Drunken Chocolate Cupcakes

Drunken Chocolate Cupcakes

Chocolate and booze. In excess, both are detrimental to your health and waistline. But in moderation, they can be good! I certainly extol the health benefits of a great glass of red wine or a square of really dark chocolate. They always lift my mood even if the circulatory benefits are at times debated.

Too many of these cupcakes is certainly excessive, but one dark chocolate cupcake with Guinness, a decadent Bailey's Irish Cream filling, and a Jameson Whiskey chocolate frosting has health benefits, right? Maybe not, but they do lift my spirits and as one person described them, they are "terrifyingly decadent".

When I bake I often send the fruits (or cookies, cupcakes, muffins, what-have-you) of my labor to work with Ryan. I cannot be trusted with a dozen cupcakes and the sooner they are out of my possession the better. These were a hit with Ryan's colleagues. Because they have uncooked alcohol in them, they were shared as a sort of "happy hour" treat and were gone in a flash. Don't worry, you don't need a designated driver, there's not much alcohol in a single cupcake, but these are definitely an adults only treat.

These cupcakes start with a really great chocolate cake recipe. There is a Guinness cupcake recipe floating out there, but honestly, it's not very good. It certainly doesn't hold a candle to this one. I've made it before and I find it to be dry, tough, and not very chocolatey. For these cupcakes I followed the America's Test Kitchen Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake recipe and swapped out the brewed coffee for Guinness. The result is an incredibly moist, chocolaty cupcake with just the right amount of stout flavor.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Start with good quality dark chocolate. Chop 3 ounces of dark chocolate and melt in a bowl in the microwave at 20 second intervals. I found that 40 seconds total was enough to fully melt the chocolate. Stir in 1/3 of a cup of dutch process cocoa powder until a chocolate paste forms. Slowly pour in 3/4 of a cup of room temperature Guinness stout. It will foam up a bit, but keep stirring until an even consistency is formed with few lumps.

Add two eggs to the mix, 6 tablespoons of vegetable oil, 2 teaspoons of white vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Mix well, until very smooth.

In a separate bowl, combine 3/4 of a cup of flour, 3/4 of a cup of sugar, 1/2 a teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. Sift dry ingredients together.

Add dry ingredients in thirds, mixing until just combined after each addition. Resist the urge to over mix the batter. Divide batter evenly between 12 prepared cupcake liners. Bake at 350 degrees for 19 minutes.

While cupcakes are baking, prepare Bailey's Irish Cream pastry cream. In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup of whole milk with 1/2 cup of Bailey's Irish Cream liqueur and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.

In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons of sugar, two egg yolks, and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.

When milk is at a simmer, remove from heat and slowly whisk into egg mixture. Be sure to whisk vigorously to avoid lumps or scrambled eggs. When the entire mixture has been combined, return to the pan and to the stove. Cook over medium heat until a thickened custard has formed, about 5 minutes.

Pour into a dish and cover with plastic wrap touching the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate at least two hours before using.

When cupcakes and pastry cream have cooled completely, use a pastry bag tip or a small knife as a tool to hollow out each cupcake. Fill the center of each cupcake with pastry cream.

To make chocolate buttercream frosting, combine two sticks of softened butter with 4 cups of sifted powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons of Irish whiskey, and 2 oz of melted dark chocolate in a stand mixer.

Mix on medium high until a smooth frosting has formed. Add 2-3 tablespoons of heavy cream as frosting is mixing if needed. I found that my frosting was soft enough without the addition of heavy cream. Spoon into a pastry bag and frost each cupcake with a generous amount of frosting.

As you can see, my cupcake decorating skills need some practice...however even they looked a little messy in some cases, the tasted amazing. Actually more than amazing, "terrifyingly decadent". This is the kind of cupcake that might need a whiskey chaser.


Drunken Chocolate Cupcakes

By , March 11, 2015
Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes Yield: 12 servings
Chocolate meets booze in these decadent cupcakes! chocolate, baking, beer, whiskey, cupcakes


  • 5 oz of dark chocolate, divided
  • 1/3 cup of dutch process cocoa
  • 3/4 cup of Guinness stout beer
  • 2 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks, divided
  • 6 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons of white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup of flour
  • 3/4 or a cup plus 4 tablespoons of sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 cup of whole milk
  • 1/2 cup of Bailey's Irish Cream liqueur
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 2 sticks of softened butter
  • 4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of Jameson Irish whiskey
  • 2-3 tablespoons of heavy cream (as needed)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 and prepare 12 cupcake liners in pan
  2. Melt 3 oz of dark chocolate in a glass bowl at 20 second intervals in the microwave, stir in 1/3 cup of cocoa powder until a paste forms
  3. Add Guiness beer to chocolate and whisk until smooth
  4. Add two eggs, vegetable oil, white vinegar, and vanilla extract and whisk until well combined
  5. In a separate bowl, combine flour, 3/4 cups of sugar, salt and baking soda
  6. Add dry ingredients 1/3 at a time, stirring until just incorporated between each addition
  7. Divide equally between 12 cupcake liners and bake in preheated oven for 19 minutes
  8. For filling, combine milk and Bailey's Irish Cream with 2 tablespoons of sugar in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium heat
  9. In a small bowl, whisk together two egg yolks, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and 2 tablespoons of corn starch
  10. Slowly whisk in milk; return to saucepan and simmer over medium heat until thickened and custardyC
  11. Cover with plastic wrap touching the surface of the pastry cream and refrigerate at least two hours before using
  12. Using a pastry tip or a small knife as a tool, hollow out the center of each cupcake and fill with pastry cream
  13. To make frosting, combine two sticks of softened butter with sifted powdered sugar, Jameson whiskey, and 2 oz of melted chocolate in bowl of a stand mixer
  14. Mix on medium high speed until smooth; add 2-3 tablespoons of heavy cream if needed to thin frosting
  15. Spoon frosting into a piping bag and frost cupcakes with a generous amount of frosting

Adapted from America's Test Kitchen Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes


Sharing our culinary adventures in Cascadia with simple, sustainable & satisfying eats. Bon Appétit!