Every few months we get together with a group of friends for a great night of food and drink. We alternate houses and it’s always a group effort for food. It’s a great opportunity to experiment with new recipes on a willing group of honest food lovers. I always bring the cupcakes and there are never any complaints!

I’ve had this recipe flagged on my cooking bucket list for quite awhile and when it was decided that the theme for our last get together was a pub night, I knew it was the  perfect time to give these a try. It’s the classic combination of the Irish car bomb pub drink – Bailey’s and Guinness. Warning – these are very rich but oh so good! The Guinness adds a real depth to the chocolate cake rather than a pronounced beer flavour.  And the Bailey’s buttercream pushes this cupcake over the top.

Bailey’s Guinness Cupcakes
Makes 30 cupcakes

Guinness chocolate cupcakes:
1 cup stout (Guinness)
16 tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup light sour cream

Bailey’s ganache filling:
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp butter, at room temperature
4-6 tsp Bailey’s Irish cream

Bailey’s buttercream frosting:
16 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
6-8 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
8-12 tbsp Bailey’s Irish cream (or more if desired)

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  Combine the stout and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the eggs and sour cream to blend.  Add the stout-butter mixture and beat just to combine.  Mix in the dry ingredients on low speed just until incorporated.  Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners, filling them about 1/2 to 3/4 full – this ensures that when the cake rises it will not spill over the top of the wrapper. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-22 minutes.  Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the ganache filling, 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.

Set aside to let the ganache cool until it is thick enough to be piped. You can either pipe the ganache into the cupcake with a filling tip (Wilton tip #230) or use the cone method (cut out a cone shaped portion from the center of the cupcake using using a small paring knife).  Once the ganache has reached the correct consistency, transfer it to a piping bag fitted with the tip and pipe it into the cupcakes.

To make the frosting, 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. Be careful to not ad to much or the icing will end up runny. If this happens you can thicken slightly with more icing sugar. Frost the cupcakes as desired.

Source: Annie’s Eats (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)