Chocolate Guinness Cake

A Chocolate Guinness Cake, with Bailey’s Swiss Buttercream Frosting, and a Jameson Ganache.

Happy birthday to my husband! I have been wanting to do this cake for some time now. A few months ago I asked him what he wanted for his birthday cake this year. He said car bomb cake, and immediately I knew my plan. I wanted to clean up the look and make it not only taste amazing but look amazing as well. Since it is just the two of us who get to consume this bad boy, I went with a very small 6″ cake in 3 layers.

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Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

The name alone makes me want to take a shot, it’s ok it’s 4pm here. If you are not familiar with this shot that inspired this amazing confection let me give you a brief rundown. You get a small tumbler filled with Guinness, with it’s malty, rich, foamy, decadent, chocolate, coffee tones of yumminess. I am a huge fan of Guinness if you cannot guess. Then you layer a shot glass with Jameson Whiskey, and Bailey’s Irish Cream. Just before you’re going to drink you drop the shot into the beer and quickly drink before the Bailey’s curdles in the beer. Now, this might not sound delicious, but trust me it’s so delicious. With St. Patrick’s Day just days away what better time to make these, it would be just wrong to not make them.

Now you know a little about the shot which is where the idea for this cupcake came from, to me this is the best cupcake I have ever had. I have many friends who are all fans of either the shot or Guinness. Sharing these with them made for some of the best complements I have ever gotten about my food. That, and the high request for these as their Birthday Cupcakes leaves me to believe they are just made of win.

I made just a few changes from the original, mostly because I felt filling the cupcakes took away from the overall flavor and my experience with filled cupcakes is people tend to eat around the filling or leaving most of it still on the plate. I went with making it into a ganache that went over the caps of the cupcakes which not only add a different dimension to the flavor but help seal in the moisture keeping the cake from drying out. Not that these ever last more then a day or so. Then you get this light spongy cake with this hint of malt and coffee, then this rich decadent ganache with a tinge of whiskey, and to round out the flavor the most amazing tasting buttercream frosting you’ve had in your life. I seriously had to stop myself from just eating the frosting while piping. It’s sweet, creamy, light, fluffy, rich, and has that amazing Irish Cream flavor that finishes out the cupcake to perfection. Enough about how just simply amazing these are. I will let you judge for yourself, but just know that these are NOT for children, as the cake part is the only item in this that has the alcohol cooked out. However, you could just do the Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with a chocolate buttercream and it would be great.

My next challenge with this is in april, I will be making it into a cake for frank, for his 35th Birthday.

Irish Car-Bomb Cupcakes
Makes 30 Cupcakes or 3 9″ cake rounds

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1 cup stout (Guinness)
  • 16 tbsp (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 7 oz Greek Yogurt

Jameson Ganache Topping

  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 c heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp butter, at room temperature
  • 1.5 tbsp Jameson Whiskey

Bailey’s Buttercream Frosting

  • 4 Egg Whites
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1/4 vanilla sugar
  • 24 tbsp (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 100 ml Bailey’s Irish cream

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.

For the Cupcakes:

Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low. Add the beer, chopped unsweetened chocolate and cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and set to the side and allow to cool slightly.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt, whisk until combined. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the eggs and sour cream till well combined. 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 2/3 to 3/4 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Ganache:

Place the chocolate and butter in a bowl. In a sauce pan or microwaveable cup bring the cream to boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and butter. Leave untouched for 2 minutes. Stir until thick and glossy. Add in the whiskey and stir to incorporate. Refrigerate for 5 min, and stir. Repeat this until the ganache is cool but not solid. It should resemble a thick chocolate sauce.

My tip for making sure the ganache doesn’t run down the sides of your cupcakes, is to place the cupcakes in the freezer for 10 min or leave in refrigerater for 30 min. They should be cool to the touch before adding ganache. The cooled cake will solidify the ganache quickly preventing it from dripping down the sides.

Bring the bowl over to the cooled cupcakes. Grab the cupcake by the base and dip the top up the wrapper line in the bowl of ganache. Hold over the bowl to allow excess to drip off. A twist of the wrist as bringing back to upright position, while over the bowl will help reduce mess. Let the cupcakes cool for 1h or till the ganache is not tacky but firm to the touch. If in a hurry you can refrigerate to cool.

For the Frosting:

In a medium metal bowl add the egg whites and whisk with a pinch of salt to break up. Add the sugar to the egg whites and whisk till incorporated. Place bowl over a pan of simmering water. Continue to whisk until the sugar has melted into the egg whites. When you rub it between your fingers it should feel smooth not gritty. *FYI: Sugar melts at 186°F and in accordance to the USDA and FDA eggs should be cooked to 145°-155°F to be safe. You do not need a candy thermometer to make this frosting which some sites suggest. Just due the melting point of sugar your eggs are heated to the significant enough temperature to be safe. Just make sure that when you rub it between your fingers it should feel smooth no grittiness left at all from the sugar. *

Once it is smooth transfer to the bowl of an mixer and whisk on med high for 7-10 minutes until has almost tripled in volume and the bowl is cool to the touch. It should resemble marshmallow fluff in texture and have very stiff peaks.

Once your egg whites are at this stage slowly add in butter. You will notice it does appear to look curdled after you have added in all butter but keep mixing it will come together I promise. Taste and add powered sugar to desired sweetness. I typically add 1 cup.

Now time to add the baileys. I use 100ml which is a whole bottle out of of the Bailey’s Mini pack. Be careful not to over mix. Just mix until the bailey’s is just combined. Taste add more sugar if needed if not mix for 30 seconds more.

Place into piping bag and pipe onto cooled cupcakes. I typically use a Wilton 1M tip. Enjoy!

Adapted: Annie’s Eats