irish Cream and corn syrup, if using.
- Let ganache cool briefly (only if needed) until it reaches a good consistancy for drizzling. Spoon ganache over frosted cupcakes, allowing to drizzle slightly down sides.
- Top cupcakes with prepared truffles. Serve immediatley, or keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator to serve later.
*To quickly bring eggs to room temperature, place in a bowl and cover with warm water. Let sit 5-10 minutes before using.
**The corn syrup is optional but helps keep the ganache shiny.
Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes adapted from Food.com