St. Patrick’s Day is upon us once again, and I for one, couldn’t be happier. St. Paddy’s Day has always signaled the unofficial start of spring for me, with the promise of longer, warmer, sunnier days ahead. I always have fun trying to come up with an Irish-themed cupcake for St Patrick’s Day, looking for something delicious and original. I was having a tough time this year, and was about to give up when I found inspiration in, of all places, Redbook magazine. In this month’s issue, Redbook included an article featuring several yummy-looking recipes using Guinness stout, including an amazing Guinness Milkshake. This potent potable combines Guinness stout, ice-cream, shaved chocolate and caramel sauce, topped with whipped cream. Brilliant, right? (There was also a recipe for Guinness Candied Bacon, which I will definitely be trying soon…very soon.)
Now the Guinness milkshake sounds awesome enough on its own, but I got to thinking, wouldn’t those ingredients make a fabulous St. Patrick’s Day cupcake? I definitely thought so and set out to prove myself right. I started with a chocolate stout cupcake, topped it with a fluffy marshmallow buttercream that calls to mind a delicious, creamy vanilla ice cream, sprinkled on a little shaved dark chocolate and topped it all off with a drizzle of Irish whiskey caramel sauce. Amazing! These cupcakes turned out so moist and rich, so delicious and caramel-ly, with just a hint of that Irish spirit coming through. Perfect!
Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes
Thanks to Brown eyed Baker for this wonderful recipe!
1 cup Guinness Stout
1 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill cupcake tins with 24 liners. Combine Guinness and butter in a heavy saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Let cool slightly.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sour cream on medium speed until combined. Add the Guinness-chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and beat just to combine. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, beating briefly. Using a rubber spatula, fold the batter until completely combined.
Divide the batter among the prepared cupcake tins. Bake for approximately 17 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a rack.
Marshmallow Vodka Buttercream
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups marshmallow Fluff
3 cups confectioners sugar
1-2 tablespoons marshmallow vodka, or to taste
Cream butter and marshmallow Fluff together in large bowl of electric mixer until well combined and fluffy. Add confectioners sugar, salt and vodka, mixing on low speed until combined, then on high speed until light and fluffy, approx. 5 minutes. One cupcakes are completely cool, frost as desired and drizzle with caramel sauce.
Jameson’s Irish Whiskey Caramel Sauce
This recipe makes a little more caramel sauce than you probably need for these cupcakes, but I suspect you’ll find a way to use it all up! Just store the leftovers covered in the fridge.
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup Jameson’s Irish Whiskey
Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium and continue to boil 1 minute without stirring. Remove from heat. Stir in Irish whiskey. Cool completely, stirring every few minutes.
Drizzle over frosted cupcakes.