Chocolate Whiskey Cupcakes

by Lisa on August 18, 2009

I made these cupcakes for my husband’s birthday at the beginning of the month – mostly because he loves cake, frosting, Guinness, whiskey, and all other things Irish. After a bit of searching, I found this recipe that uses not one but three kinds of Irish alcohol! What better way to celebrate. They came out incredible! The frosting was particularly amazing, but the beer and whiskey really adds a great depth to the chocolate flavor.

Chocolate Whiskey Cupcakes


1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream


8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I used chocolate chips)
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons Irish whiskey


3 to 4 cups confections sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperatue
3 to 4 tablespoons Baileys (or milk, or heavy cream, or a combination thereof)

For the cake:

Preheat oven to 350. Bring stout and butter to a simmer over medium heat. Whisk in the cocoa powder and cool slightly. Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl, whisking to combine. Beat eggs and sour cream together in another bowl. Add stout/butter mixture to the egg mixture slowly (so you don’t scramble the eggs accidentally!) Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix briefly on slow speed. Portion batter into lined cupcake tins; it should fill 24 cups approximately 2/3 of the way. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely.

For the ganache:

Melt the chocolate. Heat the cream until it is simmering and then pour over the chocolate. Let sit for about a minute and then stir until smooth. Add butter and whiskey stirring to combine. Let cool until it starts to thicken. You can use an apple corer to cut out a hole in the cupcakes, but I chose instead to use a piping bag, poked a hole in the cupcake and filled them. The cupcake will swell a little, but I did not have any crumble on me.

For the frosting:

Whip the butter until fluffy. Slowly add the confectioners sugar, several tablespoons at a time. When the frosting begins to look thickened, add the Bailey’s – if it becomes too thin, add some more sugar. This was more than enough to frost my 24 cupcakes.

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