Homemade Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

Mary and Brenda Maher

By Brenda & Mary

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Chocolate cupcakes are classics, but they can start to feel a bit… predictable after a while. So, my hubby dropped a bombshell and told me to add some Guinness stout to spice things up. Genius, right?

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

Long story short, I gave it a shot, and oh my gosh, all customers went NUTS over my Guinness cupcakes. Nobody could get enough of them. Seriously, they were a hit like no other!

Why We Are So Obsessed With Chocolate Stout Cupcakes

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes recipe
  • The Guinness adds a whole new level of richness and depth to the chocolate that you just can’t get with regular old cocoa powder. It’s not overly sweet, either; I can even pick up on hints of coffee, caramel, or roasted malts. Talk about a flavor party! 
  • With the beer acting like a natural tenderizer, these babies come out of the oven super moist and practically melt in your mouth. And the best part? You can totally go wild with your chocolate game. Dark, milk, semisweet, or whatever; feel free to find your perfect match! 
  • Guinness is practically an Irish tradition, so these cupcakes, along with funfetti cupcakes, are a party in themselves with St. Patrick’s Day around the corner. And even if you’re not a big fan of beer, no sweat; the alcohol will be cooked off while baking anyway, leaving behind an awesome flavor rollercoaster without any boozy taste. 

How To Make A Guinness Chocolate Cupcake

Let’s round up our ingredients! Obviously, we need some Guinness to kick things off. But wait, there’s more: 

Guinness Chocolate Cupcake Ingredients
Guinness Chocolate Cupcake Ingredients
  • Flour: This is the base of our cupcake goodness. Just a heads up: stick with all-purpose flour instead of cake flour. Cake flour might make everything a bit too airy when we pair it with the cocoa powder! 
  • Cocoa Powder (Unsweetened): Make sure it’s the natural kind. None of that artificial stuff here!
  • Espresso Powder: A little boost of coffee flavor that pairs perfectly with Guinness and chocolate. You can find it in the coffee section at almost every grocery store. 
  • Baking Soda: Our secret sauce for the cupcake’s perfect rise. It works like magic with brown sugar, cocoa, sour cream, and beer! 
  • Salt and Vanilla Extract: Because, let’s face it, flavor is everything!
  • Vegetable Oil: Forget softened butter; we’re going for oil to keep everything moist and tasty.
  • Brown Sugar: Why settle for plain ol’ white, granulated sugar when you can add a hint of molasses magic with brown sugar?
  • Eggs: The glue that holds everything together, giving it structure and lift.
  • Sour Cream: Just like in shortcake cupcakes, sour cream brings moisture and tender flavors to the party. Trust me, you’ll easily taste the difference. 

Cupcake

Step 1.

First, grab your small saucepan and pour in the Guinness. Crank up the heat to medium-high and let it bubble away. Once boiling, dial the heat to medium and keep it simmering until reduced to about 1 cup. That usually takes me about 20-22 minutes! 

Now, set aside ¾ cup of the reduced Guinness to cool for 10 to 15 minutes. This will go into our cupcake batter later on!

While it’s cooling, mix all the remaining Guinness (which should be about ¼ cup or 3 to 4 tablespoons) with 3 teaspoons of espresso powder for the frosting. Got everything mixed up? Great! Set it aside for the frosting. 

Gluten-Free Cupcakes step 2 3 4

Heads-up: You can totally do this step a day ahead. 

Just pop the reduced beer in the fridge overnight, then make sure to bring it back to room temp before you start with the cupcakes and frosting. Trust me, you don’t want any cold surprises to ruin your baking adventure!

Step 2.

Next, preheat your oven to 350°F (or 177°C), the best temperature for Guinness cupcakes. Then grab two muffin pans and line each with 12 cupcake tins. That’s right; this recipe will make about 24 cupcakes in total!

Step 3. 

In a big ol’ bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, espresso powder, cocoa powder, and salt until they’re all mixed up. Set that aside for a sec.

Now, in another bowl, mix the oil, eggs, vanilla, brown sugar, and sour cream until smooth. Pour these wet ingredients onto the dry ones, add that ¾ cup (about 180 ml) of reduced Guinness we set aside earlier, and give it a gentle whisk until everything’s just combined. 

Don’t go overboard with the mixing, though; we want our batter to stay nice and thin.

how to make Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

Step 4.

Alright, it’s time to get these babies into the oven!

Spoon or pour the batter into your liners and make sure to fill each about ⅔ full; we don’t want any overflow disasters or sunken cupcakes here! 

Then, pop them in the oven and let them bake away for 19 to 22 minutes. You’ll know they’re ready when a toothpick poked into the middle comes out mostly clean. 

Oh, and whatever you do, don’t leave them in too long, or you’ll end up with super dry cupcakes. Keep an eye on them starting at the 19-minute mark! 

And what if you’re making mini cupcakes? Then they’ll need a bit less time in the oven — about 11 to 13 minutes at the same temperature should do the trick. 

Step 5.

Once they’re out looking rich, deep brown, let these babies cool down completely before you even think about adding some frosting. Patience pays off big time, my friend!

Frosting

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes stept 5 6

Step 6.

Remember that Guinness + espresso powder mix we set aside earlier? Keep it nearby – we’ll need it soon! 

Grab a big bowl and your trusty handheld/ stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Now, crank that baby up to high speed and let it work its magic on the butter until it’s all creamy and smooth. That usually takes about 2-3 minutes of mixing.

Step 7.

It’s time to add the rest of our ingredients: cocoa powder, confectioners’ sugar, milk, that reduced Guinness/espresso powder mix, more milk (yes, twice!), and some vanilla extract. Beat everything at a low speed for about 30 seconds, then crank it up to a higher speed and keep going until everything’s all mixed up. 

And that’s it! You and I are one step closer to frosting heaven.

Step 8.

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes frosting

Onto the final step: the taste test! Take a little spoonful and give it a try. 

Feel like it needs a little extra oomph? Go ahead and sprinkle in a little salt. Personally, I usually add about ¼ teaspoons to give it that perfect balance. And if you’re craving a thicker frosting, just toss in an extra ½ cup (45 g) of confectioners’ sugar for some extra fluffiness! 

Once you’ve finally nailed that perfect frosting, get ready to decorate your cool cupcakes away like a pro.

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes frosting
Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes frosting

Note

1. Want to jazz up your cakes with some fancy chocolate shavings? Grab your vegetable peeler and a chocolate bar. If you want thin curls, shave the edges of that chocolate bar; for wider curls, go for the sides.

2. Does Guinness need to be refrigerated? Absolutely. Make sure to store your leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container; they’ll stay moist and tasty for about five days.

3. Fair warning: if you decide to swap any ingredient I recommended, like using honey instead of brown sugar, just know that it might not turn out exactly like you expected. Both are sweeteners, but their properties are VERY different! 

FAQs

Can You Use Another Stout Beer If You Don’t Have Guinness?

A Guinness cupcake without Guinness is obviously not the same. But yes, you can still switch it for other dark beers; look for stouts, porters, or even brown ales!

Can You Make Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes Gluten-Free?

Yes. Just use gluten-free flour blends instead! Almond or coconut flour is also a great choice, although you might need to adjust other ingredients. 

That’s it. Good luck!

Discover More Unique Cupcake Recipes:

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

Guinness Cupcakes

Let’s take your classic chocolate cupcakes to the next level with a splash of Guinness stout! The beer brings a subtle bitterness and depth to the table that’s just downright magical.
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Course: Cupcakes
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Guinness Cupcakes
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Cooling Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 35 minutes
Servings: 24
Calories: 426kcal
Author: Brenda Maher

Ingredients

Cupcake

  • 18 oz (533ml) Guinness beer
  • 1 ½ cups (188g) spooned, leveled all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup (62g natural, unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons espresso powder
  • ¾ cup + 1 ½ tablespoons (203) ml canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups (300) g packed dark or light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 ¼ cups (270g) full-fat, room-temperature sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Guinness Buttercream/Frosting

  • 3 tablespoons reduced Guinness (set aside from step 1)
  • 3 teaspoons espresso powder
  • 6 ¾ cups (825g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons (7.5g) natural, unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ tablespoons (23ml) milk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (423g) softened, unsalted butter
  • A pinch of salt

Instructions

Cupcakes:

  • Pour Guinness into a saucepan and reduce to about ¾ cup; reserve ¼ cup (or 3-4 tablespoons) for later. Mix remaining reduced Guinness with espresso powder for frosting.
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F and line two muffin pans with 12 cupcake liners each.
  • Mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, espresso powder, cocoa powder, and salt) in a medium bowl. Whisk the wet ingredients (oil, eggs, vanilla, brown sugar, and sour cream) separately, then combine with dry ingredients and ¾ cup reduced Guinness. Mix gently until just combined.
  • Fill cupcake liners ⅔ full with batter. Bake for 19 to 22 minutes or until your toothpick comes out mostly clean. For mini cupcakes, bake for 11 to 13 minutes. Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

Frosting:

  • Mix butter until creamy and smooth (2 to 3 minutes).
  • Add cocoa powder, confectioners’ sugar, milk, reserved Guinness/espresso mix, more milk, and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth.
  • Taste your frosting and adjust with salt or additional confectioners’ sugar if needed. Decorate your cupcakes.

Notes

  • Use a vegetable peeler to create fancy chocolate shavings for cakes. Shave the edges of the chocolate bar (for thin curls) or the sides (for wider curls).
  • Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container to maintain moisture and taste for five days.
  • Be cautious when swapping ingredients due to their different properties.

Nutrition

Calories: 426kcal | Carbohydrates: 49.6g | Protein: 3.7g | Fat: 17.9g | Saturated Fat: 6.4g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 82mg | Potassium: 222mg | Fiber: 1.3g | Sugar: 37.1g | Calcium: 43mg
Did you make this recipe?Mention @cakegirls or tag #cakegirls!

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Mary and Brenda Maher

Mary & Brenda Maher

Mary & Brenda Maher, are the founders of Cake Girls, a Chicago-based online baking shop specializing in cake supplies, party decor, and DIY cake tutorials. They are known for their elaborate and artistic cake creations, which have been featured on the Food Network Challenge and in a reality show, Amazing Wedding Cakes.

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