Happy (almost) St. Patrick’s Day! Most Americans probably celebrate this holiday with no sense of who he was. If you’re curious, check out the History Channel for some interesting information about St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland. My Irish-American Catholic mother, Genny O’Donnell Kozusko, would like to remind you that St. Patrick’s Day is a Catholic feast day, so instead of drinking green beer you should really just go to mass. And say a few rosaries while you’re at it. Anyway…
I’m not sure how priests would feel about the aroma of Guinness, melted butter, and chocolate, but it smelled pretty heavenly to me. This is the first time I’ve ever baked with alcohol, and the process was not nearly as intimidating as I’d thought. The batter for these cupcakes is very thin at first, almost the consistency of honey; after it begins to cool a bit it’s a bit more viscous.
Note: this is a big recipe! The original recipe, which is from the Authentic Suburban Gourmet, was written as yielding 24 regular-sized cupcakes. My batch yielded nearly twice that, resulting in 24 regular-sized cupcakes and 24 miniature cupcakes.
- 1 cup Guinness
- 1 cup salted butter, cut into chunks
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 cups sugar
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
In a medium saucepan, combine Guinness and butter and bring to a simmer until butter is completely melted. Add cocoa powder and whisk until blended; set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, sour cream, and eggs and beat on medium speed until combined. With the mixer running on low, slowly pour the Guinness mixture into the sugar mixture and beat until smooth. Add baking soda and salt, beating until combined. Add flour, one cup at a time, beating mixture for about 1 minute. Batter will be warm and very thin; it will thicken slightly as it cools.
Using a quarter-cup measuring cup, scoop batter into regular-sized cupcake pans, filling about three-quarters full; for the miniature cupcakes, I used a tablespoon measuring spoon and also filled the liners about three-quarters full. Regular-sized cupcakes bake for 17-20 minutes and miniatures bake for 8-10, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pans for about 1 minute, then remove to wire racks to cool completely before frosting.
Devil’s Cut Frosting
- 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Devil’s Cut whiskey
In a mixing bowl, cream together cream cheese and butter until very well-combined.
Add powdered sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time, beating until well-combined, then add cocoa powder and beat until smooth. Add whiskey and continue to beat for 3-4 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl frequently, until frosting is very smooth and ingredients are completely incorporated.
Fit a piping bag with a large plain tip and pipe onto cooled cupcakes. Store in the refrigerator.