These decadent Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes are rich, most, and super chocolatey! They’re made with basic ingredients and topped with a rich chocolate cream cheese frosting. The addition of Guinness enhances the chocolate flavor, and makes these a fun St. Patrick’s Day treat!
Now, if you’re already skeptical of these cupcakes, let me just tell you – Guinness is SO good in desserts! It enhances the chocolate flavor without giving a super strong beer taste, so even people who don’t like beer (me!) will love these. Let’s make ’em!
How to Make Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes:
Start by mixing up a super simple chocolate batter. You’ll need the usual cast of basic ingredients:
- Brown & granulated sugar
- Cocoa powder
- Baking soda & powder
- Espresso powder
- Greek Yogurt
- Vegetable Oil
- Vanilla extract
Surprisingly, cupcakes made with vegetable oil rather than butter are incredibly moist and tender! And, this batter comes together so easily – just whisk together the dry ingredients, and then stir in the wet. It’s that simple!
Filling the cupcake liners:
Add cupcake liners to your pan, and fill about 2/3 of the way full. If you fill them more than this, the cupcakes will balloon out over the top of each well during the bake. In general, it’s a good rule of thumb to only fill your cupcake liners 2/3 of the way.
Bake your cupcakes:
Bake the cupcakes for 14 to 16 minutes. They’ll be super moist – a toothpick will pull out some moist crumbs, but shouldn’t pull out any wet batter. Set them aside to cool for a bit, then remove them from the pan and let them cool completely before frosting them. Frosting will melt right off of a warm or hot cupcake.
Just look at the deep chocolatey goodness of those cupcakes!
Can I make these without alcohol?
Yes! Simply sub the 1 cup of Guinness called for in the recipe for 1 cup of milk. (I recommend 2%) You can omit the 2 tablespoons of alcohol from the frosting as well.
How to make the best Chocolate Frosting:
This frosting is SO incredibly rich and chocolatey. It’s extra creamy, thanks to a combo of butter and cream cheese. I love using both in all my frostings – it helps keep them from having that overly sweet taste that plain buttercream often has.
Add a pinch of espresso powder to enhance the chocolate flavor – it won’t add a coffee taste. A few more splashes of Guinness make this frosting incredibly delicious! If you want to spike your frosting with something else, try Jameson Irish Whiskey or Bailey’s Irish Cream – either of those options would be fabulous, too.
How to frost your cupcakes:
You can frost your cupcakes using a piping bag and tip, or you can swirl and swoop it on with a butter knife or offset spatula. Use whatever option you prefer! I used an Ateco 849 Piping Tip with a piping bag to frost my cupcakes. (Be careful when putting this piping tip in the piping bag. Do NOT let your finger slide into the opening of the piping tip- trust me, it’s painful.)
If you don’t want as much frosting on your cupcakes, cut the frosting recipe in half. But, you will need the full amount if you want to create the large swirls on top.
How long do these last?
In my experience, these are best on the first 1-2 days. Store them in an airtight container in the fridge – the frosting needs to be kept refrigerated. But, let them come to room temp for a bit (30 minutes or so) before serving, so the frosting isn’t so solidified from sitting in the fridge.
And there you have it – the best chocolate cupcakes! I hope you love this recipe as much as we do. Happy baking, and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
More St. Patrick’s Day Desserts:
Bailey’s Chocolate Mousse Parfaits – Silky smooth layers of Irish cream-infused whipped cream, chocolate whipped cream, and crushed oreos make up these delightful personal-sized desserts!
No-Bake Mint Chocolate Pie – This luscious dessert requires only 8 ingredients and less than an hour to make!
Guinness Chocolate Cake – A rich chocolate cake made with Guinness and brown butter, and topped with the creamiest cream cheese + brown butter Guinness frosting
Layered Mint Chocolate Brownies – Layered with a rich, fudgy brownie base, a creamy mint buttercream filling, and a luscious layer of chocolate ganache.
Lucky Charms Rice Krispie Treats – These colorful gluten-free treats require just 5 ingredients and 15 minutes to make.
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Best Ever Chocolate Cupcakes with Creamy Chocolate Truffle Frosting
To Bloom the Cocoa Powder
- 3/4 cup + 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder 77 grams
- 3/4 cup very hot water (almost boiling!)
For the Chocolate Cupcakes
- 1 and 1/2 cups cake flour, spooned + leveled 165 grams
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp brown sugar, packed 241 grams
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar 113 grams
- 1 and 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp espresso powder
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp milk, at room temperature 90 mL
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup full-fat sour cream, at room temperature 180 grams
- 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp vegetable oil 66 mL
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
For the Chocolate Frosting
- 12 ounces chopped milk chocolate, melted and cooled to room temperature Use a baking bar like Ghirardelli or Baker's, rather than chocolate chips. See note below.
- 1 and 1/2 cups salted butter, softened at room temperature (3 sticks, 24 tbsp, or 339 grams)
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 3/4 cup + 1 tbsp cocoa powder 77 grams
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 12 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temp Use the full fat, block style
- Prep: Preheat your oven to 350℉. Place cupcake liners in your muffin/cupcake pan.
- Bloom the Cocoa Powder: Microwave the water in a microwave safe glass measuring cup until it's very hot - you'll want almost boiling water. Whisk in the cocoa powder. You'll have an almost fudgy mixture. Set aside to cool.
- Make the Cupcake Batter: Whisk together all the dry ingredients (the cake flour through the espresso powder in the ingredient list) in a large mixing bowl. Check that your cocoa mixture isn't piping hot (it will still be warm) and whisk the milk into the cocoa mixture. Add the eggs to the measuring cup that held the milk, and beat them lightly with a fork. Add the bloomed cocoa & milk mixture, the beaten eggs, and the remaining wet ingredients (sour cream, vegetable oil, and vanilla) to the dry ingredients. Gently fold everything together with a silicone spatula, making sure to scrape down to the bottom of the bowl, stopping as soon as no streaks of flour remain. If the batter has some lumps, that's ok! (It's better than over-mixing,)
- Bake: Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full. Bake cupcakes for 13-15 minutes. The tops will be set and will lightly spring back when gently poked, and a toothpick inserted into the middle will come out with moist crumbs - not wet batter. Once the cupcake pan is out of the oven, I like to use a butter knife to pop the hot cupcakes out of the cavities and place them on a wire rack to cool completely. I don't want them to continue baking in the hot pan. (You can wait a few minutes to do this so they aren't as hot.)
- Make the Chocolate Frosting: Melt the milk chocolate in a large mixing bowl, in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, then stirring vigorously after 2-3 intervals, using the residual heat in the bow to melt the remaining lumps. Allow to cool to room temperature. Beat the softened butter into the melted chocolate until well combined. Add the powdered sugar in two additions, mixing well between each, adding a splash of milk as needed to help it come together. Add all remaining ingredients except the cream cheese. Beat until combined, then mix in the cream cheese very last.
- Frost the Cupcakes: Use a piping bag and piping tip, or an offset spatula or butter knife to frost your cooled cupcakes. I used an Ateco 849 tip to create the large swirls pictured here. Pop a chocolate heart on top for extra flair!
- Serve + Store: Enjoy immediately! Store frosted cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge. These are best within the first 2-3 days.
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