It’s that time of year again!! St. Patty’s Day happens to be one of my favorite holidays maybe because I’m one of those obnoxious people that pretends I’m fully Irish when really I’m only a quarter… if that. But I definitely have extremely fond memories of it from college. Watching a UVA rugby match, green beer and jello shots at the bars, the bagpipes and loud Irish rock blasting from the frats, ugh I’m getting so excited just thinking about it! Let’s just say – I’m REALLY glad I moved to a city that celebrates it like it’s New Years. It’s like a week long event here in Baltimore so clearly I had to start early.
So, without further ado, let me share this amazing recipe I tried out this week: Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes. For anyone that is unaware, an Irish Car Bomb is a popular St. Patty’s Day drink. It’s a shot of Jameson whiskey and Baileys Irish cream dropped into a glass of Guinness. The trick is to chug it before the cream curdles. I’m embarrassed to admit I’d never tried one until this past weekend. I know…. and I call myself Irish. So shameful. I was also incredibly unsuccessful. But what I was successful at was recreating this popular drink in a cupcake and MY GOD they’re delicious. I originally got the idea from a cake that the Mister’s sister (ha) made once. It didn’t take much Googling to find a ton of recipes out there for it including this one from Quick Feet Good Eats (link temporarily removed due to security) that looked to die for. I tweaked it here and there (mostly just in how much alcohol I added), so here’s my version:
Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes
Makes 24 cupcakes
For the Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes
- 1 cup Guinness
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 1 1/4 c. bittersweet chocolate chips
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 4-5 teaspoons Irish whiskey…. ok so I probably ended up using like 8.
- 4 c. powdered sugar
- 2 ½ stick unsalted butter, at room temperatue
- 7 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream
Making the Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add Guinness and simmer. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly. If the mixture separates a little as it cools, that’s ok. It’s bound to happen. Just whisk it back together a little before adding it to the rest of the batter later.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend (1). Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend (2). Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine (3). Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed.
Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way (I used a 1/4 c. measuring cup as a guide). Bake cupcakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, rotating them once front to back if your oven bakes unevenly, about 20 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely.
Jameson Whiskey Ganache
While your cupcakes are cooling, heat the cream until simmering. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Add the chocolate chips and then stir until smooth. (If the chocolate hasn’t melted completely this way, you can return it to a double-boiler to gently melt what remains. 20 seconds in the microwave, watching carefully, will also work.) Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined.
Filling the Cupcakes
Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped (the fridge will speed this along but you must stir it every 10 minutes). Meanwhile, using a 1-inch round cookie cutter or your icing tip, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes(1). You want to go most of the way down the cupcake but not cut through the bottom — aim for 2/3 of the way. A slim spoon or grapefruit knife will help you get the center out. Those are your “tasters”… I followed her instructions exactly on this step. Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top. I only had one piping bag, so I just used a plastic sandwich bag with a whole cut in the corner instead for this step(2).
Whip the room temperature butter in the bowl of an electric mixer for several minutes. You want to get it very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time. Seriously. Do this step slowly. I got a little overzealous and got caught in a powdered sugar cloud in my kitchen. Don’t make the same mistake. When the frosting looks thick enough to spread, drizzle in the Baileys and whip it until combined. If this has made the frosting too thin (it shouldn’t, but just in case) beat in another spoonful or two of powdered sugar.
I used a 12″ piping bag with a large coupler and star tip to do a basic swirl. For one of the best and easiest tricks for filling a piping bag (completely mess free), check out Karen’s video tutorial. This was the first time I ever tried this method and I’ll never go back – it was SO EASY.
All you need now are some sprinkles and edible pearls and voila! Irish Car Bomb cupcakes. From the rave reviews I received from my coworkers and friends who had the opportunity to try them, I can promise you these are a crowd pleaser. Happy St. Patty’s Day everyone!
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