Guinness cupcakes with Bailey’s buttercream icing

To start, Happy New Year! I really can’t believe it’s 2010 already.

I was able to ring in the new year with lots of food, good friends, and explosives; I don’t think I could have asked for a better night!

For the party, I decided to make Guinness cupcakes with Bailey’s icing. These are close to the “Irish Carbomb” cupcake, but without the chocolate ganache filling. I wasn’t comfortable enough with filling the cupcakes since I’m still pretty new to baking, so I skipped that part. I’m sure they would have been even more delicious with the chocolate and Jameson filling, but I think they turned out pretty darn good without it!

As I mentioned in my last post, I got the 500 Cupcakes cookbook for Christmas. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any New Years Eve/Day specific cupcakes, so I prowled the internet for a boozy recipe. Let me tell you, I found A LOT of recipes, that were all basically the same. I had originally seen the recipe from Smitten Kitchen. However, this time I went with We Are Not Martha‘s recipe since as a novice baker it had some more detail to the instructions (though the recipes are the same).

The cupcake recipe was pretty easy and straight forward (see below), and it didn’t take any longer than a regular mix would. The cake itself was a deep chocolate brown and smelled amazing when they came out of the oven. They had a really great texture, too.

The icing, however, was a little more tedious. For this, I went with Smitten Kitchen’s recipe (see below), since We Are Not Martha had a regular cream cheese frosting. The icing was definitely boozier than the cupcakes, since no heating was involved, leaving all of the alcohol.

Now let me tell you, making buttercream takes a lot of work! I had no idea whatsoever as to the ingredients, the process, or anything. The icing definitely took me the longest. One benefit was definitely the great arm and hand workout I got! I started off creaming the butter with an electric mixer, but then once I added the confections sugar, I decided just a spoon would work better.

Overall it was a long process, since I only have one 12 cupcake pan, I had to do each batch separately. Making the buttercream also took awhile. I spent about 2 hours or so in the kitchen, but I think it was worth it in the end!

I was definitely nervous about the outcome, more so of the icing than the cupcakes themselves, though. I knew the chocolate and Guinness flavors would go well together, but I was apprehensive about the Bailey’s, and especially combining the two. Thankfully, they turned out deliciously! All 24 cupcakes were gone by about 1am, and I got tons of compliments. People were shocked at the ingredients, but really interested at the same time.

On my hunt I found some other really interesting boozy cupcake recipes, such as Jello shot cupcakes, gin & tonic cupcakes, red wine cupcakes, and others. I’m definitely going to try and make another alcohol infused cupcake for the next party I attend. Maybe in the future I’ll try to tackle these again, but with the filling.

I definitely suggest trying to make these if you have the time; they’re great for a party!

Here are the cupcake and icing recipes… enjoy!

Guinness Cupcakes (makes about 24):

What you’ll need:

  • 1.5 C Guinness
  • 1 stick butter, plus 1 T (unsalted)
  • 3/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 C dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 C sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 2 C flour
  • 2 1/2 t baking soda


Chop butter into little pieces, and melt in saucepan over medium heat with Guinness
Once melted, remove from heat and whisk in cocoa and sugar
In a separate bowl, whisk together sour cream, egg and vanilla
Combine the beer and cream mixture
In another bowl, sift together flour and baking soda
Fold the dry ingredients into the Guinness and cream mixture
Bake the cupcakes at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Let cool

Bailey’s Buttercream Icing:

What you’ll need:

  • 3 to 4 cups confections sugar
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperatue
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons Baileys (or milk, or heavy cream, or a combination thereof)


Whip the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, for several minutes till light & fluffy.
Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time.*
When frosting looks thick enough to spread, drizzle Bailey’s (or milk) and whip 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.
Ice and decorate!

*The slower the better! When you add the sugar slowly, quick buttercream frosting will be less grainy, and tend to require less sugar to thicken it up!

A special thanks to my oh so wonderful boyfriend for using his nice new DSLR camera to take the beautiful pictures of the cupcakes!

So here’s to 2010 and some seriously delicious nomzing!

3 thoughts on “Guinness cupcakes with Bailey’s buttercream icing

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