Guinness Cupcakes

You know this is going to be good, don’t you?

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen and LovesToEat.

You will need:

  • 1 cup Guinness beer
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 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


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners
  3. In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 cup of butter and pour in 1 cup  Guinness; bring to a simmer then whisk in cocoa powder till smooth. Set pan off the burner
  4. Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in large bowl to blend
  5. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl
  6. Add slightly-cooled stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture a little bit at a time and beat just to combine
  7. Add flour mixture and beat on slow speed for about one minute
  8. Using rubber spatula, scrape down bowl and fold batter until completely combined
  9. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way
  10. Bake until toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean — this took me about 20 minutes, but check after 15 just to be sure
  11. Put cupcakes on a rack until completely cooled

Now is a good time to revisit my previously mentioned lesson: Know Your Bakeware. I cooked 12 of these in my silicone Kitchenaid muffin pan; it was a wedding present and has never failed me. I also cooked 12 of these in my heart shaped stand-alone silicone muffin cups from Wilton. Although these worked beautifully for the cherry limeade cupcakes, something went horribly wrong here. See?

Lovely, right? I honestly have no idea what happened here. I used a scoop, so they were all filled with the same amount of batter. Any ideas? The only thing I did differently this time was to put paper liners in the silicone cups. Anyway, the good news is that all but four of them were salvageable with a little cleanup and a good cover of icing.

Speaking of icing! I used Wilton’s buttercream icing.

You will need:

  • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract (I don’t use the Wilton-recommended clear, just the regular stuff)
  • 4 cups sifted* powdered sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
  • 2 tablespoons milk

*A note on sifting: I hate sifting. So I don’t do it. A few seconds whirring around in the food processor breaks up any clumps, aerates the sugar and doesn’t make me want to spork my eyeballs out the way a sifter does.

To mix it up:

  1. In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer
  2. Add vanilla and mix again
  3. Gradually add sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, beating well on medium speed — adding it gradually helps incorporate it really well and keep it from being at all grainy when you’re done
  4. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often (unless you have a cool Beater Blade. Which I don’t. Humph.)
  5. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.

Now ice away to your heart’s content! I used disposable icing bags from Wilton, and a fantastic giant star tip I ordered on Etsy from Bake It Pretty. And it is giant. Here it is next to a 1-cup measuring cup:

So, the finished product:

I set aside a few of these (including the four Fail Cupcakes) for us to enjoy at home, and the rest I took to The Yankee at work today in my awesome carrier from Costco:

And that’s it! Go bake, people! Oh, unless you have a brilliant theory as to what caused Cupcake Fail, in which case please leave me a comment and then go bake.

7 thoughts on “Guinness Cupcakes

  1. Thanks, y’all!

    It’s a great carrier, isn’t it? Now if only The Yankee would remember to bring it home from work. 😉

  2. Cupcakes turned out awesome made with Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa. The frosting tastes good but doesn’t “stick” to the cupcakes when frosting. Did I make it too dry?

  3. Hmm… sounds like maybe so. I’d try another tablespoon or so of milk next time maybe?

    I’m glad to hear the special dark was good! 🙂 Didja take a picture?

  4. Hey! Thanks so much for mentioning Bake It Pretty! 🙂
    I’m so glad you like the pastry tips. (also, I’m glad I’m not the only one who has cupcakes that spontaneously overflow when baking. I can’t figure out why they do that sometimes…it must just be one of the mysteries of the Universe!)

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