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Guinness Cupcakes with Whiskey Ganache and Baileys Frosting

From the kitchen of Smitten Kitchen.

This is also just a great chocolate cake recipe. The cake is moist and delicious!

Makes 20 to 24 cupcakes

You can bake the cupcakes a week or two in advance and store them, well wrapped, in the freezer. You can also fill them before you freeze them. They also keep filled — or filled and frosted — in the fridge for a day. (Longer, they will start to get stale.)


For the Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sour cream

Ganache Filling

  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Irish whiskey (optional)

Baileys Frosting

  • 2 ½ to 4 cups confections sugar; enough to reach desired consistency
  • 1 stick (½ cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons Baileys (or milk, or heavy cream, or a combination thereof)


Make the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners.
  2. Put the butter with the beer in a sauce pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
  3. Whisk in cocoa powder until smooth.
  4. Cool slightly.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
  6. In a mixer bowl, beat the eggs and the sour cream together.
  7. Add the beer/butter/cocoa mixture and beat to combine.
  8. Add the flour mixture and beat briefly just to combine.
  9. Using a rubber spatula, fold the batter until completely combined, making sure to incorporate little pockets of flour on the bottom so that the batter is of equal consistency everywhere.
  10. Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 of the way if you want flatter cupcakes and ¾ if you want domed.
  11. Bake for about 17 minutes, or until a toothpick or a slim knife inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.
  12. Cool completely to room temperature.

Make the filling:

  1. Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl.
  2. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate.
  3. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth.
  4. Add the butter and whiskey (if you’re using it) and stir until combined.

Fill the cupcakes:

  1. Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped.
  2. Using your 1-inch round cookie cutter or an apple corer, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes. (I went about half to 2/3 of the way down and used a small knife to help me extract the centers.)
  3. Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.

Make the frosting:

  1. In a large mixer bowl, whip the butter for several minutes until very light and fluffy.
  2. Slowly add the powdered sugar, letting it incorporate, until the butter becomes thicker and stiff (you will know when this happens).
  3. Slowly drizzle the Bailey’s (or milk or cream or a combination thereof) and whip until combined.
  4. Ice and decorate the cupcakes. (It was difficult to spread the frosting with the opening for the ganache. It was easier to pipe little stars of frosting with a piping bag.)

Published by kath on

Updated by kath on