baking with booze, cupcakes, Easter, irish car bomb

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

My oldest sibling once told me that I was a bad Irishwoman. He had, around the age of 20, given me my first sip of Guinness and I hated it.
And, despite my better efforts over the past 14 years to find a beer that’s somewhat tolerable to me, that experience still stands as one of the most awful tasting beverages I’ve come across (smoked beers, I believe, take that prize).

I have found, though, that I can tolerate even the beeriest of beers when they are cooked, whether it be a tempura batter or the braising liquid for sauerkraut. Last month, sitting around the table during Easter Brunch, the Missus’ wonderful cousin, Miss D., introduced me to my favorite form of Guinness to date: the cupcake.

She kept calling them ‘Irish Car Bomb’ cupcakes, though they seem to be an alcoholic ingredient short of their potent namesake. But, I honestly didn’t know what was exactly in an Irish Car Bomb drink until I looked it up, so we’ll go with her name. It’s also just more fun to say.

Out of the 12 variations of pork, 4 salads, 5 cheeses and 5 desserts that we grazed on that afternoon, this was the only bit of food that made the 2 hour trek home with us. And it didn’t last long once it was here.

The cake base itself has a gorgeous, dense crumb to it and lacks any bitter bite from the Guinness. Paired with the wonderfully boozy frosting(the variation I made this week was extremely boozy according to the Missus), I was quite surprised how much I enjoyed it. In fact, I’d say I was a bit blissed out from the cakes(or drunk on frosting, which is entirely possible considering my embarrassing tolerance).

Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes Recipe
Makes: 24 cupcakes
By Dave Lieberman


  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle Guinness stout
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sour cream **I used Creme Fraiche
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, plus more for garnish
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

For the frosting:

  • 1 pt of heavy cream
  • 1/2C sugar
  • 1 (4oz) pkg instant French vanilla pudding **Used 16oz of Mascarpone instead, see notes below
  • 1/4-1/2C of Bailey’s Irish Cream **Used Jameson’s Whiskey instead


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • In large mixing bowl, combine the Guinness, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the sour cream.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour, and baking soda. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet Guinness mixture.
  • Butter 24 muffin tins and divide the batter among the muffin tins.
  • Bake 25 minutes, until risen and set in the middle but still soft and tender. Cool before turning out of the tins.


  • In a large bowl, beat heavy cream until it starts to thicken.
  • Slowly add sugar.
  • (Add instant pudding).**Here I veered off, whipping the Mascarpone in a separate bowl.
  • Slowly add Bailey’s to taste.**I added the Jameson’s to the whipped cream that was made in the 1st step.
  • **Gentley fold whipped cream into Mascarpone.**
  • Frost cake or cupcakes and enjoy