Irish Chocolate Cupcakes

Irish Chocolate Cupcakes

These Irish Chocolate Cupcakes are baked with Guinness beer, filled with Irish whiskey ganache, and topped with rich bourbon cream frosting. These mouthwatering cupcakes will spice up any celebrations this St. Patrick’s Day!

What to I need to make Irish Chocolate Cupcakes?

Here’s a list of everything you’ll need to make a fabulous batch of Irish Chocolate Cupcakes:

  • Guinness beer
  • Dutch cocoa
  • Irish butter
  • All purpose flour
  • Sugar
  • Baking soda
  • Celtic sea salt
  • Ground flaxseed
  • Hot water
  • Sour cream (or Greek yoghurt)
  • Dark chocolate chips
  • Heavy cream
  • Irish whiskey
  • Bourbon cream
  • Powdered sugar
Irish chocolate cupcakes

Why Dutch cocoa?

There are two main types of cocoa: natural and Dutch. In general, anything “natural” tends to have a better connotation, but in this case, one is not necessarily superior. Dutch cocoa is alkalized to reduce the acidity and is darker brown. Natural cocoa has not been processed with alkali and is the standard cocoa most commonly found at the grocery store.

Since natural cocoa is acidic, it pairs well with baking soda which neutralizes it. This chemical reaction between the two helps with the leavening process . Since Dutch cocoa’s pH is neutral, it pairs well with baking powder (also neutral) or with less baking soda. You can read more about the different types of cocoa here.

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How do I make Irish Chocolate Cupcakes?

Guinness Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350°F and line two muffin pans with 24 cupcake liners. Heat a small saucepan on medium-low heat and add the beer and two sticks of butter. As the butter melts, whisk the two together. Then add the Dutch cocoa and whisk until combined with the beer and butter. When smooth, remove from heat.

In a small bowl, whisk two tablespoons of flaxseed with six tablespoons of hot water. Let stand five minutes. This is the equivalent of two eggs. Then whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl and set aside. Then pour the flax mixture into the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and add the sour cream. Beat on medium speed until combined. Full fat Greek yoghurt may be used in place of sour cream.

Irish chocolate cupcakes

Turn mixer to low and add the beer mixture. Use a spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of bowl to make sure everything is evenly mixed together. With the mixer still on low, gradually add the flour mixture. Be sure to only mix until the batter comes together–do not overmix. Alternatively, you could stir in the dry ingredients by hand to prevent overmixing.

Remove the bowl from the stand and fill each cupcake liner two-thirds full with batter. Bake for 17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Then, let the cupcakes cool for five to ten minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before filling and frosting!

Irish chocolate cupcakes
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Irish Whiskey Ganache

While the cupcakes finish cooling, make the ganache. Start by placing the dark chocolate chips in a heat safe bowl. Pour the cream into a small saucepan on medium-low heat and add the butter.

When the butter melts and the cream begins to simmer, remove from heat and stir in the bourbon cream and whiskey. Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate chips and let stand for five minutes. Then use a fork or small whisk the stir the chocolate and cream until it is smooth and combined.

scooping out cupcakes

To make space for the filling, press the bottom of a medium sized piping tip into the center of each cupcake, going down about halfway. Then use the tip to scoop out the center of the cupcake. Save the cupcake centers for later.

scooping out cupcakes

Spoon ganache into the center of each cupcake, filling the entire hole. Then cover the ganache with the pieces of cake that were removed.

filling cupcakes with ganache

Bourbon Cream Frosting

Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Turn the mixer to low and add the sugar and bourbon cream. As the frosting comes together, gradually increase the speed. (If you start too fast, you’ll end up with powdered sugar all over the kitchen!) Beat until it is light and fluffy.

The ideal frosting should hold it’s shape without being too dry. If the frosting is too runny, add more powdered sugar and if it is dry/crumbly, add a touch more bourbon cream. If you prefer not to have alcohol in the frosting, use heavy cream or half and half instead of bourbon cream.

Irish chocolate cupcakes

To frost the cupcakes, fit a piping bag with medium sized tip such as Wilton #12, #21, or #1M. Place the bag in a tall glass and fold the sides of the bag over the rim. This will hold the bag and really reduce your mess whilst filling! Add frosting until the bag is about two-thirds full.

Remove the bag from the glass and squeeze the frosting to the tip until a little comes about. When the air is out of the bag, twist the top closed.

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Starting in the center of the cupcake, squeeze the bag with even pressure and slowly make continuous circles of frosting working toward the outer edge. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes and refill the bag as needed. If you’re new to cake decorating, practice on a plate to get the hang of it first. Don’t worry if they don’t turn out perfectly–you can always scrape the frosting back into the bag and try again.

Irish chocolate cupcakes

Serving and Storing

Irish Chocolate Cupcakes are best served at room temperature for optimal flavour and texture. If you are making them a day or two in advance, store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container and bring them to room temperature before serving. For longer term storage, they may be kept in the freezer.

Irish chocolate cupcakes

Can I make a cake instead?

Yes! These Irish Chocolate Cupcakes can certainly be made into a cake! One batch will make two 8-inch cake layers. They will take about twice as long to bake at the same temperature. When a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, they are ready. When the cakes are totally cool, spread a thin layer of frosting between the cakes before adding a layer of ganache. Then use the remaining frosting for the top and sides. Follow the recommendations above for serving and storage.

Irish chocolate cupcakes

I hope you enjoy these Irish Chocolate Cupcakes! Be sure to leave a rating below and let me know what you think in the comments. Happy baking!

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Irish Chocolate Cupcakes

These Irish Chocolate Cupcakes are baked with Guinness beer and Dutch cocoa, filled with Irish whiskey ganache, and topped with rich bourbon cream frosting. These mouthwatering cupcakes will spice up any party this St. Patrick's Day!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time17 mins
Decorating Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 17 mins
Servings: 24 cupcakes
Author: Rachel Alexandra

Equipment

  • Stand mixer
  • Paddle attachment
  • Whisk attachment
  • Piping bag and decorating tips
  • 2 Muffin tins

Ingredients 

Cupcakes

  • 1 cup Guinness beer
  • 2 sticks Irish butter
  • ¾ cup Dutch cocoa
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp Celtic sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 6 Tbsp hot water
  • cup full fat sour cream or Greek yoghurt

Ganache

  • 8 oz dark chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbsp Irish butter
  • cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp bourbon cream
  • 2 tsp Irish whiskey

Frosting

  • 1 stick Irish butter room temperature
  • 3-3½ cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsp bourbon cream

Instructions

Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and line two muffin pans with 24 cupcake liners.
  • Heat a small saucepan on medium-low heat and add the beer and butter. As the butter melts, whisk the two together.
  • Then add the Dutch cocoa and whisk until combined with the beer and butter. When smooth, remove from heat.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the flaxseed and hot water. Let stand five minutes.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
  • Pour the flax mixture into the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and add the sour cream. Beat on medium speed until combined,
  • Turn mixer to low and add the beer mixture. Use a spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of bowl to make sure everything is evenly mixed together.
  • With the mixer still on low, gradually add the flour mixture. Be sure to only mix until the batter comes together–do not overmix.
  • Remove the bowl from the stand and fill each cupcake liner ⅔ full with batter. Bake for 17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Let the cupcakes cool for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before filling and frosting!

Ganache

  • While the cupcakes finish cooling, make the ganache. Start by placing the dark chocolate chips in a heat safe bowl.
  • Pour the cream into a small saucepan on medium-low heat. Add the butter.
  • When the butter melts and the cream is simmering, remove from heat and stir in the bourbon cream and whiskey.
  • Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate chips and let stand for five minutes. Then use a fork or small whisk the stir the chocolate and cream until it is smooth and combined.
  • To make space for the filling, press the bottom of a medium sized piping tip into the center of each cupcake, going down about halfway. Then scoop out the center of the cupcake. Save the cupcake centers for later.
  • Spoon ganache into the center of each cupcake, filling the entire hole. Then cover the ganache with the pieces of cake that were removed.

Frosting

  • Place the softened butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds.
  • Turn the mixer to low and add the sugar and bourbon cream. As the frosting comes together, gradually increase the speed. (If you start too fast, you'll end up with powdered sugar all over the kitchen!) Beat until it is light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of bowl periodically to make sure it is evenly mixed.
  • The ideal frosting should hold it's shape without being dry. If the frosting is too runny, add more powdered sugar and if it is dry/crumbly, add a touch more bourbon cream. If you don't want the extra alcohol, use heavy cream or half and half instead.
  • To frost the cupcakes, fit a piping bag with medium sized tip such as Wilton #12, #21, or #1M.
  • Place the bag in a tall glass and fold the sides of the bag over the rim. This will hold the bag and really reduce your mess! Fill the bag about ⅔ full with frosting.
  • Remove the bag from the glass and squeeze the frosting to the tip until a little comes about. When the air is out of the bag, twist the top closed.
  • Starting in the center of the cupcake, squeeze the bag with even pressure and slowly make continuous circles of frosting working toward the outer edge. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes and refill the bag as needed.
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