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Dark chocolate cupcakes infused with a chocolate stout reduction and topped with a chocolate stout buttercream. Perfect for your St. Paddy’s Day celebration!
If you’ve ever wondered what St. Patrick’s Day dessert dreams are made of, today is the day to find out. With St. Patrick’s Day just around the weekend corner, I must do this amazingness to you on the Friday before so as not to tease you too long before you’re able to make them.
As in… You’ll be wanting to make these tonight or tomorrow because OMG WE’RE PUTTING BEER IN OUR CUPCAKES.
Yes, ladies and gents, that’s right. Guinness is now our dessert BFF because I combined it with my tried and true chocolate cupcake recipe and the results were too fantastic to keep to myself.
I feel like I say this all the time, but I am such a fan of reusing the same recipe in several different ways. I’ve done it with the same basic white cake recipe in the form of a patriotic bundt cake and then again with a hefty dose of sprinkles.
I’ve turned my red velvet cupcakes black for a black velvet layer cake. And I’ve used the base for these spicy chocolate cookies to make a sweet and smooth version.
I am all about the variety with one basic layout.
And today is no different! We’re taking the base for my mint chocolate chip cupcakes, which I coincidentally used only a few weeks ago for these adorable football cupcakes, and replacing the liquid (coffee) with a beer reduction.
Do you remember making a champagne reduction in my champagne layer cake and then again in my glazed mimosa muffins? We’re doing the same thing today– turning one 11oz bottle of Guinness into 3/4 cup of a concentrated, full-flavored, full-bodied beer reduction.
That beer reduction will take the place of the coffee in the original cupcake recipe. And just like coffee will not make those cupcakes taste like coffee, the Guinness reduction will not make your cupcakes taste like beer.
Beer flavored cupcakes would be repulsive.
Rather, the flavors and essences that make Guinness what it is (roasty, heavy, deep, creamy, smooth) completely complement the flavor of dark chocolate in these cupcakes. And that’s also why we’re throwing some into the frosting as well.
The chocolate fudge frosting recipe you see here is another one scattered all around the blog. It originated in my chocolate chip cookie cake post and made another appearance as the footballs in my football cupcakes. I
t’s a smooth and creamy chocolate frosting, and the use of reduced beer as the liquid (as opposed to milk or cream) adds a distinct note of Guinness without completely demolishing the deep chocolate situation that covers its base.
If you’re unsure of using that much Guinness flavor, replace some or all of it with milk or cream.
While this recipe only makes 12 cupcakes, doubling it for a full dozen should be no issue. Just be aware that you’ll need 1 Guinness for every 12 cupcakes, so if you’re looking to use up a whole 6-pack, that’s a whole lot of cupcakes…
Which is really no problem, if you’ve got chocolate-loving friends to share with!
JOIN MY ONLINE COURSE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT CUPCAKE DECORATING TECHNIQUES
If you love making cupcakes, but aren’t quite sure where to start when it comes to decorating them, join my e-course so you can learn right alongside me. I’ll be instructing you the entire journey from start to finish!
These Guinness cupcakes are decadent, full-bodied in flavor, and sure to be the cherry on top of your St. Patrick’s Day celebration.
And, big huge plus right here, even if you don’t like Guinness, there is a huge chance (pretty much 100%) that if you like beer AT ALL, you’ll love and appreciate the notes that this stout brings to these cupcakes.
Cheers to St. Paddy!
CHOCOLATE GUINNESS CUPCAKES
- 1-11 oz bottle Guinness beer draught or extra stout are both fine
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour be sure to measure properly
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons Dutch processed cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
CHOCOLATE GUINNESS FROSTING
- 4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter cut into 6-8 slices
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 Tablespoons beer reduction
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- pinch of salt
- In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the beer to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce to medium heat and allow to simmer until reduced down to 3/4 cup, about 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool completely to room temperature.
CHOCOLATE GUINNESS CUPCAKES
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line the wells of one 12 count cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, vegetable oil, and 1/2 cup of the beer reduction until completely combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk or stir the batter until everything is combined.
- Spoon batter evenly into the cupcake liners filling ½ to ⅔ of the way full (I like to use an ice cream scoop with a trigger– one scant scoop full). Bake for 13-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
CHOCOLATE GUINNESS FROSTING
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the unsweetened baking chocolate and the butter. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.
- In a medium bowl with a handheld mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine cooled chocolate/butter mixture, vanilla extract, and remaining beer reduction (there should be about 4 Tablespoons left). Turn the mixer onto low and slowly add the powdered sugar. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat until completely combined, scraping down sides as needed. Add salt to taste.
- For more buttercream troubleshooting tips, see my book, The Home Baker's Guide to Basic Buttercream.
ASSEMBLE THE CUPCAKES
- Frost the cupcakes using a large zip top bag with the corner snipped off or a pastry bag.
- Store cupcakes covered tightly at room temperature up to 4 days or in the refrigerator up to 6 days.
All nutritional values are approximate and provided to the reader as a courtesy. Changing ingredients and/or quantities will alter the estimated nutritional calculations.
This cake is a top contender for one of the best things I’ve ever eaten in my LIFE. I’ve always been a cake mix girl. Making cake from scratch was “too hard” and i couldn’t be bothered. One year ago, I began a weekly “Pandemic Cake” coping strategy and finally baked my first cake from scratch (Lynn’s chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting). Turns out, it’s really freaking easy to make a cake from scratch AND it tastes SO MUCH BETTER. Cake mix is shredded cardboard compared to a cake made from scratch. I will die on that hill now.
anyway. I am not one to care about St Patrick’s day, but when these cupcakes came across my Instagram feed, I paused. My husband, a passionate and talented home brewer, had a keg of a fresh Oreo Stout out in the garage. Swapping the Guinness for the Oreo Stout sounded like a no brainer.
Let me say that I am a changed woman after experiencing this cake. I am no artist, so they aren’t much to look at, but these unassuming cupcakes combine the incredible flavors of the beer and chocolate with the (sorry) moistness of the brown sugar and make a beautiful cupcake baby that parties in my mouth from the moment it passes my drooling lips. It is to be savored and enjoyed with every cell in your body. Anything less than 100% awe of and appreciation for this cake is, frankly, rude.
excuse me while I Hoover another one. This cupcake is healing my frazzled and cracked soul and I must give myself over to it.