Looking for the PERFECT dessert for St. Patrick’s Day? Fluffy, chocolatey Guinness Cupcakes with Baileys Frosting, also known as Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes, are a decadent treat for sharing. Makes 21 cupcakes.
These Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes were originally published on March 14, 2012. The post was updated in January 2021.
Since living in Baton Rouge during college, I became a fan of St. Patrick’s Day and all the shenanigans it encompasses.
I attended my first Wearin’ of the Green during college, and when we moved back to Baton Rouge after our stint in Nashville, I was overjoyed to celebrate this gloriously green holiday again.
The added bonus was we had various friends who lived on the parade route, all of whom hosted parties. Which meant we spent an entire Saturday bouncing from party to party and offering boozy cupcakes to our cohorts. As you do. 😉
Why I love this recipe:
These Guinness Cupcakes are insanely chocolately and moist, and paired with the Baileys frosting? Ooooooh boy, are they good.
These are a spin off a popular “bomb shot” and transformed into a decadent chocolate dessert.
What makes them special? The chocolate is wonderfully rich. The frosting, made with Irish cream, is delightfully creamy. And when put together, these are a mouth full of heavenly flavors.
Other St. Patrick’s Day desserts we love: No Churn Guinness Brownie Ice Cream | Irish Cream Biscuits with Boozy Chocolate Ganache | Irish Mule | Chocolate Chip Irish Cream Pound Cake | Guinness Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting Drizzle
Looking for more St. Patrick’s Day food? Check out my St. Patrick’s Day recipe index!
Must-Have Tools for Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes
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- Cupcake tin
- Glass bowls
- Hand mixer
- Cookie scoop for scooping the batter into the cupcake tins. Trust me when I say this makes it so much easier and the cupcakes more even!
- Green cupcake liners for making ’em extra festive!
In addition to these tools, you’re going to need some ingredients, as well:
- All-purpose flour—we keep unbleached in our house, but the regular kind is A-OK, too.
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
- Kosher salt
- Unsweetened cocoa powder—NOT Dutch process, so be sure to read your cocoa powder’s label
- Mascarpone cheese—this creamy Italian cheese can usually be found in the dairy section with fresh mozzarella and ricotta
- Granulated sugar
- Guinness Extra Stout Beer (or another stout beer of your choosing)
- Bailey’s Irish Cream (or another brand of Irish Cream)
- Powdered sugar
How to Make Guinness Cupcakes
Preheat your oven, and line the cupcake tin with cupcake liners because these will make your job go by faster once you get the cupcakes made. Set ’em aside to make the cupcake batter.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, soda, powder, salt and cocoa powder. Whisk them together until incorporated, then set them aside.
In another bowl, cream the eggs with the mascarpone and sugar with a hand mixer or a stand mixer. The eggs will become a light yellow color as these ingredients are incorporated.
Pour in the Guinness to the egg mixture, and stir with a rubber spatula until combined.
Drizzle the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and whisk ’em together until combined.
Use a cookie scoop or a spoon to measure out the batter into the prepared cupcake liners, then bake them for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes cool completely while you make the frosting.
How to make Baileys Frosting
You’re going to use another large bowl to make the frosting. In it, combine the mascarpone, Irish cream and powdered sugar, and whip them together using a hand mixer.
Add the powdered sugar incrementally so that you don’t get powdered sugar spray all over you, but I’ve found that it’s not too bad (or bad at all!) if your bowl is large enough.
You’re going to make sure that the frosting is extremely creamy before you dollop it on top of the cupcakes. You can also use a pastry bag to swirl the frosting onto the cupcakes, too, if that’s more your speed.
Decorate the cupcakes however you see fit–you can see that we dig sprinkles in our house–and serve ’em up!
Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips
Chocolate Stout Cupcakes are the perfect dessert to bring to or have at your St. Patrick’s Day party because they are incredibly festive and also delicious!
As always, take a breath before you host, and planning ahead can save you a lot of stress and handwringing.
Here are some of my suggestions for throwing a fabulous St. Patrick’s Day party with these boozy chocolate cupcakes.
- Bake the Irish Car Bomb cupcakes a day before the festivities are set to begin so you don’t have to worry about ’em. Store them covered at room temperature overnight.
- Make the Baileys frosting just before guests arrive or make it in advance and store in the fridge. Don’t frost the cupcakes yet, though! If you’re storing it in the fridge, it might thicken up as it chills, so be prepared to add 1-2 tablespoons of milk to thin it out before piping/smearing onto the cupcakes.
- Let your guests decorate ’em! It’s fun to make your own cupcake and dictate how much (or little) Baileys frosting it has, as well as the decor. If you’re comfortable with it and think your guests might enjoy it, let them do this step and give them some fun sprinkles to add for a festive color.
- Looking for more St. Patrick’s Day entertaining information? Check out St. Patrick’s Day Party Food for inspiration, as well as head on over to the following recipes: Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur, Lucky Charms Cookies and Irish Corned Beef Nacho Bites!
If you want to make these cupcakes for a gathering or anytime that’s NOT St. Patrick’s Day, I think that’s amazing! Use different sprinkles and colors if you feel led, but do not think these cupcakes are only for St. Patrick’s Day.
Frequently Asked Questions
Don’t skip the beer. Trust me on this because it makes the chocolate so much richer, and the alcohol bakes out, so you don’t need to worry about that!
That said, if you don’t use Guinness, that’s OK. Replace it with another full-bodied stout beer that’s NOT flavored.
Basically, it’s an Italian version of soft, creamy cheese. While it’s very similar to that of cream cheese, it is softer and has less tang than cream cheese does. It also has a higher percentage of milk fat.
Helpful hint: I’ve found mine in the cheese case with the ricottas and whole mozzarella balls.
However, if you can’t find it at your grocery, use cream cheese instead. Just make sure that it’s at room temperature so it blends into the batter and frosting like a dream.
The beer will bake out of the cupcakes as they cook, so you shouldn’t fret about the beer. The purpose of the stout is to give the chocolate some extra punch and to let the cupcakes be insanely moist. Your can use coffee in place of the stout beer if you’re concerned about it, too.
For the icing, simply add milk or a little half-and-half instead of Irish Cream.
If you’re hesitant to serve kids these cupcakes, even though the beer cooks out, I suggest whipping up my Sour Cream Funfetti Cupcakes instead. Just be sure to use St. Patrick’s Day-colored sprinkles to add to the festiveness.
Because the frosting is dairy-centric, I do not recommend letting these sit out for more than a few hours. Store the iced cupcakes in the fridge, covered, for 3-4 days.
Yes, you could call these Guinness Cupcakes. (For the record, I don’t like the name.) There is a drink called an Irish Car Bomb, also known as an Irish Slammer, that you can order at bars where you’re given a pint of Guinness, and you drop in a shot of Irish whiskey and Irish cream and chug it before the dairy curdles. Some people refer to this as a “bomb shot.”
Tips and Tricks for the BEST St. Patrick’s Day Cupcakes
- Can’t find crema di mascarpone? Use cream cheese or sour cream instead. Just makes sure it’s at room temperature!
- Not a Guinness fan? Swap it for another (unflavored) stout beer. While a flavored stout is tasty, we don’t want whatever the flavor is to take away from the chocolatey deliciousness of these cupcakes.
- Make the Baileys Frosting in advance, and store it in the fridge! Since it’s dairy-heavy, it should not sit out more than a few hours.
Looking for the PERFECT boozy dessert to bring to St. Patrick's Day festivities? Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes with Creamy Bailey's Frosting make a lovely sweet treat. These cupcakes, which call for a cup of Guinness, bake up quickly before being topped with a decadent Irish Cream Frosting.
Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup Guinness Extra Stout Beer
Bailey's Irish Cream Frosting
- ½ cup mascarpone cheese
- 1 tablespoon Bailey's Irish Cream (or another brand of Irish Cream)
- 2 cups powdered sugar
Make the Cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a cupcake tin with liners, and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, soda, powder, salt and cocoa powder. Whisk together until incorporated.
- Cream together the eggs, mascarpone, and sugar using a hand mixer or a stand mixer in another bowl.
- Add the Guinness to egg mixture, and stir until combined.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. You don't want to overmix this and don't need to worry about lumps!
- Pour the batter into cupcake liners using a cookie scoop or a measuring cup.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- When the cupcakes are baked through, remove from the oven, and let them cool completely.
Make the Bailey's Irish Cream Frosting
- Combine the mascarpone, Irish cream and powdered sugar in a large bowl.
- Using a hand mixer, beat the ingredients together until smooth.
- Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, dollop the frosting on top of them. (You can also use a pastry bag and swirl the frosting onto the cupcakes--your call!)
- Decorate the cupcakes with sprinkles or any other type of edible decoration before enjoying.
Please note that you might have to bake your cupcakes for a bit longer. In my older oven, I had to bake them for 22 minutes for them to be cooked all the way through.
Substitution alert: Can't find crema di mascarpone? Substitute it for the same amount of cream cheese, at room temperature.
To make this recipe KID FRIENDLY: Substitute milk for Bailey's in the icing. You don't need to worry about the Guinness in the cupcakes, though, because as the cupcakes cook, the alcohol will evaporate and give an extra chocolate-y punch. If you are uncomfortable with the beer in the cupcakes for your kids, substitute coffee for the stout.
To make this recipe EXTRA DECADENT: Brush the cupcakes with Irish Whiskey before icing. You can also use BelGioioso's crema di mascarpone cheese for extra creaminess with a little extra sweetness.
A word about storing these cupcakes: Since the frosting has a lot of dairy in it, I do not recommend storing iced cupcakes at room temperature. These would do far better in the fridge.
You can also bake the cupcakes before your gathering and make the frosting separately. Store the frosting in the fridge in a pastry bag or a bowl, and frost the cupcakes just before guests arrive.
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Serving Size:1 frosted cupcake
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 163Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 232mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 0gSugar: 20gProtein: 2g
Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.