Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

For those of you who don’t know, an Irish car bomb consists of a glass of Guinness beer with a shot glass filled with Bailey’s Irish cream and Jameson Irish whiskey dropped in it.  And you have to chug it really fast before it curdles!  I’m not going to lie, I’ve had my fair share of these in college and they hold a special place in my heart.

I came across this recipe a year ago and have considered making it for St. Patrick’s Day, but I got too lazy.  However, this past weekend marked significant events for two important people in my life: one who is Irish and one who I used to take Irish car bombs with.  It seemed only fitting that Irish car bomb cupcakes be on the menu this week.  On top of that, I have had a crazy work week and I needed to do some stress-baking to help me regain my sanity.  I may or may not have added a little extra booze than the recipe called for…

Now I’m going to be straight with you all, I was sleep-deprived and a little loopy while I was making these, so I accidentally forgot to add the baking soda into my batter.  It still turned out good, but the texture of the cupcakes were just more dense, flat, and brownie-like.  In my desperation to go to bed, I also took a shortcut and decided to pipe the frosting with a Ziploc bag that had been snipped in a corner instead of using a piping tip.  They still turned out great and got rave reviews!

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes
adapted from Smitten Kitchen
(makes 24 cupcakes)

for the Guinness chocolate cupcakes
1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
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

for the ganache filling
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (in chip or chopped form)
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 to 2 teaspoons Irish whiskey

for the Bailey’s frosting
4 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperatue
4 tablespoons Bailey’s

  1. Make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
  2. Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. 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.
  3. Make the filling: Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. (If this has not sufficiently melted the chocolate, you can return it to a double-boiler to gently melt what remains. 20 seconds in the microwave, watching carefully, will also work.) Add the butter and whiskey (if you’re using it) and stir until combined.
  4. Fill the cupcakes: Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped (the fridge will speed this along but you must stir it every 10 minutes). Meanwhile, using a 1-inch round cookie cutter, an apple corer, or just with a 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. A slim spoon or grapefruit knife will help you get the center out. Those are your “tasters”. Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.
  5. Make the frosting: 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.
  6. When the frosting looks thick enough to spread, drizzle in the Baileys (or milk) and whip it until combined. If this has made the frosting too thin (it shouldn’t, but just in case) beat in another spoonful or two of powdered sugar.
  7. Ice and decorate the cupcakes.
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