I really do enjoy baking for others. I am the “un-official” baker for birthdays at work and glad that my co-workers aren’t sick of my baked goods. Last year for my boss’ birthday the cupcakes I had intended to make really didn’t turn out well. So this year I was determined to make some decent cupcakes.
I wasn’t going to think of something clever like I tried to do last year. So I stuck to what I knew he likes–particularly to drink! Coffee–I knew since this is our team’s fuel in the morning. And he is originally from Ireland so of course Guinness. My soon to be brother-in-law (also from Ireland) gave me some schooling on Guinness, which I soon realized it should be referred to as stout and not beer.
I’ve made my share of “boozy” cupcakes so I was looking forward to making some Guinness cupcakes. I decided on chocolate Guinness cupcakes with my trusty swiss meringue buttercream flavored with both Kahlua and Kona Coffee for that extra kick!
I have to say that the Guinness I bought was in the most beautiful bottle that was quite a prelude to the dark stout within. I knew once I poured it into my batter these cupcakes would be good.
The recipe for the Guinness cupcakes is from Foodnetwork’s Dave Lieberman and appropriately called Chocolate Stout Cupcakes. I followed the recipe exactly with the exception of reducing the sugar to 1 1/2 cups, and as I mentioned I made my trusty swiss meringue buttercream instead.
Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes with Kona Coffee/Kahlua Swiss Meringue Buttercream (recipe adapted from Foodnetwork’s Dave Lieberman)
Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes
3/4 c unsweetened cocoa (plus some for sprinkling over the finished cupcakes)
1 1/2 c sugar
2 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 bottle Guinness, room temperature (I used Draught Guinness)
1/2 c unsalted butter, melted
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3/4 c sour cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cupcake pans with 24 liners.
- In a large bowl, mix together the cocoa, sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt.
- In a stand mixer, combine the stout, melted butter, and vanilla.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time and mix until incorporated.
- Mix in the sour cream until smooth.
- Gradually add dry ingredients a little at a time to the wet ingredients and mix until incorporated.
- Using a large cookie scooper, fill each liner about 3/4 full.
- Bake for about 20-24 minutes, until nicely domed and set in the middle, but still soft and tender. Rotate cupcake pans half way through baking.
- Remove cupcakes from pan and cool on a wire rack.
Kona Coffee/Kahlua Swiss Meringue Buttercream
5 egg whites
3/4 c sugar
1 c unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened and cubed
1 tsp finely ground pure Kona Coffee
1 tsp espresso powder
1 tbsp Kahlua liquor
- In a large stainless steel bowl or stand mixing bowl, add egg whites and sugar and mix.
- Place bowl over a pot of gentle simmering water and whisk constantly until temperature reaches 140 degrees. Ensure your water isn’t boiling or else it may heat up too quickly and become scrambled eggs.
- Take the bowl out of the simmering water and wipe down the sides and transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer with wire whisk, ensuring that you do not get any water in the mixture. If using the bowl of a stand mixer, simply attach to the mixer.
- Whip on medium-high speed until the mixture is thick and glossy–about 8 minutes. The bowl should be cool to the touch.
- Turn down mixer to low-speed and add cubed butter one at a time until incorporated. Mixture may resemble cottage cheese, this is okay!
- Turn the mixer to medium-high speed and mix until silky and smooth.
- Add finely ground Kona Coffee, espresso powder, and Kahlua liquor and mix until incorporated.
- Pipe buttercream on cooled cupcakes.
I sprinkled some cocoa powder on top of each cupcake and also placed a coffee bean in the center for decorative purposes.
As I expected, these cupcakes had a rich dark chocolate flavor, which is probably due to the Guinness stout. There was a hint of the stout flavor, but very mild. If I didn’t know any better I would think this was just a very rich dark chocolate cupcake. Making my trusty swiss meringue buttercream flavored with coffee was a good call. It complimented the cupcakes perfectly.
Whether consciously or unconsciously, the cupcake with the piped buttercream was reminiscent of how the stout looked like when poured into a glass. Really the Guinness bottle along with the poured stout in a glass were beautiful to photograph. See for yourself . . . Cheers!!!