chocolate whiskey and beer cupcakes

Folklore says that if you order an Irish Car Bomb in an Irish bar, you’ll either be greeted with a smile and a drink or a black eye, so proceed at your own risk. The way the drink is made (I figure the black eye is self-explanatory) is that a shot glass with a mix of Baileys Irish Cream and Jameson’s Irish whiskey is dropped into a three-quarters full pint of Guinness and the insane person who brought this upon themselves it must chug this whole foaming mess down quickly. Before it curdles. Hey, don’t look at me — I don’t think I have ever been wasted enough to invent something so utterly brilliant.

guinness cupcake batter
baked chocolate guinness cupcakes

How exactly this cocktail came to pass in baked good form was that I was finally going to get to meet my friend Jocelyn’s cross-country fiance at her New Year’s Eve party last month and to give him a proper introduction to the Smitten Kitchen, I asked her what he liked. She said his favorite things were chocolate and Guinness (oh, and her, but I guess that is implied) and what do you know, I just happen to have a cake that combines those things into something greater than the sum of its parts. But in the weeks that followed, somehow, like a grade school game of telephone, became “car bomb”-style cupcakes and seeing how much I love Baileys, you weren’t going to get any argument out of me.

scooping out cupcakes

ganache-filled guinness cupcakes

Yes, I made these on New Years Eve. I have known about them for more than a month and I’m only telling you about them now — do you know why? Because I was afraid the New Year’s Resolutes would jump down my throat and accuse me of ruining their valiant dieting efforts if I put such a cruel temptation in front of the carrot-stick chomping crowd. And so I waited, and waited. And guess what? January’s almost over, my lovelies, and I do believe you’re owed some cake.

chocolate whiskey and beer cupcakes
chocolate whiskey and beer cupcakes

Two years ago: Asparagus, Artichoke and Shiitake Risotto

Chocolate Whiskey and Beer Cupcakes

While the Guinness in the cake gets mostly baked out, the Baileys is fresh and potent, so if you’re making this for people who don’t drink — ahem, nobody I know, but I hear such people exist — you’ll probably want to swap it with milk.

The Baileys frosting recipe makes a smallish amount of frosting — enough to just cover the cupcakes. Because they were so rich and this frosting so sweet, I felt it only needed a little. Double it if you want more of a towering effect.

Makes 20 to 24 cupcakes

For the Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

Ganache Filling (Updated to double it, based on many commenters suggestions — thanks!)
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 to 2 teaspoons Irish whiskey (optional)

Baileys Frosting (see Recipe Notes)
3 to 4 cups confections sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperatue
3 to 4 tablespoons Baileys (or milk, or heavy cream, or a combination thereof)

Special equipment: 1-inch round cookie cutter or an apple corer and a piping bag (though a plastic bag with the corner snipped off will also work)

Make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, rotating them once front to back if your oven bakes unevenly, about 17 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely.

Make the filling: Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. (If this has not sufficiently melted the chocolate, you can return it to a double-boiler to gently melt what remains. 20 seconds in the microwave, watching carefully, will also work.) Add the butter and whiskey (if you’re using it) and stir until combined.

Fill the cupcakes: Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped (the fridge will speed this along but you must stir it every 10 minutes). Meanwhile, using your 1-inch round cookie cutter or an apple corer, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes. You want to go most of the way down the cupcake but not cut through the bottom — aim for 2/3 of the way. A slim spoon or grapefruit knife will help you get the center out. Those are your “tasters”. Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.

Make the frosting: Whip the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, for several minutes. You want to get it very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time.

[This is a fantastic trick I picked up while working on the cupcakes article for Martha Stewart Living; the test kitchen chefs had found that when they added the sugar slowly, quick buttercream frostings got less grainy, and tended to require less sugar to thicken them up.]

When the frosting looks thick enough to spread, drizzle in the Baileys (or milk) and whip it until combined. If this has made the frosting too thin (it shouldn’t, but just in case) beat in another spoonful or two of powdered sugar.

Ice and decorate the cupcakes. [I used a star tip and made little “poofs” everywhere and sprinkled it with various colors of sanding sugar to keep it looking festive for New Years. I bet shaved dark and white chocolates would look gorgeous as well.]

Do ahead: You can bake the cupcakes a week or two in advance and store them, well wrapped, in the freezer. You can also fill them before you freeze them. They also keep filled — or filled and frosted — in the fridge for a day. (Longer, they will start to get stale.)

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749 comments on chocolate whiskey and beer cupcakes

  1. shruti

    I really like Irish Car Bombs and once ordered one on St. Patrick’s Day at an Irish bar in Paris. They said they wouldn’t, so I ordered a Guinness and a shot of baileys. They gave me the shot in a huge glass so I couldn’t do it. C’est La Vie. Definitely trying these cakes, but may have to find an alternate way to dig out the middles.

  2. Hooray you posted the recipe! I’m making my grocery list right now for the weekend and can’t resist this kind of temptation. These cupcakes are seriously deserving of an award!

  3. Kat

    Oh my! These look amazing.

    Not only do I love real car bombs (they taste like milkshakes…I swear!), but these just look delicious. I’ll have to make a few batches for st patricks!!! Thanks for the recipe!

  4. What a coincidence. When making carrot cake cupcakes last night, I realized I had no cream cheese so I made a buttercream icing with a good measure of Baileys. It was divine!

    And, I once made the mistake of ordering an Irish car bomb in Dublin. Luckily the barman just said, “Whoa no darlin’, we just call ’em car bombs here. No need to get personal!”

    You might think the curdling combination would be gross but it actually tastes amazing (for the 10 seconds it takes to chug it). It’s deep and rich and earthy and creamy.

    You made my day with this recipe!

  5. kb

    My mouth dropped when I saw these! Fantastic. I’m adding a link and dedicating them to my very politically incorrect friend Nick!
    My mouth is watering!

  6. Diablevert

    How odd, I was just looking for stuffed cupcake receipes — I had a caramel filling in mind, but maybe I’ll do these instead…re: Irish car bombs, dunno what’d happen here at an Irish bar, but after living in Dublin I think most likely you’d just get a confused look as they wouldn’t know what you were on about…they don’t really have either a cocktail or a frat-style “chug chug chug” drinking culture, although they do drink a lot. They do have both trendy and touristy bars, though so maybe somewhere there’s an exception…

  7. Eli

    These sound great. The one tweak that occurred to me is to add some Jameson’s to the ganache to get the last bit of the drink in there too…

  8. These are fantastic looking!
    I baked cupcakes this week too, and am not sure why! Not as nice as your car bombs!
    Glad to see you got a manicure!!! I didn’t mean to put you on the spot!
    Stacey Snacks

  9. Kristen

    That’s funny… my mouth actually filled with saliva. You made my mouth literally water for cupcakes, at 10 in the morning. My boyfriend thanks you for this recipe. My ass, on the other hand, does not.

  10. i don’t drink, but i LOVE anything irish cream flavored. i might have to try making these, but would usuing irish cream flavored coffee mate work if i switched it for the milk in the frosting? i think it would. i might have to try that. i can’t wait.

  11. pam

    dude. my husband love the guinness, loves the jameson’s, love him a good car bomb on occasion. these will HAVE to be brought out for his birthday in may.

  12. yum! i made a carbomb cake once and it was pretty succesful…it was filled with a very potent whiskey caramel sauce and topped with bailey’s buttercream. yours are seriously cute and perfect for a new years bash.

  13. Tori

    This looks like a cupcake I made for a friends birthday except I filled them with peanut butter. The year before I made a huge cake (18 inch round layer cake) filled the same way. The cake proved to be too much so I switched to cupcakes to keep my sanity. Trying to split a cake that big is ridiculous.

  14. Rachel

    At Kansas State University, my alma mater, they have a variation on this drink called a Bellfast Bomber that is made with Kaluha instead of Bailey’s. It is fantastically popular among my college buddies who are still my closest friends. They are going to die when I show up at the Superbowl party with these priceless treats. Thank you so much for the creative post!!

  15. Belfast baker

    Unbelievably crass name. Maybe someone will think up an hilarious Gaza or 9/11 themed pud next – wouldn’t be any less tasteful than this.

  16. Eve

    Deb, like all your recipes these look amazing, but I just have to say one thing: Holy offensive name, Batman!

    Seriously. The drink – or its name, at least – is an American invention; actual car bombs caused such death and destruction in Northern Ireland that anyone ordering one in a pub anywhere in Ireland would be fully deserving of a black eye. Christ. I’m sorry to get so serious, but I suppose you can all take it as a PSA.

  17. john

    I have fuzzy memories of the car bomb derbies of my youth. I am much more mature these days, but I’ll have to try these cupcakes for old times sake.

    By the way, Irish car bombs tast like very creamy chocolate milk–yum!

  18. These do look totally amazing, but I’d second the vote for a name change. Associating something so horrific with a baked good (or drink) may strike some as flippant and others as downright offensive.

  19. These look fabulous! Do you think creme de menthe would sub well for the Bailey’s? Dairy-free bailey’s is hard to come by, though the other ingredients are easy to customize. Thanks for the idea! :)

  20. Laurel

    oooh. i think i may have just found the dessert to bring to the superbowl party i’m going to (some big irish car bomb fans). maybe i’ll include some jameson in the ganache, just to make it extra authentic…

  21. ben

    i’m not usually wooed by cupcakes but these are real beauties. and we’ve made your guinness chocolate cake before and it was incredibly good.

  22. Caoimhe

    FYI, i’m from Ireland, in case the name didn’t give it away. I’ve enjoyed many an Irish Car Bomb in the local pub here and at home, and never have I received a black eye…….at least by asking for the drink. Bumps and scratches are almost expected if you’re lorrying down your third or fourth pint of foaming deliciousness.

    These buns look delicious, can’t wait to try them out….as with everything on your site, big fan.
    Go raibh maith agat Deb!

  23. As the wife of a former British Royal Marine Commando, I can tell you that the name is in very poor taste. I get why it’s supposed to be funny and certainly don’t judge (I just refuse to use it myself), but the fact of the matter is that people – both civilian and military die or are seriously injured in car bombs. This happened during The Troubles and it happens today around the world.
    Having said that, the recipe looks and sounds wonderful.

  24. These look so fantastic, I certainly wouldn’t have faulted you if you had served them up on January first! A friend of mine throws a wild St. Patrick’s Day party each year, and now I know just what to bring :)

    And by the way, I’ve voted for Smitten Kitchen in all 3 categories you have been nominated for! Go SK!!!

  25. Christina

    Thank you for posting these! Your timing is perfection.

    My boyfriend, who loves Guinness and Baileys and car bombs, The Drink, has his birthday on Wednesday. I just happened to get him a couple of Guinness themed gifts that he’s been wanting, so this fits in perfectly.

    It looked like it might be fairly time consuming at first glance, but seems less so now that I’ve read through the recipe. How long did they take you to put together? I’d like to do them Tuesday night after class, so they’re fresh for Wednesday morning, but don’t know if I’ll have time.

    I might make the cupcakes ahead of time and put them in the freezer as you suggest. When you say “well wrapped” do you mean individually in plastic wrap? I want them to be as fresh as possible!

  26. Susan

    Is there not an horrific act that we don’t name a drink for? I don’t think so..and now a cupcake! Cool! This looks good, Deb.

  27. Amanda :}

    i agree with #22 and #51, the first thing i thought was “put whiskey in the ganache!”. but what if it turns out awful like those little liquor-filled chocolate bottles?…yick. only one way to find out! hopefully i won’t end up bleary-eyed and dizzy with chocolate smudges all over my face at the end of the night… :o

  28. Shauna

    I’ve had such a lousy week that I feel completely justified for indulging in these. I sure hope my husband and kids don’t mind if the laundry doesn’t get done this weekend…

  29. Nicole M

    Oh yum! My dad’s Irish wife introduced us to the drink after she got him to drink Guinness instead of his usual light beers while in Ireland. These are such a fun play on the drink I’ll have to find an excuse to make them like…it’s the weekend!

  30. deb

    Re: The name of these cupcakes — Yikes. So, in hindsight, this is clearly not the most tasteful of cocktail names. I apologize to anyone I have offended; it was not intended. Obviously car bombs are not something to be made light of.

    But I didn’t invent the drink. And the flavors together, well, they speak for themselves.

    Re: Whiskey in the ganache — Would you believe that I hadn’t even realized until doing “research” (my job is hard, eh?) today that there is actually whiskey in the drink too. Had I, I would have definitely added some to the ganache at the end — perhaps one teaspoon.

  31. Felicity

    I think you just found me the perfect way to incorporate my fiance’s second love into our wedding. I’m pretty sure he was downing car bombs with my friends when we met…. Guinness cupcakes for everyone, car bombs all around!

  32. Amy

    I love car bombs and have been trying to figure out how to make them into a sippable drink…I think this may be as close as I’m going to get. Can’t wait to try them!

  33. You are truly amazing. These look wonderful and so creative!

    I once did two irish car bombs at 11AM after taking a Contracts midterm in law school (it started at 9AM and was done by 10 so we all went to a bar right when it opened).

    Neadless to say I was a tad drunk in my 12:30 Crim class….ah memories.

  34. Emily

    Hi Deb! I have been increasingly obsessed with your website for the last six months or so (ever since I stumbled upon it while searching for a Red Velvet Cake recipe). I have celiac disease, so I can’t have gluten (love your gluten-free section, by the way), and have adapted many of your recipes so that I can enjoy them (the Red Velvet Cake? Fantastic). I would looove to make these cupckase–there’s a puddle of drool before me even now–but unfortunately I can’t have Guiness (beer is processed with wheat grains). Is there anything gluten-free I could substitute in place of the Guiness? Thanks!

  35. I have made the cake before, for my husband’s birthday. But now I must make these cupcakes, and I am thinking for St. Paddy’s Day, since I am making him the chocolate peanut butter cake for his birthday (yesterday, making it for Sunday though).


  36. caitlin

    o my gosh! these look so amazing. I WANT THESE right now. too bad I have not reached the legal age to purchase alcohol or else I would make these immediately!!

    I feel bad I have never commented on your blog until now…but late is better than never. keep up the amazing posts!!

  37. num num. my husband is going to love this combination. we have been guinness folks since our trip to ireland. huzzah for a working oven, these are next going in.

  38. Elizabeth

    Um…is Jocelyn dating my husband? JK! Next to the Steelers, my husband’s favorite things are chocolate and Guinness (canned not bottled!) LOL Oh my and he thought he liked that chocolate peanut butter cake, hee hee.

  39. Elizabeth

    Neglected to mention, DH also makes a drink by mixing a can of sweetened condensed milk and a few cans of guinness. Oddly enough, it tastes a lot like a chocolate shake. If I could just remember the name. I think he calls it a black cow? He’s outta town or I’d ask him immediately. Outta town…Jocelyn…Again just kidding!!!

  40. Eve

    Susan (91), it’s really not the “Irish” part that’s most offensive. C’mon. And I do find this upsetting, actually. The Oklahoma City bombing was a car bomb.
    Deb, honestly, I hate to harp on about this but I wish you’d at least change the title of the post; I know, of course, that you’re just referring to a relatively-common drink, and that you didn’t name said drink, but that doesn’t make this any less creepy and inappropriate.

  41. These look amazing! My fiancee is proud of his college days when he did 2 irish car bombs in a row, but I’ve only managed to try a sake bomb which I almost couldn’t finish! Can’t wait to try these, heck with never eating sweets, I say everything in moderation.

    -kristen, R.D.

  42. OMG seriously people -it’s the name of a drink! In any bar (in America, at least) THE BARTENDER WILL SERVE YOU A DRINK, not a black eye if you ask for an Irish Car Bomb. Like it or hate it. And Deb certainly didn’t invent the name of the drink. IT IS THE NAME OF A DRINK. Get over it. The flavors are delicious, the recipe looks amazing. Call it whatever you want for crying out loud.

  43. Jelena

    Great idea! I had an Irish Car Bomb once and it tasted delicious, but then it started to tap dance in my tummy. Needless to say the evening didn’t end well.

  44. Stephanie

    Well said Amyella……please stop blaming Deb for using a very common American, and as stated, European drink! There isn’t a better way to describe the flavor of these cupcakes than her title.

    If my dad didn’t request yellow cake w/choc. frosting for his b’day Sunday I’d be making these tonight! I can only imagine how much all my college friends and bro-in-law would love these. Oh the days when my stomach could tolerate Irish Car Bombs and Flaming Dr. Peppers! Thanks for bringing them back in dessert form. Just please don’t try to develop anything called “keg stand!”

    If you don’t have the mini round cutter I often take a paring knife and remove a cone shaped part of the cupcake, much like coring a strawberry, for filling cupcakes.

    And perhaps those so offended by the title should have a few Irish Car Bombs and chill!

  45. jlmstar

    thank you Deb for this awesome recipe & the photos. my hubby was so excited that i would attempt to make these for his birthday dessert in 2 weeks. i’m hoping for a success!

  46. Monica

    I stumbled here from Bakerella’s post about the Bloggies. I must say I’ve found a new daily blog to check out! These cupcakes have quickly found their way to my Superbowl menu, and my husband is already drooling with the idea. I’m also going to infuse the ganache with some Jameson, just to get the whole effect.

  47. Sherry

    Ditch the 1″ cookie cutter, the grapefruit spoon, and the paring knife too. Use a melon baller. I made Magnolia Bakery’s vanilla vanilla cupcakes yesterday, scooped out the middles with my melon baller, filled them with homemade passion fruit curd, and slathered on the vanilla buttercream. Those melon ballers are handy little tools. As for the name … with all the other really serious things going on in our world today, you’re gonna get sensitive about the name of a cupcake??? Get over it.

  48. Juliana

    yup, making these tonight for the superbowl, but will make them again for our sons birthday the day before St Pateicks day…no for he kids lol as an adult cupcake ! hubs isgeting the alcohol right now :) woohoo!!

  49. Juliana

    and btw: Its not offensive at all :) Im a miliary wife and the word BOMB doesn’t bother me at all lol. don’t let it get to you.

  50. Linda

    FYI, there are over 200,000 hits when you google “Irish Car Bomb.” They seem to reference the drink and the cupcakes. I don’t think I would ever drink one, but the recipe looks fantastic and the results are really cute. If I make them I will call them ICBs. No explanations, but I will send anybody who asks to Smitten Kitchen. Oh BTW, Smitten food porn is on the Bitten blog at

  51. Pam

    These look delicious! And thank you for giving a suggestion as to how to make these cupcakes alcohol-free–I know that I’m probably in the minority as a non-drinker, and it’s difficult for me to adapt a lot of recipes to not include alcohol. Thank you so much for thinking of the teetotallers. :0

  52. kelly

    i am SO making these for my friends for a drunken wedding-weekend this spring! i love irish car bombs! okay, i love any drink that’s a bomb. do you have any sake bomb baked goods recipes?

  53. haha – people that don’t drink. i go to a southern baptist seminary so nobody here is allowed to drink. but these look great. might have to make them at someone’s house offcampus. :P

  54. David

    So good! Forget the name, it’s been around for years and there is no changing it. Enjoy the cupcakes have a few of the liquid version while you make it.

  55. There’s a cocktail called a “dead n****r baby”; would you call something after that? It’s just the name of a drink, right? I guess being PC is a drag sometimes, but I think it helps to hear from the people you’re offending. Someone mentioned not being offended by the word “bomb” above – I’m a military brat AND half Japanese, living in Japan, and I get offended by the word “bomb”, used in the context of “it’s the bomb”. In Japan, that seems utterly insensitive. I guess it depends on the person; you can’t please everyone all the time. The commenters who say “get over it!” kind of bum me out, though.

    The cakes look fabulous. I’m bookmarking this to try soon.

  56. Debbie V

    Just wanted to put my 2 cents in for my favorite way to cut out the centers of cupcakes for filling … I use an apple corer made by Oxo … it works perfectly! And Deb … thank you so much for the recipe suggestions for chocolate cupcakes … after reading the wedding cake entry, I also ended up making the buttermilk vanilla cake recipe into cupcakes and they were AWESOME! Topped them with a white chocolate cream cheese buttercream … deelish!! Keep up the good work!!!

  57. Lisa

    I’m new to decorating and your cupcakes look beautiful. Can’t wait to make them for my friends baby shower. She is having triplets:) Anyway, could you please tell me the number star tip you used?

  58. I have make these cupcakes before but I like your version with the filling. They were a HUGE hit with my friends and boyfriend for St. Patty’s Day last year. I might make them for the Super Bowl tomorrow…YUM!

  59. Kay

    Question: I don’t like my deserts too sweet (I mean the kind of overpowering sweet that kills all other flavors in the desert). Is 2 cups of sugar a lot? Would it taste just as good with 1 or 1.5 cup of sugar — or turn bland?

    Fantastic recipe idea — you get an A+++++++ for creativity!

    As far as the political correctness of it…or sensitivity issue some have pointed out — I too have heard that it is rather insulting to the Irish. It would be like another country coming up with “Oklahoma Chocolate Bombs” or “World Trade Center Flaming Bananas” treat. Another…more sensitive title would probably be appreciated by some (check with your Irish (not Irish America) friends to be safe)

  60. Basil

    I think they look lovely, and you’re a great cook. It’s just the whole IRA thing that’s the problem for me personally. It seems you’ve changed the title now, but the association is still there. I guess my whole “issue” with this post is it’s cuteness, juxtaposed with the real horror of domestic terrorism for people in Northern Ireland (and in England during the 70s and 80s). That, and the fact that you’re in the US, and the US had a major role to play in arming the IRA.

  61. deb

    The name of the cupcakes has been changed. Again, apologies to anyone offended. I have a rather dark sense of humor and sincerely did not anticipate it being a concern.

    I have not, however, caved to the chipped nail polish police. These pictures were taken on New Years Eve. My current less-than-week-old manicure is as chipped as ever, and I will make an effort to put it into as many photos as possible this weekend. ;)

  62. Ashley

    My friends and I are fans of the drink but one of our friends is Irish and she does take offense to the name. We have resolved to call it a Trip to Ireland. We only had to explain it to our favorite bartender a few times and now everyone feels much better. I suggest we all enjoy our DELICIOUS Trip to Ireland cupcakes!

  63. I am British, and I am offended by the name. I am glad that you changed it, because to me it sounds a bit like going into a bar in Manhattan and asking for a ‘Two Towers Downer’….

  64. Suzanne

    Wow, have you been reading my mind?! I decided last week that I wanted to make chocolate Guinness cupcakes for the boyfriend for Valentine’s Day. This recipe looks delicious! I can’t wait to make it.

  65. I’m glad I saw the email before you changed the name. As soon as I saw it I said -pleeease let this be what I think it is. And sure enough, I am sooooo excited. I love carbombs- or at least I did in my younger, crazier years. I know the name is not the greatest- but it is what it is. It is a testament to what it will do to your head after you drink it. Change the name back, you didn’t make it up. I can’t wait to make these!

  66. Marisa

    Come on…don’t blame this poor lady for the name, people! Irish car bombs are an accepted staple in Frats and Ireland alike. These look fantastic. There is something so attractive, yet juvenile about a cupcake – NO LONGER.

  67. David

    I can’t believe you changed the name. I’m disappointed. Should every bar in America stop serving the drink unless it’s called something else? The cupcakes just aren’t as fun without the bar like name. (at least to those of us who have had the drink).

    To those who are wondering: I used about a shot of Jamesons in the Ganache. It was good but strong and almost overpowering. It was added to the mixture right before it was added to the cupcakes.

  68. Kimby

    I’m glad you changed the name also, in case you’re keeping track… :o)
    Thanks for the post about adding the whiskey, I was a bartender for 20 years and was going to point out the lack in my post but you beat me to the punch! These sound so delicious that I’m planning on making them at the next card night with the gals! They will LOVE them…

  69. lisa

    I’m glad you changed the name, too. I’m glad India of comment #140 put it in another perspective so that the um less-sensitive people from the U.S. can understand what the problem is with that name (and yes, I’m from the U.S., unfortunately).

    Anyway, I am very glad you provided tips on how to make these cupcakes non-alcoholic. Yes, there are adults in the world who do not drink, have never drunk alcohol, and never will. I don’t even allow alcohol to make it past my front door. I will try this recipe out with milk and post my reactions later for those who want to make virgin cupcakes.

    Take care!!

  70. Simone

    chocolate and booze, topped with frosting…

    must… look… away…
    must… not… bake…

    aw, who am i kidding. resolution is officially over.

  71. deb

    Final comment on the title of the recipe: I did not change it because the name of the cocktail bothers me. I have a pretty high threshold for being offended; you could make a 9/11 cocktail and I would still see it as one of those bitter ways people in bars deal with shite things that happen.

    I changed the name because when given a choice between causing some people to think I’m being rude or insensitive and offending nobody, I choose the latter. It’s a good system; it works for me.

    And that’s the last thing I am going to say about this. Please keep further comments on the topic of baking or cupcakes.

  72. Kimi

    I’m making these RIGHT THIS SECOND and just a little helpful hint – an apple corer (decorer?) works really really well for getting out the middles of the cupcakes for filling…just spin it slowly as you press and voila! little bit-sized “samples” pop right out! Thanks for the great recipes!

  73. dina

    My friend made these last night. We were going out to dinner with friends and she brought them to the restaurant. They were SOOOOOO good. She even gave the extra’s to the staff. I’ll be making these myself soon. Thanks for the creative spin on the cake!

  74. David

    We just had the ones from last night, soooooo good. The night in the fridge really helped cut the harshness of the Jamesons. The frosting flavor also seemed more married to the whole cupcake. I can’t wait to make these again!

  75. michelle

    These are the best cupcakes ever! I’m bringing them to a dessert bakeoff with my playgroup tonight and will post how I do. I could have licked the icing bowl. Thank you for making an adult cupcake for us to enjoy!

  76. Julie

    Deb, I made these cupcakes for a superbowl party I’m going to tomorrow and had to sample a few of the cupcake “cores” with the extra frosting and I must say…they are absolutely amazing! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  77. Jen

    These cupcakes look fantastic. I really enjoy your photography – it’s the next best thing to actually tasting the cupcakes! Although, I intend to try the recipe and taste them for myself sometimes this week!

  78. JuJu

    Ok, I admit, I’ve been lurking on your blog for a while. Silently stalking your culinary adventures in the shadows, if you will. You ARE my favorite food blog, hands down. (Your blog even helped me work through my fear or cooking sugar. Slowly. One day at a time.)
    Which is why I found it amazing/disconcerting when I see you have made Carbomb Cupcakes, a dessert I created at St. Paddy’s LAST YEAR, with only small alterations. I made about 10 dozen spread over a couple parties and there were no leftovers. Even now, they are among one of my “signature dishes” that my friends ask for, even through my firm protestations that I am a cook, not a baker.
    So, forgive a creepy, adoring fan as I make note of a few things from my own experience:
    1) You should totally consider making a Bailey’s filling for the cupcake, as opposed to the whiskey. I used white chocolate with Bailey’s for my center. It give a great color contrast and it really owns the Carbomb theme. (Bailey’s IN Guinness).
    2) What I do, though I’ll be damned if I can really say if I recommend it or not, is cut the top off of the plug of cupcake and replace it after I’ve filled the center. I had a fairly soft frosting, but I imagine it would be a pain to frost this method with anything to much thicker.
    3) I often have to cook in kitchens that are not mine and are often poorly equipped for ANYTHING. If anyone should find themselves’ short a tiny cookie cutter or is having problems getting the plug out, may I recommend taking a thin, sharp knife and cutting conical holes into the center of the cupcake, a la the stately ice cream cone? They don’t get as nice a look in the inside, but they pop out real easy-like and quick to do if you’re struggling with cutters and spoons.
    Alright, just gonna lurk back into the shadows with my silent adoration and validation that sometimes great minds do think alike.

  79. Lyra

    Just out of idle curiosity (as I sit drooling at the cupcakes) why is the last photo’s icing all flat but the others are so nice and pipe-y?

  80. Amy

    The drink is out of the question, but this cupcakes have me in a trance. Unfortunately, my resolution never took, but no matter! I’ll just tack on a few miles. These definitely look worth the run!

  81. deb

    The icing is flat because I hadn’t decided how I was decorating them yet. When I decided it was “ugly” that way, it became a “taster”. You know, to make sure the rest were good enough to go to the party.

  82. SusanPrincess

    To reduce nail polish chipping: paint your naked nails with vinegar (I use half a Q-tip dipped once for all ten nails), let dry, polish as usual. Leaves more time for baking instead of repolishing!

  83. Felicity

    Made ’em today. They’re wedding winners!

    FYI – instead of using cream to make the ganache I used the remaining 4 oz. of Guinness left in the bottle (egad, Guinness from a bottle, not a tap?!). The flavor was perfect – heated Guinness just as I would have had I used cream, added chocolate, cooled in fridge.

    I doubled the frosting & more than doubled the Baileys. Fluffy high and not too much, in my humble opinion. I was surprised by how sophisticated the flavor turned out. Can I even say that of a cupcake modeled after a drink rarely ordered before 6 have already been consumed?

    As said by another poster I used my OXO apple corer to pop out my tastes…and then went for an 8 mile run to make up for it. Thanks, Deb, this is one of my favorite recipes yet!

  84. kittyball

    I was so excited about this recipe, I’m baking them at midnight because it’s the only time I have available before my super bowl party. Except I’m mixing it up a little, inspired by the cupcake pops I saw on bakerella, I’m going to mix the bailey’s frosting in with the cake, and then shape them into little footballs, and coat them in chocolate. Kills the Irish car bomb theme a little, but come on little boozy chocolate football cakes.

  85. rpinatl

    Have many amongst us not heard of, spoken of, not the least to say consumed a cocktail called a Kamikaze?? And do people go all apeshit over that? Anything much less politically correct than a Japanese fighter pilot hurtling himself into the ground?? It is a drink.Not a political statement. Correct or not. Give Deb a BREAK!!!

  86. atia

    i have a question about baking cupcakes: can someone pleeeeeeeeeeeasssseee help me with him?! everytime i bake cupcakes, them done up and due to this is the top becomes crusty and kinda hard. it it really ugly when it domes up in the center…why does this happen?

    any answer would help! thanks!

  87. Dixie

    Made these last night – they’re incredible! I had enough batter left over to make an additional 12 mini-cupcakes (perfect for tasters). Made a little extra frosting too (about half a stick of butter more). I’m taking them to a Super Bowl party, where they’re already highly-anticipated. Great recipe, Deb – thanks so much!

  88. deb

    Hi Atia — I am not sure if I understand… you don’t like when they dome or they burn when they dome? Doming is normal for most cake recipes but if you want them flat, you can always trim them flat with a serrated knife. If they’re burning on top, it might be an issue with either overbaking or your oven not circulating heat evenly. Or the recipe. I have never had any crustiness or hardness with this cake; I think you’ll like it.

  89. cck

    My first legal drink (many years ago) was an Irish Car Bomb. Love it! I think the cupcake version, however, will make it far easier to wake up in the morning. I’m still calling these Car Bomb Cupcakes though – don’t hate the player, hate the game. :)

  90. rachel b.

    i made these last nite to bring to a party i’m going to this afternoon and they came out perfectly. thank you so much. i shall be commenting often. i am so excited to have found your beautiful blog.

  91. Carolyn

    Simply lovely as always. These are the recipes that are my inspiration for the fact that YES I WILL start a food blog someday, and hopefully venture into the baking/cooking industry :- ) I decided to actually leave the buttercream frosting as pure and sinful as it comes, without the addition of Bailey’s or excess Guinness. There was so much richness going on already that I didn’t want to tamper with that combination and overdo it! So yummy…

  92. Deanna B

    My 21st is on Tuesday and I think I just found what will be my first legal drink and my birthday cake. The problem here is that I can not make them until that day because I can’t buy some of the major ingredients. Soon enough though.

  93. i couldn’t wait until march to make these–they are fantastic. i baked them last night with some added bushmill’s (i prefer over jamison’s) to the ganache. i, too, used my melon baller when i discovered i couldn’t find my corer…since my attempt at piping the icing was a disaster, i decided to spread them the old fashioned way. i think it lends a kind of homemade sweetness to the look of them. thanks for the tip about adding the sugar slowly–i only ended up using 2 cups of the powdered sugar! i then sprinkled them with some turbinado sugar. gorgeous.

  94. i’ve been waiting for a reason to buy a bottle of bailey’s – my new favorite liquor, after a trip to Mexico where my friends preferred to sip tequila, something I can only enjoy mixed with grapefruit juice OR eggnog plus plus. ask me for the tequila eggnog recipe if you are curious.

  95. Ashley

    Car bombs are my all time favorite drink. I couldn’t have been more excited when I got the email! Brining them to a super bowl party today, Thank you!
    As for the name, Its a cupcake, named after a drink. Get over it. Do you go complain at every bar that serves them (and every other drink with an “offensive” name?) I doubt it, so why complain here, on a recipe website?

  96. Kate

    I just made them and am taking them to a superbowl party. I would double the ganache or be really careful not to make the holes too deep…I had to skimp on a few. Next time I think I am going to make a cream cheese frosting…this one came out a little sandy.

  97. I’ll be bringing these to work on St. Patrick’s Day with the original title intact. I work at a liberal artsy kind of place where not only will the original title attract hordes of vultures ready to pounce on what might otherwise be an ignored announcement of “[Cutesy name] cupcakes in cube 2026!” but, if HR were to be invited to, um, imbibe, they would be first in line, all elbows and grabby hands. (I’d better make two batches, ’cause they’re not invited, but word spreads fast, and I never turn fellow foodies away….)

  98. I’ve been making tons of things from your site this week (bread pudding, homemade bread, etc.), and these will be on the list as soon as I de-chocolate them for the husband (and buy all of the requisite alcohols).

    I love making filled cupcakes, because they are so much more festive looking!

  99. Monica

    Yummy! I made these today with one change. I made the ganache first and allowed it to chill. (Kind of like making truffle middles…) then I dropped one in each cupcake batter BEFORE baking. It has added benefit of not needing to core cupcakes & try to fill them. I did the Jameson.
    I was one on the “get over it” side of the name – but Selena #120, really brought some thought provoking points up and while I’m not personally offended, I now have a greater understanding of the other side. Thank you.

  100. housecooling

    Deb, I’d have sent that note to you directly, but your email is bouncing!

    I think these did well with St. Peters Stout instead of the Guinness, and I also did the truffle ball method (I froze it, rather than just chilled it) as Monica did, but with Baileys, and my whiskey was in the frosting.

  101. bakerkim

    These look fantastic! Can’t wait to try them! Got me thinking on how I could incorporate my favorite drink, the SnakeBite – 1/2 lager and 1/2 Hard Cider, into a cupcake. Any ideas? I’m thinking a spice cake base with Hard Cider buttercream but I so like the idea of a filling, I just have no idea what to use. My husband thought maybe a boozey soaked raisin filling. Anyone out there have any ideas?

  102. deb

    Sirenjess — Doubling the cake recipe yields three 8-inch rounds. You can two-thirds it from there and just bake it in 9-inch circles.

    Samara — I am in no position to give anyone advice on what they can and cannot eat while pregnant. The beer in the cake is mostly baked out. The booze in the frosting (and in the ganache, if you use it) is not — but both are optional. Whether or not your choose to drink modest amounts of alcohol while pregnant is really a personal decision, or perhaps something to discuss with your doctor.

  103. brooklynite

    made these for the superbowl, and they were fantastic – thanks! I had to double the amount of ganache, and since my muffin tin only holds 12, I took the leftover amount and made a cake version (filled with the ganache layer).

    thanks for the innovative recipe…now off to the gym

  104. Rhiannon

    I, too, made these for a superbowl party to nothing short of rave reviews. The bailey’s in the frosting is fantastic — love your site :)

  105. I made these for my baby girl’s 2 week old birthday! Well it was more like I made these for my husband and me as celebration for surviving the first two weeks :)

    I didn’t have Bailey’s in the house so I used the milk but mixed in a teaspoon of instant espresso as a substitute and they tasted wonderful.

    Thanks for another great recipe Deb!

  106. Stacey

    This recipe alone deserves a win at the Bloggies! The cupcakes were fantastic–love that frosting; it is totally the best frosting I’ve ever had! Thanks for passing it along!

  107. clynne

    Great cupcake recipe!
    As timing would have it – I too made them for a superbowl party and they were indeed a huge hit! (even if I did forget to put in the baking soda – whoops!) ;)

    Your recipes are amazing! Thanks a bunch!

  108. Karla

    Oh my GOSH!! I tried the chocolate stout cake for a friends bday last month and it was a huge hit. I have two more bdays coming up in a week…these will be PERFECT!!!! I love you. (chocolate recipe love only! lol)


  109. Kristie

    Made them this weekend with the chocolate stout from Trader Joe’s. They came out perfect! I used a mellon baller to scoop out the midde and had no problems. Thanks for the delicious recipe

  110. Caroline

    I made these this weekend and they were amazing! A huge hit. For fledgling bakers such as myself who have never worked with ganache before I’d recommend refrigerating the filled cupcakes before frosting so that the two don’t mix.

  111. Wow! I found your blog via Stumbleupon, which took me to the post that had the chocolate & peanut butter cake with peanut-chocolate ganache & peanut butter frosting. Your blog is just….wow. You got my votes for all your categories on the Bloggies.



    Donna S. O’sin Jones, sewing and cooking/baking-mad goth.

  112. Torren

    I’m so sad you changed the name of the post in response to complainers with waaaaaaayyyyy to much time on their hands. Seriously people will be offended by anything, it gives them a sense of superiority. Everyone loves to get offended by innocent remarks, such as the name of a drink you can order in any bar, including APPLEBEES!!! to enhance their sense of self. Grow up Eve, you look like an idiot.

  113. Janelle

    I just started reading your blog and love it!! I was totally inspired by theses cupcakes and thought they would be perfect for the big game this past sunday. Definite score! Everyone, especially the guys, loved these! We will definitely be making these again! Thank you for all the yummy inspiration!

  114. Well, chocolate, beer and whiskey? Yumm! They look delish!

    I have a recipe for Guinness Bundt Cake that is to die for. I love the rich flavor of the Guinness with the sweetness of chocolate. Of course, I love the Guinness regardless!

  115. The Guinness cake is one of my very favorite cakes in the world. I’ve made it for four weddings and countless birthday celebrations with many different icings (chocolate ganache, vanilla, espresso and peppermint buttercreams. Next time, peanut butter).
    This combination sounds like heaven!! Thanks for sharing it. I’m really going to have to try this!

  116. sarah j.

    oh gosh i have been reading your blog for probably a year and loving the crap out of it, but this is the first time i have actually felt the need to comment: oh my god. you are a genius. i was tinkering with lots of ideas for boozy superbowl cupcakes, and then the morning before, i woke up and found this recipe. i did swap out the jameson for johnnie walker black, and these cupcakes elicited declarations of love for me from three separate people. i also brought two of the leftover cupcakes for “lunch” to work today and i think i liked them even better than when they were fresh.

  117. Rubytuesday

    I love how the first time I look at your site Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes are the first recipe I see. you are my hero! Can’t wait to try these

  118. Lillyanne

    I live in Seattle and Trophy cupcakes has made Guinness cakes with Bailey’s icing the last two St. Patty’s days. Thanks for bringing something similar to us.

  119. Yael

    Okay, haven’t read all the comments so I’m sorry if I’m repeating something, but… well, that might sound sacrilegious I guess, but I don’t like frosting. The very idea of taking a lovely chocolatey cake-thing and smothering it with a mixture of butter and sugar makes me cringe. Even with the Bailey’s, I don’t think I would want to do that. On the other hand, it sure makes them look pretty.
    So, can you think of anything that might have a similar effect without actually being, you know, frosting? Whipped cream maybe, but it’s too soft. Maybe just more ganache on top, decorated with… something?

  120. I e-mailed this recipe to a bunch of my friends when it came up on my google reader a few days ago, and today someone brought them into work! His girlfriend made them for his brithday. They’re truly excellent.

  121. Deb (not the author)

    I’m making these for my ski house – we have a bday this weekend and these are perfection! I’ve already filled the cupcakes with ganache and they’re currently wrapped in saran in freezer bags in my freezer. I’m going to frost them the night before I go and keep ’em cold until I get to the house!

    Deb, do you think I could refreeze them after frosting them with the buttercream baileys so they’ll be fresh for eating?

  122. I can’t wait to try these out for poker night on Saturday – thanks so much for the wonderful recipes! My other favorite filled cupcakes are rich chocolate with a large marshmallow (baked into) the middle – be sure not to overbake.

  123. OK, since I didn’t get a birthday cake last week, I’m going to make this for myself. I think if you measure the amount of batter and then divide by 2 into round cake pans, it might work. Hrmmmmm… poor family. They’ll have to eat cake. :)

  124. Mej

    these are fantastic! i didn’t have a lot of time so i skipped the ganache centers and they were still delicious. to cut down on the sweetness of the frosting, i used 2 sticks of butter, 3 cups confectioners sugar and 1/2 cup bailey’s (actually, i used a bailey’s knock off, but they were still fabu). the frosting was nice and fluffy, and moist enough to spread easily. thanks deb!

  125. Liz

    Okay, two friends have officially asked me to make this for them now. Problem: high altitude! The last time I tried cupcakes from scratch, they sank into hard little craters. I’m afraid to try this for fear of wasted ingredients. I doubt you have any tips for me, but if you happen to have a store of knowledge about high-altitude cupcake baking, shoot me an email!

  126. Amy

    These sound tasty, I’ll definitely be trying this recipe for St. Patrick’s Day.

    For those of you who are gluten-free, I encountered a gluten-free beer at the store the other day, its called Redbridge and its made from sorghum. I’m not sure how it would substitute for Guinness as far as flavor, but it might be worth a try for some of you.

  127. atia

    whenever i bake cupcakes, the top always seem to dome in the middle and when i take them out of the oven, the top layer of the cupcakes are harder than the inside- kinda like a crispy feel to it. how can i avoid that? your cupcakes (the pic when they are unfrosted and still in the pan) look so delicious and most with rounded tops, how can i get that?
    could it be because of the temperature or the time i leave them in the oven for? please help :(

  128. Jackie

    Atia, see comment #175. :)

    This recipe looks similar to a chocolate stout cake recipe I used from Epicurious, though this version looks even more divine. How can you go wrong with 3 kinds of Irish booze? Answer: you can’t.

  129. Christina

    Just wanted to repost to say that I made them for my boyfriend’s birthday, as planned, last night. The cake blew me away, it was that good. I haven’t yet tried a whole cupcake as I was full from all 24 “tasters”. They were sort of like Lay’s potato chips…I couldn’t stop.

    I almost ran out of ganache, so I may have been pulling too much out of my cupcakes, despite the fact that I was using a 1″ cutter and wasn’t going all that deep. The holes looked like they took up more of the cupcakes than yours did. I also think I used too much sugar as the icing tastes a lot like Bailey’s and sugar, but not as much like butter as I would have liked. I only used 2.5 cups or so of sugar, but I added very slowly per your tip.

    I’m definitely making the cake as many times as I possibly can. The combination of the chocolate, butter, Guinness and sour cream is perfect.

    Thanks so much!

  130. Deb (not the author)

    One more tip from Deb (not the author). I couldnt find pretty sugar in the supermarket so i made my own! by mixing regular white sugar with a drop or two of food coloring and then mashing it around, you can make your own festive sugar topping to sprinkle on top!

    I’m frosting mine tonight and am going to keep them frozen until I get to my ski house and then sticking them in the fridge until eating time. Do you all think they’ll keep fresh?

  131. griffen

    Isabelle, she didn’t just say she didn’t invent the name. She also said she was sorry if she had offended anyone. So I’m not sure how that qualifies as flipant. Seriously, lighten up a tad. It makes it easier to get through life.

  132. deb

    Hi Mariannette — As someone who is always looking for commenter reviews of recipes on cooking blogs, I totally understand how frustrating it can be. But in this case, although a few people have chimed in that they’ve made it (224, 229, 237, 239), I think it is more that the recipe has only been up for a few days. With most recipes on this site, if you give it a couple weeks you’ll see more people chiming in with their results.

  133. Brit

    Made them, really enjoyed them. I added more than 1 t of whisky (Jameson’s) to the ganache, the flavor of the whisky tends to disappear otherwise. I too refrigerated the finished cupcakes for several days, I just let them come to room temperature before devouring. Making them again for my friend’s wedding in March, decorated like Deb’s – gorgeous!

  134. When I made Guinness cupcakes last month, I was incredibly unimpressed and never thought to fill the cupcakes with ANOTHER liquor! I love this idea and will be trying it next week and commenting with my results/any problems — or my praises. Thank you, as always!

  135. Deb (not the author)

    I keep on commenting and I havent even eaten a cupcake yet! I wanted to tell anyone without a mixer that its possible to make the buttercream frosting without one. But wear gloves b/c I have a blister on my palm from all that creaming! Like cosmic cowgirl, I only used 2 cups of the confectioners sugar and added a bunch of baileys (didnt feel the need to measure, I judged by taste) and the frosting tastes SO good! I cant wait to finally eat a whole cupcake =)

  136. Jasleen

    Yeeeeeeeee!!! Substition solutions for the non-drinkers!!! Thank you for including it for *those* people! Happy early Valentine’s day!

  137. Emily


    I just wanted to thank you for this recipe. I made it as a birthday cake, with the ganache as filling, and it turned out wonderfully. Thanks!


  138. CleverPun

    Made them yesterday for a friend’s birthday and brought them to the local Irish pub for the celebration… they were all gone in a flash and got rave reviews! Sooo yummy!

  139. CleverPun

    Btw, I used 2.5 cups confectioner’s sugar in the frosting rather than the 3-4 cups called for. Also, the baking time on the cupcakes was closer to 25 minutes than 17 but the cakes were perfectly moist and lucious. The ganache with 1.5 tsp Jameson added was the best part.

  140. Yes! Ever since you posted the bundt cake version, it has been my all time favorite chocolate cake. Now you introduce me to the Bailey’s frosting and the two together are truly a perfect combination. I skipped the ganache filling and didn’t even miss it. I can’t wait for the next opportunity to make this again. Thanks!

  141. Dyanna

    Hi! I was planning on making these tomorrow and while telling my husband about them he had a question. The ONE cup of Guinness….is that one cup with the foam or without? Thanks!!

  142. Brit

    Dyanna – I’m not Deb, but here’s how I did it :) I poured the Guinness into a measuring cup slowly, let it settle, and measured one cup at the bottom of the foam.

  143. Nicole (Sprinkle with Salt)

    Deb- I used your chocolate stout cake recipe posted previously and combined it with this cupcake recipe. I made layers of the cake and spread the chocolate ganache in between, and then topped the cake with bailey’s buttercream. It was for my mom’s 60th birthday party and it was amazing! Thanks for the inspiration.

  144. These were hands down the best cupcakes I have ever made! I did tweak the recipe slightly with the filling, added some cold cream it the melted chocolate and cream and whipped it on high for about 3 minutes. This made it like the frothy part of the car bomb drink. Also, a melon baller works great to hollow out the cupcake, I did not have either an apple corer or the cookie cutter suggested. I will be posting pictures of mine this Friday and linking this up! Thank you!!!

  145. Ashley

    These are the best cupcakes I’ve ever had. I ended up adding both Jameson and Baileys to the ganache and the buttercream. I didn’t really think they were that strong at all, but that’s coming from someone who drinks a carbomb with a full shot of Jameson and only a splash of Baliley’s.
    I was bringing them to a superbowl party of only 6 people so I cut the cupcake recipe in half, but made the full amount of ganache and frosting. I only had a little ganache left over. Next time I make them, if I do a full batch, I will probably double the frosting & ganache. Maybe I used more than I was supposed to but they were delicious!
    Thank you again for this wonderful recipe!

  146. Maggie

    Made these this weekend! Got 29 cupcakes! Had just enough ganache to fill them all and doubled the frosting recipe. They’re incredible! :)

  147. Erin

    I made these last week, and they turned out great! One quick shortcut (for those of us scared of actually coring the cupcakes for the ganache) — I simply waited until the cupcakes cooled, used a sharp, serrated knife, and cut the cupcakes entirely in half. Then I used a spatula to spread the ganache in the middle and plopped the top back on. They turned out really well (and the ganache works wonderfully to hold them together). Plus, none of the cupcake part was wasted!

  148. anna

    I made these this weekend at a cabin with 10 friends and they were a huge hit, several people had them for breakfast the next day!
    I too had to double the ganache AND the frosting, but maybe I just have an abnormally large sweet tooth. To fill them I just used a round icing tip on a bag and inserted it into the cupcake. Made it a lot less messy, but also a lot easier to use a ton of ganache :)
    Granted I was using an oven that I am not used to and have no idea if it was cooking at the right temp, but mine sank in the middle..any ideas why, and how do I prevent this in the future?

  149. Heather

    These were a hit at our Superbowl party.

    I too needed extra ganache, I ended up making 1 1/2 recipes. I just made it with one batch of frosting.

    I don’t have a corer and couldn’t find small enough cookie cutters, so I used a melon baller to make the holes, worked great.

    Thanks againf or another hit Deb.

  150. Allison

    I made these this weekend with a couple of my friends– so much fun, and so worth our crazed hunts for one can/bottle of Guiness (none of us like it on its own, and we’re all kind of poor right now, so buying a case…). What a blast, and so, so, SO delicious! Quoth my friend, “Can you make this for my birthday cake? Best cake ever!”

    My boyfriend loved them too, but he loves everything. Especially when whiskey is involved.

    My frosting ended up pretty crunchy by the second day, though. Any suggestions?

  151. LauraB


    The recipe was posted just a few days before my birthday- and boy do I love me some ::beverage:: car bombs. So, I made them for my party this past weekend, partially as a bribe to get people to come to my somewhat inconveniently located shindig. boy were those who made the trek lucky!!

    Turns out, the only adjustment I needed was a 2nd batch of ganache as I was apparently a bit heavy handed in the carving-out- of the cupcakes.

    Also noticed that the ones I baked in my silicone cupcake pan (with paper liner) got a bit toasty on the bottom… not *burned* per se, but a bit harder than i’d like -but the rest of the cupcake was cooked appropriately. May have been an oven issue, though- not sure.

    thanks for another excellent recipe!

  152. How in the world did I miss these?! I AM MAKING THESE CUPCAKES! The boyfriend and I both love car bombs but I think I’m getting too old to do them so these are perfect. Thank youuuu.

  153. Deb (not the author)

    btw – these keep in the fridge for a few days – as long as they’re well wrapped in plastic wrap. because of the filling and the frosting, they stay SUPER moist and yummy.

  154. Marie

    I brought these to a super bowl party and they were a big hit. I was so pleased with the taste of the cake. I too needed more ganache, but actually would have been happy without it.

  155. I did make these for poker night last weekend, and they were fabulous! The recipe instructions were so clear. They weren’t difficult to make – I took my time and spread the 3 main steps over 2 days (made the cupcakes the evening before, filled and frosted the day they were served). I had exactly enough ganache to fill the 22/24 cupcakes that my son and I didn’t ‘taste’ the first night. 1 tsp Irish Whiskey was fine, definitely not overpowering, in the ganache. I did the frosting like in the pictures which was easier than I expected. Thanks again for such a unique and fun recipe!

  156. kiraboo

    I have to say, the beer turned me off, but that’s only because I’m not a beer drinker and couldn’t imagine beer and cake tasting great together. But with so many rave reviews, I will definitley be giving this a try.

    I wanted to add that instead of hollowing out the center, couldn’t you use a pastry bag to pipe in the ganache, or is it too thick? That’s how I fill my other cupcakes. It’s tons faster than a corer, baller, or whatever. The downside is you don’t get those tasty little cake scraps however.

  157. kiraboo

    woops, forgot to add that you just add a long tip to the pastry bag and shove it into the cupcake. The cheapie set I bought at the grocery store has a long plastic tip with a good sized opening- perfect for this. I guess it just displaces the cake and makes it a bit denser, but not by much.

  158. Tammy

    I have so enjoyed making recipes off of your website, and these are just one more delicious success on the list! Thank you thank you!! I made them for my birthday and, since I forgot to get the bittersweet chocolate from the store, made them without the ganache. They were really quite delicious and I am sure they are even better with the ganache, but it is possible to leave that step out.

  159. I made these last night and frosted them this morning. SO GOOD! I ran out of the filling before I was half over and then after looking at your pictures I see why, your hole was smaller. I’m taking these to a supplier we use with our business tomorrow. Hopefully it will cause them to give us a better deal! =) Thanks for posting! I always read and sometimes make.

  160. Sarah

    These are great! I used the smaller end of a melon baller to scoop out the centers. It worked well, but I think it made the holes a bit bigger than they were supposed to be. I had to double the ganache recipe to fill up my 24 cupcakes. I will definitely be making these again!

  161. deb

    Thanks for the suggestions on the ganache filling volume — I have updated to double it.

    JL — The original cake recipe, which was double this size, yielded three 8-inch or 9-inch rounds. I am sure it can be adapted to other sizes as well, but definitely start by doubling it.

  162. Yum! I made these for a get-together today, and they’re amazing. Let’s see:

    –I printed the recipe after the whisky and before the ganache update, so I only had ganache for 21 of my 24 cupcakes. No matter: I filled the remaining with the delicious frosting.
    –speaking of filling, I dug out a crater with a narrow grapefruit spoon, and it worked GREAT (save the crumbs!).
    –I spooned all the frosting into a ziploc, and then snipped the tip. I swirled some frosting on top, decided it looked like crap, and used a knife to smear it around till it was pretty. I had more than enough frosting, and topped the cakes with some leftover crumbs while the frosting was still soft. (the ones with the silver dragees are the frosting filled ones).
    –I wasn’t able to bake all of them at once because I only have one muffin pan, and found that the cupcakes made from batter that waited till the second round of baking produced denser cupcakes. Not bad, of course, just different.

    Thanks so much for your wonderful blog–I look forward to trying many more of your amazing recipes!

  163. I made these over the weekend for a Valentine’s Day treat. There were SO GOOD! I halved the recipe to make a perfect dozen cupcakes. I skipped the ganache because I thought it might be a bit too much (and I’m lazy). At first I wasn’t too impressed with the Baileys buttercream (which is saying a lot, because I love Baileys!), but the flavor was much better after letting it sit in the fridge for a day. The cake portion might be one of my favorite chocolate cake recipes ever. I think I’ll be using this recipe again and again! Thanks so much for sharing :)

    PS. You can see my photo of the cupcakes on Flickr! I opted for the messy frosting look because 1) I keep forgetting to buy a pastry bag and tips and 2) I thought maybe it made it look more like the foam on a pint of Guinness? But mostly #1 :)

  164. Melina

    I made these for my husband for Valentine’s day and he promptly proclaimed them to be the “best cupcake he’s ever eaten”. This is a guy that doesn’t really get worked up about anything, so you know they’re good. Instead of Guinness I used a coffee stout from our local microbrewery. Delicious! They are a little time consuming with all the ganache, and frosting and digging out the middle, but are totally worth the effort!!

  165. These are wonderful! We made a double batch and really liked the combination of Bailey’s and Guiness in a cupcake. The texture is both moist and chewy around the edges – terrific.

  166. bird

    These are amazing, I made them this weekend, thank you for posting yet another fantastic recipe. I read your site daily and I’ve cooked and baked more things from smitten kitchen than I have from any of my magazines or books. Keep it up!

  167. I made these, with a few alterations :)

    I used a chocolate cake recipe I love and just substituted guinness for the coffee it usually calls for.

    I used a small, narrow tip to fill the center instead of cutting the hole. The cupcake is really delicate and I knew it couldn’t stand that much beating to it. I also added much more whiskey to the ganache.

    Also added a bit of cream to the bailey’s icing since I was making a large batch.

    It was amazing!

  168. elspeth

    I’ve been making the chocolate guinness cake for a while now, but have been combining it with the other Nigella “chocolate cake hall of fame” recipe, the chocolate-espresso cake with cafe latte cream…. the topping of that cake is 35% cream whipped with instant espresso powder…. it is so light and amazing when Baileys is added to the mix atop chocolate guinness cupcakes…. the hint of bitter espresso brings out the lingering elements of coffee in guinness so amazingly.

    I Make them in mini cupcake trays for a pop-in-your-mouth instant irish car bomb cupcake shooter. By far one of my favourite cakes.

    A brilliant touch would be to infuse some Jameson whiskey with a fresh vanilla bean instead of plain ol’ vanilla. mmmmm.

  169. Katie in China

    I just made this recipe today, as a two-layer 8×8 cake, following the directions to double and then 2/3 from there. I spread the Bailey’s frosting between the layers and as a “crumb coat,” and then poured the ganache over the top. Delicious!! Sour cream is hard to find in China, so I used plain full-fat yogurt with a few tablespoons of butter melted into it (because the recipe needed more butter, right?). I don’t have a mixer, so I made the frosting by hand using a fork. Never again!! (Though, I must have burned off the calories of the piece of cake I ate…)

  170. Vero

    Fir some odd reason I really want to make these for St. Patrick’s Day and give them to people, it might have something to do with the Guinness and Whiskey in them, I’m even marking it in my calendar.

  171. Danae

    I’ve made these twice now and they are WONDERFUL!!! The fevres that you suggest for the “leite’s consummate chocolate chip cookies” (yep, I’ve made those too!), I use to make the ganache and it’s wonderful. I never seem to have enough frosting to cover the cupcakes though and typically have somewhat of a mess on my hands with it. That’s okay though, they’ve been a huge hit at my office bake sales!

  172. McShane

    As a rose by any other name…, these are delicious no matter what; stupendous, wonderful, tasty, the English language fail to accurately describe them. GREAT JOB!

  173. MissAnna

    These are completely divine and were SUCH a hit! I actually doubled the whiskey (but didn’t use Irish whiskey since the store was out…) I was impressed by how nicely the ganache firmed up. The Baileys frosting is amazing as well. Thanks Deb!

  174. Has anyone tried these using the Baileys frosting as a filling and topping with the chocolate ganache, kind of like a Boston Creme Pie or ‘Hostess’ cupcake? Thinking of making them for St. Patty’s Day

  175. Cindy

    I made these and they are amazing, I used a candle snuffer to core out the center, it was perfect!!! My husband is Irish and these were right up his alley, I will add them to my St. Paddy’s day meal this year. The whiskey in the ganache is a must! Thanks so much.

  176. Wendy

    I have made these – 4 batches so far – I find the ganache a little bit bitter – but perhaps its the chocolate I am using – Irish (yep from Ireland and don’t give two hoots about the name). I may have to switch to a milder chocolate next time around. Deb, don’t know how you put up with the uptight comments you get – its a name and its the name of the feckin drink!!! And if you ordered it around here – they’d just assume you were a friend of mine!

  177. Sarah

    I made another batch today! Was baking at my parent’s house and forgot to bring the whiskey along, so the ganache when without it this time. They received rave reviews again! I’m making another batch this week for a work party on Friday. Thanks for a great recipe!

  178. I made a batch of these over the weekend, minus the ganache as I was short on time. My fiance, who is not huge on sweets (I usually have to guilt trip him into finishing my baked goods with me), said these were the best cupcakes he’s ever had. And he is “making me” turn them into a layer cake for his birthday at the end of the month. I can’t wait! I just have to decide if I should fill it with ganace and frost it with Bailey’s Buttercream, or the other way around…

  179. OH.My. God. I made these on Saturday, and I do believe they are the most amazing things I have ever tasted! I will have to try the guinness batter on its own or just with ganache too. YUM!

  180. Maggie

    OMFG! I haven’t even made the icing yet but I could easily just stop at the cake. They are the most super moist cupcakes ever. The ganache is 2DF. I added about 1 TBSP of Jameson’s and there was only a hint of wiskey flavor but awesome nevertheless. I tucked them into the freezer until Friday when I plan on icing and serving them. Can’t wait. One “modification”: another poster suggested just sticking the icing tip directly into the cupcake. I have done this before with success and I tested it with the first cupcake (that I then had to open up and eat to make sure this method works) and it works beautifully. I didn’t really have time to cut the centers out of each one so this was a big timesaver and I think it made a smaller hole to cover up when I frost them. The guy at the liquor store couldn’t believe I was “wasting” Jameson’s on cupcakes but I see it the other way around;) Thank you so much. I know theses are going to be a big hit!

  181. likeups

    I have found a new love!!! I must say I could spend the whole day reading your blog and cooking your wonderful creations. I made these cupcakes for my friends St. Pattys day party. I brought some extra to work and they are a big hit. I did have a question about the frosting. It seemed to make a very small amount and it was very thick after only 2 cups of confections sugar. Any thoughts? I added more butter and a little more Baileys to make it more workable. It still work well. I look forward to more great treats. Maybe one day I will make my own blog. I am only afraid my slow typing would take away from baking time :)

  182. Katie

    Oh, I wish you hadn’t caved to everyone fussing over the original name of these cupcakes. I mean I get it, I genuinely do, but “Chocolate Whiskey and Beer Cupcakes” is just so much less appealing and fun than “Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes.” I’m calling them by their former name.

  183. Angela

    I’m about to make these for St. Patrick’s Day, but I have limited time on Monday night. If I bake the cupcakes on Saturday, do you think they will taste okay if they sit in the fridge for 2 days and then I fill and frost them the night before? Or should I freeze them for 2 days? What will taste keep them freshest??? Thank you!

  184. e.shore joe

    Great recipe.. i was one cupcake shy on the batter b/c i wound up eating so much batter because it was so good. Ok.. here’s my 3 suggestions:
    1. i didn’t have good luck with the silicon cupcake pans b/c it has more of a ‘cake’ consistency than ‘cupcake’ which are generally a bit more firm. so stick to the old fashion cupcake pans on this one
    2. need something to cut a hole in the cupcake? HOW ABOUT THE LID TO THE JAMESON BOTTLE!!!!! CUTS LIKE BUTTER!!!!
    3. go all the way and add some green food coloring to the icing for a truely special st. patty day desert.

    i’m looking forward to trying this recipe as a cake!


  185. blondeangie

    OMG, I just found these. I cannot wait to make them. Will be going to the store shortly . . .my friend Shannon is the Car Bomb Queen . . .one and she’ll be on the dance floor all night. Wish you were here for St. Patty’s Shannon miss ya!

  186. Brianna

    I accidentally made the ganache using unsweetened chocolate instead of bittersweet choclate. It is pretty unpalatable! Is there a way to salvage it or should I just make the ganache again using the correct chocolate? Thanks!

    1. deb

      Brianna — If you haven’t used it yet, try to stir some sugar in. Better yet, use corn syrup so it will mix easily (sugar may stay grainy).

  187. Cindy

    I made this into a 2-layer cake for my daughter’s 22nd birthday. I did 1 1/2 the cake batter and it made 2 9-inch cakes and 6 cupcakes…PERFECT~! I used the same ganache recipe and made the frosting 1 1/2.
    I used a melon baller for the cupcakes and filled them first, and for the cake, I scooped out some of the cake, and then poured in the rest of the ganache. I spread the bottom of the top layer of cake with frosting and then frosted the whole cake; there was plenty of frosting. Instead of the Guiness, I used a beer my dh makes, called Death and Taxes…delicious. We were going out of town a couple days after her birthday, so I sliced up the cake and wrapped each piece with plastic wrap then put them all in a ziplock bag and froze. They still taste great today! I didn’t use as much confectioner’s sugar or Bailey’s as was called for; just made it to my preferred taste and consistency.
    Thank you so much for the recipe

  188. Oh Sarah

    I made these this weekend and they are phenomenal. The only clarification I would have liked to know ahead of time is when making the cake whether to remove from heat and stir or just keep stirring on heat and for how long. I never got my chocolate mix completely smooth on stove but they still worked out beautifully anyway. Delicious and moist and oh my, I will make these again.

  189. Monya

    OMG. I just made these for my hubby’s birthday/St. Pat’s day and I am thanking god that I’m pregnant – otherwise I would eat the entire batch with a gallon of milk. I can NOT believe how incredible these are – I made 18 reg size and 24 mini-cupcakes. I used the melon baller to great effect on the big ones, and simply dipped the tops of the minis in the ganache. I only had enough frosting for the 18 reg size, so I had to make more for the minis, and then frosted directly on top of the ganache. The mini ones are perfect little car bomb shots – I am in LOVE with this recipe!! Thank you Deb – you bring food porn to life :)

  190. I just made these today and we loved them! Thanks for such a fun, festive recipe! These are going to be a great St Patty’s Day treat for my husband and his coworkers.

  191. Sarah S

    I made these yesterday and I agree with the comments about the frosting – I ended up halving the sugar and doubling the butter. But other than that, yummy!

  192. Theodora

    These cupcakes are divine! And even better if you can get draft Guinness and not out of a bottle (which tastes horrible!).

  193. Amy

    Made these for my friend’s birthday last Friday, brought them to the bar, everyone loved them. These are sooooo good…. I used a melon baller to make the holes, worked very well, ended up making 3 batches of ganache (I had a copy of the recipe from before it was doubled), but the frosting was about the right amount, although I don’t think I used as much sugar as the recipe called for (I’m really not sure how much i put in there, I just dumped in a little at a time until it looked right, put in Bailey’s to taste and then added a little more sugar to firm it up). I put in quite a bit more Jameson and Bailey’s than the recipe called for, but my friends and I like our drinks strong.

  194. anna

    Made these in a silicone pan (as was mentioned earlier by someone else) – the large amount of butter in the recipe does not do well in silicone at all, as I’ve noticed with muffins as well. The cupcakes ended up coming out too moist in the middle (simply pulling them out of the pan popped the tops off many of them) while the outsides fused to the papers. The cake is delicious, but impossible to eat, core, or frost this way – I could probably make them up after freezing, but they’d still be a disaster to eat. If I ever come by a metal cupcake pan, I’ll have to try them again though!

  195. Kimberly

    Made them last night to bring to work today and I’m going to have to make the actual stout cake next. That cake is simply amazing! I’m surprised I ended up with any ‘taste testers’ left at the end of the night. I had a little frosting leftover and I kept smearing a little on each circle and popping them in my mouth….yummmm.

  196. MacKenzie

    I made these over the weekend. They were definitely the most labor-intensive cupcakes I’ve ever made!

    When I simmered the stout, butter, and cocoa power, I was a bit worried as the texture wasn’t anything near “smooth.” It looked the butter had separated out, so there was a layer of liquid on top of the chocolate, but the cupcakes turned out just fine.

    To cut the holes for the ganache, I just used a very narrow paring knife. It worked really well!

  197. Scarlet

    I just made these last night for St. Paddy’s Day SO FANTASTIC- but why do my cupcakes always fall? The last 4 or 5 times I have made homemade cupcakes this happens. I live at a very high altitude. Any suggestions?

    1. deb

      It is almost certainly because of your altitude. I would get a book on high-altitude baking or check out some sites that are at high altitudes (I am pretty sure Jen at adapts her recipes a lot) for advice. I live at sea level, so I’m not much of a help!

  198. Made the cupcakes today on my lunch hour….errr, break. I don’t love chocolate cake, but I used dark chocolate coco powder and think these turned out delicious. Saw a huge smear of chocolate batter on my pants as I walked back into the office. I think they’re worth it though :)

  199. liz

    i made these and brought 13 in to my office, sent 4 to my parents’ house w/my little brother and 4 to work with my husband. they were all gone by lunch and people are asking for more! they are DELICIOUS!

    i also used dark chocolate cocoa and the cupcakes were very dark and very tasty. i also accidentally grabbed unsweetened chocolate instead of bittersweet for the ganache and was able to save it by adding a cup of powdered sugar. :)

    also my first time piping frosting and it was easy and fun…i sprinkled with green sugar for st. patty’s day.

  200. I made these and brought them to work today – HUGE hit! I myself was impressed. It wasn’t like “oh yum, it’s a cupcake”, it was like “WOW, these are super moist and there are 3 levels of flavor!” I used Bailey’s Caramel for the frosting, very tasty! I felt like I couldn’t really taste the whiskey in the ganache, but didn’t want to overdo it. I may add more next time.

    Thanks for the recipe! I will definitely make these again!

  201. Deb, i just made this — as a cake (with more booze, which meant runnier, but no less delicious frosting). of course it was delicious! i have had such a phobia about making cake from scratch, and the ease and perfection of this recipe has pretty much cured it. thanks so much!

  202. Georgia

    Stunning! I made these puppies last night; they weren’t actually finished before Paddy’s Day was over, but hey, it’s the thought that counts. They are quite delicious and fun to make! My icing was a little brown from all the booze I put in there, so I added some green food coloring, lovely. I ended up spreading it with a spatula, because I didn’t have a tip and the corner off the bag thing wasn’t working out – though it worked great for the ganache. Thanks for a fun/wonderful recipe!

  203. Jefita

    Me and one of my friends decided to make these yesterday for our St. Paddy’s extravaganza. They were pretty fantastic. So wonderfully rich and chocolatey. We substituted green cream cheese frosting for the buttercream. It was a bit oozy, but still tasty. Everybody thought they were excellent, but I think next time I would cut down/eliminate the ganache and/or do minimal icing so I might be able to eat more than one. Or perhaps I shouldn’t eat all of the scraps during the process…

  204. These are so delicious. I tried to freeze the ganache and just pop it in the center before cooking, but it didn’t really work – it just melted into the cupcakes. Still tasted great though! I added more Bailey’s to the frosting and left out the whiskey since I didn’t have any. These are very rich but got rave reviews from everyone who tried them! Also, I would definitely recommend using the muffin liners because otherwise they tended to fall apart when I was trying to get them out of the muffin tin. Thanks for a fabulous recipe, Deb!

  205. Made these yesterday for a friend’s birthday. In honor of her new Irish boyfriend. Everyone loved them! Thank you! The only change I would make is doing a cream cheese frosting with Bailey’s. Mostly because I don’t like frosting, personally. I’d also consider adding more whiskey to the ganache, since I couldn’t really taste it. Very good!

  206. Maybe the name wasn’t politically correct, but I’m disappointed that it was changed. The name of the drink perfectly explained the combination of flavors.

    On to my recipe comments: This might be the best chocolate Guinness cake recipe yet. The Guinness flavor comes through, and the cake is perfectly moist, though my tops got a little crunchy after a day. I did not wait for the ganache to cool. I found that it filled the holes better while still liquid. The addition of the butter helped it set up a bit too much, and next time I’ll scale it back a bit so the filling is less solid. I used the melon baller to remove the centers, and the double ganache recipe you updated was just enough to fill 24 cupcakes.

    I wanted to love the forsting, but in the end I did not. I will try variations next time to have it be less sweet and smoother. I’m still mastering frosting, so this may be my fault, but mine was somewhat grainy.

    Note: The amount of frosting listed is enough to decorate all the cupcakes using a 1M icing tip and swirling the frosting.

    Overall a good recipe that I look forward to tweaking for my personal preferences.

  207. Kate F

    I saw this recipe a few weeks ago and have been dying to try it out. Yesterday was my lucky day! They turned out to be as scrumptious as they look – will definitely be saving it for future use. Thank you for posting!

  208. marcy

    I have been waiting for a reason to make these and what better occassion than my boyfriend’s birthday. I really enjoyed the process and was even more pleased with the result- amazing! thanks for the recipe.

  209. I made these for St Paddy’s day, they were incredible! The only change I made was to add more whiskey ;)
    I took pics of how mine turned out and put them on my blog, hope it helps in spreading the word!
    Thanks for this post & I love your blog! :)

  210. Chandi

    I have made these 3 times now, and every time I get asked for the recipe! The cake alone is my new favorite chocolate cake recipe. I have made it as cupcakes as well as a cake (used 2 round pans, put the ganache filling in between the two layers, and the frosting on the top). My husband took one to work for the March birthdays and has been told that I need to make this again for them next month :-) Thanks for the great recipe!

  211. Thanks so much for the inspiration. I changed it up a bit – I used a Chocolate Stout instead of the Guiness and baked the batter in a bundt pan instead. Didn’t have any whiskey in the house (thought I did, better check with the teenagers, grrr) so I replaced it with the Baileys for the ganache. No buttercream frosting, just poured the ganache over the bundt cake. I made a little sidecar to taste before I took to my bookclub – pure heaven! Yet another wonderful recipe!

  212. Heather

    Wow, what a fantastic cupcake recipe! At the risk of sounding like a lush: next time I will increase the whiskey in the ganache. Even with closer to 3 tsp, I felt like the flavor was unnoticeable. But even without, they are delicious! I’ve never tried the cake version of this recipe, and as I’m often not a huge fan of chocolate cakes, I was really struck by the taste and texture of this. It’s wonderful – thanks!

  213. love these cupcakes.. the cake was moist, the ganache had a little zing and the bailey’s frosting was a hit.. used this recipe for a fundraiser and they didn’t last very long.. thank you <3

  214. Erica

    Hi! My husband and I made these this weekend for my birthday and MY GOD THEY ARE AMAZING! In fact, I just had one. Thank you so much for the recipe and for the wonderful website. Heavenly!

  215. I made these for a party last night and OH MY GOD. That’s all I can really say. WOWEEE, are these amazing! I hope you would not mind if I post the photos and link to the recipe on my blog because, I mean, the more people who know about these, the better! I’m glad you changed the name — cupcakes should not make anyone unhappy, especially these boozy, delicious little guys.

  216. Elizabeth

    I just made these this week for a party and when I added the cocoa powder (Hershey’s special dark dutch processed) to the butter/Guinness mixture, it never got smooth, instead it was clumpy. It was as if it absorbed the butter but not the beer. I proceeded, with caution, anyway. When I added it to the egg/sour cream mixture it was fine and then when I added the dry mixture it came together nicely. The batter was a bit thicker than a traditional cake batter. I baked them for 17 minutes and after they cooled I tried one (w/o the ganache or frosting, which I am making tonight). The cupcake was ok, but not great.

    My question is, why did my butter/beer/cocoa mixture clump and not smooth out?

  217. Ivan

    Made these Memorial Day weekend! OMG! Many of my friends are Car-Bomb fans. When I hooked them up with these cupcakes they went craaaazzzy! They can’t wait for the next batch!

    Good thing you doubled the ganache, I almost ran out. Only used 3 cups of confectionery sugar for frosting. Considering adding 1 or 2 more teaspoons of Jameson to ganache and 1 more tablespoon of Bailey’s to the frosting.

    Many accolades on this fine alcoholic confection!!!

  218. Charlotte

    I’m entering a cupcake competition next month, and these are going to be my entry! I will let you know how everything pans out. (Pun somewhat intended.)

  219. I just made this recipe in a cake format and it was AMAZING! I used the ganache for between the two layers of cake and then iced it with the bailey’s buttercream. I was worried about running out of frosting, so I doubled it, but there was some leftover. Even doubling the buttercream recipe, I only used about 2 cups of confectioner’s sugar and it was perfect.

    Everyone loved it! Thanks Deb!

  220. Maricruz

    I want to make these cupcakes this weekend for my boyfriend’s birthday party (he loves Guinness), but the party is outdoors. I live in Florida and as of late it’s actually been in the 100s! I’ve been reading online about how buttercream made with actual butter does not fair well in this type of temperature. Many suggest making decorator’s buttercream (which uses shortening instead) as it’s melting point is at about 106. I wanted to know if you had any suggestions for making this work with your recipe? That is, if I made the frosting as a decorator’s buttercream how can I incorporate the Baileys? Or can you suggest another alternative to the decorator’s buttercream that will do well in heat? Any help is appreciated! =O)

  221. I’ve been saving this recipe for my husband’s birthday, since chocolate stout cake is his favorite, and it didn’t fail to wow everyone who tasted them. The cupcakes were possibly the best I’ve ever tasted! The texture was amazing, with the thickened ganache inside and the dollop of Bailey’s frosting on top (I added a little cream cheese to mine, and it was perfect). The only problem is that my husband will never be content with “plain” chocolate stout cake again. :)

  222. maya

    Regarding the icing- does it start melting/getting sloppy if the cupcakes are out? I need to transport these and will be taking a train for 2.5-3 hours. Should I wait and ice them at the end of the journey? I just wanted to arrive with pretty cupcakes…not half done ones…

  223. doinwhatyodoes

    First off, I am a foodie!
    Second, I love this website. I made the red velvet and it was delic. My issue with cakes is that they are never as moist as cupcakes and niether homemade cake/cupcake is as good as boxed cake such as Duncan Hines! I love American boxed desserts! I dont kno if it is so so good bc of the transfats or what!!!
    But the red velevet was the best red velvet I have had and it was just as good as boxed cake :)

    I plan to make these cupcakes for a friends b-day sat so I will post how they turned out! Can i post a picture?

  224. jae

    I made these for my boyfriend’s birthday and they were perfect! I followed the recipe more or less to the T, but made the cupcakes in an extra large muffin pan (and therefore baked them a bit longer) and tripled-quadrupled the Bailey’s in the frosting : ). The cupcakes were light and moist, the ganache was an added treat, and the frosting is to die for. Thank you so much the recipe!! The boyfriend is rarely effusive when it comes to food, but he loved these and I loved giving them to him.

    This is my first time posting – just wanted to thank you for the recipe and tell you that I adore your blog. Wish you and the little one all the best!

  225. Kerry

    Thanks a million for this recipe! I made these for my husband’s 30th birthday party this weekend and they were great. They definately took the boys back to their “college days.” I made the cupcakes and filled them the night before, refridgerated them, and frosted the next morning…perfectly moist. I just used a small, regular tip with my bag for the filling and plunged it in the cupcake a bit and squirted for a second. It displaced the cake a tad, but not much.

    Love your blog! Your granola is my favoirite.

  226. doinwhatyodoes

    Made them! They were terrific! Everyone said they were the best cupcakes ever. I made the icing with a lot of baileys so it tastd just like baileys icing! the cupcakes were heavy and thick and moist. Too good! I put whisky in the ganache too :) great recipe and my pictures of the cupcakes are too cute!

  227. I made these tonight and they were absolutely delicious. We doubled the icing recipe, but that probably wasn’t necessary – we have loads left. We made the “doubled” ganache recipe called for above, but could have used the original (half) recipe and had plenty, but we did fill the cupcakes with an injector tip instead of hollowing them out. The injector tip and a good squeeze seemed to give a good amount of the ganache, and even the non-whiskey fans felt that it added a little something extra to the cupcakes. We made a total of 29 cupcakes.

  228. Neil in Chicago

    ((referred here by a ref=>vito_excalibur))
    I haven’t felt the same about Irish jokes in general since I found out that the Irish tell the same jokes about the other counties.
    And if you ave a PC problem, IRA jokes translate almost perfectly to PLO jokes . . .

  229. I just made this recipe with a couple of friends and have never been so excited to taste a cupcake before! It was utterly delicious and hopefully everyone and the birthday gathering I’m going to tonight will love them!! Thanks!!!!!!

  230. Liz

    I finally made these this weekend, and for my high altitude (5,280 ft.) I reduced the baking soda to one teaspoon and baked them for 15 minutes. The cupcakes were a little dimpled, which didn’t matter for this recipe due to the coring, but the rest of the cake was moist and delicious. High altitude win!

  231. Rachel

    I’ve made these twice now, and they are as phenomonal as they sound. :)

    The first time I made the mistake of thinking “I don’t have cupcake liners handy; I’ll just use the Pam spray.” These cupcakes are very light and moist, and stuck like crazy to the pan. Liners are a must!

    I didn’t think I was putting the frosting on too heavily, but the first time I made them I ran out. The second time, I doubled the frosting, and of course had some left over. Apparently 1.5 batches is the right amount, at least for my preferred icing-to-cake ratio.

    For the ganache, I found that 2tsp of whiskey wasn’t enough to actually taste it. The second time I made these, I used 2 TBSP, and that was much better (gave the ganache just a little kick!).

    I used an apple corer to make the holes, which worked beautifully.

  232. Sue

    OMG..I made these today and all 12 guests raved about them…the BEST cupcake EVER! I usually find cupcakes too sweet and sugary…not these…amazing! Quite a few had seconds..and one person who declined the first round finally caved and ate one…because of the raving! Thank you…will make these often! :-)

    I am Irish born and when I read about the name of the cupcakes I was kinda..HUH? I have never heard of the drink so wondered how you came about the name and felt a little strange about it (having grown up during “The Troubles”)…but after reading some of the comments I think everyone should just bake these and get over it! :-)

    now excuse me I have to send this link to all my guests or I will be in trouble tomorrow.

  233. Jaye

    Thank you for the fantastic recipe! These were lovely – I made them for a birthday party/housewarming, and have since been advised that they were the Best.Cupcakes.Ever. Your recipe was super easy to follow, and the cupcakes were amazing. They also reminded us of how we might have celebrated birthdays in our last decade…but without the subsequent hangover. Cheers.

  234. hira n

    i was just wondering if its okay to switch the guiness too. we cant really do any alcohol (religious issue) so was wondering if its possible to switch to milk or whatever liquid you might recommend?
    thanks they look fab though :)

  235. Siyi

    Just finished making these and can attest to the fact that this recipe is golden- thanks so much for sharing :)

    Also, sorry if this is a silly question, but you mentioned making them and freezing them ahead of time… so when time comes to eat them, do they have to be defrosted again?

  236. Made these for my husband’s birthday party today and they were incredibly delicious. I used a knife to core mine and found the cupcakes sturdy enough for that to work just fine.

    These are really tasty and just as pretty as a picture. Thanks Deb!

  237. Brigette

    My husband’s birthday is today & so it’s also Arthur Guinness’ Day (250th anniversary for Guinness) so I thought these would be PERFECT! I made them last night & they turned out great! I did use a different frosting recipe as I don’t like regular frosting & I found one for Bailey’s cream cheese frosting which was excellent with these! YUM!!! We normally order car bombs at our favorite pub to start out the evening so these were especially fitting :)

  238. Brigette

    I forgot to mention that I didn’t have a cookie cutter or an apple corer, but I did have a large frosting tip so I used that (not the tip side, but the opening). Even though it was pointy at one end, it still worked GREAT! And I loved eating the little bits!

  239. Katrina

    I did not change a thing, and these were amazing! I baked them for the first college tailgate of the year. Unfortunately it was about 95 degrees outside which made the ganache centers very gooey…but still good!

  240. Since I’m planning to make these cupcakes on Saturday, I read through the comments to be super-ready. After reading the comments about converting the cupcakes to cake layers, I just wanted to ask (sorry if there’s a more appropriate place for me to ask than here!):

    Have you ever had difficulty converting a cake recipe to cupcakes? I have a wonderful, moist, fluffy white cake recipe, but when I’ve tried to use it for cupcakes, the cupcakes are oily, dense, and they kind of “wilt” in the middle. Do you have any ideas as to why this would happen? (sorry again to ask here.. and hope you’re thoroughly enjoying your little cinnamon-swirl cuppycake) :-)

  241. Sarah

    I just made these cupcakes for my boyfriend’s parents’ birthdays. His mom and dad are right after each other 7th and 8th of october! they are irish/italian/german/ english and love chocolate and alcohol (more his mom than his dad) so I made these cupcakes (presents), put it on a tray (present) with 2 small bailey’s (present) on the side, a box of M&Ms triple chocolate delight (present), a wine stopper (present) appropriate enough it was a diamond october birthstone color, and placed Dove peanut butter Promises (present) around in the box . I placed them all in a big cake box I got from the grocery store (i got for free!). They loved it!! It was a box of chocolate sweetness and delightful booze… Thought you might like this little idea. Thank you so much for the recipe.. you have inspired me!

  242. These cupcakes are incredible. I made them this weekend, and several people told me they were the best chocolate cupcakes they’d ever had. And THANK YOU for the Martha Stewart frosting tip – I think I ended up only using about 2 3/4 cup sugar and 2 tbsp. Bailey’s. The texture was wonderful, really light and fluffy and creamy; I think that’ll be my preferred frosting-making method from now on.

  243. Lizzie

    Made this as a 9 inch cake on the weekend (same measurements as cupcake recipe). I’m not a fan of tall cakes so this recipe worked perfectly with enough for a few spoonfuls of cake batter to eat on the way through … Can’t remember how long I cooked it for but the skewer test was perfect. I followed a previous comment above and replaced the cream in the ganache with my remaining guinness (with just a tipple left over for the cook!). Unlike the previous commenter, I added whiskey to the ganache too and it seemed to override the stout flavour fine. I followed Deb’s advice for the frosting but I used chocolate icing sugar and left the frosting to sit overnight (thanks to another commenter) which made it a pretty perfect breakfast food. I managed to leave enough to frost the cake (I did a crumb layer and then a full frost), but next time I’d make more … a little bit more for the cake and lots more for me! It’s got me one marriage proposal so far, so I think that’s a good sign. Thanks Deb!

  244. margret

    Awesome! Took them to a party and they were a huge success.

    The only modification I made was to just pour slightly chilled ganache/whiskey mixture into the cupcakes and then chilled til the ganache hardened before frosting. Seemed simpler than piping.

    The cupcakes would be excellent by themselves….super moist and chocolatey. I used Young’s Double Chocolate Stout….. maybe that helped. :)

  245. Bree

    I made these last St. Patrick’s Day and they were a HUGE hit! My aunt and cousin especially loved them. That aunt passed away this past week, so I made them again for double duty: remembrance of my aunt, and as a feel-better treat for my cousin since she just lost her mom. They were just what we needed to get through this extremely difficult time (besides, people generally use booze and sweets to cope… why not combine them?)

    Thanks so much for the recipe. These have become more to my family than just a unique dessert.

  246. Angie

    I LOVE these! I just made 120 of them for a party last night (Phew! The recipe x 5), and they were a huge hit! Your tip for the buttercream was amazing! I’ve never made such a light, fluffy, perfect buttercream…thanks!

  247. Lisa

    Made these last night. Also made a batch of cupcakes from a mix for the kids. After eating one of yours, I sampled those from the mix. I backed that mix cupcake right back out. Tasted like poison next to these! I hope the kids don’t notice!

  248. Just made these cupcakes – I’m not a huge baker but these turned out GREAT! I gave some to all of my friends and neighbors and they couldn’t say enough good things about them. Thank you for posting this recipe.

  249. Sarah B.

    I’d like to convert this recipe into a double layer sheet cake. The pans I have are 9.5″ x 14″. Any suggestions? I was planning on using a double recipe for each layer, spreading the ganache between the two layers (i’d double that too) and then frosting the whole beast. tell me now if this is madness.

  250. Sarah Docherty

    I made these tonight and they were INCREDIBLE!!! And quite easy to make, too! Scooped out the centers with a small melon ball-er thing. Sooo good!

  251. AlaskaCook

    I made these this evening and they were fantastic! My family always gets excited when I make desserts, and these had an even greater effect! I used a mini-cupcake tin because I figured that a little would go a long way. I also used the sleeve of a candy thermometer to hollow out the inside of the cupcake–it was the perfect diameter. I followed the cupcake recipe as written except I used 1/2 + 1/8 cup regular unsweetened cocoa, and 1/8 cup “special dark” 100% unsweetened cocoa. I also used about 5 teaspoons total whiskey in the filling. Finally, we all love Bailey’s around here and I wanted the frosting to taste like it, so I used about 3 cups of confectioners sugar to get the correct consistency and added Bailey’s to taste, which probably ended up somewhere between 1/4 and 1/3 cup (maybe more!) total. Amazing cupcakes. We are all strict athletes in our house and we all had seconds without even considering the caloric damage. THANKS!

  252. After rediscovering these yesterday, I sent my friend a text, “Irish car bomb cupcake party?”, thinking it would be fun to get together and make them sometime next week. No. He texted me right back, “What? Call me. Now.” We made them last night. They were scrumptious!
    Lacking Irish whiskey, we used some Jack’s that my friend had on hand, but couldn’t really taste it with only two teaspoons. So we just kept splashing it in until we could taste it. I think it ended up being closer to two or three tablespoons. It had all mellowed out by this afternoon though.
    I really should learn to read comments before making things. If I had, I would have stopped adding sugar to the frosting before I got to three cups. I would also have taken everyone’s brilliant suggestion to use a melon baller. A shot glass worked pretty well for us, but made the holes kind of big. Then again, we had the perfect amount of ganache to fill our twenty cupcakes.
    The only thing I would do differently next time, aside from experimenting with different combinations of whiskey and Bailey’s in the filling and frosting, would be to spray the muffins papers to help with release since the cupcakes are structurally compromised.
    These cupcakes will definitely win friends and influence people! :-) Love your site!

  253. jen

    HI! i made these over the weekend – they were really good
    i found after i incorporated the wet & dry ingredients – the unsweetend cocoa taste was super strong so i added more sugar –
    i have no idea how much -just till the very taste of sweet
    i’m still not sure if i mis-measured something – like more coco than i should have
    ahh!! either way – they were a hit! i used parchment paper as holders with grated dark chocolate on top – swank.

  254. Ami

    I made these for the Superbowl and they were such a hit, more so than the commercials! I accidently bought Scottish whiskey instead of Irish, but they turned out great. Thanks so much.

  255. I have made these a few times and everyone always loves them! I came across the recipe on St. Patrick’s Day last year, went out and bought the ingredients and made them right away. I also made them for our drive to the airport when a group of us went to Ireland last year – what better way to start that trip?!

  256. Sarah

    When I read this recipe OVER A YEAR AGO, I thought must make immediately and planned to do so…. then uh I guess life happened and eventually forgot all about these cupcakes. But I got it into my head to make cupcakes for my boy for v-day… and I then I couldn’t find any cupcake recipes that excited me. I thought maybe cookies, eh, maybe brownies, eh- and while making my shopping list the gods smiled down and I remebered THESE! So good. The cupcake might become my new standard choclate cake. I loved how it wasn’t too sweet or choclately- perfect and moist. And bailey’s in frosting is my new favorite thing.

  257. Jen

    I’m a little late on the bandwagon, but made these for Valentine’s Day and they are THE BEST CUPCAKES EVER. There’s a bakery nearby that does a fantastic version of a Hostess cupcake, that until now was the current winner, but these are amazing. I would make more frosting, though. And fill up the cups a little more so they got poofier on top. They are moist and just chocolately enough and the frosting is magnificent.

  258. Can anyone help me turn them into a full cake and keep the filling without them turning out as cake for the most part with only the tip of the slice being all ganache? Is it even possible to do that?

    I also live in India and we don’t get Guinness =( so do you have any suggestions for substitution? We mostly have Kingfisher beer, which I’m sure you must have drunk being such a fan of Indian food. I am told it is a light lager.

  259. i’m moving into a house next weekend that has a working oven (i havent had a working oven for over 12 months!!) and this cupcake will be its maiden voyage! my boyfriend (irish that he is) is looking forward to it :)

  260. megan

    thanks so much for the tip on the icing! made some banana chocolate chip cupcakes with nutella buttercream icing tonight and they couldn’t glimmer more! thanks, deb!

  261. I made these cupcakes for my husbands birthday and they were a huge hit! I love sending care packages to friends and family, do you have a suggestion to alter the Jameson filling so that it can be shipped without refrigeration?

  262. After a year of anticipating baking these I made them last night for a housewarming party potluck. The batch made 32 cupcakes and the 20 or so guests demolished them in no time!

  263. Kimberly

    I’m going to make these tomorrow!! :D I have to make a trip to the store for new flour, cause I just realized the flour i have is old : P. Actually, I may make them tonight, while my Gluten-free husband is out of the house.

    MinKat – Guiness is a very deep, rich dark (ale?) (lager?) if you can’t find anything else, try to find at least a black and tan, and I think that’ll work for you. I only drink Guiness about once a year, and except for Irish car bombs the drink, I don’t really even touch the stuff.

    I wouldn’t use anything light in color, or really, anything you can see through.

  264. Deborah

    Just made these today. I was nervous, as I am not a beer drinker, nor is whiskey my thing…well, these are just delicious! Super moist and Bailey’s frosting…oh my goodness, one of my new favorites! Yummy. My neighbors are getting samples of these cupcakes as we speak.
    I did double the recipe for the frosting, but used far less sugar than was listed. Your suggestion to add a bit at a time really helped get just the right consistency and sweetness. Next time I will add the 2 teaspoons of Irish Whiskey to the ganache, since the flavor was very subtle with only 1 tsp. That works for me, but others might like a little more of a kick. Thanks for another great recipe. Next on my list…chocolate layer cake.

  265. Hilary

    I’m a long time follower and saw this very recipe in my home-town market newsletter!

    Here it is, in the Dorothy Lane Market Report. (the recipe feature is on page 5). It is also featured as a recipe on their website. I was very surprised to see the recipe. I made the cupcakes last week for a party and proudly showed everyone the newsletter. You now have many chocolate crazed followers in Dayton, OH.

  266. Mark

    Deb–these look amazing, but I have a quick question about the amount of leavening.

    1 1/2 tsp of baking soda seems like an awful lot; Shirley Corriher (and common lore) suggest 1/4 tsp per cup to be leavened. So, is the extra teaspoon balanced by the acidity in the Guinness or are these kind of soapy-tasting?

    Have you tried making these with baking powder? I ask, as Cooks Illustrated suggests not baking too many at one time for evenness. Using baking powder would allow the batter to sit; baking soda is single-acting and could conceivable bubble out significantly in the time between baking 2 batches.

  267. Was searching for inspiration for what to make for Paddy’s Day on Wednesday (note not “Patties Day” which some seem to call it?) and came across this recipe and site. Not sure about the name but just have to give them a go for Wednesday. If they work, I’ll be back for more!

    Also, your food photography rocks.

  268. Kim

    I made these for a party this weekend, and they were a HUGE hit! Got asked for the recipe constantly, and the pregnant ladies were very upset with me. :) Thanks!

  269. Kimberly


    I made these this weekend and they went over (and away) well :) I’ve never seen such a decadent looking batter before, and my male friends appreciated the beer taste in the final outcome. This was my first try making cupcakes from scratch, and they came out perfect! I left off frosting them until right before serving, and most people loved it with no frosting at all, they didn’t want to wait for it :)

    I did two things differently – Semi-sweet chips (Giradelli) for the ganache, to tone down the overall bitterness and make a sweeter center, and dark chocolate cocoa powder instead of regular. Mainly because the dark chocolate was all I could find right then that said ‘dutch-process’.


  270. I made these to bring to work for our St. Patty’s day bake-off. They are SCRUMPTIOUS! Only change I would make would be to reduce the sugar in teh cake a little bit….I doubled the recipe to make 48 cupcakes (perfect size!), and instead of 4 cups of sugar, I think I would drop it to 3-3.5. I also ended up using light sour cream and it didn’t seem to hurt anythign….it wasn’t really a health decision….it’s just what I had.

  271. Annie

    Today is the second time I’ve made these. The first time was for my sisters work and today to bring into my work tomorrow. I used Dogfish Head Chicory Stout though, it works deliciously in this recipe. They are fabulous, stupendous and just a bit addictive. I can’t recommend this recipe enough! Go make it…now!

  272. I just made these in cake form with two 8-inch layers and used the ganache in the center/to ice the sides of the cake and cannot wait to bring it to a Paddy’s Day party tonight (in attempt to avoid devouring it all myself). I tasted all along the way and it is downright AMAZING. Not since I made your Classic Brownies have I been so elated by the prospect of the finished product. Also, thanks for your tip section on making cakes-the ‘crumb coat’ was a revelation for me!

  273. Charlene

    Made these for the second time last night to bring in to the office today… everyone LOVED them!

    I did add two or three more teaspoons of Jameson than the recipe stated.

    Also, I used a cream cheese Bailey’s frosting, instead… DELICIOUS!
    2 eight-ounce packages or cream cheese
    1 stick unsalted butter
    1 teaspoon vanilla (or almond) extract
    about 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar
    5-6 tablespoons of Baileys

    I used an electric hand mixer the whole time and added the sugar a tablespoon at a time. It was PERFECT. Thank you!

  274. Mark

    Deb–you were right, of course! Came out great; just finished putting them together and they are delish!

    I made a half batch and also had to add another tablespoon of Bailey’s to the frosting, as it got a bit thick.


  275. For St. Patty’s day this, I’ve been making these cupcakes to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I’ve sold them since the weekend for the big parade here in Dallas. I made over 12 DOZEN! people love them and it’s a great cupcake for St.Patty’s day. Since I couldn’t justify eating all the “tasters” i made them into little cake “balls” or more like thumbprints. I mix the tasters w/the leftover whiskey filling and then roll them into balls. flatten a little and make an indent in the middle. then top it w/the leftover frosting. Those were a hit too!

    My ganache filling did harden though after a day in the cupcake. Is that normal?

  276. Sabrina

    I made these for my co-worker’s birthday/St. Patrick’s Day, and they were a total hit! I accidentally put in an entire bottle of Guinness (12 oz), so I compensated by adding an additional 1/4 c flour and 1/4 c sugar. The cupcakes turned out so light and delicious!

    I worked late yesterday and had to cheat by putting the cupcakes in the fridge to cool them before removing their centers and adding the ganache. Worked like a charm!

  277. incognitogrl

    Yay! I wandered on your site and it inspired me to try to cook and bake new things, even if I don’t personally like some ingredients (I have the palate of a 8 year old). I just made these cupcakes for my coworkers and they smell soooo yummy, I think everyone will go bonkers for them :) Thanks again for being an inspiration for a young aspiring chef!

  278. Deb, these cupcakes are to die for! I added about 2 teaspoons more jameson than your recipe called for and because I was out of sour cream I used a yogurt substitute. The cupcakes were so moist and flavorful. They were a major hit with the family!

    Thank you!!!

  279. kelly

    deb, i made these today for my office and they were gone within an hour! they were astounding. i swapped in the frosting recipe PW posted this week and it worked beautifully. the cake is perfect!

  280. Dana

    Thanks for posting these! I made them for St. Pat’s yesterday and they were a hit, really moist and tasty. I especially love the frosting. I didn’t have a corer so I used a cannoli form to get the centers out, and placed the plugs back on top as someone else did in the comments above. I used yogurt and a little half and half instead of sour cream, and based on comments above I put the ganache in early in the day so it had time to sit. I also used half cream cheese and half butter for the frosting and reduced the amount of sugar and baileys a little bit.

  281. Deb, these are inspired! I wandered here from someone else’s blog, and I’m so glad I did!
    I’ve lived in Dublin for a long, long time, and I’ve NEVER heard of a car bomb in a pub! Been definitely doing something wrong! I don’t drink Guinness, but these can be my car bomb.
    Bye- I’m off to make them now!

  282. Thanks so much for this recipe! My hubby’s coworkers RAVED about the cupcakes. I’m too cheap to buy a bottle of Bailey’s, so I used Irish Cream Coffee Mate and it worked great (for those who had already asked in the comments).

  283. Elizabeth

    Thanks for another awesome recipe! This is probably the 5th or 6th cake recipe of yours I’ve used for birthdays, and they are always a HUGE hit! These are the perfect cupcake for my husband’s birthday/St. Patricks Day party tonight!

    Also, just had to say that your little boy is just darling, and almost the same age as my second boy! Thanks for continuing to post awesome food regularly!

  284. Tara

    These were amazing and the frosting trick you tell is one I will keep using. I almost didn’t even need 3 cups of sugar, but figured I would use it all to be safe. Delicious!!! Everyone loved them!!!
    I’ve been following your site for some time & I think it’s incredible. Congratulations on the Forbes list!

  285. Chrissy

    My school made these up for a open house a couple of Saturdays ago. They were ok. So I got the recipe of your site here and I just had to test them out here at home. They are an absolute HIT!!!! Cupcakes normally don’t go that fast around here but it was within two days, all of them were gone. I even took two for some parents to test out at my kid’s pre-school and they LOVED them!!!Needless to say, I’ll be making these more for parties!!! Thank you so much!!!!


  286. Sarah

    I just made these yesterday with my b/f and they turned out spectacular. We added a little more whiskey in the ganache and Bailey’s in the buttercream frosting and they’re even better. One question though, we’ve already filled and frosted them, but since he doesn’t live with me, he won’t be able to have more until next week. Will they keep in the freezer until then? I’m worried about the buttercream frosting…

  287. Abbey B.

    Deb, I recently started reading your site and I have to say I absolutely love it. Your approach to pictures and plain way of speaking makes the recipes seem approachable and exciting. I have made two of your recipes so far, and this was the first. I made them for a St. Patrick’s Day/birthday bash (yes, I baked cupcakes for my own birthday…I’m a perfectionist). I decided to make them in miniature because I thought they would be oh-so-cute. And they were…all 96 of them! Everyone at the party enjoyed them, and when I took the leftovers to work the next day they were quickly eaten. Thank you for taking the time to share your favorite recipes with us, and can’t wait to try more!

  288. Adri

    Hi there! I’ve never actually commented on your blog before, but these cupcakes look fantastic, and I’d really like to make a cake version of them for my boyfriend’s birthday. Do you have any suggestions on how to convert cooking time/temp, if I were to make two 9 inch layers? And do you think this recipe would make enough ganache for a cake filling, and icing to top?
    I know that’s a lot of questions… Thanks so much for any help!

  289. Christi

    these cupcakes were to DIE for
    I can’t believe how scrumptious a cup of Guinness makes chocolate cake. I found these cupcakes irresistable (and I don’t really care that much for chocolate!) One of the “taster centers” is a perfect companion to a cup of coffee. The ganache was delish too. I think next time I would try a version of the mint cream from the chocolate souffle cupcake recipe using Baileys. Something a little less sugary.
    So what did I learn? Booze makes chocolate WAY better!

  290. Jade

    I made these for St. Patrick’s day and they were such a huge hit, I’m going to make them again in a few weeks. :)

    The problem I had was that I used unsweetened chocolate for the ganache and found it to be extremely bitter! It was disgusting, so I ended up adding a few cups of icing sugar, some more cream and a bit of vanilla, along with about 3x more baileys. In the end, I doubt it was much of a ganache (I’ve never made a real ganache before, but judging from my readings, my end-result was not ganache-ish at all), but it was more like a squishy ball of chocolate in the centre of the cupcakes, which wasn’t so bad! It was still a bit bitter but the extremely sweet icing set it off nicely.

    I also used a double-chocolate stout beer instead of the stout guiness and it worked fine.

    These cupcakes take an extremely long time to make if you are inexperienced – this was actually my first time in years making cupcakes and it took me about 6 hours to do 24. So plan ahead! And also (if you are Canadian like me), go for the Bakers chocolate milk-chocolate or semi-sweetened… not the unsweetened dark for the ganache. Getting chocolate chips may even be a better bet.

    In any case, thank you for the awesome post and renewing my love for making cupcakes. :)

  291. Carly

    Oh I’m so excited to make these for my husbands birthday next week. I’ve been keeping this recipe in mind for over a year, but am just now getting to it. He’ll be so excited and all his guy friends will be too! Thank you!

  292. Kori

    Okay, just made them. They were (are) AMAZING. The ganache turned out perfectly, as did the cake. The icing was also quite good, though as I prefer a slightly stronger flavor, I added some Irish Mist, which was perfect: not as strong as straight whiskey, but with a more pronounced flavor than baileys. I am ecstatic about the taste. HOWEVER- I did mini-cupcakes, which was a HORRIBLE idea. As I take off the little mini-cupcake paper, the whole darn thing falls apart. It still tastes great, but as I’m taking this to a work function, I’m really kicking myself that I didn’t turn it into a cake or have just used a regular sized cupcake pan/paper. Take my misstep as a warning!

  293. Made these and brought them to work and they were a huge hit.

    And the new name is a drag. Change it back. They’re car bomb cupcakes. They just are.

  294. Cadelle

    Whatever happens, don’t go near fresh strawberries with these. Don’t fill them with left over ganache and don’t top them with left over frosting. Just don’t. The hospital bills when your roommates fight over them aren’t worth it. They just aren’t.

  295. Erin

    I’ve been lurking on your page for a lloonnggg time, and I love your blog and recipes. I need your opinion on something, please!

    I am making my friends’ wedding cake (we are having a very small dinner for them becaue they are not having a big wedding). I’m going to make the cake chocolate (I have a recipe that all my friends love)….and chocolate for the frosting, as well. What do you think about using the ganache from this recipe as a filling, and the baily’s frosting for some of the decorating??

    I think it would be amazing, but i need someone’s opinion!! Also, how thick is the ganache? If I do the cake this way, I’m wondering if I should pipe a little of the frosting around each layer to prevent any spill-over?

    Thanks SO much!

  296. Erin

    ooohh, goodness. i think i will do a trial run of the wedding cake with your chocolate wedding cake recipe…. thank you!!!!

  297. Edith

    I made these for a friends birthday and they were SO AMAZING! I’ve never tasted cupcakes like this. I’ll be making them again soon. Thanks for sharing such wonderful recipes :)

    The only tool I had to core the cupcakes was a grapefruit spoon and it worked pretty well – not as pretty, but it got the filling in, and the frosting covered up the mangled bits.

  298. Nikki

    Made these cuppycakes for a party, substituting starbucks coffee liquor for the whiskey, and they were a hit! Moist, chocolatey, creamy goodness. :-)

  299. Elizabeth E.

    2 quick questions:

    I’m not a drinker normally so I don’t really know anything at all about alcohol… My husband loves bourbon, which I believe is a type of whiskey but not an Irish one… Would it change the taste in any weird way to use bourbon in the filling?

    If I make it as a cake, which would you recommend as the cake filling, the ganache filling or the Bailey’s frosting? and then which should be the cake frosting, the ganache or the Bailey’s frosting?

    1. deb

      Elizabeth — See no reason why you can’t use bourbon. The Bailey’s is very, very sweet so use it in a place with less volume… maybe just the filling.

  300. Ash (Bogan to be)

    I love the idea for these cupcakes and will definately have to make them next time there’s a get together.
    On another note, I appreciate your trying to be considerate of the offended crowd, but I still like the original name.
    I seriously doubt it pays homage to a truely awful tool of destruction, and probably comes from more of what the drink consists of. Irish owing to the Guinnes, Bailey’s, and Jameson’s(all three being of Irish origin); Car from the SIDECAR that you drop into the pint. And as one other commentor (yes, i make up words to suit my purpose) stated, the bomb part of the name comes from how you feel after you’ve chugged a couple of them.

  301. jaclyn

    Just made these tonight and I have to say, they are amazing. This is only the second time I have tried to make any kind of cupcakes (the first time was a complete failure) and although it was messy and took some time, it was pretty easy. I used a 1/2 tsp to scoop out the middles and it worked great. The ganache was VERY rich (and delicious) and I made it with extra whiskey because I was making it for whiskey fans. I also added extra baileys and still didn’t need anywhere near 4 cups of powdered sugar. Although I could have used more frosting, which is easy enough to make. I didn’t find any of the liquor flavors overwhelming. It just worked perfectly. Thank you for this. Thank you.

  302. Ann

    I made these this weekend and they were delicious. I used bourbon in the filling (and added a little extra because, well, I like bourbon). I also used a little extra Bailey’s in the frosting. I made a hilarious and ridiculous mistake while making the cupcakes by somehow completely forgetting baking soda so they ended up super dense and pretty short but were tasty nonetheless. Thanks for sharing!

  303. Jarrelle Sartwell

    i work at a winery and what better place to take these cupcakes. one of my colleagues ismleaving today and moving out of state. we are having a good-bye party for her and i made these. i cant wait for everyone to try them. my dad is always my guinea pig and he tried one for breakfast this morning and said they were d’lish! thanks for sharing just another great recipe!!!!

  304. Jarrelle Sartwell

    deb at my work we have renamed these cupcakes. . . “car-bomb” cupcakes!!! if you ever had had a car-bomb i am sure you would agree! thanks again these were a hit all 24 of them!!!

  305. Ren

    These look absolutely luscious, I am trying them out tonight. Don’t think I’ll be able to make the ganache, though, and I might make a cream cheese icing because buttercream hurts my tummy :c

    As for the name: I personally find the intense rudeness of the offended commenters FAR more offensive that the name. I’m not going to say “get over it,” but I am going to say that you should NOT be rude for no good reason to someone who meant no harm. I’m sure intention was not to offend; the obvious intention of the rude commenters seemed to be curt and to be brash.

  306. Elizabeth E.

    I made this as a cake and it was FANTASTIC!

    I made two 9 in rounds that were tall enough to slice in half for a four layered cake! I used both the ganache and and bailey’s frosting as thin fillings in between each layer. Then I used the bailey’s frosting as a crumb coat, the ganache as the icing, and then the bailey’s frosting to decorate. The alternating frostings made the perfect balance of sweetness and the crowd was clamoring for more. My husband isn’t a big fan of cake in general but loves the alcohol involved in this cake so I made it for his birthday. He was a very happy birthday boy.

    Thanks Deb!

  307. I actually read all 400 + comments while considering how to do these cupcakes for a birthday party, so I thought I’d add my two cents.

    I’ve made these twice, first as the recipe calls for with the ganache filling, the whole nine yards. They were as awesome as everyone says. To die for. Perhaps literally. Yet, I was considering making at least 60 of these for a birthday party in a busy week and I wasn’t willing to invest the time needed to cut, fill, and frost these.

    The solution that I came up with (which, admittedly, changes the spirit of these considerably) was to use the cake and frost it with the bailey’s buttercream, skipping the ganache entirely. People STILL oogled and awed over them, and I would definitely make them this way.

    I am intrigued by the idea of making this as a layer cake and I think I’ll try that next. :)

  308. Connie

    By the time you’re reaching 465 comments, you can bet on a winner. I ended up using Ghirardelli’s unsweetened cocoa powder (it’s not dutch processed) with very good results. I didn’t have enough dutch-processed cocoa left to make the batch. So if that’s what you have, don’t sweat it…

  309. Beth

    Made these for my roommate’s 21st birthday… we doubled the ganache, and also used it to decorate the tops of the cupcakes! SO delicious!

  310. Steffi

    Hi there,

    I’m going to try these this weekend, but i have limited time. How long, start to finish, would you say they take? Cooling’n’all?

    Thank you!

  311. Mary Kate

    Steffi- I made these cupcakes last night and it took me about two hours. However I was not in a rush so I’m sure I could have done them a little faster. The ganache cooled pretty quickly without putting it in the fridge. I would guess it was only about 20 minutes. And the cupcakes were baking at that time anyway so it wasn’t really wasted time. I only waited about 10 or 15 minutes after taking the cupcakes out of the oven to start filling them with the ganache. I did get them out of the muffin tin as soon as possible though so they would cool faster.
    They were definitely worth the time though. I had high expectations for them and they were still even better than I had imagined. I made them for my male roommate’s birthday and he loved them. Who doesn’t love baked goods with booze? I can’t wait to try this as a cake too!

  312. Rob

    I’ve made these a few times now – and they’ve turned out great. I have one question – I haven’t been able to incorporate nearly that much powdered sugar into the frosting. 2 cups seems to be about it. Is the recipe supposed to say 2 sticks of butter?

  313. Amanda

    Just wanted to say that I made this as a layer cake and it was wonderful! I did the double-then-2/3 quantities and it was perfect for two layers of cake. I used the ganache as the filler between the two layers and the recipe given here was the perfect amount. The icing recipe should be at least doubled to cover a layer cake – tripled if you like generous frosting or if you plan to do detailed decoration. (I doubled the icing recipe and it worked out fine, but I’d say that the level of frosting was just adequate, and more would’ve been better.)

    For anyone else’s reference, for two layers, use:
    1 + 1/3 c. guiness
    1 + 1/3 c. butter
    1 c cocoa powder
    2 + 2/3 c. flour
    2 + 2/3 c. sugar
    2 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp salt
    3 large eggs
    7/8 c. sour cream)

  314. ruby

    Question regarding freezing: i’m making some cupcakes for my pal’s wedding in late august. her fiance is irish, these will be perfect. i love the idea of filling and freezing them ahead of time, it’s an incredibly helpful perk. when you say tightly wrapped (when frozen), do you mean each individually tightly wrapped in cellophane? would this cause the tops of the cupcakes to peel off upon defrosting? Or do you think i could just throw bunches of them into freezer bags? thanks so much!

    1. deb

      I mean the container should be airtight. I might use a plastic container, and then go as far as to wrap the whole thing in plastic. I’m kinda paranoid about freezer smell because I’m sensitive to it but this may not be an issue for you.

  315. kcsnedah

    So many of my friends are stout drinkers and I am just not, but I figured this was I way I could get into stout. And oh was I right. I do a study group with about 8 guys and I have brought all manner of ridiculously delicious things, but when I made these, there was complete silence for about 3 minutes (except for the moaning). The looks on the faces were ridiculous. I’m making them again tonight for a friends “Beer-day” party since there will be plenty of beer.

    BTW, I mix about 1 tsp of whiskey in with the icing because ganache in the summer is just too much of a pain in the ass for me. It works out great.

  316. ChristineInBoise

    This recipe is just amazing and a MUST TRY! The only suggestion I would make is for the frosting. The entire thing is super sweet and I would try to use less sugar for the Bailey’s frosting. Start with the butter, add some of the sugar, then the Bailey’s, then more sugar until you have the consistancy that you prefer. Otherwise you will find that people with a super sensitive tooth having a tough time eating this. I’d say I used only a small fraction of all of the frosting… The ganache recipe I only used a little over half of too. The cupcakes are dense and delicious! Thanks for sharing this AMAZING recipe. I’ll be making these again and again and again…

  317. egraf

    These are exciting!!! Made the cupcakes lastnight… filling and frosting today… My husband loves the way they smell while they were baking… mmm can’t wait to get em frosted……

  318. Bobbi

    I am very new to your website but I just love everything about it! I made these cupcakes today and will be taking them to a dinner party tonight. Not only do they look amazing, they are absolutely delish-I am trying to keep my husband from eating more of them BEFORE the party! This is the first time I have ever made genache without any issues…it turned out perfect. Thanks so much for sharing all of your recipes and the helpful hints you have learned along the way. I will be sharing your website with all my foodie colleagues and friends here in Hamilton, Ontario Canada.

  319. Karen

    Your choc olate whiskey and beer cupcakes look good – can’t be fooled by looks. Cake is dry and beer overpowers the dutch cocoa. Filling does not set if you use 2 teaspoons of irish whiskey plus it is bitter. I added some conf. sugar and it helped. Irish cream icing is the only redeeming feature. I am a very good baker and so is one of the women that I work with. This is definitely a thumbs down. The other girl here tried some of your other recipes – not bakery and they also did not turn out. Want to try the carmel over the cake but am afraid.

  320. Meg

    I just made these last night and they were a huge hit for a co-ed wedding shower. Thanks and I’ll be making them again!!! So good!!!!

  321. Becky

    I figured i probably should write in because i’ve made these so many times and they’re a hit every time.
    Thank you for an amazing recipe! It’s made several holiday gatherings extra special :)

  322. Allison

    I made a double batch of these last night and ran out of white sugar midway through the second batch. I replaced about 1/2 c white sugar with brown sugar (not packed). I was nervous about the substitution, but after having tasted the middles from each batch, I like the ones with the brown sugar MUCH better! They’re not as crumbly or sticky, and are less sweet and have a more complex flavor than the ones with just white sugar. The batter was also easier to handle (less liquidy).

    At the very least, it’s a totally acceptable substitute, and I think I will be making them this way from now on.

  323. Meisha

    I am not a baker…Not is the slightest. I attempted this though..mostly for the frosting and..This is the best thing I have ever baked. I will never ever again use box mix! EVER! Thanks!!!!

  324. Gracie

    Why oh why have you not changed the name? Maybe you guys wouldn’t be so keen On baking 911 cupcakes? We Irish have had our troubles and we like a laugh bit this is ridiculous. Having lost someone to an Irish car bomb, may I just say that the fact the cocktail is called that is no excuse. Sort it out! Change the effing name!

  325. Kerry

    I love this blog! If I ever need to make something special for an event that is not merely edible but extraordinary, i come searching through here and these definitely fit the bill! however, I live at 7,500 ft elevation and have had a hard time making cupcakes and muffins rise. They always always sink in the middle – other altitude baking sites reduce the amount of Baking Soda – does this seem like the right approach to making a more cheerful (less dejected) cupcake to fit the mood?

  326. John

    To commenter 483 (Gracie): Are you serious? Are you actually chalking up an incident, which occurred to I’m going to guess only a handful of people were affected by, to being the same level as 9-11? If so that is pretty damn appalling. I think you need to sort yourself out!

    There’s no reason to change the name whatsoever, as the inspiration is a traditional mixed drink, to which most people are at least somewhat familiar with or at the very least have heard of. Who cares that you’ve suffered a traumatic personal event; go be disgustingly selfish somewhere else. As the say, the world does not revolve around you.

    Anyway I’ve been wanting to make these for a while, and I may just do so in the very near future. The look AH-MA-ZING.

  327. Megan

    I was looking to make the cupcakes without the Guinness and was wondering what the best substitution would be? milk? I am no expert in the baking department and was just not sure what to sub. Thanks! Also, I made your sweet potato sausage soup the other day and it was great!

  328. Katie

    Just made these – they were a HUGE hit! To the person wanting to make them without the Guinness, you really can’t taste the beer that much, it’s just an incredible light, fluffy texture. Honestly, I’m not a Guinness drinker but I now want to make all chocolate cake this way! I’d give it a try!

    I also agree with an earlier poster, I only have one muffin tin, so the second batch was a little denser than the first. Still delicious, just denser. Will definitely be making these again, and the recipe isn’t as complicated as it may seem at first.

  329. Maja

    Wow. I just made these for a party in honor of our city’s Irish Fest. I have NEVER received as many compliments and requests for a recipe!! I was even told that they were the kind of cupcakes that would be remembered for a lifetime!
    That being said they were a little time consuming; I did take two days to put them together and froze them after assembly so that they wouldn’t be stale for the weekend. Also, I didn’t use a muffin/cupcake tin while baking. I did for the first six and then decided to see what would happen it they were baked on a cookie tray in aluminum /paper liners. They were INFINITELY better this way! Less dense and less cooktime by about a minute and a half. I will now be an avid follower of your blog!!!!

  330. These are the best! i made them in one evening for a combined birthday party so i wanted something that would appeal to the birthday boy AND girl. these were perfect! the guys were into the booze and we decorated them with pink hearts so the girls were happy too!! there are pictures up on salon gourmand blog.
    i doubled the alcohol in the recipe and they tasted great! especially the ganache whiskey part when it was a little warmed up and melted in the center.
    Thanks so much for this great recipe!!! and all the others!

  331. I made these for my husband’s birthday.. and let me tell you, he was BLOWN AWAY! they were fantastic! They took some time to make but oh man were they worth it! Thanks for sharing!

  332. Tonya

    I just made a double batch of these yet again today as they are the most fantastic cupcakes I’ve ever had. Thank you so much for posting this wonderful recipe. I never need to worry about what to bring to parties/potlucks/etc anymore, because they’re always being requested of me by the people who’ve had them before. Excellent work!

  333. Rowen

    Ok, I gave these a shot for my birthday, coming up. I’m still waiting to see what people think, although I’m a little nervous, because the ganache came out funny (I mistakenly bought *unsweetened* chocolate . . . big whoops). When I poured the cream over the chocolate, it didn’t melt everything, so I popped it in the microwave, and things started to melt. It came together as less ganache and more souflee-thing. Like those Yoplait Whips, but denser, while still being airy. I found a table of chocolate converstions, so added a bunch of sugar. The “ganache” still looked funny, but after my taste test, I felt it balances out the very sweet icing very well.

    I’m still curious, did I do something wrong with the ganache? Or was it the unsweetened chocolate’s a different consistency then bittersweet?

  334. Jamie

    I was very excited to make these as I love Irish Car Bombs. I make frosting all the time and I don’t know if the butter wasn’t whipped enough but my “frosting” turned out like sand. I probably needed to whip the butter for an hour….. I added 1/2 cup shortening and the frosting and it became perfection. I also added more Bailey’s to smooth it out and it worked amazingly.

  335. Just made these for my cousin’s birthday (we’re all pretty Irish.) Everything came together perfectly. For some reason I found my icing stiff well before the requisite amount of powdered sugar, but I’m guessing that had to do with the temperature of the butter. Best cupcakes I’ve ever eaten. Thank you for writing such clear and detailed directions.

  336. Just made these for my birthday/housewarming party- they were a hit! We knew it would be good when my roommates were mmm-ing and ahhh-ing over the uncooked batter. These are totally becoming a potluck or dinner party staple for me!

  337. Kim

    I first made these about a year ago for an Irish friend’s birthday! They are AMAZING! I have made them at least 10 times over 2010 to fabulous reviews. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful recipe!!

  338. Laine

    Tomorrow is the birthday of a young man I’ve taken a shine to.
    I tentatively asked him, knowing that if the answer was “no” I’d have to seriously rethink this shine I’d taken, whether or not he likes chocolate.
    He said yes, especially when paired with marzipan or booze.
    My heart skipped a beat, and I knew just the recipe to use.
    (ps I love your site and have gotten all of my friends hooked)

  339. This was my first attempt at cupcake with frosting and they turned out amazing! took a couple of hours to make and put together but they were gone in less then 15 minutes!! Loved the frosting, it tasted great but for some reason it woudnt stay firm, maybe i didnt add enough sugar… oh darn i’ll have to make them again :)
    Thank you soooo much for the awesome recipe!! (btw – i substitute the eggs and the dairy and made them vegan and it still turned out fantastic!! :) )

  340. I’ve been saving this recipe for an the perfect opportunity. It’s my lovely beer-drinking, Irish friends 29th birthday this week and she’s doing to lose it when she get’s a load of this!

  341. Andra

    Thank you for this recipe! I came over from Annie’s because her version (which was adapted from yours) was not a proper carbomb. It used Bailey’s in the ganache instead of the Jameson. I made these last night and they are simply DELICIOUS! We doubled the recipe because I was making some for a party and my mom asked that I send some for her holiday employee cookoff as well — we won 1st place!!

    Only thing is– The frosting turned out ALL WRONG for me. I don’t know what it was, maybe because I was doubling the recipe– but we had to double the butter and half the sugar. We also added more than double the Bailey’s for taste. They were time consuming, but well worth it.

  342. Annie

    I just made these cupcakes and they are fantastic! I followed the recipe exactly so I can see how it should taste. Now that I have made it, I think it could be a great base for lots of variations. I am going to try a mocha cupcake instead of stout and then flavor the ganache with kahlua instead of whiskey. I think I will keep the frosting the same.
    When I made the frosting, I was certain there would not be enough but when I tasted it and realized how deliciously rich it was, I realized it was the perfect amount.


  343. Alexandra

    @#313 Cindy: My fiance & I love Death & Taxes! We order it whenever we’re in a pub that carries it. ;-)

    This recipe sounds awesome. Will be trying soon, I hope! Post, bookmarked!

  344. Kris

    Made these for a Christmas party this weekend, and they were a HUGE hit. The cake is so moist, it may be my new go-to chocolate cake no matter what the icing.

  345. Cindy

    I made these this past weekend. I made some with liners and some without (nonstick cupcake pan) and they worked just fine with without the liners.

    I had a bunch left over and didn’t want them to go stale, so I mashed them up and made a Smitten Kitchen Irish Car Bomb “pate” by layering cupcake, then frosting, then re-warmed ganache, then cupcake, frosting, ganache in a loaf pan. I put it in the fridge, then sliced it up, saved each slice in a piece of plastic wrap, and put the whole thing in the freezer. Last night my husband (cold dessert man) had a frozen slice, and I popped a slice in the microwave for 30 seconds and had a warm slice. Tasted phenomenal. Even better than the cupcake, maybe because the warm ganache was so delectable. I will keep this in the freezer and serve it at dinner parties, maybe with a dollop of whipped cream.

  346. These were just sensational! Such light cupcakes (thanks to the beer? maybe?), loved the filling and Bailey’s topper cream, as well. I wonder if there’s any way to make the ganache a little softer? It hardened up a bit at room temperature, which I know is a thing ganache DOES, but still. Any ideas?? Maybe I should just use chocolate mousse next time, I am sure that would elicit no complaints at all!!

  347. Chris

    I made these for my daughter’s birthday (25th) and she and all her friends LOVED them. The took them to a local microbrewery that allows you to bring in food and the bartenders gave them free beer when they were given one. Took some to work and the recipe was requested by all. Thanks for posting this recipe, it will become a staple here.

  348. Kristina

    I made these for a friend’s 21st birthday yesterday and they were fantastic!! Everyone asked for the recipe, so I directed them to your site of course. The frosting was fantastic and those were definitely the best cupcakes I’ve ever made. Despite the fact that we were drinking heavily all night, two shots of whiskey in the ganache was a little much, I would recommend only one. Thanks for an awesome recipe!

  349. Susan

    This was the first smitten kitchen recipe that I made, and now I make them about every 6 months and have requests from all quarters for more! I joke that people stay friends with me just so that they can be on the receiving end of such amazing concoctions :)

  350. Momo

    I’ve made a cake-sized version of this for a few occasions, and it’s been a massive hit. Recently, I brought it to a swanky restaurant to have it served with a birthday dinner, and the hostess came by to ask me where I got it, and to tell me that they’d been talking about it in the kitchen all night! Thanks for making me look like a rockstar! It’s such a great recipe, and super easy to adjust for folks with different tastes; I’ve done Mexican chocolate and Irish coffee versions of this, both of which have come out marvelously. This recipe can do no wrong!

  351. Kristen

    I made these last night and have a couple of suggestions:
    1) Use foil cupcake liners. The thin paper ones did not hold up well-not sure why. I noticed that I did not fold the batter after I mixed in the flour/sugar mixture. I’m not sure if this is why the cupcakes seemed to collapse after I removed them from the oven.
    2)Double the frosting recipe. We used a icing pump piper thing(I’m so sophisticated :-)) and it took a lot of icing to make them look just like Deb’s.
    Overall another great recipe from Smitten! The frosting was delicious…I ate way too much of it!
    I will be making these again.

  352. I’ve made these before and used a knife to cut the whole in the center. Its a big old headache. I don’t have small cookie cutters or apple corers or even a melon baller lying around my kitchen (its furnished as you would expect any other college apartment kitchen to be furnished).

    I’m making these again this week for a birthday party, and actually ordered a set of round cookie cutters so I wouldn’t have to fool with the knife fiasco again.

    One quick question though: If I bake these ahead of time, should I keep the components separate and assemble when we are ready to eat? Does the frosting need to be kept in the fridge? Or can I assemble the whole thing and just store them all at room temp in an air tight container? (ok, I guess that was more than one question)

  353. cari

    valentine’s day treat for my sweetie. made without the ganache (ran out of time). used a combo of heavy cream and baileys to temper the sweetness. we have a thing about cooking with bailey’s, so this is perfect!

  354. ama

    This has got to be one of the best chocolate cupcake recipes. Ever. In the world. You can’t taste the Guinness in the baked cupcake, but it adds a certain can’t-put-my-finger-on-it depth to the finished (super tasty!) product.

    Followed the cake recipe exactly as written and got 21 cupcakes. Based on the suggestions here, I subbed some of my remaining Guinness for the cream in the ganache (then drank the rest, duh). Used a different frosting (a Bailey’s cream cheese) and I sort of wanted to eat all of these in one sitting.

  355. Ramya

    A couple years late but I’d nix the Guinness and swap it with a sweet stout. Left Hand Brewing Co.’s Milk Stout works really well! All of their stouts work well…. even the smoked one!

  356. lindsay

    This. Is. The best cupcake recipe I have come across. So moist, and the ganache really picks it up a notch (I add extra whiskey, of course). I am making these on Saturday, for my town’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration (an excuse for the bars to open at 8 AM and never close), and probably again on real St. Patrick’s day. I have made these a few times, but I want to try mini cupcakes this time! Hopefully they turn out just as wonderful :-)

  357. Forever “Murphy”

    Made these for the first time on Wednesday. A trial run, so to speak. They are AMAZING!. I made regular and mini size (10 minutes). I believe these will become a new family favorite :)

  358. Hollybee

    I just read through all 530 comments and I can’t wait to make these cupcakes for our St. Paddy’s Day Party! They are going to be a huge hit!

  359. KoryLynn

    My fiancé and I are going to make these for our wedding. After all the food and cake are done with and we have been dancing, we are going to have these served as a nod to our Irish backgrounds. Really looking forward to it. It will be a nice surprise!

  360. Liz

    I had a little bit more ganache left over, so I thinned it down with more whiskey and spread it in a “bomb” like pattern on top of the baileys frosting.” I made a couple of modifications to the recipe (mostly just adding more booze and using greek yogurt instead of sour cream) and I think these maybe the best things I have made yet!

  361. Kerin

    Hooray for Irish Car Bomb desserts and shots! I can’t wait to make these for St. Patrick’s day! I have all the ingredients, but I must get my hands on some dark chocolate sprinkles as well!
    Also, anyone offended by an outdated joke poking fun at PIRA need not express their opinion on this entry. We are talking cupcakes here, you are just talking nonsense.

  362. Julia

    How “boozy” are these cupcakes? I’m thinking about bringing these to work tomorrow, but don’t want to make my lovely coworkers tipsy.

    1. deb

      The cake itself is not noticeably boozy but the Bailey’s frosting is very boozy because it is uncooked. You can always dial the Bailey’s back or skip it.

  363. This cake is absolutely dreamy…so fluffy and the crumb is so light! I used chocolate stout instead of Guinness to make cupcakes topped with salted caramel buttercream and pretzel-potato chip toffee. What a fantastic combination, thanks so much for a(nother) great recipe!

  364. dakota

    this are awesome, albeit a bit time consuming. i made them in mini cupcake tins, so you could eat them all in one bite…to get more of the “shot” effect. thanks for sharing!

  365. Cindy

    I made these for last night’s party. The few leftovers were fought over! And one of my friends told me I’d be banned from his birthday party if I didn’t make them for it. Thank you so much for this recipe!

  366. Heidi

    Absolutely wonderful in every way! Best cupcake I have ever had in itself! The combo of the Guinness enriches the chocolate. Heavenly! And then when I tried the buttercream…. Out of this world! So perfectly fluffy. My ganache is cooling so I can fill them in a few minutes :) So very excited to serve these to friends tonight. They will be blown away as I have been. This recipe is FOR SURE going into my keepers book. Thanks so much for sharing.

  367. Heidi

    I have made these several times and yes I let kids eat them. I use a double boiler and melt the chocolate with the heavy cream for the filling. Also I only use about 2-3 Tbs of Baileys with 3-4 Cups powdered sugar, I do not think anyone will get tipsy from these. Have shared the recipe with many others.

  368. Mary

    I made these for the first time yesterday and they were a hit! They were somewhat time consuming, because I’m not the most experienced baker, but everyone loved them. One thing…. my ganache seemed harder than the picture. I expected more of a pudding-y, creamy consistency but it’s kind of fudge-like. Did I do something wrong??

  369. Jackie

    I made these yesterday as well for a party, (everyone loved them) I did take my time with it, which was needed, but worth it in the end. I ended up letting the ganache get very cool, which made it more difficult when filling, (I should have done it when it was warmer) but I had everyone throw them in the microwave for about 8-10 sec before eating, and it warmed up the centers, and you could taste the jameson alot better when it was warm! It took me 20 minutes to make the frosting, but 4 cups of powdered sugar and 4 good tsps of Baileys and also about a tsp of the heavy cream made it easier to work with. (I thought it was too buttery without the full 4 cups of sugar) I am definitly making these again sometime! Also, I saw a recipe which called for the full bottle of Guinness, I dont know if that would affect the recipe, but the 1 cup worked well for me. You dont really taste the Guinness anyhow. Another tip: I used a #2B decorating tip for hollowing out the centers, and it worked very well. It was either that or a knife (or a turkey baster), and that didnt work at all!

  370. Julia

    I just have to say that I made these delicious cupcakes yesterday, frosted them today, and served them a few hours ago. They went over extremely well! I ran out of cocoa powder (and discovered this after I went shopping), so I used chocolate syrup, which did make it sweeter, but the cake part was quite good and moist. Then I ended up reversing frosting by putting the ganache on top and the Baileys frosting inside so that it looked more like a Hostess cupcake. The apple corer did the trick! Thanks for this recipe!!!

  371. Kristen

    Thanks for the recipe! They turned out amazing :-) One friend said they were the best cupcakes he’d ever had and another ate 5 of them lol

  372. Heather

    In honor of the first comment, via Tabitha, I’ve come up with a new word: Foodorable. Use it whenever you find food that is adorable.

    Also, I think these will have to be made next summer at my friend’s and my Bon Voyage party, before we leave for our trip to the UK/Europe. And probably many many times in between. Yes.

  373. Chelle

    I’ve made these cupcakes a lot now and I do have a couple suggestions. I always have way too much ganache so by making an extra 1/2 recipe of cupcakes I have the perfect amount plus it uses a whole bottle of Guinness (I don’t like flat guinness after I’m done cooking!). It also makes up wonderfully as a cake as my cousin made it for me for my birthday once. She used the ganache as a filler in between two layers of cake and then frosted it. It was so good people who weren’t invited to my party (held in my favorite bar) stole some! Next I want to try some Young’s Chocolate Stout (maybe even the double!).

  374. These are our go-to “good grief, how are we all turning 30?!? Quick somebody make some cupcakes filled with booze” cupcakes. These are our New Years Eve Cupcakes. Around these New England parts, we really love these cupcakes. And everything else you do, of course, but just wanted to give a shout out to the Best. Cupcakes. Evah.

  375. Nina

    Funny, I also made these for my friend’s 30th birthday last night (see #555) and the results are in, 20 people in Brooklyn agree, these are fantastic/better than the cupcake boutique/best I’ve had/to die for/I don’t like sweets but wow, I just had two/thought they’d be too sweet but they’re actually perfect (I did cut down the 2 c of sugar to 1 2/3) – these are actual comments heard! It made me so happy – and the hours of standing all worth it! Thanks for the great recipe!

  376. Chelsea Anneke

    Best Cupcakes I have ever made. Affectionately called Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes by all my friends. Thank you so much!

  377. Anna

    This is by far the most popular dessert I’ve ever made. Ever. I bake regularly for friends’ birthdays, and I currently have no less than FIVE outstanding requests for these guys. So thank you, Deb, for helping me become everybody’s best friend with the ever-winning combination of booze and chocolate.

    For everyone who wants to do this in cake form, a word of caution: I once tried making the cupcakes without liners, and it was disaster. Crumbly, delicious chocolate disaster. So you definitely want a circle of parchment paper on the bottom of your pan. I used a heavily buttered nonstick and, with some patience and care, managed to get them out mostly intact, but a fine layer of the middle was still sticking. So don’t make my mistake and hope for the best!

  378. Susan

    Thanks Anna for the cake warning! Groomscake idea! Might have to turn this into a Groomscupcake idea! These are WOW ~ FABULOUS looking ~ and perfect….especially for this crowd! I see a Huge Guiness Glass in the middle with all the cupcakes being the shotglasses surrounding it!!! oh the fun I’ll have creating this!

  379. Cari

    These are fantastic. I’ve made these twice and I got rave reviews both times. I used my silicone cupcake pan, which gives the added benefit of not losing any precious cupcake to paper wrappers. I also made a cake from the batter using my silicone cake pan, which also worked well. Note that this only works if you have high quality silicone pans (80% or more silicone content). Also, a melon baller works perfectly for cutting out the centers, and then you have cute little cake balls.

  380. Lauren

    I’m not a big fan of traditional cupcake frostings (confectioner’s sugar just pushes everything over the sweet wall for me) so I made it with a french butter cream (egg whites, sugar — whipped, then butter) which is a lot less sweet but a DIVINE texture. I think it mimicked that super soft warm/rich feeling you get when drinking a car bomb.

  381. Rosette

    I just made a two-layer cake, put the Baileys frosting between the layers, and poured the ganache over the top and let it drip around the sides. Gloriousss

  382. Conny

    I’ve made this frosting many times, and I love it so much! It tastes devine.
    I’m going to celebrate my birthday this weekend, and for the sake of a more impressive appearance, I’m planning to make a 2-layer cake (my first one ever). I’m planning to use the frosting to frost and fill the cake. I’m German, and not used to frosting cakes, so I have no idea how much frosting I will need. Please Deb, do you have any suggestion if the above recipe will be enough to frost a 9 inch 2-layer cake? Or should I double the recipe? Maybe even triple it? I don’t want to present a messy, half-frosted cake to my guests. Thanks so much, not just for your frosting-quantity advice but for this website and your constant inspiration in general!

  383. Alyssa

    I stumbled upon this recipe in the middle of July and as a notorious Car Bomb drinker (I have drunk a curdled one so as “not to waste it” — yes, I was wretchedly blizted), I’m super excited to try this recipe the first chance I get!

  384. Hey! Ok, i’ve been making these since you posted the recipe in 2009 and I LOVE them! I’ve made cupcakes, cakes… you name it. Last night I went to make them again and suddenly… it’s not working. The beer/butter/cocoa mixture just looks oily. I have never had this problem before. Any suggestions? I already threw away 2 batches. They just cave in in the center. They taste good, but the texture is off. HELP!!!! Thanks!

  385. ashley r.

    love this site & saw this recipe while looking for a goodie to make to take camping this weekend. While I didn’t make these, I did make the frosting but with Kahlua rather than Bailey’s and oh my… I’m not sure how any made it onto the cupcakes.

  386. I haven’t bothered to read every single comment, but I did want to note that I have successfully made this recipe into a full-sized cake as well. Makes a two-layer 8 or 9 inch cake. Ganache goes in the middle, frosting just on the top, sides unfrosted. Rave reviews. Thanks for all your beautiful recipes, Deb!

  387. n.halim

    hi, just want to ask–is it ok to put in rhum instead of whiskey? because I don’t have any whiskey at home; only baileys and rhum. will it change the consistency of the Ganache? Thank you :)

  388. Andrea

    I made these last night and let me just say, they are a MASTERPIECE! Thanks so much again – everyone is on cloud 9 at work now :D

  389. n.halim

    Made it! had to replace the whisky with rhum since I don’t have any at home; and it turned out fine. My dad actually came out of his room when it’s out of the oven.. he said it smelled great. he tasted it and loves it in an instant! great recipe! thanks so much! :D

  390. Sara

    I just finished my third batch, well actually my third time making these, doubling the batch each time…these have been the cupcakes of the Summer as I have made them in June, July and now August. I have tweaked the amounts of the ganache (tripled the recipe this time for 4 dozen) and have made a double batch of icing each time, and then there is the alcohol…I have used 1/4 cup of Jameson’s in the ganache for a double batch (forgot to increase the amount for the triple batch) and 1/2 cup Bailey’s in the icing. Bottom line this has become the rave of many get togethers and are coveted by many of my friends. I am so happy that I found this recipe- you are amazing and don’t worry, I ALWAYS give credit to you!

  391. Nancy

    OMG!! I made these last night and they are so good!!!! I had no trouble at all even taking out the core of the cupcake for the filling. Thanks Deb for the inspiration!!!

  392. Just made these for a baby shower–I know it’s a little inappropriate considering all the alcohol, but the mom really loves Bailey’s. I made my ganache in the microwave. It was my first time and really easy–chocolate and cream in a bowl, microwave for 45 seconds, stir, 30 more seconds, stir and done. Didn’t add the butter/whiskey.

    My proudest adjustment: didn’t have an apple corer/cookie cutter, so I used part of my breast pump (the … boob … part that fits into the flange? you know? it’s the perfect cyclinder shape). Anyway, it worked perfectly.

  393. Amy

    Wow – just made these for a surprise going away party tonight. They are insane! I made the cakes yesterday and then filled and topped them this morning. Back in the fridge they go until tonight – so easy. Thank you for sharing this delicious treat!

  394. Hayley

    So I don’t have an electric mixer (just graduated from college, new apartment, no money), is it possible to make these without? It’s my friend’s 21st, and I’m pretty sure she would die if I made these for her.

  395. Katie

    I have made these cupcakes for friends on numerous occasions and I get nothing but rave reviews and many thanks!

    For the non-alcohol types, I have used a Bailey’s flavoring. It was good and conveyed the idea behind the cupcake, so score one for non-alcoholic flavors!

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! LOVE your site. :)

  396. Hayley

    Answered my own question, possible, but my arms will be sore tomorrow, haha. My friend is going to freak out. And I’ve probably gained 100 lbs from those “tasters” and licking various spatulas. Om nom nom.

  397. Haley

    not sure if someone else has asked this, but I wanted to make this recipe into a bundt cake. Do I need to double it or will this recipe work? Thanks so much and these look amazing!!!!!!

  398. January

    Hello Deb,
    I was curious if you thought that this frosting would work on the Stout cake? I am trying to mix things up. To mixy? What are your thoughts?
    Good luck with the book stuff.

  399. Tyler Saber

    Oh my goodness…I made almost the exact same thing for a cake I did for my friends Birthday. I was looking through your blog and stumbled across these and couldn’t believe it. I even called it the Irish Car Bomb cake. It was such a hit. I swear, each slice was like taking a shot.

  400. Mary Katherine

    I made these for my husband’s 29th birthday. I cut the recipe down to a quarter of the original, and it made about 6 cupcakes. Perfect for just the two of us–we had leftovers the next day, but we haven’t been guiltily scarfing cake for a week.

    I just gotta say, they were SO GOOD! Good as in we’d take a bite and grin at each other good. Thanks for sharing.

  401. Micki

    Irish former drinker here.

    Torani makes an Irish Cream syrup that I substituted for the Baileys in this frosting recipe with excellent results. I also left out the Irish whiskey in the filling. This recipe is toe-curlingly good.


  402. Sam McClellan

    When they start to get a bit stale, pour a small puddle of whiskey in a bowl, set the cupcake in the puddle and let it soak up the whiskey. It will perk right up!

  403. Tenshi

    These cupcakes are perfect. Pure, utter, taste-bud oprgasm inducing perfection. I don’t even like whiskey, really, but the leave me speechless with their undescribable deliciousness. Now to keep myself from eating them all before the party tonight for which I made them….

  404. These look delightful! I simply adore the Irish Car Bomb shot (and I don’t even like whiskey).

    True tale: in Ireland, they just call the shot a Car Bomb. I nearly died laughing when I heard that the first time there.

  405. Arden

    Thanks Deb! These are the best cupcakes I’ve ever made…just the base guinness-chocolate cupcake part was amazing! I added probably twice the amount of whiskey and Bailey’s to the filling and frosting, respectively, to make sure you could taste them. So yummy!

  406. Melissa

    Great cupcakes! I made them tonight for my father-in-law’s birthday party. I made some without any alcohol (except for the Guinness) for the kids.
    Wondering if you have a suggestion: my ganache set up so stiff that it didn’t really “go” with the consistency of the cake. It was kind of like finding a chocolate truffle in the middle. Not bad, just odd.

  407. I made these yesterday for an Iron Chef potluck (secret ingredient = spirits). I really liked the cake and the frosting, but like some of the other reviewers, including Melissa at 606, I didn’t care for the consistency of the filling. It set up so hard it was impossible to eat it along with the rest of the cupcake and I didn’t enjoy eating the filling on its own, so I left the clump of filling on my plate. I think it would be better with a softer filling that goes better with the soft consistency of the cake and frosting. Others at the party agreed that they didn’t care for the filling.

  408. Alice

    These are the best cupcakes. I made them for a birthday party and was asked to make them again for the same group of people. They are fantastic. Thank you!!

  409. dancing gal

    So, I haven’t had yet the chance to try again the chocolate stout cake (and succeeding in it ;) ), but, I thought I would like to take the mini-version over to my friends’ on Sunday. And now that with your help (I hope) I’ve figured out my butter/stout/cocoa mixture issues, I have one single problem: the size of my oven. If I make these, I’ll have to bake them in 4 batches (really small oven, only one 6-muffin tin can get in there), and I’ve come to understand that baked goods with baking soda alone as a leavener should be baked right away. Do you think that will be a problem for all my batches but the first? If so, do you think there is a solution (involving baking powder most probably), or should I better look for something else to bake for Sunday?

    Thanks (again) a lot!!!


    1. deb

      Hi Eliza — I think it should be fine. I make three layers cakes all of the time but my oven only holds two layers. And I only have 2 round cake pans. So, I let the batter sit until the first one comes out and is cooled enough to unmold/rinse and have never had a problem with rise.

  410. dancing gal

    Thanks for the reassuring answer! I’ll know for next time – this time the cupcake project was abandonned mostly because we were going to be less than originally planned, so I did the bundt version of the chocolate stout cake, with the simple ganache and whipped up some bailey’s whipped cream. Thanks to your instructions for the butter/stout/cocoa mixture I had no problem at all this time. Everything went perfectly, the cake was gorgeous to look and delicious to eat, we went for seconds and I think that as we speak the hosts are having a debate weather to have the two remaining slices for dinner or for breakfast, like real grown-ups ;)

    The only problem was that the boy didn’t have a chance to taste it, so, as promised, I’ll have to make it again really really soon – not that this is an actual problem ;)

    Thanks again!!!


  411. Lahni

    May I just say to everyone freaking out about the insensitivity of the name “Irish Car Bomb” that it can easily be called an Irish Bomb (from the Baily’s Irish Cream). Don’t forget, we have Jager Bombs, Sake Bombs, etc. The bomb part comes from the fact that you drop the shot into the drink.

    On a lighter note: Being part Irish, I will definitely enjoy making and eating these cupcakes and handing these out to my employer and fellow co-workers on the 16th of March to take home with them and enjoy! Thanks Deb!

  412. Sue

    Hey….I made these last night for a friend who owns a craft beer bar, and he wants me to make them for his customers for St. Patrick’s Day. The thing is: he wants them even MORE boozy. I don’t want to mess with the frosting, as that’s strong enough. Is there a way to add a more boozy flavor to the cake or the ganache?

  413. Mimi

    Has anyone tried making these gluten free? I want to make them for a party, and I will have a couple gluten free guests who I want to include. Thanks!

  414. Sara

    Like a few others have mentioned, I’m sad the same had to get changed. Especially when you consider that the drink was NOT named after the events that happened in Ireland AT ALL! Apparently a little mixology knowledge is needed in defense of this poor little cupcake…..

    1. The “Irish” reference is used to describe the contents of the cocktails… Jameson IRISH whiskey, Bailey’s IRISH Creme, and Guinness IRISH Stout.

    2. A “Side Car” is the actual term referring to a beverage accompanying a shot of liquor, usually non-alcoholic or beer, to make the liquor less offensive to the throat, and to reduce the strength of the taste in the mouth.

    3. The “Bomb” is a quite accurate description of the effect created by taking the shot glass of liquor and dropping it quickly into a pint glass full of the “car”, thus creating a fizzing explosion type of reaction.

    *** All of you have have been harping at Deb about this behind the internet, just one question for you… “Do you ever mention anything about this to the bartender at the local watering hole?”

  415. Dawn

    These are delicious. I don’t drink, but I like liquor in my baked goods. I made a pre – St. Patrick’s Day practice batch to make sure that they weren’t too strong for the crowd I’m serving them to, and I think they’re just perfect. However, my family members treated them like they might as well be from a box of mix with a can of frosting. Sigh.

  416. Now THESE will be a hit with my team at the office!! I was a cake decorator for about 15 years before I just got totally sick of it, so it takes a really great recipe to reel me back in…and I think this is it!

    Thanks for sharing :)

  417. Sue-you could baste the cupcakes with a whiskey simple syrup or just plain whiskey to booze them up. I don’t think you could add more alcohol to the other parts without messing with the consistency.

  418. Erin

    Do you think they will be ok if I bake/fill/ice then store in an airtight cupcake carrier for 2 days? I only have limited time to bake but don’t need the cupcakes until 2 days after I can bake.

  419. Zoë

    The recipe call for 1 cup of stout. In Canada we have Guinness in two forms, Guinness Draught (in cans) and Guinness Extra-Stout (in bottles). My understanding is that the “Extra-Stout” just has a higher alcohol content. All I have at home is Guinness Draught. Do you think the flavour will be strong enough, or should I buy the Extra-Stout?

    1. deb

      Hi Zoe — I used… uh, I can’t remember but since I’ve only seen one Guinness here, I’m going to assume it was the norm. I wouldn’t use the one with extra alcohol content unless you’re really looking for a boozy-flavored cake. What I love about the cake is that you can taste beer, but it’s not a beer-first or a beer-loud cake. It’s chocolate and butter and yum (yeah, great descriptor, I know) too.

  420. Brittany

    I can’t wait to go home and make these to bring to a pub crawl pre-game on Saturday!
    Deb, I wish I could quit engineering and just become your assistant.

  421. These really are amazing. I made the recipe exactly as written and then again with variations to the filling, butter cream and assembly. They’re to die for, this is my new go-to-recipe for fun desserts! Thanks for the great recipe!

  422. Debra

    Actually, the Extra-Stout works great! Between simmering on the stovetop and baking, I’m sure any extra alcohol bakes out. I cannot stand the taste of beer and there was none discernible in the batches I made.
    Also, if you have to make yours in two rounds and fear the soda has lost its oomph, you can blend 1/4 t. baking soda with 1-2 T. Guinness and mix back into the batter (lightly).
    I also added 2 T. whiskey instead of 1-2 t. Oops! DH loved it, though.

  423. Iidaliisa

    These will be perfect for my St Paddy’s party – I’ve been looking for an excuse to make these for ages and what could be more perfect?

  424. KatieEG

    These have turned into our St Paddy’s day tradition – a day that we Clevelanders take very seriously. They are always a huge hit! My only adjustment is a halve the ganache and double the icing, since I always seem to have too much of one and not enough of the other. Four years later, I love this recipe as much as I did the first time!

  425. I’m teaching myself to cook and decided to go early on with this recipe because it looked so darn delicious. They weren’t half as hard as I thought they’d be to make, took them to a St. Patrick’s Day cookout and they were a huge hit! I’m going to make them lots, and already plan for a bailey’s-free batch for my coworkers. Thanks guys!

  426. Betsy

    Warning: this recipe may cause you to fight with your significant other over the “tasters.” Also, you may want to eat the entire bowl of Bailey’s frosting before the cupcakes are even done. So, use with caution :)

  427. Jenna

    This weekend, I made a cake version of this for a friend’s birthday, and my husband said it was the best cake I had ever made.

    I doubled the recipe, which made a towering cake with 3 thick 8″ round layers. It was huge and could easily feed 12 or more (depending on how thick you cut the slices). I’d recommend doubling and then 2/3 the recipe for your typical family or dinner party.

    The cake layers needed about 35-40 minutes to bake through until a toothpick came out clean – I started checking at 25 minutes just to be safe. I had greased and floured the cake pans, but still had some issues with sticking – in the future, I’ll plan to cut rounds of parchment paper and grease those as well (I think specific instructions for that process are on the chocolate peanut butter cake recipe).

    I made the ganache in the amount listed here, with whiskey, and put a thin coating between each layer. If I had doubled the recipe, it would have been too much for the cake, and I would have had to resort to eating the leftovers with a spoon. Perhaps what I’d do if making 2 layers, instead of 3, is to cut each layer into 2 thinner layers, and double the ganache filling.

    For the Baileys frosting, I shot for 1 1/2 times the amount listed here. I used about 4 cups confectioners sugar (love the tip about adding it slowly so it’s not grainy and you don’t need as much!), 1 1/2 sticks of butter, and about 5 tablespoons of Baileys. It was a little sweet for me, so I also whipped in about 1/2 to 2/3 cups of sour cream, which I think really made it. This amount of frosting was enough to frost the 3-layer cake but it was a little on the thin side – I’d probably make more for the triple layer cake if I did it again, but it would be the perfect amount for a two-layer version.

  428. C H

    Baileys Frosting (see Recipe Notes)
    3 to 4 cups confections sugar

    Sorry I don’t think this was very clear…do we use 3 -or- 4 cups of icing sugar?

    Also, if we want more Bailey’s flavouring, how much more do you recommend adding? Would double the Bailey’s be alright (for consistency) or do we have to modify the rest of the ratios (butter, sugar)???


  429. Dee

    Can’t wait to make these carbomb capcakes!I am making them for my vendor display for my pet sitting/house sitting business at our local library.Should be interesting for sure!I can’t wait to hear all the comments that people will say about it for sure once they take their first bite.As soon as I get paid I am go into that liquor store and showing them this receipe to show them these ingedients are really for cupcakes!The owners are twins and lets see what they think after I make these for them.They might have to cloase the store up after the first bite!So hopefully people who will fill out my doggie basket will try some and not forget about boarding their dogs with me and heck maybe I’ll get them some more to get more business from them too.Have a nice week guys!Write to yea soon.

  430. Summer

    Yum! I made these for my husband’s birthday, and they were (are) delicious. I’m not going to lie – I maybe got a little buzzed baking them. First, I had to finish off the $3.50 Pint of Guinness, and then I had to lick my fingers a lot when making the ganache and frosting. Oops!
    The cake part perfect, and the Jameson Irish Whiskey gave the ganache great flavor.

  431. Nicole in Makiki

    I made Bailey’s coffee cupcakes with this frosting. Four tablespoons of Bailey’s, no cream: boozy goodness! Adult may enter only. Delicious!

  432. Sallie Cowan

    Made these last weekend… Yum! For chocolate ganache: I doubled the amount of Irish Whiskey. For frosting: I doubled the Bailey’s and only used 2 C sugar… if you add it tablespoon by tablespoon it thickens enough to go with much less sugar – pretty darn sweet even at 2 cups. Definitely go with more liquor! :)

  433. Peggy

    I found the perfect thing to scoop out the middle. One of those plastic orange juicer things that I got free while walking in a mall somewhere. Never used it for juicing an orange though. haha. It was great because even if the cake got stuck there are slits on the side and all you have to do is use a butter knife to help get it out. Had some serrated edges on the bottom too and it helped cut into the cupcake. Nothing like being able to find a new use for a previously almost useless kitchen tool.

  434. Rita

    What do these taste like? lol I’m making them for 4th of July, but I am just curious…are they moist? Buttery? Can you taste the alcohol? They look so freakin’ good! Somebody describe the taste!!! Please? :DD

  435. deb

    I mention in the head notes that the booze does not fully bake out and the frosting will taste boozy. The cake is tender and delicious and buttery, however.

  436. pb4ugo

    Anyone know what a good chocolate stout brand is? I really want to use that over the Guinness but, there are quite a few brands of the chocolate stout. Can anyone give me a good one? Thanks

  437. Mirra

    Just made these and they are so DELICIOUS. I changed the frosting…I thought the Bailey’s frosting would be way too sweet so I opted for the creamy light Swiss Buttercream and added two table spoons of Bailey’s too it. PERFECT! I found that I had plenty of genache left over which is ok because that just means extra chocolate for me. WOOHOO.

    I got a little experimental and on some of them I put some peanut butter in the cupcakes. And added a little nutella to the ganache.

    I also read most of the reviews and took the advice of using two tbsp of Whiskey and it did give it a kick!

    Thank you so much for this recipe…its light, yet moist and the swiss buttercream frosting is just incredible!

  438. Lily

    I made this yesterday for my boyfriend’s birthday (he’s a whiskey enthusiast) and I made several alterations – first of, I turned it into a layer cake frosted with bailey’s buttercream and the “filling” (ganache) poured over the top and dribbling down the side – much like your peanutbutter chocolate cake. It was gorgeous and not too boozy at all, just boozy enough (but then, the eaters were a bunch of bartenders and metal musicians, so there’s no such thing as too boozy). then, I almost halved the amount of sugar in the cake to cater to European tastebuds (there IS a thing called too sweet). the cake was FANTASTIC!

    but here’s what I really wanted to tell you. Maybe it’s just me and my German friends, but these buttercreams are all way too sweet for me. I love sugar and butter, but since those buttercreams are basically just those and a tablespoon here and there of something with a mellow flavour, they really hurt my teeth and make me sick if I eat more than two bites. have you ever tried what I call “German housewive’s buttercream”? it’s what my mom used to make. the base is custard, or pudding. The lovely standard type, basically just cornstarch, a little sugar and vanilla, and milk, boiled and chilled until it has a thick consistency. that then gets beaten together with soft butter, adding the pudding spoon by spoon, and maybe a tablespoon of powdered sugar to fix texture or sweetness issues. I use these buttercreams all the time, just replace the milk in the pudding with whatever you want, cherry juice, pureed raspberries, or in this case, bailey’s. of course, that meant I slathered 500 whopping milliliters of irish cream on my cake, but you know, no such thing as too much booze. Half or even more of it could be replaced by milk.

  439. Shelli G

    Made these for my neighbor for his birthday and I had to make a few changes (poor planning on my part) …I did not have enough sour cream but I had mascarpone SO I made up for the missing SC with mascarpone and 1 tsp of cider vinegar. They are soooo moist I cant tell you how amazing the actual cupcake is. To cut the sweet, I used 12 oz bittersweet chocolate, 1 C cream 2 T butter and 2 T Jameson 18 ( lived outside of Midleton Ireland for 2 years spent time at Jameson I KNOW the difference in taste :-)) I not only filled the cupcake but I spread a layer on top of the cupcake so used it as a base for the buttercream then topped it all with some shaved bittersweet chocolate. Having the lower sweet level between the cupcake and frosting DOES cut it a bit so it is not KILLER sweet. But overall this cupcake is OUTSTANDING!!!!

  440. Alyssum

    I’ve tried making these twice now and both times I had trouble with the frosting. Is the powdered sugar supposed to be sifted? I’ve made many smitten kitchen recipes and found try to follow the recipes to a t. I cannot figure out my problem with the frosting and I’ve followed the directions and tips. I usually get to about 1.5 cups of powdered sugar and then the icing goes south and is nothing like what a buttercream should. Any other thoughts on what I might be doing wrong??

  441. Catherine DeYoung

    So excited to try these, but I’m afraid of the fact there is no baking powder… Thought that was sort of a must have with scratch cakes? Hoping to make this weekend, but had one less than happy batch last weekend and I’m sensitive to failure! Lol

    1. deb

      Catherine — Some cakes use baking powder, others use baking soda (both are leaveners), many use a combination. The baking soda is all you’ll need here.

  442. Alycia

    Made these little beauties for my very proud Irish friend’s birthday. My few tips:
    1) be so so careful not to stir the cake batter too much. I got mine just incorporated and they still came out a little too tall for my liking.
    2) I did not have a 1″ cutting ring or apple corer, my pairing knife did just fine. And be sure that your cakes are COMPLETELY cool before you do this. I waited overnight.
    3) The ganache is very creamy… If using a zip lock baggie, make sure you cut a tiny hole or you will have a big mess on your hands like I did :)
    4) I had similar problems with my frosting balling up. I cut in some butter as needed and a little heavy whipping cream or more Baileys and used about 3 cups of c. sugar. Made more than plenty and came out beautifully.

    The cake is a bit dry, but I find this to be the case with most homemade cakes I make. (Yes, I do cheat and use box mix.) Does anyone have any tips on how to make these a bit more moist? The ganache certainly does help though.

    Thanks for such a fabulous recipe!

  443. pvl

    What is the difference between “dutch process” and not?

    I was looking for unsweetened cocoa for another recipe that specified NOT dutch process. In shopping, I found several brands-types of unsweetened cocoa but none that mentioned “dutch process” yea or nay …

    I may make these for my birthday cake – sounds fun! :-)

    1. deb

      Hi pvl — If its a European brand, it’s almost always Dutch-process. If US, it’s almost always a Natural cocoa. Dutch process cocoa has been treated with an alkali (alkalized, as it is sometimes called) to neutralize its natural acidity. It has a nuttier, deeper, richer flavor (in my opinion). However, because of the difference in acidity, it must be used in recipes calling for baking powder, unless there are other acidic ingredients in sufficient quantities used.

  444. Sarah

    Best, best, best ever! Actually, every single thing I have made from your site has been amazing. I made these for a little buddy’s 21 run. Very popular. I do love the crazy ideas people have posted for coring out the cupcake middles (A breast pump?? That woman is my hero…) but I just used a table knife. Four cuts and pop it out, easy peasy. Thanks again!

  445. MKM

    I’d like to make this as a small birthday cake for a friend – any tweeks to the recipe? will one batch be enough for 2 -9in rounds? or do I need to double?

  446. Erin

    Deb, I just made these last night (my first cupcakes ever!!) and brought them in for my lab today. They went over EXTREMELY well, and I’m pleased to say that my accidentally tripling the amount of whiskey- 2 tablespoons instead of 2 teaspoons- did not make them suffer! Thanks for a great recipe.

  447. rme

    These cupcakes are delicious! I ran out of ganache before all of the cupcakes were filled, so next time I will double the ganache recipe! Just can’t have too much ganache; any extra would make a perfect dip for the cored cupcake centers!!

  448. Laura

    made these this week for a baby shower (yes, I realize the irony). fantastic. i will be making them again, i am sure. thinking about coming up with a kahlua version for a friend’s birthday….

  449. Christin

    Excellent recipe, I added 1 tsp of vanilla and 2 tsp of molasses to add some depth of flavor it definitely worked! Thanks for sharing.

  450. Beth

    Do you think you can chill the ganache until it’s scoop able, and bake it inside the cupcakes (like a Cook’s Illustrated recipe I’ve made), rather than pipe it in after the cupcakes have baked?

  451. Cindy

    I’ve made this recipe 3x and my cupcakse sank in the middle. I used Ghirardelli cocoa, combination of natural and dutch-processed. Thinking that may be why it’s not rising completely. Any thoughts? Thanks!