As if the whiskey in the ganache filling and the stout in the cupcakes weren’t enough, these cupcakes are topped with an Irish cream frosting. You just might need a designated driver after eating this dessert! We have Pixelated Crumb to thank for this rich and decadent cupcake.
Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Whiskey Ganache Filling
- 1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
- 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
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons Irish whiskey (optional)
- 3 to 4 cups confections sugar
- 1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup tablespoons Baileys
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to a simmer in a heavy, large saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
- Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add the stout-chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add the flour mixture and beat briefly on low speed. Using a rubber spatula, fold the batter until it’s completely combined. Divide the batter among the cupcake liners, filling them two-thirds to three-quarters of the way. Bake the cupcakes until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, rotating them once front to back if your oven bakes unevenly, about 16-18 minutes. Cool the cupcakes on a rack completely.
- Chop the chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then whisk until smooth (if there are still pieces of unmelted chocolate after whisking for a couple of minutes, you can heat it over a double boiler, whisking constantly until it’s completely smooth). Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined.
- Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped (you can put it in the fridge to speed up this process, but make sure to stir it every 10 minutes). Meanwhile, using your 1-inch round cookie cutter, an apple corer, or a small sharp knife, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes. You want to go most of the way down the cupcake but not cut through the bottom — aim for 2/3 of the way. Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip (or a plastic bag with a corner snipped off) and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top. Technically, you’re only supposed to fill the ganache to the top of the cupcake, but I allowed mine to peak, so it looked like a little hershey’s kiss on top. I figured a little extra whiskey ganache didn’t hurt.
- Whip the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, for several minutes until very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time.
- When the frosting looks thick enough to spread, drizzle in the Baileys and whip it until combined. If the frosting is too thin, beat in another spoonful or two of powdered sugar.
- Lastly, ice and decorate the cupcakes. I used green sprinkles to make it festive for St. Patrick’s Day, but they’re also pretty on their own.
You can certainly get the message across with a quarter cup of Bailey’s, but I really wanted it to stand out and ended up around a half cup. If for some reason you want to keep these cupcakes alcohol free, you can. The alcohol from the stout will cook out of the cupcakes and you can leave the whiskey out of the ganache and use milk or cream instead of Bailey’s for the frosting. You can also leave out the ganache filling altogether if you want to keep the cupcake simple (but still delicious!).
If you want to break up the steps, you can bake the cupcakes up to a week or two in advance and freeze them, wrapped very well in plastic wrap. Store the frosted cupcakes in the fridge, but keep in mind they start getting stale after a day or so.