Everyone and their dog has a recipe for Irish Cupcakes, aka Irish Car Bombs. But let’s be real here, mine are going to be the best. Because I add extra booze. If you’re going to put booze in cupcakes, you better be able to #@%$@ taste it and the recipes I started with, well, they just tasted like cupcakes. Not booze cakes. I LIKE BOOZE CAKES.
For the unfamiliar, there are Guinness chocolate cupcakes, Jameson whiskey ganache filling and Baileys buttercream to top it all off. Yeah. I know, right?
Let me get the semantics out of the way, I know there’s a bit of cupcake and cocktail controversy around the Irish Car Bomb moniker, but it’s not my fault these are based off the drink such named. I made these for a charity event once and called them Irish Trifecta and no one knew what the F I was talking about. As soon as I switched to Car Bombs they went F@$K YES GIMME SOME.
So. Call them whatever you want. Just make them.
These cupcakes are not complicated, but they can be a little time consuming since they are baked, filled and frosted. Worth it.
These cupcakes are also NOT going to get your kids wasted, but you’re also not gonna wanna to share them anyway. Give them some plain Guinness cupcake innards and tell them to GTFO. (Actually, don’t give them the innards because those are GR8. Make them some box cake and tell them to GTFO). I mean, there’s probably less than a quarter cup of booze in a full batch. I used to get that much Baileys to sip on at age 8 while playing dice at my grandparents house. My family is awesome. Don’t hate.
Let me tell you, the Guinness chocolate cake is easily my favorite and my go-to chocolate cake recipe. It’s super moist, super dark and just a little bitter. The other two elements can be boozed up to taste, depending on how much you love whiskey and Irish cream. None of the recipes I’ve come across call for whipping of the ganache, but it makes the filling go much further and it’s way easier to get into the cupcakes than it’s unwhipped counterpart. It almost becomes a mousse.
Yeah. Chocolate whiskey mousse. You heard me. If you make mini cupcakes, a half batch will generally be enough if you whip it, whip it good. Regular size cupcakes will usually use a full batch. But who are we kidding, just make the full batch no matter what and hide in the closet and eat the extra. I won’t tell. I’ve been there. Or just frost the cupcakes with this moussey delight and forego the Baileys. No judgement.
Ok. Now that you’ve been aptly warned, primed and you’re @$#%$!@ ready, let’s do this.
Irish Cupcakes / Car Bomb Cupcakes / Trifecta Cupcakes
1 stick unsalted butter
12 oz. Guinness
½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. granulated sugar
¾ c. natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
1 ¼ tsp. baking soda
¾ c. sour cream
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
1 to 3 tablespoons Jameson or other Irish whiskey
1/2 to 3/4 stick of room temp butter (add a pinch of salt if using unsalted)
3 to 4 tablespoons of Irish Cream
3 to 4 cups of powdered sugar
splash of vanilla
Preheat oven to 350°. Make your kid put the cupcakes liners in the pans to give him something to do.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, Guinness and vanilla. Stir occasionally until butter is melted. Stir in cocoa until mixed and set aside to cool for at least 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda. Using an electric mixer or your badass stand mixer, gradually combine with the Guinness mixture in three additions. Add in the sour cream, then the eggs one by one. Mix until thoroughly combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake tins, filling each cup about 2/3 full. Bake for 22 to 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Mini cupcakes take about 12 to 15 minutes. Leave in the pan to cool for 5 minutes, then finish cooling on a wire rack.
If you’re all fancy like, chop your chocolate and put it in a heatproof bowl. If you’re lazy like me, pour chocolate chips into a bowl. Heat the cream until hot (simmering hot, not boiling) and pour over the chocolate. Let it sit for a minute and then whisk until smooth, heating on a double boiler if necessary to finish the melting job. Add the butter in small pieces, add in the whiskey and continue to whisk until combined. The amount of whiskey used is solely depending on your love of the stuff, so taste and add as you see fit.
Let the ganache cool, stirring every so often. Once it’s cool but still soft, you can use it as is or whip the shit out of it with a mixer until fluffy and it lightens in color a bit. It won’t take more than a few minutes.
Filling mini cupcakes is easiest with a giant star tip. Just stab-jam it in there and squeeze until starts oozing out the top. With normal size cupcakes, coring them works best. With a paring knife, take the middle core out and set aside to eat later. Then fill it in with filling, obviously. Regardless of cupcake size, I always add a little extra ganache to the top anyway and cover it with the frosting. Because why the %$@! not.
Time to frost, bitches. With a mixer, beat the softened butter, vanilla and about a tablespoon of Baileys. The Bailey’s flavor is fairly strong in this stuff so start there and you can add more as necessary. Slowly start adding the powdered sugar so you don’t create a snowstorm. Continue adding Baileys and/or milk to thin as needed and to taste, add powdered sugar to thicken to whatever thickness you prefer.
Pipe or spread or smear on the cupcakes and you’re @#%!@# ready to go. I love to use that same giant star tip to frost – it makes pretty swirls and quick work of the job.
I know the frosting recipe is pretty…non recipe, but it’s really a by feel thing without measurements, based on how much Baileys flavor you want and how thick you’ll need it, so. Deal with it. You can do it, I have faith in you.
*recipe components adapted mostly from Smitten Kitchen and a cupcake recipe I’ve had for years, pre-Pinterest, so I have no actual idea where it came from.
Any questions? Call your mom. That’s as good as I get when it comes to writing recipes. If you make these, I’d love to know what you think!
Just get ready to do a lot of dishes. Sorry.