Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes for St. Patrick’s Day

This past summer I went to Ireland with my siblings and our dad for 10 days. We learned a lot about our family history, and drank a lot of Guinness. And a little bit of Jameson.

My best friend is currently studying abroad in Dublin, and based on what she has told me as well as the things our relatives told us while we were there, St. Patrick’s Day is really more of an American holiday than something the Irish actually celebrated. Well, I’m in America, and I’m celebrating with these DELECTABLE cupcakes. I can’t stop eating them! And washing them down with Guinness, of course, though it isn’t as yummy as it was in Ireland.

I adapted this recipe from Will Cook For Friends, but you can find it just about anywhere at this time of year. Many have been asking, “can you get wasted from them?” and I would have to say no. When they were really fresh they tasted like alcohol, but after 25 hours you don’t taste it at all, and you NEVER actually feel the alcohol. You could try eating the whole batch, but I think at that point you would have so much food in your belly it would just soak up all of the alcohol. However, you should have enough Guinness, Jameson, and Baileys left over to make some real Irish Car Bombs which are sure to get you wasted.


For the cake:

    • 1 cup Guinness stout, or other dark beer. fill so that the head begins at the 1 cup mark- this will die down and you want to make sure you have the full amount of beer.
    • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
    • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 2 cups (loosely filled, not packed) all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sour cream

For the ganache:

    • 8 oz. dark chocolate, chopped or in chip form (semisweet, bittersweet, use what you like)
    • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
    • 2 TBSP unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 3 TBSP Irish Whiskey

For the buttercream:

  • 6 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream


For the cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350f and line 2 cupcake trays with liners.
  2. In a pot over medium heat, combine the butter and stout and bring to a simmer.Once the pot simmers, the head from the beer will get very frothy. Add in the cocoa powder, and whisk until smooth.
  3. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Be sure there are no lumps of sugar or baking soda left.
  5. In another large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the eggs and sour cream. Beat together until blended
  6. Pour the cooled Guinness/butter/cocoa mixture into the eggs/sour cream. Beat to combined.
  7. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl, and mix on low speed until well incorporated.At this point you should really taste the batter. It was the BEST tasting cake batter I have ever had in my life.
  8. Evenly distribute into the lined cupcake trays. They should be filled no more than 3/4 of the way up. Tap the tray 2-3 times atop the counter to help remove any air bubbles.
  9. Place one batch of cupcakes on the middle rack of the oven, reduce the temperature to 325f., and bake for 12 minutes.
  10. Rotate the pan from front to back to ensure even baking, then bake for another 10-12 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  11. Remove from the oven and let cool 1-2 minutes. Remove cupcakes from the tray, and set on a cooling rack.
  12. Bring the oven back up to 350f., and repeat with the second batch.

For the filling:

  1. Place chocolate into a heat-safe bowl.
  2. In a small pot, warm the cream over medium heat until just simmering.
  3. Pour cream over the chocolate and stir, starting from the middle and working out, until all of the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.
  4. Add the butter and stir until melted.
  5. Stir in the Irish whiskey, and set aside until ready to fill.
  6. To fill, use a small knife to remove the center of each cupcake.
  7. Using a piping bag, or a spoon and your fingers, fill the center of each cupcake with the ganache.

For the buttercream

  1. Beat the butter for 2-3 minutes or until light, fluffy, and pale.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar, and beat until smooth. Repeat until all the sugar is added.
  3. Once all of the sugar is added, pour in the Baileys and mix to combine.
  4. If the frosting is too thick, add another tsp. of liquor (or milk or cream) to thin it out. If it’s too thin, add more powdered sugar until the desired consistency is reached.
  5. Ice your cupcakes!
  6. EAT!!!!! And be merry, of course.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!