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Irish Cream Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache

March 17, 2011

I really was done with St Patrick’s Day sweets.  After the brownies, I wasn’t going to make anymore.  But then I came home on Tuesday and a brown package was sitting on my door step.  It was lacking the “tied up with string” factor but there was only one thing that could come in a brown package this week…my Cacao Barry Extra Brute cocoa powder.  This stuff is beautiful.

It was begging to be paired with butter and sugar.  So I succumbed.  These have been declared by many, the best cupcakes ever.  Now that’s a big title but I promise, you will not be disappointed.  The cake has a deep, rich chocolate flavor and velvety texture, the icing is sweet but full of flavor as well-it really balances out the darkness of the cocoa.  The ganache middle?  That’s just for fun and pushes this cupcake over the edge to greatness.

Bring stout and butter to a simmer

Add cocoa, whisk until smooth and let cool

In separate bowls, whisk the dry ingredients and beat the sour cream and eggs

Combine all the goodness and bake it

let them cool

while those beauties are cooling you can make the ganache in 3 (or 4) simple steps

smooth ganache ready to be piped

while the ganache is cooling you can whip up the icing, yes, there’s a lot of cooling, it all happens quickly though

to fill the cupcakes, take out the middles with a 1 inch cookie cutter or a large tip as seen here

with a little twist and pull, the middle comes right out!

using a pastry bag (or freezer bag) fill the middles with all that yummy ganache

frost and devour!

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Irish Cream Icing
Recipe adapted from SmittenKitchen


For the Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

Ganache Filling*updated

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature

Baileys Frosting

3 to 4 cups confections sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperatue
3 to 4 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream (or milk, or heavy cream, or a combination thereof)


1. For the Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).  Line 2 cupcake tins with papers.

Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.

3. In another large bowl, blend the eggs and sour cream with an electric mixer. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just until combined. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined.

4. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely.

5. For the Ganache: Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. (If this has not completely melted the chocolate, you can return it to a double-boiler to melt what remains or 20 seconds in the microwave will also work.) Add the butter and stir until combined.  Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped.

6. To fill the cupcakes: While the ganache is cooling, use your 1-inch round cookie cutter or pastry tip to cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes. You want to go most of the way down the cupcake but not cut through the bottom about 2/3 of the way. A slim spoon or grapefruit knife will help you get the center out although I used a pastry tip, twisted it gently and pulled and the cake came right out. You can just eat those middles :). Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip or a freezer bag with the corner cut off (see picture) and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.

7. For the icing: Whip the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, for several minutes, until very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time. (Doing it a few tablespoons at a time ensures the icing will not get grainy and it will thicken up quicker so you don’t have to use as much sugar!  I’ve done this with just 2 cups of sugar).  When icing is slightly thicker than spreading consistency, drizzle in the Bailey’s and beat until smooth and spreadable. If this has made the frosting too thin (it shouldn’t, but just in case) beat in another spoonful or two of powdered sugar.

8. Ice and decorate the cupcakes.  These cupcakes don’t need a lot of icing-it is rich, so resist the urge to double the recipe and pile it on.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 18, 2011 10:18 am

    Such beautiful cupcakes and an excellent tutorial on putting them together! I think the calories leapt off my computer monitor and straight to my hips! 😉

  2. March 18, 2011 8:41 pm

    Oh my that ganache in the center is calling my name! Beautiful pictures and I look forward to trying your recipe.

  3. March 19, 2011 9:54 am

    Great photgraphs and those cupcakes look amazing!


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