Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes
The perfect way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day is to dive into one of these moist and rich chocolate cupcakes baked with Guinness beer, topped with a silky Irish cream frosting, and drizzled with an Irish cream chocolate sauce! Hands down, one of my favorite cupcakes of of all time!
These Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes are great for more than just St. Patrick’s Day, and SO delicious! We love easy sweets like my Funfetti Cake Batter Dip, and Copycat Wendy’s Frosty. This is one of my Desserts you’ll definitely want in your recipe box!
GUINNESS CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES
Do you all celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Do you wear green, drink green beer and search for leprechauns? How about celebrating by enjoying some boozy chocolate cupcakes? Oh yeah, that’s my idea of celebrating!
Not that we don’t still do the other things, but a great cupcake is hard to pass up. And let me tell you, these cupcakes are FABULOUS. I’ve eaten a lot of cupcakes in my time here on Earth, and these are in my top 3… of all time!
Don’t let the beer throw you; I promise, you don’t taste it. It deepens and intensifies the chocolate flavor, much like coffee does in other chocolate baked goods.
HOW TO MAKE GUINNESS CUPCAKES
These cupcakes may look all fancy-schmancy, but they’re really not, I promise you.
- Start by melting the butter, cocoa power, brown sugar and beer in a saucepan, whisking to incorporate. Once they’ve all melted together, remove it from the heat and let it cool until almost room temperature.
- While it’s cooling, go ahead and pre-heat your oven and measure out your dry ingredients into the bowl of your stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl). Pour in your liquid mixture and beat for about 1 minute.
- Add your eggs and sour cream and beat another 1-2 minutes. Pour into lined muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes (mine took 20). Cool completely before frosting.
HOW TO MAKE IRISH CREAM BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
- Cream your butter until light and fluffy, then add the powdered sugar. It’ll be dry and clumpy at this point.
- Now add the Irish cream and heavy cream and continue beating for another couple of minutes until it’s well combined.
- Add frosting to a piping bag fitted with a star tip (or whichever you prefer) and frost cupcakes as desired. Alternatively, you can spread the icing on with a butter knife.
Tip: To make adding the frosting to the piping bag easier, place it inside a tall cup and fold the top down a little.
COOKING TIPS FOR CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES
- THE SOUR CREAM – I know it’s a bit unconventional, but it makes these cupcakes ultra moist! I tested, and full fat sour cream worked the best.
- ROOM TEMPERATURE INGREDIENTS – for the best results when baking, your cold ingredients should be at room temperature so they can incorporate fully into the batter.
- REAL BUTTER – this isn’t the time to use shortening or margarine. Those perform differently in baking recipes, and this recipe was only tested using real butter.
- FRESH INGREDIENTS – some of these are obvious, like using non-expired eggs, but did you know using older baking soda/baking powder can affect the way your cookies bake? Over time, leavening agents, (which is what baking soda and powder are) lose their efficacy, and won’t give your baked goods that great texture you’re looking for.
- If you’re unsure if your baking soda or powder are still good, drop a pinch in some hot water. If it fizzes, it’s still good! If not, then you’re in need of some new ingredients.
VARIATIONS OF THIS RECIPE
- SALTED CARAMEL – instead of the chocolate sauce, try a drizzle of caramel, either store-bought, or homemade.
- CREAM CHEESE FROSTING – cut back the butter to about 1/2 cup, and add about 6 oz of cream cheese to the frosting.
- IRISH WHISKEY SAUCE – instead of adding more Irish cream to the chocolate sauce, opt for some Irish whiskey instead to make this a spin on an Irish car bomb shot!
- ALCOHOL-FREE – although you can’t taste the beer in the cupcakes, you CAN taste the alcohol in the frosting and chocolate sauce. For the cupcakes, swap the beer with brewed (and cooled) coffee. For the frosting, add milk or cream to replace the Irish cream, and for the chocolate sauce, use either brewed coffee or water. Bear in mind, none of those substitutions have been tested, as this recipe has only been tested as written.
MAKING CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES AHEAD OF TIME
These cupcakes taste the best when freshly made, but can be made a day or two in advance.
Just make sure to store them in an airtight container so they don’t dry out.
Cupcakes should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature, and be consumed within 4-5 days.
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT FOR THIS RECIPE
- Stand Mixer – not required, but it makes whipping the frosting a lot easier!
- Muffin Pan – I love this brand of bakeware, and it’s a breeze to clean.
- Squeeze Bottle – great for drizzling the chocolate sauce.
- Cupcake Storage/Carrier – I love using this to transport cupcakes, but it’s also great for storing them on the counter.
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AND DON’T FORGET, IF YOU’VE MADE THIS RECIPE, LEAVE A COMMENT AND PLEASE GIVE IT A STAR RATING LETTING ME KNOW HOW YOU ENJOYED IT!
Recipe originally published in March 2015, and has been updated in February 2020 with additional information and new photos.
Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup Guinness Stout beer
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup light brown sugar packed
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup sour cream
IRISH CREAM BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 3 - 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar depending on your tastes
- pinch of salt
- 4 Tbsp Baileys Irish Cream original - although flavored ones would work as well
- 2 Tbsp heavy cream
IRISH CREAM CHOCOLATE SAUCE
- 1/3 cup Bailey's Irish Cream
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
MAKE THE CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES
- Heat the butter, Guinness, cocoa powder and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until melted. Remove from heat and let cool to almost room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners and set aside.
- To the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl), add salt, flour, granulated sugar, and baking soda. Stir together to mix.
- Add in cooled beer mixture and beat (slowly at first - then on medium speed) for about 1 minute.
- Add in eggs and sour cream, beat on medium speed for another 1-2 minutes. Batter will be slightly runny.
- Pour batter to fill each muffin cup about 2/3 of the way.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes (mine took 20 minutes).
- Let cool in pan for 5 minutes and then remove to cool completely on a cooling rack.
MAKE THE BUTTERCREAM
- Make sure cupcakes are completely cooled before frosting.
- In a stand mixer (or with hand mixer), cream butter until it is light and fluffy.
- Add salt and 1/2 of powdered sugar. Beat on low speed until sugar is slightly incorporated, then add remaining 1/2 of the powdered sugar. Frosting will look dry at this point.
- Add Bailey's and heavy cream and beat another 2-3 minutes.
- Add frosting to a piping bag fitted with a star tip (or whichever you prefer) and frost cupcakes as desired.
MAKE THE IRISH CREAM CHOCOLATE SAUCE
- Add Bailey's, cocoa powder and corn syrup to a small sauce pan and heat to a boil, whisking to incorporate. Once it boils, reduce heat and simmer for approximately 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat, add chocolate chips and stir until they are melted.
- Drizzle over cupcakes as desired.