We're starting Monday on a sweet note. Though I skipped the Hoboken St. Patty's Day festivities on Saturday (a tradition that I have partaken in during the past years but just wasn't feeling it this year), I was, however, feeling inspired by (what else?) the food. And while I wouldn't typically tout the Irish for having top of the line cuisine, I will get behind their beer and their bread. This week, despite my non-Irish background (don't let the freckles fool you), I'm giving into my love of all things green with some St. Patty's Day inspired treats. First up? Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Bailey's Frosting. When I devised the concept for these cupcakes, I honestly wasn't sure how they'd taste. But the end result? Nothing short of light, heavenly chocolate cake and creamy frosting with just a hint of, "what's that flavor I'm tasting? It's fabulous!"
I know, it seems weird to use so much liquor in a dessert, but trust me on this. The Guinness makes the chocolate sing, akin to adding coffee to your chocolate. It doesn't taste like coffee or beer, just makes the chocolate...well, more chocolatey...and in turn, more delectable. The Irish cream in the frosting doesn't overpower the cream cheesey, sugary goodness...it just gives a hint of Irish cream, which brings the whole cupcake flavor together. Let's get down to the deets...
Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes
*Adapted from smitten kitchen
1 cup Guinness
2 sticks unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2/3 C sour cream (don't skimp and use low-fat. Go big or go home)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring Guinness and both sticks of butter to a simmer. Add cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Note: when you add the cocoa powder, the mixture will foam up, so stand back. Turn off heat and set aside to cool. In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat eggs and sour cream until combined. Slowly add the warm chocolate mixture to the eggs and sour cream and beat just to combine. Note: You will want to add the warm liquid in slowly, and make sure it's cooled slightly. Otherwise, you'll have scrambled eggs in your batter. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on low speed to combine, but not completely. With a rubber spatula, fold the mixture until completely combined. This is a light and airy batter so folding is a must. Line muffin tin with paper or foil liners. Fill about 3/4 of the way with batter (I use a big ladle for the perfect pour). Bake 17-18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Whiskey glaze (optional)
2 sticks unsalted butter
1/4 C water
1/2 C Irish whiskey (like Jameson)
1 C sugar
Sanding sugar or sprinkles
In a saucepan, melt butter. Add sugar, water and whiskey. Bring to a boil and stir constantly for five minutes. Once cupcakes have cooled, dip tops into whisky mixture and roll in sanding sugar. Note: The glaze is not necessary to enjoy these cupcakes. It gives an extra kick of liquor and in the spirit of the Irish, I included it. But, these cupcakes are simply delish with or without it. When I made my batch, I did half glazed, half unglazed.
Irish Cream Frosting
aka the best frosting you'll ever eat
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 pkg cream cheese, at room temperature
2 C confectioner's sugar (or more to taste)
2 tbsp Bailey's Irish Cream (if you want to keep this alcohol-free, try it with Irish cream coffee creamer)
In a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until mixed and fluffy. Add confectioner's sugar, one at a time, fully incorporating with each addition. Add 1-2 tbsp of Bailey's (to taste) and mix until incorporated.
So there you have it. A fun St. Patty's Day cupcake recipe. So what do you think? Do you eat any fun treats around the holiday?
Psst...stay tuned for St. Patty's Day treats part two, where I share a recipe for the best Irish Soda Bread you could imagine. And if you're just itching for more cupcake recipes, check out this, this, this and this.