Guinness, Whiskey & Irish Cream Cupcakes

As I mentioned on Friday, I have been doing some experimentation with the beer and chocolate combination. The Guinness-chocolate ice cream that I made totally kicked butt, so I couldn’t wait to see how I liked beer and chocolate in my cake. The answer? I like it, a whole heck of a lot. This was my first time doing Guinness-chocolate cakes, and I was totally optimistic that I would love it, and I was definitely right. These cupcakes are fashioned after the popular drink that consists of a shot of Baileys Irish Cream and Irish whiskey dropped into a pint of Guinness. I have never had one myself, but I’ve heard that if you can get it down before it curdles, it’s smooth, delicious and almost tastes like a milkshake. I’ll believe it because these cupcakes are all sorts of delicious. They’re also very boozy. Consider yourself warned :)

These cupcakes consist of a Guinness-chocolate cake base, which has a wonderful depth of flavor and is also supremely moist. The centers of the cupcakes are cut out and filled with a chocolate ganache that has been spiked with Irish whiskey. And to top it all off, the frosting is my favorite vanilla buttercream that has been doused with a serious amount of Baileys Irish Cream.

While you can’t really taste the beer in the cupcakes (it serves as more of a flavor enhancer for the chocolate), you can definitely taste the alcohol in the filling and the frosting. Which I think means that the cupcakes are a success 😉  Plus, they got six big thumbs up!

I think I need to start converting more drinks into baked goods, this was too much fun (and way delicious!).

Two year ago: Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Three years ago: Pot Roast in the Crock Pot

Guinness, Whiskey & Irish Cream Cupcakes

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 17 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Guinness cupcakes with a Jameson whiskey ganache center and topped with a Baileys Irish Cream frosting.


For the Cupcakes:
1 cup Guinness stout
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoons salt
2 eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

For the Whiskey Ganache Filling:
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons Irish whiskey

For the Baileys Frosting:
2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons Bailey's Irish Cream


1. To Make the Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring the Guinness and butter to a simmer in a heavy, medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

2. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl to combine. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sour cream on medium speed until combined. Add the Guinness-chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and beat just to combine. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture and beat briefly. Using a rubber spatula, fold the batter until completely combined. Divide the batter among the cupcake liners. Bake until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Cool the cupcakes on a rack.

3. To Make the Whiskey Ganache Filling: Finely 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, using a rubber spatula, stir it from the center outward until smooth. Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined. Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped.

4. To Fill the Cupcakes: Using a 1-inch round cookie cutter (or the bottom of a large decorating tip), cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes, going about two-thirds of the way down. Transfer the ganache to a piping back with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.

5. To Make the Baileys Frosting: Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Reduce the speed to medium-low and gradually add the powdered sugar until all of it is incorporated. Add the Baileys, increase the speed to medium-high and whip for another 2 to 3 minutes, until it is light and fluffy.

6. Using your favorite decorating tip, or an offset spatula, frost the cupcakes and decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Store the cupcakes in an airtight container.

(Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen)


471 Responses to “Guinness, Whiskey & Irish Cream Cupcakes”

Comment Pages 1 2 3 4 8
  1. eliza on March 17, 2011 at 4:23 am

    I’ve made these a bunch of times from smitten kitchen and they are amazing. The only improvement I’ve found is using a Sweet/Milk Stout. The cupcakes are much more yummy without the dry bitterness of the Guinness. They are a hit every time I make them.


  2. Jaclyn on March 17, 2011 at 11:12 am

    I made these cupcakes last night and they are AMAZING! They disappeared very quickly at work today :)
    I linked to these in my blog:
    Thank you for sharing this fabulous recipe!


  3. Angela on March 17, 2011 at 11:42 am

    Great recipe! I did a post about St. Patty’s Day feasts and linked to this recipe in a shoutout. Thanks for posting it! Here’s my link.


  4. Stephanie on March 17, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    I made these for work today and everyone loved them! Thanks so much for sharing this great recipe!


  5. OffanRunnin on March 17, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    This was wonderful! Family loved them… Thanks so much for the idea!


  6. Chelsea on March 17, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    AMAZING! I brought them to a St. Patrick’s Party tonight and they were a HUGE HIT! Thanks!


  7. mendomamma on March 18, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    OMG- These are insanely ridiculously delicious! We purchased, we created and we CONQUERED! Each cupcake weighs seemingly a pound (it’s the butter) and were the most decadent treats to eat and share. I work at a high school, shared them with my teachers and staff and felt like I was gifting precious little cups of St. Patrick’s Day “forbidden” goodness…fantastic all around!


    • Robert on April 20th, 2014 at 1:14 pm

      So you are saying you took alcohol infused treats into a public high school?


      • A Dabney on July 26th, 2014 at 10:40 pm

        You couldn’t get my two year old drunk with one of those cupcakes, I don’t think it’s a huge risk.


  8. Jen on March 19, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    I made these last year and they were delicious. The frosting is amazing!


    • Sunny on February 3rd, 2013 at 2:47 am

      The cupcakes are FANTASTIC!


  9. Allison on March 20, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    If you haven’t seen it already, you might like the cookbook “Booze Cakes” by Krystina Castella and Terry Lee Stone.


  10. Russell on March 20, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    Oh my! Those look and sound awesome. I’m not a fan of beer, but the few times I had an Irish Car Bomb, I did like it! And I LOVE Bailey’s!


  11. Dorothy on March 20, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    I was looking for something new and fun to make for this past St Patrics day and came across this recipe. These were, without a doubt, the most delicious cupcakes I ever made! They were absolutely awesome! A total hit and so pretty too! Thank you for sharing. I can’t wait to try some of your other recipes. Very nice website! I am an avid cook/baker and really appreciate having new places to go for recipes!


  12. Maggie on March 21, 2011 at 12:16 am

    OK, I’m 90% sure I’m crazy here, but … that frosting’s butter-to-sugar ratio looks totally insane to me. But that’s what you meant? It’s not “2 sticks” or anything?

    Cupcakes are cooling; ganache and frosting will come in the morning. Then, when I take them to work, all shall love me and despair. MWAH HA HA HA HA!


    • Michelle on March 21st, 2011 at 7:49 pm

      Hi Maggie, Nope, it’s 2 cups :) Love that frosting! :)


      • Maggie on March 21st, 2011 at 10:09 pm

        >Love that frosting!

        WOW. Yeah, me too! I held my breath, made it as written, and I think it’s the first frosting I’ve ever really loved! (I find most to be too sweet, but this was perfect!)

        They were a huge hit at work — everyone’s saying they’re the best cupcakes they’ve ever had. Thank you so much for another knock-out recipe!


      • christine on October 1st, 2011 at 6:40 pm

        Just made these awsome tasting cupcakes. My friends and family were blown away by the taste . Thank you so much for thr recipe.


  13. Yaneri on March 21, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    I don’t know if someone posted this question but, what icing tip is the one you used to make these cupcakes? I simply love how they look!!!



    • Bungalow Betty on March 21st, 2011 at 5:20 pm

      Yaneri, she did…

      Michelle March 16, 2011 at 11:39 pm

      Hi Michelle, I used a Wilton 1M tip and just sort of swirled it around. Enjoy the cupcakes!

      Happy baking!


  14. Heather on March 22, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    These cupcakes were simply delicious!! I made mine without the ganache (I found the recipe the morning of St. Pat’s and didn’t have the time to make it, I wanted the cupcakes ASAP!), and they were very very tasty. I have mounds of frosting left, however. I MUST find another use for it, pronto! :) Thanks BEB, they were wonderful!


  15. Glenn on March 22, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    If my coworkers brought things like this to work, I’d take a LOT less vacation and sick time! :-) I will definitely be trying this recipe!


  16. Penny Wolf on March 26, 2011 at 8:55 am

    So how about a “puttanesca sauce recipe” next? lol


  17. Cookin' Canuck on March 27, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Oh my – now that’s the way to do St. Patrick’s Day. The filling looks too good to resist.


  18. Scot on March 27, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Hmmmm…wondering if there is a non-boozy adaptation of this. Don’t worry, I totally intend on making these for a party coming up very soon, but for the “underage” folk, and some of the HRs that don’t drink at all…I’m wondering. If you replace Guinness with coffee (atrocity!) and the Bailey’s with “Irish Cream Flavored” coffee creamer and nix the whiskey from the ganache…would it make a reasonable (if not somewhat boring) substitute?


  19. amanda on March 29, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    I absolutely love Irish car bombs! I can’t believe how much they taste like chocolate milk but get you totally messed up! Hahah! I can’t wait to make these! They sound delicious! Thank you! :)


  20. Shana on April 2, 2011 at 11:57 pm

    Made these for a girls night in and they were a HUGE hit. We each poured a pint of vanilla porter and had a cupcake or two and it was FABULOUS! Thanks for the recipe.


  21. Rebecca on April 8, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    Hi Michelle, i love all of your recipes and appreciate all of the wonderful posts and pics. keep doing what you do. <3


  22. Rebecca on April 8, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    btw, as soon as i have the money to buy all of the alcohol, i’m going to try this delicious looking recipe!


  23. Ian McGough on April 15, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    I just received these cupcakes as a gift for my recent birthday, the recipe found on this website. They were delicious.


  24. Tracy on April 19, 2011 at 11:31 am

    These look amazing! Thank you for the great recipe, can’t wait to try them! Neither can my husband =)


  25. McMolly on April 24, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    I make a recipe similar to this one, but I make the ganache first and then make the batter. Just before baking, I pop a piece of frozen ganache into the center of the batter. The center stays all melty and gooey, even after these bad boys have cooled all the way. It takes a little extra effort, but it is well worth it!


  26. Amy on April 28, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    These are great! I made them for St. Patrick’s Day and brought one to a friend of mine who owns a bar next door to my office. He loved it so much, he asked me to bring a batch to his birthday party this weekend.


  27. Brandi on May 29, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    Ohmy! I am using these for my St Patrick’s Day wedding next year!!!


  28. cupcakelover on June 9, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Hi! I am so excited to try these!! Just curious, does the recipe make 24 regular size or mini cupcakes? Thanks!


    • Michelle on June 9th, 2011 at 4:39 pm

      24 regular muffins. Enjoy!


  29. Jessica on June 13, 2011 at 12:19 am

    I made some like these last St. Patrick’s Day. I’m a big fan of incorporating alcohol in my cupcakes as well as creating cupcakes that are modeled after drinks. I have made Margarita Cupcakes as well as Caramel Macchiatto. I’ve also made Chocolate Vodka Raspberry cupcakes (not an actual drink, I know). I’m thinking the next one is going to be a Mudslide or something like that.


  30. Rebecca on June 18, 2011 at 10:21 am

    I’ve been on such a cupcake streak and made some Irish Cream cupcakes just a bit ago. My friend practically live on guiness and Irish Car Bombs are one of his favorite drinks – he went crazy when he heard there could be a cupcake version! Totally making these today. I just hope it’ll be alright to leave out the whiskey because we’d never drink the rest of the bottle….


  31. Barsha on July 19, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Its look really beautiful, very delicious and tasty.


  32. Vanessa on July 20, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    These cupcakes look so wonderful! Thank you for sharing, as always. Your blog is great, and I love stealing recipes from it. :)


  33. Sonya M on July 29, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Best. Frosting. Ever!!! Absolutely delicious cupcake all around, but the frosting really seals the deal! I made these tonight for a cookout tomorrow and 4 of them have mysteriously disappeared already! I am a new follower and love all of your recipes I’ve read so far. After trying these yummy little cakes I am looking forward to trying more of your recipes!! Thank you for posting these! Happy baking!


  34. toot on August 2, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    these were AMAZING!!!

    loved every bite.

    great idea and great recipe, thanks for sharing!


  35. Mommy Ro on August 4, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    That is too funny! I was just joking the other day with the kids about different ice creams … and we joked about putting beer in ice cream! And you actually did it! Awesome! THe cup cakes look FABULOUS!!!
    Ro :)


  36. Laura on August 13, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Did anyone else have an issue with the ganache being too bitter? I feel like it needed some sweetness or something, because while the cake was balanced nicely by the sweet icing, the ganache ruined the taste for me. Any specific brand recommendations for the chocolate?
    I’ve had these before and they were awesome, I don’t know where my friend got the recipe, but I am going to try these again until I get them right!!


    • Michelle on August 13th, 2011 at 11:31 am

      Hi Laura, If you found the chocolate ganache too bitter, I would try using a semi-sweet chocolate instead of the bittersweet. That should do the trick!


      • Laura on August 18th, 2011 at 9:09 am

        Great that worked, thank you so much!! These pretty much rule.


  37. allen on August 18, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    hi i was just wondering why you use guinness stout? every irish car bomb i have had called for guinness draught.


    • Michelle on August 18th, 2011 at 11:26 pm

      Hi Allen, It was just the particular recipe I happened to use. I don’t think it makes too much of a difference.


      • allen on August 18th, 2011 at 11:29 pm

        okay, thank you. these look delicious!


  38. Rose on August 22, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    Hello! I love your site! I was wondering, does this recipe call for 24 standard size cupcakes or 24 mini cupcakes? your pictures look like mini cupcakes and wanted to clarify before making it. Thanks so much! I cannot wait to try these. :)


    • Michelle on August 23rd, 2011 at 10:22 am

      Hi Rose, They are standard cupcakes. Mine in the pictures are full-size cupcakes.


  39. Stacy Rolfe on August 23, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Made them this weekend. Love is an understatement! Brought them to a bar for a going away party and there were so many we gave them to strangers and made some great friends!!
    The batter was alittle thicker than I am used to but trust it! the ganache was WAY thinner than it should have been- put it in the freezer to cool it down faster. I made them with a hand mixer and they came out great!


  40. Lisa on August 26, 2011 at 12:35 am

    Irish Car Bomb drinks are fantastic and so are the cupcakes. I made them tonight for my boyfriends friends who are coming into town tomorrow (trying to make a good first impression) They all, including myself, love whiskey, guinness, and baileys; what better reciepe to make! Tried one tonight and it was fantastic! Thank you for the reciepe. I have been really enjoying your blog since I found it about 3 weeks ago!!!


  41. Molly Cooper on August 29, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Hello Michelle! My friend Vania introduced me to your website, and together we made these cupcakes to bring to a barbeque last Saturday. I am now absolutely in love with them, the three types of alcohol blend beautifully and the taste is so sophisticated! The biggest modification we made to your recipe was the addition of a LOT more Jameson to the ganache :)

    I blogged about it and included my pictures of our finished product, as well as a link back to your post, in case you’d like to see:

    Thank you for sharing this recipe, I look forward to trying more!


  42. tink on August 30, 2011 at 6:03 am

    wow, i came to the party late but these cupcakes look amazing! im going to have a go. im a notoriously rubbish baker but i did have a go this weekend, let me know what you think?


  43. Pete on August 30, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    Just Stumbled this post. They look awesome. Will have to try them out sometime.


  44. J on September 1, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    They were delicious. I made some for my parents and my mother described them as “Decadence bordering on insanity.” I did substitute Jameson with The Knot, I’d also note, because I forgot to get some for this recipe. 😉
    I’d definitely recommend making these. They’re awesome.


  45. nobitchassness on September 2, 2011 at 12:21 am

    do you think this would taste good as a vanilla recipe? i have some friends that dont like chocolate. :/


    • Michelle on September 2nd, 2011 at 12:05 pm

      I’m really not sure; the Guinness in the recipe pairs really well with the chocolate. I guess you could give it a try, but I’m not sure how the flavors would work out.


  46. Meghan on September 4, 2011 at 10:50 am

    I love Irish Car Bombs (the DRINK) and I’m sure the cupcakes are great too!


  47. T on September 14, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    Yummm!!! These look amazing! I can’t wait to give them a try!


  48. Elyse on September 25, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    I’m going to be sharing these cupcakes with my class in Autumn wrappers just because lol. The photos look gorgeous, and that buttercream is divine.


  49. Rachael on October 4, 2011 at 9:53 am

    I tried these cupcakes out, and took them to my local Irish Pub, and they were a hit!!! Everyone loved them! I just added another favorite BEB recipe to my collection!! :)


  50. Caitlin on October 5, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    i just want to say this recipe is so amazing. usually when i try a new cupcake recipe i usually have to have a test batch, but the first time i made them they were fantastic. i made two dozen for my boyfriend for this birthday and i think he loves these more than life itself. i’m going to try to make these into mini cupcakes for a group of my friends. can’t wait to try the rest of your recipes.


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