Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes with Baileys Frosting

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.

Love St. Patrick’s Day celebrations at home? Don’t skip Mashed Potato Beef Hand Pies and Irish Mule!

Iced Cupcakes on a marble platter, displayed for a party

2021 update: These Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes were originally published on March 14, 2012. The post was updated with new images, tips and tricks 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. 😉

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    Why I love this recipe:

    These Guinness Cupcakes have wonderful chocolate flavor. They’re also super moist, and paired with the Bailey’s Irish Cream 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 CreamIrish Cream Biscuits with Boozy Chocolate GanacheIrish MuleChocolate Chip Irish Cream Pound CakeGuinness Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting Drizzle

    Looking for more St. Patrick’s Day food? Check out my St. Patrick’s Day recipe index!

    Batter in a bowl, ready to be scooped into cupcake liners

    What you need to make this recipe:

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    Let’s talk ingredients!

    In addition to the tools above, you’re going to need some ingredients to make this recipe, too! Chances are, you might already have some of them in your fridge or pantry. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full measurements and instructions.

    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.
    • Leaveners — we’re using a combination of baking soda and baking powder. Make sure yours are fresh.
    • Kosher salt — medium-grain kosher salt is my go-to for cooking. Diamond Crystal is my favorite brand. Another similarly sized salt could work, like sea salt. Table salt is saltier.
    • Unsweetened cocoa powder — NOT Dutch process, so be sure to read your cocoa powder’s label
    • Eggs — large eggs from the grocery store is what I purchase.
    • Mascarpone cheese — this creamy Italian cheese can usually be found in the dairy section with fresh mozzarella and ricotta
    • Granulated sugar — also known as white sugar, this is the sweetener for our chocolate cake base.
    • Guinness Extra Stout Beer (or another stout beer of your choosing) —
    • Bailey’s Irish Cream (or another brand of Irish Cream) —
    • Powdered sugar — also known as confectioner’s sugar
    Cupcake batter being poured into cupcake liners before baking

    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.

    Combine the flour, soda, powder, salt and cocoa powder in a large bowl. Whisk them together until incorporated, then set them aside.

    Cream the eggs with the mascarpone and sugar with a hand mixer or a stand mixer in a separate bowl. 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 (AKA the flour mixture), 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 cupcakes cool completely while you make the frosting.

    Guinness Cupcakes cool on a wire rack, before they are frosted

    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!

    Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes, iced with Baileys Frosting, are decorated with green, white and gold sprinkles

    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.

    Cupcakes iced, decorated and ready for eating on a marble platter

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How do I make the BEST Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes?

    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.

    What is mascarpone cheese?

    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.

    I cannot find mascarpone! What can I use instead?

    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.

    How do I make this boozy cupcake recipe kid-friendly?

    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.

    How do I store these cupcakes?

    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.

    Are these cupcakes also known as Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes? What’s up with that name?

    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 u0022bomb shot.u0022

    Overhead image of several decorated Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes with Baileys Frosting and Pinterest text

    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.
    Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes, iced with Bailey's Icing, being decorated with green, white and gold sprinkles

    Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes with Creamy Bailey’s Frosting

    Erin Parker, The Speckled Palate
    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.
    4.86 from 7 votes
    Servings 21 cupcakes
    Calories 163 kcal
    Prep Time 20 minutes
    Cook Time 15 minutes
    Total Time 35 minutes


    Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes

    • 1 cup all-purpose flour 120g
    • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
    • ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
    • 3 eggs
    • ½ cup mascarpone cheese at room temperature
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 cup Guinness Extra Stout Beer

    Irish Cream Frosting

    • ½ cup mascarpone cheese
    • 1 tablespoon Bailey’s Irish Cream or another brand of Irish Cream
    • 2 cups powdered sugar

    As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.


    Make the Cupcakes

    • Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a cupcake tin with liners, and set aside.
    • Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together until incorporated.
    • In another mixing bowl, cream together the eggs, mascarpone, and sugar using a hand mixer or a stand mixer.
    • Pour the Guinness into the wet ingredients, 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 Irish Cream Frosting

    • Combine the mascarpone, Irish cream and powdered sugar in a large bowl.
    • Beat the ingredients with a hand mixer 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.)
    • 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 the Irish Cream 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


    Serving: 1frosted cupcakeCalories: 163kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 2gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 232mgSugar: 20g
    Keyword bailey’s irish cream, baking with booze, chocolate, chocolate dessert, cupcake, cupcake recipe, cupcakes, guinness, guinness cake, St. Patrick’s Day recipe
    Course Desserts & Sweet Treats
    Cuisine American
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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    About the Author:

    Erin Parker is a Southern gal living in Texas with her husband and two daughters. She started The Speckled Palate to share what she was cooking as a newlywed… and over the years, it’s evolved to capture her love for hosting. Specifically, the EASIEST, lowest key entertaining because everyone deserves to see their people and connect over good food. Learn more about her

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      1. DO IT! They’re delicious and super tasty. And the icing and simple syrup on top are the perfect things to go with that rich cupcake.

        Let me know what y’all think!

    1. MMMMMM!! Want to try those cupcakes for sure! Do not have a St. Patrick’s Day recipe unfortunately AND sadly enough this year I’ll be missing out on the annual Greenville Avenue St. Patty’s Day Parade here in Dallas. The parade itself isn’t THAT exciting, but so many people come out for it and then there’s a big block party. It’s just really cool to see some many people in Dallas out together!

      1. Give them a shot, and let me know what you think of them!

        I’m sad that you’re missing out on the annual parade in Dallas, but hopefully, you’ll be able to make next year’s! And I second the coolness of seeing so many people come out for a parade and partying throughout. I’m a big fan of that, and hope you have fun!

      1. You know I posted them for you and Charles, personally. 😉

        Have fun tomorrow! And don’t let him look at this page! I’ll just make some of these for him whenever we come to Houston, and we’ll hide them from you. Heh.

    2. I made a version of these last year! My brother was born on St. Patrick’s Day and my dad’s side of the family is mostly Irish, so it’s a big day for us. I’m making them again this year for a St. Patty’s party my boyfriend and I are attending. The recipe I used didn’t have the simple syrup and the frosting was butter cream instead of cream cheese… they were delicious!

      1. I love that you made a version of these cupcakes last year AND that your brother was born on St. Patty’s Day AND that you have a mostly Irish family. That’s awesome!

        Enjoy your cupcakes tomorrow, and I hope y’all have a wonderful time!

    3. Ok, so I attempted these for the NYE bash that unexpectedly happened at my house, and while everything went swimmingly for the cupcakes and the cream cheese icing, the Jameson syrup proved way too complicated for a novice like me. Therefore, as someone who will never let alcohol go to waste, I injected the watery, sugary whiskey into the cupcakes! (ok, so a little missed and ended up in the cook, a perk I’m sure).
      Let’s just say, the cupcakes were a hit!
      Thanks so much.

      1. For what it’s worth, the syrup was a bit of a challenge for me the first go round, too, girl. SO glad they were a hit for your NYE Bash, and I hope you continue trying some different recipes here!

    4. I made these for a party and they were so amazing! I kind of didn’t want to share with anyone else, they are so good I wanted to keep them for myself. The cupcakes are so chocolately and moist, and that frosting! OMG!

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