These chocolate cupcakes get tons of fun flavor from a secret ingredient – stout beer – and are topped with a boozy Irish cream buttercream. They’re the perfect St. Patrick’s Day treat for adults – with an easy kid-friendly adaptation.
If you’re looking for the perfect (adult) way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, these cupcakes are it! Enjoy them after this easy Irish-inspired stew recipe or pair them with a fun green cocktail, or maybe a whiskey-based one, and you’ll barely miss going out on the town to celebrate. Want to make this recipe kid-friendly? I’ve provided instructions for that as well!
Why This Recipe Works
- The combination of stout beer and sour cream in the cupcake ingredients makes them so incredibly moist.
- Both the cupcakes and frosting come together quickly – in less than an hour.
- The finished cupcakes are good kept in the fridge for up to a few days, so you can make them in advance.
- With a couple of simple swaps, this recipe goes from adults-only to family-friendly.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Aside from the stout beer and Irish cream, you likely already have all of the ingredients you need to make these delicious cupcakes.
Let’s start with the cupcake ingredients:
Granulated sugar – A must for any sweet baking recipe!
Melted butter – Be sure to let it cool before adding it to your cupcake batter, so as not to cook the eggs.
Sour cream – This adds such great moistness to the cupcakes! You can also substitute plain Greek yogurt.
Stout beer – I’ve used both a milk stout and classic Guinness in this recipe. Feel free to choose whatever stout beer you prefer!
All-purpose flour – Another can’t-miss cupcake ingredient!
Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder – You could also use the classic Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder, but I love this big bag you can order on Amazon. It’s such great quality and lasts forever.
Now on to the frosting ingredients:
Irish cream liqueur – The most popular brand of this is Bailey’s, of course, but you can also find knock-offs.
Powdered sugar – Along with butter, this is the base for all buttercream frostings.
Vanilla bean paste – Again, feel free to substitute regular vanilla extract, I just prefer the paste because I feel it gives so much extra flavor with all of its vanilla bean seeds.
As long as you set out the butter for the frosting a little bit ahead of time, these cupcakes come together in less than an hour, start to finish.
You’ll first start by making the cupcakes. As always, preheat your oven and prepare your baking tins:
Next, combine the sugar, stout beer, melted butter, eggs, sour cream and vanilla bean paste in a medium mixing bowl. I used my stand mixer for this, but you could also use a regular bowl with a whisk or hand mixer. The mixture will look a bit “curdled”, but just try to break up as much of the sour cream as possible. It will all incorporate better once you add the rest of the ingredients.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and mix until combined.
Now, using a 1/4-cup scoop (or this handy cupcake batter scoop), spoon the batter evenly into your prepared cupcake tins.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.
While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting – which couldn’t be easier! Simply combine all of the buttercream ingredients in the clean bowl of your stand mixer (or in a clean mixing bowl with a hand beater) until it’s smooth and creamy.
Once you’ve made your buttercream, use a spatula or spoon to scoop it into a piping bag fitted with a piping attachment (if desired). I used a large star piping attachment, but you can use whatever you want, or simply snip the end of the piping bag off and pipe the frosting like that.
When transferring the frosting to the piping bag, I like to use a Mason jar to prop the bag up and help spread out the top for less mess (as shown in the photo).
This is how the bag will look when you’re done:
Once the cupcakes have cooled, frost them using a circular motion from the outside in with your piping bag.
Enjoy your cupcakes right away, or store in the refrigerator in a covered container and enjoy within three days.
With the recipe as is, this is not recommended. While the alcohol cooks out of the stout in the cupcakes, the Irish cream is still in its pure (uncooked) form in the frosting. To make the frosting recipe kid-friendly, simply swap any kind of milk for the Irish cream, and add a couple of drops of mint extract.
There are many different types of stout beer, although the general definition is a dark, top-fermented beer. I’ve used both a milk stout and Guinness for this recipe, but you can use any type you prefer. When making your selection, just choose anything that looks good and has the word “stout” in the name.
You can find Irish cream liqueur at any liquor store or major grocery store. The most popular brand of Irish cream is Bailey’s, but there are other brands out there as well.
If you won’t be serving these cupcakes within the day, store them in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to three days. You can even store them in a covered container in the freezer for up to a few months, although they may lose some of their moisture.
Absolutely not. I used a piping bag and large star tip, but you could also use a resealable plastic bag with or without a tip (just snip off the bottom corner). You can even just spread on the frosting with a spatula if you don’t want to bother with piping at all.
More St. Patrick’s Day Recipes
Tried this recipe and loved it?? Be sure to leave a comment and five-star rating in the recipe card below!
Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Irish Cream Buttercream
For the cupcakes:
- 1 cup sugar
- ¾ cup stout beer I've used both a milk stout and Guinness, both of which worked fine!
- 1/4 cup butter melted and cooled
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 cup flour
- ½ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
For the buttercream:
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks) room temperature
- 3 cups powdered sugar sifted
- ¼ cup Irish cream such as Bailey’s, sub milk and a couple of drops of mint extract for kid-friendly version
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- First, make the cupcakes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a one-dozen cupcake pan with cupcake liners (or spray with nonstick cooking spray.)
- In a medium bowl, combine sugar, beer, melted butter, eggs, sour cream and vanilla bean paste. Set aside.
- In another medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture, stir to combine.
- Using a ¼ cup measure or cupcake scoop, spoon batter into prepared cupcake pan. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Place on wire rack to cool.
- While cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter, powdered sugar, Irish cream (or milk and mint extract) and vanilla bean paste. Mix on high speed for 2-3 minutes, or until ingredients are combined and buttercream is nice and fluffy.
- Remove cupcakes from cupcake pan. Finish cooling if they’re not completely cool already. Using a piping bag (or large resealable bag) fitted with a large star frosting tip, frost cupcakes starting in a circle on the outer edge and working your way in.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to three days if not serving immediately.
- Feel free to use any type of stout beer you prefer for this recipe.
- While there are many brands of Irish liqueur out there, the most well-known (and one you’re likely to find at any liquor or grocery store) is Bailey’s.
- To make this recipe kid-friendly, replace the Irish cream liqueur in the frosting with your choice of milk and a couple of drops of mint extract. The alcohol in the stout beer bakes out of the cupcakes so you don’t need to worry about replacing that.
- Store the cupcakes in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to three days. You can also freeze the cupcakes in a covered container for up to a few months, although they may become a little drier.
- If you don’t own piping bags and tips, you can either pipe using a resealable plastic bag with the bottom corner cut off, or you can just spread the frosting on using a spatula.