be better than green

St. Patty’s day is always such a great excuse to make all sorts of sweet treats and tasty drinks, but when I look for a great recipe to make for this holiday the number of cupcakes, cakes, and brownies overloaded with green sanding sugar, clover cut out sprinkles, green oozy icing—-well it begins to look less like food and more like something you found behind your sink when you were cleaning back there that one year. Green is such a great fun tradition, but sometimes maybe we should leave the green on our shirts and let good food look like…good food. I’ve tried out several “drunken cupcake” recipes over the years and this is the cream of the crop. I combined a few different recipes and found that this is the ultimate crowd pleaser–the ultimate moist, chocolate cupcake (which I WILL figure out how to make un-boozy so i can use it all the time because it is perfect and amazing) with the perfect hint of dark, nutty guiness, the creamy bitterness of the ganache filling, perfectly offsetting the perfectly sweet irish cream buttercream that is the ultimate consistency and flavor. Convinced yet? Make it and find out for yourself how delicious these babies are. And if you can find them, top with these perfect liquor filled chocolates.

chocolate stout cupcakes (or cake)

1 cup stout or porter beer, such as Guinness
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
cups white sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar
¾ cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
  •  Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 8 or 9-inch springform pan with butter and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper. Or place your cupcake liners in the tray.
  • In a large saucepan place the beer and butter. Cook over medium-high heat until the butter has melted. Add the cocoa powder and sugars and whisk together. Take off heat and allow to come to room temperature.
  • In another bowl beat together the sour cream, eggs, and vanilla extract until very, very well combined. Add to the butter-beer mixture and whisk together.
  • In another bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the beer-butter mixture and whisk together until it just comes together.
  • Pour the batter into a large ziploc bag and snip the corner for easy cupcake liner filling. Fill each liner 3/4 full. For a cake, pour into the prepared pan and give the pan a few short drops onto the countertop to shake the air pockets in the batter to the surface and out of the cake. For cake–bake for 50-60 minutes. For cupcakes, bake approximately 14 mins or until top springs back. Allow to cool on a wire rack. makes 24 cupcakes or 1 8-9″ cake.

irish cream ganache (filling)
from annie’s eats

8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
2 tsp. Bailey’s Irish cream
  • Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl.  Heat the cream in a small saucepan until simmering, then pour it over the chocolate.  Let sit for one minute and then whisk until smooth.  If the chocolate is not completely melted, place the bowl over a double boiler or give it a very short burst in the microwave (15-20 seconds).  Add the butter and Bailey’s and stir until combined. Let cool until room temperature and thickened—you can use the fridge to speed this up but make sure to stir it ever 10 minutes or so to make sure it cools evenly.

irish cream buttercream
from annie’s eats

8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
4 tbsp. Bailey’s Irish cream
  • Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Gradually add the powdered sugar until it is all incorporated.  Mix in the Bailey’s until smooth.  Add more if necessary until the frosting has reached a good consistency for piping or spreading.  Frost the cupcakes as desired.

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