Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes {Tea & Top Knot}

I have been making this recipe for a long time. I had a Timehop come up on my phone this morning from 7 years ago about these cupcakes. It’s at least an annual occurrence. For years I’ve made these cupcakes for co-workers, family, and friends on St. Patrick’s Day. It also made an appearance as one of the cakes at my wedding.

The cupcake is a chocolate Guinness cake with a Baileys Irish Cream frosting. We aren’t big drinkers in our house so this is a great way to enjoy a little Irish spirit. Of all the things that I bake, these are one of my personal favorites. This is one of those recipes that I have never veered from. I see so many versions of this on Pinterest, but I always go back to this recipe. 

Of all the things that I bake, these are one of my personal favorites.Click To Tweet

The cupcake batter goes together relatively easy. The frosting takes a bit more finesse but it is oh-so-worth-it. There used to be a local cupcake bakery called Yum-Yums that I am still mourning the loss of. They had the most divine, silky frosting which I later learned was a Swiss Buttercream. This frosting reminds me of that because it is light, fluffy, and not overly heavy. 

This cake batter is thin enough that you can easily make it with just a whisk. Or if you’re lazy like me you like using your stand mixer, use the whisk attachment on your mixer to get everything blended together smoothly. I hadn’t yet made this recipe with my Kitchenaid yet so I grabbed the beater attachment out of habit. These next two photos really are superfluous because the batter is that easy but here you go. 

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes {Tea & Top Knot}

Mmm… Cake batter…

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes {Tea & Top Knot}

I’ve played around a bit with how much batter to put in each cupcake liner. A few years ago I decided to make things much easier for myself and use a cookie scoop to fill the batter into the cups so that I get even measurements. My bestie got me a Jenaluca scoop set for my wedding and I love them. I’ve found that the medium sized scoop (1.5 Tbs) works best for this recipe. Just shy of 3 scoops in each cup will give me a nice domed cupcake without overflowing. The pan on the left below had 2 scoops (not quite enough) and the pan on the left had 3. Because I live at a high altitude (about 5,000 feet) I have to be really careful about how far I fill them because I’ve had these overflow before and go flat. {FYI, flat cupcakes are still delicious.} 

While I’ve done a ton of baking since moving to Colorado over 16 years ago, I have just recently started playing with how to make adjustments for high altitude. One of the tricks I’ve learned is to raise your oven temperature by 25 degrees (and adjust baking time). It’s common for high altitude recipes to rise too quickly and then deflate. This trick helps the cupcakes to rise and then “hold” the rise so they don’t go flat. 

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes {Tea & Top Knot}

There is quite a bit more to be told about this frosting. I previously mentioned the original recipe in my Petit Fours post. It comes from my trusty Magnolia Bakery cookbook. I have made this delectable frosting so many different ways. When it came to figuring out what kind of frosting to put on these cupcakes, I knew it would be easy to change it up and add some Baileys to the mix. 

I feel that these photos are necessary because this frosting can be tricky. But when you taste this silky, delicious frosting, you’ll be glad you tried it. 

First you combine milk, Baileys, and flour in a saucepan over medium heat and whisk it constantly until you get a thick pudding-like consistency. The first time I ever made this version I quickly found that for whatever scientific reason, the alcohol/milk/flour mixture will start to bubble and thicken much quicker than just a milk/flour mixture will. 

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes {Tea & Top Knot}

Once this is the right consistency, it will need to cool in the fridge. I like to move it to a separate bowl to help the cooling process happen a little faster. Press some plastic wrap or wax paper touching all over the surface of the mixture. As it cools it will form a skin on top kind of like pudding if it’s not completely touching. Trust me, you don’t want this in your frosting later. {Even if you are a weirdo who likes the “skin” from the pudding like me.} Now pop it in the fridge for at least a half hour. It doesn’t have to be cold exactly, but you don’t want it to be warm. If it’s too warm, your frosting will likely fall apart later. 

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes {Tea & Top Knot}

While the cake batter was easy enough to mix with a whisk, this is where you’re really going to want to use your stand mixer… Or make sure you have a good, strong mixing arm with an electric hand mixer. You can’t skimp on these mixing times. 

First, beat the unsalted butter until creamy for 3 minutes. I have tried both salted and unsalted butter for this recipe. Unsalted is best because it doesn’t overpower the flavor of the Baileys.

Gradually add in the sugar and beat for another 3 minutes. You are reading that recipe below correctly; this uses granulated sugar instead of powdered sugar. I promise this will all get blended in as long as you follow the directions. Then add the vanilla and mix until fully incorporated. 

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes {Tea & Top Knot}

Now get your cooled (about room temp) milk/Baileys/flour mixture out of the fridge. It will be a bit more set now. Add this to the mixing bowl and beat on medium-high speed for 5 minutes. Set your timer! This will feel like forever. Are your arms tired? After so many years of using a hand mixer I am so thankful for my Kitchenaid! All jokes aside, this time really is important to get the right texture for your frosting. It should be rich and creamy when you’re done. Finally, pop the frosting in the fridge for 15 minutes to set. (No longer… set a timer!) Frost your cupcakes immediately.

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes {Tea & Top Knot}

A few notes about this frosting. If you leave this in the fridge too long, it will start to solidify. Before using on your cupcakes, this could become an issue. If it becomes too solid, you’ll need to let it soften back up before you can frost your cupcakes.

After you’ve frosted your cupcakes, this is not such a big deal. I typically store my frosted cupcakes covered in the fridge, or even in a cool garage. I take them out of the fridge about a half hour prior to serving. 

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes {Tea & Top Knot}

Voila! I know you’ll love this wonderful combination of chocolate Guinness cake with the Baileys frosting. It really is one of my favorites. When I mentioned on Facebook that I was making these I got a few requests for deliveries from long-time admirers of this cupcake. I think you should try making them for your loved ones! 

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes {Tea & Top Knot}

Cupcake recipe originally found on Chowhound. Ages and ages ago…

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

Ingredients

    Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes
  • 1 (11.2-ounce) bottle Guinness stout
  • 1/2 C whole milk
  • 1/2 C vegetable oil
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 C sour cream
  • 2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 2 C granulated sugar
  • 3/4 C natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t fine salt
  • Baileys Frosting
  • 6 T all-purpose flour
  • 1 C milk
  • 1 C Baileys Irish Cream
  • 2 C (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 C granulated sugar {not confectioner’s sugar!}
  • 2 t vanilla extract

Instructions

    Please note adjustments if baking at high altitude.
  1. Heat the oven to 350°F (375 for high altitude) and arrange a rack in the middle. Place cupcake liners in two (12-well) muffin pans. Set the pans aside.
  2. Whisk together the Guinness, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla in a large bowl until combined. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until completely incorporated. Whisk in the sour cream.
  3. Whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a second large bowl to aerate and combine. Gradually fold this mixture into the wet Guinness mixture until fully incorporated. Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full. Don't overfill or these could overflow. If you have extra batter, just fill additional cups.
  4. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. (only 18-20 minutes for high altitude at 375) Set the pans on a wire rack and let the cupcakes cool completely before removing from the pans.
  5. Baileys Frosting:
  6. In a medium saucepan, whisk the flour into the milk and Baileys until smooth. Place over medium heat and, stirring constantly, cook until the mixture becomes very thick and begins to bubble. {you want this to be about the texture of pudding… keep your eye on this!} Cover with waxed paper placed directly on the surface and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
  7. In a large bowl, on the medium high speed of an eclectic mixer, beat the butter for 3 minutes, until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar, beating continuously for 3 minutes until fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat well.
  8. Add the cooled milk mixture, and continue to beat on the medium high speed for 5 minutes, until very smooth. Cover and refrigerated for 15 minutes (no less and no longer – set a timer!). Use immediately.
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Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes {Tea & Top Knot}

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes {Tea & Top Knot}

Playing with frosting techniques.

 

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes {Tea & Top Knot}

Hiding behind the photo booth…

 

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes {Tea & Top Knot}

Ready for bake & release.

 

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