recipe, sweet, year-round

Guinness Cupcakes and Bailey Cream

I believe cupcakes will never fall out of trend. They clearly took the foodie world by storm (and the homemade donut-shaped cakes followed suited), but I honestly believe there will always be room in a chef’s repertoire for a perfect no-plate-needed cupcake recipe.

But cupcakes do have a juvenile element to them, don’t they? I think of a girl’s 8th birthday with mounds of swirled icing and specks of coloured sugar. Basically sugar, on sugar, on sugar.

But here we are, still making cupcakes, long after my (and any of my friends’) 8th birthday. But I’d like to think we’ve carried this special treat into the new ages. Just this past week, I made these decadently moist and flavourful Guinness cupcakes for my friend Rebecca’s birthday! I won’t tell you what age she turned, or she might give my shoulder a whack.

This cake is delicious just on it’s own, but more is never less when it comes to cake. So a Bailey Cream Icing crowned the Guinness like a true king, and it was a match made in boozy-foodie heaven!


 Guinness Cupcakes


– 1 cup Guinness beer
– 1 cup unsalted butter
– 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
– 2 cups all purpose flour
– 2 cups sugar
– 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
– 3/4 teaspoon salt
– 2 large eggs
– 2/3 cup sour cream (I used Greek yogurt)


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line your cupcake cups with liners.
2. In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
3. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sour cream together. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and mix. Sift and fold in the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt and stir just until combined.
4. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, rotating them once front to back if your oven bakes unevenly, about 17 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely.

Bailey Cream Icing


– 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
– 3-4 tbsp coffee liqueur, brewed coffee, milk, or a mixture of all three
– 3-4 cups icing sugar


1. Whip the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, for several minutes. You want to get it very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time.
2.  When the frosting looks thick enough to spread, drizzle in the Baileys (or coffee) and whip it until combined. If this has made the frosting too thin, beat in another spoonful or two of powdered sugar.
3. Decorate the cupcakes as you like.

Note: if you want to skip the booze in the icing, I suggest using only coffee or adding a 1/2 tsp cinnamon along with the milk. The cinnamon makes the Guinness in the cake more pronounced!

Cupcake recipe originally from Smitten Kitchen