The Luck of the Irish

March 25, 2012

Wanting to get back in the kitchen to do some baking after a notable absence, I stumbled across this recipe shortly before St. Patrick’s Day: chocolate stout cupcakes with Irish whiskey filling. Huzzah! In other words, an Irish car bomb in cupcake form. For the uninitiated, an Irish car bomb drink is a nearly lethal concoction composed of stout beer, typically Guinness, Irish whiskey and Bailey’s Irish cream. The beer is poured in a glass and then a shot glass full of Bailey’s Irish cream topped with Irish whiskey is then dropped into the beer, after which, one proceeds to drink the entire drink at once. Come to find out, the irony of this drink, according to the always-accurate Wikipedia, is that it is virtually unheard of in Ireland and, if ordered, can be met with confusion or anger (car bombs are a sensitive subject there).

So, why then, would I decide to make cupcakes based on a drink typically unknown in Ireland to celebrate one of that country’s most hallowed holidays? Because the individual ingredients of an Irish car bomb are delightful in drink form and could only be elevated to near perfection as a cupcake, that’s why. And, the party I was attending was going to be mostly full of a bit older people, so I was rationalizing that many wouldn’t have ever heard of an Irish car bomb drink to begin with and wouldn’t know its insignificance in Irish culture, anyway. All they would know is they were eating an awesome homemade cupcake that sounded like it was right out of a St. Patrick’s Day celebration playbook, courtesy of their swell pal Rachel. That was my thinking anyway.

I found the recipe on the Serious Eats website. (Unpaid endorsement: If you enjoy Sugar Talk, baking, cooking and or reading in general, get yourself over to that website and subscribe to its weekly e-newsletter.) I followed the recipe more or less as written with the following exception: I used Murphy’s Stout instead of Guinness. Other notes of interest:

  • The recipe indicates it will make 24 cupcakes, however, I filled the cupcake liners to nearly full and had enough batter only for 20 cupcakes. I made a second, half batch and reduced the fill level to about two-thirds and still only had 10 cupcakes. So, I think you would be hard pressed to get 24 cupcakes out of this recipe.
  • The cooking time was exactly 20 minutes.
  • Fair disclosure (to my readers, not the eaters): I used Scotch whiskey, not Irish whiskey. I think someone would need to have an incredibly sophisticated palate to know the difference. Let’s just put it this way, I didn’t get any complaints.
  • The recipe indicates that you can/should double the frosting recipe if you prefer a lot of frosting on each cupcake. I doubled the frosting recipe and made a batch and a half (30 cupcakes total) and still had leftover frosting. You would need to put an almost unappealing amount of frosting on each cupcake if you were to double the recipe and use it just for 20-24 cupcakes. Don’t double the frosting recipe.

Care to take a look at how it went? Here you go:

The cupcake batter is ready to roll, er, pour. Murphy’s – you’re welcome for the free product placement.

Ready for the oven. You can see how full I filled the first batch. In retrospect, maybe you could eke out 24 cupcakes if you are more judicious with the batter pouring.

And out of the oven. Notice that even though I filled the liners almost to the top, the cupcakes didn’t spill over the top or get grossly domed.

Getting the cupcakes ready for the filling. Notice the perfectly cut out center area? Not the work of my steady hand, but yet another kitchen gadget for the gadget drawer: the cupcake corer, made specifically for the purpose of disemboweling cupcakes. I got mine at Williams-Sonoma for only five bucks so, really, I couldn’t resist.

The chocolate filling. Wait, I mean, the chocolate, Irish whiskey and Bailey’s Irish cream filling. Oh, yeah, the recipe title leaves out that crucial little tidbit.

And in goes the filling. The anticipation is palpable at this point!

There you have it: chocolate stout cupcakes with Irish whiskey filling and Bailey’s Irish cream frosting.


6 thoughts on “The Luck of the Irish

  1. I would get in my car right this minute and drive to the shore if I knew that these cupcakes were cooling on your counter! Fantastic effort.

  2. Love the new pic of you the and post! I actually made these for my baking group last weekend (Irish exchange). Your version looks fab and I WISH I would have seen the post beforehand! I ended up using the recipe from the Brown Eyed Baker site,, which might be the original that Serious Eats based hers upon. Mine still turned out well, but liked some of SE’s adaptations.
    Here’s what I observed from BEB’s version:
    • 21, final count, last one being a runt. I baked for 17 min, but rotated the tins half way through. 20 min. would have been better, as mine were a little underdone. Loved how they didn’t dome or rise too much.
    • Used Guinness Stout. I’m not a beer drinker, so the foam through me off and I might not have used enough. Someone suggested using a chocolate stout next time. Also used some primo cocoa powder from Le Cuisine in Old Town.
    • Liked your use of the Bailey’s in the ganache. Will have to try that next time. I had a lot of ganache left over. I didn’t have the ubertool (WS cupcake corer, now on my wishlist). Just used an M1 baking tip to core out the center. I think a bigger center using the corer would have been better. Have lots of Jim Beam left over.
    •I must have used the “doubled” frosting version and used every bit (M1 tip), surely sending folks into diabetic coma. Actually they looked like any $4.00 cupcake one would buy at the “Cupcakes duJour” popping up daily. Plus, I like a lot of frosting.
    •All in all, they were yummy and I have enough booze left over to make lots more. Will try and post a photo either here or on your FB site.
    •Thanks for sharing!

    • A baking group? I love that! Thanks so much for the feedback on yours. Sounds like we had similar experiences, especially with the total final count (21 – weird amount, right?) and the extra ganache. I have no idea how I could have used all of that ganache filling in the cupcakes. Definitely send me a picture or post on my FB site! I’d love to see how yours looked. Keep me posted on your baking adventures!

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