Let’s be real here. Most holidays in America are celebrated with food, booze or both and St. Patricks Day is no exception. It’s really a big deal here in Boston too with a lot of people heading into the city with their “Kiss Me I’m Irish” shirts and green and gold colors to go pub hopping.
As I’ve said before, I don’t particularly enjoy crowds, especially drunk crazy people crowds so I usually stay home, play some wonderful Celtic music and watch Lord of the Dance or the first “Leprechaun” movie (don’t judge!) while I cook and fill my home with the wonderful smells of food.
Of course, I live on Pinterest, and while there I happened to find this absolutely amazing recipe for Guinness, Whiskey and Irish Cream Cupcakes. First, I have to say that I love cakes in miniature form. I don’t feel bad for eating an entire one, where I might if it was an entire cake. I also loved how it uses all of the Irish trademark alcohol classics. Needless to say, I made these Guinness cupcakes with a Jameson whiskey ganache center and Baileys Irish Cream frosting and gave them to my husband to pass out at work and they were a real success! I also think the addition of a cute little Chocolate coin on top and the green clover sprinkles really takes it to that next level.
This recipe is featured on Brown Eyed Baker and I highly encourage you to give her site a visit if baking is your thing. She also included the health information which I appreciated. I may not like how high the calories are, but I do like that I can take ownership of them when I decide to have one!
So without further delay here’s the recipe!
For the 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
- ⅔ cup sour cream
For the Whiskey Ganache Filling:
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (finely chopped)
- ⅔ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons butter (at room temperature)
- 2 teaspoons Irish whiskey
Make the Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two standard muffin tins with liners. I found these absolutely adorable Gold ones on Amazon I felt like they tied the dark chocolate and the green sparkles all together, but you can also find even more themed ones at your local grocery store! I will also add here that this is a kind of complicated recipe, so please for the love of god, measure and set everything out ahead of time…don’t be like me and make your poor husband go out to the store because you realized you didn’t get enough confectioners sugar and have absolutely no baking soda (while baking powder seems to have taken over the pantry).
Place the Guinness and butter in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.
Using an electric mixer, beat your wet ingredients like 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 just until it starts to come together about 30 seconds. Using a rubber spatula, fold the batter until completely combined. Divide the batter among the cupcake liners. I have a mini ice cream scoop that I LOVE to use for this kind of thing, and I highly advice getting one. Bake until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then remove the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely. I will repeat COOL COMPLETELY!!!! If you don’t your ganache might be absorbed into the cake, and your frosting could melt right off of the cupcake. Watch any baking show and that kind of stuff is what gets people voted off! SO COOL YOUR CUPCAKES!!!
Make the Whiskey Ganache Filling: Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Place the heavy cream in a small saucepan and bring to simmer over medium heat. Immediately pour it over the chocolate, then let it sit for two minutes. ***Another warning here is to NEVER EVER EVER MICROWAVE CHOCOLATE!!! A girl in my dorm tried to make fondue and ended up causing a small fire because her chocolate not only seized up, but then dried out enough to caught fire to the communical kitchen. We all had to be evacuated and that semester she had a very hard time making friends. So use the hot heavy cream to melt the chocolate…not a mirowave.*** Using a rubber spatula, gently stir the mixture from the center outward until smooth. Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined. Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped, about 30 minutes. (If it becomes too stiff, simply give it a good whisk and it will loosen up.)
Fill the Cupcakes: Using a paring knife, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes, going about two-thirds of the way down. Using a cookie scoop or spoon, divide the prepared ganache between the centers of the cupcakes. For me, personally I found that the ganache worked well just being spooned in. No reason to dirty up a piping bag for what a spoon can do.
Make the Baileys Frosting: Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Reduce the speed to medium-low and gradually add the powdered sugar until all of it is incorporated. Add the Baileys, increase the speed to medium-high and whip for another 2 to 3 minutes, until it is light and fluffy. ***I am very pleased to say that this recipe made MORE than enough frosting to decorate your cupcakes, so please don’t feel like you have to be sparce about it. When you put this much work and butter into a frosting, I feel you really should give people enough to really enjoy.***
Using your favorite decorating tip, or an offset spatula, frost the cupcakes and decorate with sprinkles if desired. I also added some cute little chocolate coins on top just to tie the St. Patricks theme together. You can store the cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.