Thursday, March 7, 2013

St. Patrick's Day- Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes!

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes!! These boozy cupcakes are the BOMB! Get it?! Yeah, I went there. 

BrownEyed Baker posted a really delicious recipe for Irish Car Bomb cupcakes but naturally with me being a very picky and experimental baker, I adapted it to my own liking (more liqueur and chocolate). I still used her idea of a Guinness Chocolate cake, Irish Whiskey chocolate ganache filling, and Bailey’s buttercream but changed a few things here and there. I don’t really like dark chocolate and if you use unsweet chocolate for the ganache it will taste very, VERY strongly of dark chocolate. Mostly because it is dark chocolate… and whiskey greatly enhances the chocolate flavor. Yayyyy whiskey!!!

If you have any doubts about this recipe please reconsider. This was absolutely in the top three of my customer fave’s list. That’s a pretty tough list to get into as a cake/cupcake because I make so many different flavors, fillings, and icings to mix and match. I can’t say I’m surprised though, I mean COME ON, it’s booz and chocolate.

Let me just cut to the chase and give you the recipe. Sound good? Bueno.

For the Guinness Chocolate Cake (makes about 30):

 2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup Guinness Draught  (let it get some air in the measuring cup before mixing)

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour or line cupcake pans with paper liners.
Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk and oil; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Slowly stir in Guinness (batter will be thin). Use a spatula to clean around the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl to ensure that none of the ingredients are settled at the bottom or stuck to the side. Slowly mix again until incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

**Note: Usually I add vanilla to everything, seriously, everything I bake has some semblance of vanilla in it, be it vanilla bean, Madagascar bourbon vanilla extract, Mexican vanilla, etc. If you add vanilla to this recipe it will take away from the strong Guinness flavor in this cake. How do I know? I did it! My loyal taste testers agreed, it’s much better without vanilla.

Irish Whiskey Chocolate Ganache Filling:

 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
·         2/3 heavy cream
·         2 tbsp butter, room temperature
·         4-6 tsp Irish Whiskey, preferably Jameson (taste it before you add more than 4tsp!)
Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Let it sit for one minute and slowly stir it until combined. Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined. Let the ganache cool in the fridge until thick but still soft enough to be piped.

Bailey’s Buttercream Icing
·         2 sticks of butter, room temperature
·         4-6 cups powdered sugar
·         2 tsp vanilla extract
·         3 tbsp Baileys

Cream butter in stand mixer. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time, and mix on low speed until combined. Add Bailey’s and vanilla extract and combine. Slowly add the rest of the powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time. You want to add just enough of the sugar to make the icing firm enough to hold it’s shape, but not so hard that it’s difficult to pipe.

This whole process may seem difficult to a beginner baker or bakestress. Just slow down, read everything before you start and have your ingredients out and as ready to use as possible.


Core the cooled cupcakes. I use a paring knife to cut out a cone shape in the center of the cupcake. Some people use cupcake corers, Brown Eyed Baker uses an icing tip, whatever works best for you. Once I have my decadent little cupcake cone cut out, I cut the top of it off to place over the filling in the cupcake before icing.  You can use a pastry bag and tip to fill the cupcakes or a freezer bag (they’re more sturdy) by cutting a small amount of the corner off. Once you’ve filled the cupcakes with the cooled ganache, put the little cone hat over the filling and start piping the buttercream icing. 

You can add stripes of food coloring to your icing by using a toothpick with coloring on it to stripe the sides of your piping bag before filling the bag with your icing. It’s a pretty cool trick!

For a super awesome tutorial, please check out Brown Eyed Baker’s page for Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes.