Irish Cupcakes

Chocolate stout cupcakes with a chocolate whiskey ganache filling and Irish cream frosting.

My father once referred to Guinness as “heaven in a glass.” If that comparison is true, then these cupcakes are some celestial kingdom not yet known to mortal man.

I came across this recipe WAY too long ago on smitten kitchen. [WARNING: if you click over to smitten kitchen you may get lost there. For hours. I won’t blame you.] I think the discovery came from an internet search after an enthusiastic and exasperated discussion about how absolutely delicious Irish carbombs are, and how unfortunate it is that the amazing flavor combination can not be savored because you’re chugging it down before curdling commences. Such a fleeting tasty moment! I needed to recreate it somehow. This is a fantastic alternative, although much more time consuming-it’s well worth it!

I made the cupcakes at night, and then filled and frosted them in the morning. It felt pretty sinful sampling whiskey and Irish cream spiked confections at 8am, but it was the only time I had to finish the desserts! The cake is wonderful by itself-it is definitely a chocolate stout cake recipe that I will return to for possibilities other than these particular cupcakes. The Guinness flavor is there but perfectly subtle. I used light sour cream instead of full fat and it didn’t seem to affect the cake negatively, which turned out nice and moist. An apple corer was the perfect tool for making a well in the center for the ganache filling and it was so easy to fill them with a piping bag. (Except for when I squeezed and a burst of ganache came out of the top of the bag. Oops!) I didn’t measure my Jameson, but next time I know I will add more. Also, I only had semi-sweet chocolate while the filling calls for bittersweet.  I bet bittersweet would meld even better with the flavors of the whiskey and beer, but there is no such thing as too sweet for me, so it wasn’t a problem. I halved the recipe so I would only make 12 cupcakes (what was I thinking?!), but didn’t halve the frosting. Good decision. As a frosting novice (frosting-maker novice.  I am no novice to consuming my share of such deliciousness), I got worried because I kept having to stop my mixer to scrape the butter off. At some point I figured out that the mixer needed to be on a higher setting-the faster pace worked much better! Of course, I used the traditional Guinness, Jameson, and Bailey’s combo because we almost always have them on hand-but I’m sure other brands would work just as well!

Don’t make the same mistake as I did and sit on this recipe for a year. Make these immediately!

Ok. Now you can click over to smitten kitchen, because there really is no reason for me to repeat perfection. Now go and enjoy some Irish Cupcakes!

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