Saint Patrick’s Day is probably one of my favorite holidays for food and drink. I find this “alcoholiday” rather inspiring and decided to try creating a recipe using Irish-themed booze in a home baking experiment. I have always wanted to indulge in a Guinness beer chocolate cake and had an idea for an Irish mint cream cheese frosting to accompany the festive theme. These Luck-of-the-Irish cupcakes were fun to create and the YouTube video above offers a look inside my kitchen at home as I played around with this recipe idea.
The Guinness beer compliments the cocoa added to the cake and lends a certain moistness that can be attributed to the addition of a cup of stout. The extra stout or the draught bottled versions of Guinness work pretty much the same in this cupcake recipe. I noticed, when pouring and measuring the Guinness, the beer foams so much more than other beers I have used in cooking. Curious about why, I searched the Guinness website to see if the company could explain what I observed. Apparently, the foam is the result of a little chemistry and this plastic contraption in the bottle called a “widget”.
A what? A widget. The Guinness website explains below:
What is the widget – and how does it work?
Glad you asked. The widget is a plastic molded device that sits on the top of the contents of each can of GUINNESS® Draught. When the can is opened, a small amount of beer and nitrogen, trapped in the widget, is forced out through the beer, which creates the famous creamy head that you find on a pint of GUINNESS® Draught served in a pub. The widget gives GUINNESS® Draught in cans the taste and texture of a pub-poured pint at home. In GUINNESS® Draught in bottles, the clever little ‘rocket’ widget floats free in the beer to refresh the creamy head of your GUINNESS® Draught with each swig you take from the bottle.
Therefore, knowing that the Guinness Draught version is designed to produce a large foam head, be aware that measuring one cup of beer directly from the bottle can present a challenge. To avoid spilled beer, I encourage using a larger, clear measuring cup for measuring the beer. I used a two cup liquid measuring cup and did not spill any stout. Although there was plenty of foam that reached almost to the two cup mark, I made sure that the beer itself measured one cup. The extra foam is just a bonus in this recipe.
Enjoy the cupcakes. With that, I leave you with a couple Irish blessings.
“May the winds of fortune sail you,
May you sail a gentle sea.
May it always be the other guy
who says this drink’s on me.”
“Here’s to the wine we love to drink, and the food we like to eat.
Here’s to our wives and sweethearts, let’s pray they never meet.
Here’s champagne for our real friends. And real pain for our sham friends.
And when this life is over, may all of us find peace”
A chocolate Guinness cupcake is served with an Irish mint cream cheese frosting for a festive Saint Patrick's Day treat. With the addition of three types of alcohol, this recipe can be declared as naughty as a leprechaun.
- Cupcake Ingredients
- Guinness Beer (draught or extra stout, your choice) - 1 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 1/2 cup
- Granulated Sugar - 2 cups
- Baking Cocoa - 3/4 cup
- Eggs, beaten - 2 each
- Sour Cream - 1/2 cup
- Buttermilk - 1/4 cup
- All-Purpose Flour, sifted - 2 cups
- baking soda - 1 1/2 teaspoons
- Irish Mint Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients
- Cream Cheese, softened - 1 package (8 ounces)
- Confectioner's Sugar - 2 cups
- Bailey's Irish Cream - 1/3 cup
- Creme de Menthe Liquour - 2 Tablespoons
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare 4 muffin pans with cupcake liners.
Over low heat, melt a stick of butter with the Guinness beer. Remove beer and butter from heat once butter has completely melted. In a small bowl, mix the granulated sugar and cocoa. Whisk the sugar mixture into the beer and butter mixture. In a small bowl, stir together the egg, sour cream and buttermilk. Add the egg mixture to the cake batter and whisk until uniform. In a small bowl, sift 2 cups of all-purpose flour and the baking soda. Add the flour mixture slowly to the cake batter. Stir vigorously until smooth. Using a 1/3 cup measuring cup, scoop the batter into the lined muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when poked in the center. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
Irish Mint Cream Cheese Frosting Directions
Using an electric mixer, place 8 ounces of softened cream cheese in a mixing bowl. Add the powdered sugar, Irish cream and then the Crème de Menthe. Mix until frosting appears smooth. Scrape the frosting from the mixing bowl into a piping bag with a large tip. Generously frost the cupcakes and add some simple, yet festive touches with green sparkles or shamrock sprinkles. Enjoy!