Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

by chefkittie on March 27, 2012

Though popular around St. Patrick’s Day, these cupcakes deserve year-round rotation.

They are light, moist, and unabashedly chocolatey. The dark stout flavor of the beer elevates the chocolate flavor, much like coffee does, without making you feel you’re eating a “beer cupcake.”

I made these for the first time last year, following the Irish Car Bomb Cupcake recipe to a T, and while delicious, the cupcakes were very intense. Cake + ganache + frosting + three flavors of booze = delicious overload. I finished one, and Monkey got through about 3/4 of his. They were a success, but after a celebratory dinner, they were a bit too heavy. Remember the scene in The Office where Michael eats an entire family-size chicken pot pie for lunch, and promptly passes out on his desk?

This year, I kept the cake and the frosting, and omitted the ganache. It proved a lovely balance between light, fluffy, and sweet, with a hint of savory coming through, thanks to the Guinness.

You can frost these cupcakes with any chocolate-friendly frosting. Peanut Butter frosting would be rich; Caramel frosting would be decadent; an Irish Whisky Ganache topping would be sinful. Because it was St. Patrick’s Day, I went for Irish Cream Buttercream – recipe to follow in the next few days – but really, the sky’s the limit.

But the best part of these cupcakes: they don’t need frosting at all. Half my batch was eaten right out of the fridge (one at a time, thank goodness) for breakfast. I also served them alongside a scoop of my Brown Butter Ice Cream at a small dinner party, hoping the flavors would be a match. Bowls were licked clean. Seems they were!

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes (yields 12)

  • 1/2 cup Guinness, or other stout beer
  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter
  • 3/8 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 cup AP Flour
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 3/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/3 cup Sour Cream

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12 cupcake cups with liners. If using silicone baking cups, spray with non-stick cooking spray or flavorless oil. Set aside.

Bring the Guinness and butter to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder in small batches and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl. Beat the egg and sour cream together in another bowl.

Add the Guinness mixture to the egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add the flour mixture in small batches and use a rubber spatula to fold batter until completely combined. The batter will look thick and shiny.

Divide the batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. Bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean (a few moist crumbs are ok; batter is not), rotating them once front to back, 15-17 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely before removing.

Remember – Irish Cream Buttercream Frosting recipe coming soon!

(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, ever trustworthy.)

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