Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

My goodness, my Guinness! These are some awesome cupcakes.

I’ve been wanting to make some type of Guinness Chocolate Cake ever since I first saw these beer cupcakes at Big City, Little Kitchen.  Gena based her cupcakes on a recipe for Guinness Chocolate Cake from Nigella Lawson’s book Feast: Food to Celebrate Life. I don’t have the book so I haven’t seen the original recipe, but I’ve had Gena’s cupcake version bookmarked for a year now.

Although I like the idea of baking cakes and cupcakes, I just don’t do it very often.  And I feel like I’m not very good at it, so I tend to avoid it when I can.  But when my friend Caron invited me over to watch the election returns with a small group of friends, I decided it was time to bake some Guinness cupcakes!

I ended up reading through several different Chocolate Guinness Cake/Cupcake recipes and they were all very similar.  I finally settled on a version by Dave Lieberman that I found on CHOW.  I made the cupcakes yesterday afternoon following the recipe closely with the exception that I substituted melted butter for the oil.

They were good.  But I was a tiny bit disappointed.  Don’t get me wrong, they really weren’t bad, but I just felt that the flavor could be better.  Plus, I had made a mess filling the cups and the resulting cupcakes were all different sizes and shapes.  I certainly didn’t want to take them to the party looking like that.  I mean, there were going to be three other foodbloggers at this gathering!

So I made another batch.  And this time, I did what I always do.  I fiddled with ingredients and amounts and ended up making my own, slightly altered, version of Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes.

I liked the second batch much better.  They had a better flavor, they were perfectly moist, and I scaled the recipe down to make exactly twelve cupcakes.  With the Lieberman recipe, I ended up with 20.  A weird number, I thought.  I prefer a cupcake recipe that makes a nice even dozen.  I mean, if you want more, just double the recipe!

I frosted the cakes with a vanilla bean cream cheese frosting.  Cream cheese, because that’s my favorite frosting in the world.  And vanilla bean because I like to see the little specks of vanilla seeds!  The vanilla bean is entirely optional, the frosting is just fine without the extra ‘fancy.’  Besides, I could hardly see any of the seeds once I got through dressing them up for the election party!

I have to say that the cupcakes were very well received, even by those at the party who weren’t swayed by the Obama buttons (you’ll notice that half of the cupcakes were non-partisan red, white, and blue).  I even ate one at the party even though I had ‘sampled’ quite a few during the baking and decorating process.

These cupcakes are so good, you shouldn’t even wait for a special occasion to make them.  I can’t believe I waited a whole year before making them!  Don’t make the same mistake.  The Guinness adds a nice complexity to the chocolate but it doesn’t taste like beer at all. There is no hint of bitterness in these cakes.  I can’t really explain it, but take my word for it, there’s something special about them.

And although I did just enjoy an unfrosted cupcake for breakfast, I highly recommend adding some cream cheese frosting!

Now, I’ve always wondered how to make that cute little swirly frosting design that I see at bakeries and on cupcake blogs. It always seemed like some big secret that only ‘real’ cupcake bakers knew.  Well, guess what, it’s no big secret and it’s not hard to do at all.  Thanks to a cupcake decorating kit I picked up at Michaels the other day, I now make cute cupcakes, too!

And although the cupcake kit is pretty great, all you need to frost cupcakes like these is this tiny, inexpensive little decorating tip and a cheap disposable piping bag (or parchment paper or even a plastic bag). You can probably pick up the decorating tip at your local craft store.

This cupcake was done on my very first try, so it really is easy to do.  Trust me, this stuff does not come naturally to me!

Well, now that I’ve convinced you that Guinness Chocolate Cake is the best thing ever and I’ve even shared the secret of making those cute little frosting swirls, I guess I’d better share my version of the recipe with you!  I really hope you enjoy it.  And in case you want to check out other versions of Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes, I’ll share some links with you at the bottom of the page.

By the way, you don’t have to use Guinness for these cupcakes.  Use your favorite stout or porter, if you have a preference.  I had actually planned on using an Oregon beer called Black Butte Porter, but I didn’t have any of those at room temperature.  So, I did end up using Guinness.  But next time, I’m going to try something else, just for fun!

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes

adapted from this version by Dave Lieberman

2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup plain, thick yogurt, at room temperature
6 oz. dark stout (I used Guinness), at room temperature
2 t. vanilla extract
1/2 cup dutch processed cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line a 12-cup cupcake pan with cupcake papers; spray the whole thing, cupcake papers and all, with nonstick spray. Set aside.
3. Melt butter in microwave or on stovetop, then set aside.
3. In a large bowl, preferably with a pouring spout, whisk together eggs and yogurt. Add beer and vanilla whisk until well combined.
4. Sift all the dry ingredients together (cocoa powder, sugar, flour, baking soda, and cinnamon) into a separate bowl.
5. Add about a third of the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and using a hand mixer, blend well. Add the rest of the flour mixture, a third at a time, mixing well after each addition. When all ingredients are blended, add the melted butter then continue mixing until very well combined.
6. Pour batter into the twelve cups, filling each only about 3/4 full.
7. Bake on center rack of the preheated 350 degree oven and for approximately 25 minutes.
8. When cupcakes are done (toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake will come out clean), remove the pan to a wire rack.  Let cool for ten minutes then remove cupcakes from pan and let them cool completely on wire rack.

recipe notes: Sour cream can be substituted for yogurt, if that’s what you have on hand.  I used dutch processed cocoa because that’s what I had in the house. I think that regular unsweetened cocoa would work fine, I just haven’t tried it yet. Using a mixing bowl with a pouring spout is very helpful when filling the cupcake cups! I first tried using a ladle and ended up dripping batter all over the place!

Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 t. vanilla extract
Seeds from 1/2 a vanilla bean that has been split and scraped

In a medium bowl, blend together cream cheese, butter, vanilla and vanilla bean seeds. Gradually add powdered sugar, mixing well until it’s all incorporated.  Use immediately.  The frosting will harden in the fridge, so plan on bring it back to room temperature if you must refrigerate it before frosting the cupcakes.

recipe notes: This will frost about 18 cupcakes, but you could stretch it to 24 depending on how much you use. The vanilla bean seeds are completely optional!  If you choose to leave them out, increase the vanilla extract to one teaspoon if you want a more pronounced vanilla flavor.  If you want to frost the cupcakes the way I did, use a pastry bag fitted with a size 1M decorating tip. That particular tip, as well as disposable pastry bags and instructions came in the Wilton Cupcake Decorating Set I picked up at Michaels the other day.  It was my first time trying to make designer looking cupcakes and it was very easy!

For those of you just tuning in this month, I’m happy to say that I’m participating in the National Blog Posting Month challenge. For this year’s edition of NaBloPoMo, I’ve pledged to post a new recipe every single day for the month of November. If you don’t want to miss a recipe, sign up to receive my recipes by e-mail. You’ll only receive an e-mail when I write a new blog post, and your e-mail address will not be used for any other purpose. Interested? Sign up now!

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83 Comments
  1. Foodista Blog - Baking with beer

    […] Pinch My Salt: Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting […]

    3:37 pm  Dec 3rd, 2009
  2. Heather

    MMM…I just finished a batch of these. They are delicious! Not as pretty as yours, but maybe next time.

    9:20 pm  Dec 11th, 2009
  3. Sara

    I came across this recipe in the Draft magazine – lost my copy of the recipe, and then stumbled upon your blog when I did a google search. I’ve been making these cupcakes for about six months now, and I am *constantly* getting requests to bring them to events! My hombrewing boyfriend is absolutely crazy about them, as are all of his buddies in the local homebrew club. I amped them up a little by using dark cocoa, and throwing in 6 oz of semi-sweet chocolate chips. These are the best cupcakes :) Thank you for the recipe!!

    11:10 am  Dec 17th, 2009
  4. Cherry Pecan Bran Muffins — Pinch My Salt

    […] If you’ve been reading about my kitchen adventures for any length of time, you already know that I tend to make a lot of whole grain muffins.  While I do love sweet, cake-like muffins, I decided long ago that if I’m going to snack on something that tastes like dessert, I’d almost always rather go for an actual cupcake. […]

    11:22 am  Jan 15th, 2010
  5. Cherry Pecan Bran Muffins- Recipes for Everyone

    […] If you’ve been reading about my kitchen adventures for any length of time, you already know that I tend to make a lot of whole grain muffins.  While I do love sweet, cake-like muffins, I decided long ago that if I’m going to snack on something that tastes like dessert, I’d almost always rather go for an actual cupcake. […]

    8:38 pm  Jan 17th, 2010
  6. Miles

    I just made these and took them to a party…all of my friends loved them! Thanks for a great recipe!

    10:08 pm  Jan 24th, 2010
  7. chocolate stout cupcakes | homemade goodness

    […] adapted from pinchmysalt […]

    2:30 pm  Feb 16th, 2010
  8. Happy St. Patty’s Day! « Orange please.

    […] St. Patty’s party/potluck. Besides bringing the Guinness, I made Guinness cupcakes, adapting this recipe from Pinch My Salt. They are pretty damn […]

    9:18 am  Mar 17th, 2010
  9. Chocolate Guiness Cupcakes « Voila!

    […] Sources: Pinch My Salt and Pioneer Woman Cooks cupcakes 2 large eggs, room temperature 1/2 cup plain, yogurt or sour […]

    6:25 am  Mar 22nd, 2010
  10. Keith

    Kasia & I just made these using Young’s Double Chocolate Stout. They’re still warm from the oven, and oh so delicious!

    7:46 pm  Mar 23rd, 2010
  11. HeatherB

    I’ve made these and they are awesome! The last time I made them I only had enough butter to make the frosting and had to use vegetable oil for the cupcakes. Being that my pallet isn’t that refined, I couldn’t tell the difference. Wonderful recipe, thank you for sharing!

    12:10 pm  May 19th, 2010
  12. cupcakes « no more instant noodles

    […] the names of both cupcakes that i baked today would’ve been to long for the post title, chocolate stout cupcakes with vanilla cream cheese frosting and Red Velvet cupcakes (since my obsession from my London […]

    9:59 am  May 22nd, 2010
  13. Amanda

    I just made these and they turned out great!!! They are for my husband’s birthday and he’s a huge beer fan so I know he’ll be thrilled! I did double the recipe and I ended up with 36 cupcakes. Thanks for the recipe.

    9:06 am  Jun 4th, 2010
  14. Five alcohol enriched cupcake ideas | Party Cupcake Ideas

    […] at least one beer cupcake!  Here we went for a hearty stout cupcake in these Guinness ones here by Pinch My Salt.  Now I am not sure they taste as great as they look, but I kind of want to try them […]

    8:30 am  Aug 11th, 2010
  15. Sprinkles

    Love these and all your great photos! We have included these in our 5 alcohol cupcakes http://partycupcakeideas.com/five-alcohol-enriched-cupcake-ideas/

    5:06 pm  Aug 13th, 2010
  16. Thomas Dominguez

    Good post, thanks. I signed up to your rss feed!

    10:38 am  Dec 1st, 2010
  17. Miranda

    I made these and they are very cool! Thank you for the recipe. 😀

    http://svzlife.blogspot.com/2011/03/breakfast-beer-aka-guinness-cupcakes.html

    8:36 am  Mar 21st, 2011
  18. Heather

    I made a cake version of this for my birthday….I know, it’s stupid, but my husband can’t bake/cook to save his life. It turned out just as yummy as the cupcakes. Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm, mmmmm, mmmmmmm!!!!

    9:20 am  Mar 23rd, 2011
  19. Guinness Gingerbread | Andrea Meyers

    […] Pinch My Salt – Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting […]

    7:03 pm  Apr 2nd, 2011
  20. Kindy

    So I came across this cupcake recipe over a year ago, followed it to the T but used a different cream cheese frosting recipe and they have been my favorite ever since. I even used them for my cupcake wedding cake :) Tonight I am making these again, but not with Guinness- with wine! Fingers crossed they taste fabuloso! Thanks a million for sharing this recipe

    10:13 pm  Jul 11th, 2011
  21. “Any Given Sunday” Cupcakes « CT Sugar & Spice

    […] best recipe I was able to track down was from the blog, Pinch My Salt. The recipe calls for the use of Guinness stout, yogurt, which is healthier than butter and sour […]

    7:33 pm  Sep 11th, 2011
  22. Rick

    That Obama cupcake I had in ’08 is really leaving a bitter taste in my mouth.

    5:19 am  Oct 1st, 2011
  23. 25 Beers of Christmas: Day Eighteen – Young’s Double Chocolate Stout Cupcakes « The Bake and Brew

    […] Chocolate Stout Cupcakes recipe from Pinch My Salt […]

    5:57 am  Dec 20th, 2011
  24. Kymba

    This has been my go-to chocolate cupcake since you first came out with the recipe! Everyone loves them, my boyfriend requests them every birthday, they are so great. THANK YOU for an amazing cupcake recipe!

    7:21 am  Jan 31st, 2012
  25. Starr Anderson

    I’ve made these with dark cocoa powder and any dark stout and they are the BOMB! Such yumminess! :)

    4:57 pm  Feb 15th, 2012
  26. Happy St. Patrick’s Day! « Caffeinerd

    […] I made these cupcakes last year and highly recommend them. Can definitely taste the Guinness (and this a good, yummy […]

    10:05 am  Mar 17th, 2012
  27. 101 Ways to Cook With Beer

    […] Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting – Pinch My Salt […]

    8:53 pm  Mar 17th, 2012
  28. Colleen

    Great 1st try with the decorator tip. If you take that same 1M tip and start in the middle of the cupcake and work your way out, it will make a beautiful rose/flower. You have the technique of a steady hand so this should be no problem. I’ve seen a cake decorated completely with these roses and it was beautiful.

    6:07 am  Apr 27th, 2012
  29. CHOCOLATE STOUT CUPCAKES WITH VANILLA CREAM CHEESE FROSTING « The Cupcake Blog

    […] Chocolate Stout cupcakes can easily become a delectable adults-only treat, especially if they are coated in a homemade vanilla cream cheese frosting. These cupcakes, which consist of room-temperature Guinness, eggs, yogurt, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, sugar, flour, melted butter, ground cinnamon and baking powder, are fairly easy to make, once all of the ingredients have been gathered. Once they are baked and covered in luscious vanilla cream cheese frosting, you won’t be able to resist them! Source Pinch My Salt […]

    8:28 am  Apr 14th, 2014
  30. CHOCOLATE STOUT CUPCAKES WITH VANILLA CREAM CHEESE FROSTING — Cupcake Pictures

    […] Chocolate Stout cupcakes can easily become a delectable adults-only treat, especially if they are coated in a homemade vanilla cream cheese frosting. These cupcakes, which consist of room-temperature Guinness, eggs, yogurt, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, sugar, flour, melted butter, ground cinnamon and baking powder, are fairly easy to make, once all of the ingredients have been gathered. Once they are baked and covered in luscious vanilla cream cheese frosting, you won’t be able to resist them! Source Pinch My Salt […]

    9:11 am  Apr 14th, 2014
  31. CHOCOLATE STOUT CUPCAKES WITH VANILLA CREAM CHEESE FROSTING | The art of cupcake

    […] Chocolate Stout cupcakes can easily become a delectable adults-only treat, especially if they are coated in a homemade vanilla cream cheese frosting. These cupcakes, which consist of room-temperature Guinness, eggs, yogurt, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, sugar, flour, melted butter, ground cinnamon and baking powder, are fairly easy to make, once all of the ingredients have been gathered. Once they are baked and covered in luscious vanilla cream cheese frosting, you won’t be able to resist them! Source Pinch My Salt […]

    8:08 am  Apr 15th, 2014
  32. Cupcake 34-133 | Wandering Pipette

    […] Chocolate Stout Cupcake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting […]

    8:18 pm  Dec 24th, 2014
  33. Sourdough Chocolate Cake Recipe

    […] Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting […]

    12:29 pm  Feb 23rd, 2015
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