Friday, April 1, 2011

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes - what could be better on St. Patrick's Day?

One of my co-workers mentioned Car Bomb Cupcakes to me - as in they were made with Guinness, Jameson Irish Whiskey and Bailey's Irish Cream - and I knew I had to make them on for St. Patrick's Day. Regardless if it affected anyone in the end, what could be more perfect!?!

Greenish Liners - just wish I had green sprinkles!

When I asked my co-worker for the recipe, she sent me the link and it was from the fantastic Smitten Kitchen (of course!).

iPad Fun!
Somehow when I was down in Charlotte I managed to come home with my brother's iPad.  No, I did not take it without his knowledge - he GAVE it to me!  When going through this recipe, I thought it would be the perfect chance to test the iPad as a cookbook rather than having to get a printout of the recipe.

Cake Necessities....

  • 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
Stout and Butter
To start, I poured the Guinness into a saucepan with the butter, bringing the mixture to a simmer.

Once heated, I added the cocoa powder and stirred until it was completely smooth.

Chocolate & stout goodness
While that was heating I combined the dry ingredients.

Flour Mixture
And, using the stand-up mixer, I blended the sour cream and eggs together.

Whipping away...
Now, if I made this again, I would do all the dry ingredients and the eggs and sour cream before starting the chocolate stout mixture.  For me, the chocolate mixture cooked a bit faster than expected and probably cooled a bit more than I wanted.

I beat the chocolate mixture and the egg mixture so that it was blended.

Once combined, I slowly started to add the dry ingredients to the wet and continued to blend.

While it was blending, I put the liners into the cupcake pans.  Turns out, even though it was St. Patrick's Day, finding color/theme appropriate liners proved to be difficult.  These were the best we could come up with - a find on

Kind of with the theme...
Using an ice cream scooper...

Scooper makes things so easy!
I filled the cupcake molds so that they were just about 3/4 of the way full. 

Ready for the Oven
I put each of the pans in a 350 degree for about 19 minutes - 17 minutes was recommended but I cooked 2 trays at a time, which may have resulted in needing a few extra minutes.

Oddly enough I was actually worried about the batter because it tasted a bit off.  I kept thinking that I missed a cup of sugar or something, but it all cooked perfectly.  I think the batter itself is just not sweet, no reason to worry!

Next, on to the ganache filling.  The necessities...
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Irish whiskey (optional)
I added the chocolate bits (I used semi-sweet) to a medium heat proof bowl and added the heavy cream that I had been warming in a saucepan.  I allowed it all to sit for about a minute than stirred until the mixture was smooth.  Once smooth I added the butter, which I heated a bit in the microwave to soften, and continued to stir until smooth again.

Almost Smooth Chocolate
Next came the fun part - the Jameson.

While the recipe calls for only a couple tablespoons of whiskey, we went a bit overboard and probably quadrupled the whiskey.  I had Nick taste because he is not a fan of any brown liquors, and he agreed we needed more.  We wanted the ganache to have a bit of a kick.

While the ganache was cooling (enough so that it could be piped) I hollowed out a bit of eachcupcake.  I pushed a 1 inch biscuit cutter about 2/3 of the way through the cooled cupcakes and removed it.  Most of the time the cake came with it, but sometimes I had to use a paring knife to remove any excess. 

Ready for Filling
Other suggested methods to remove the inside was a melon baller or just a knife.  Since we added so much Jameson to the ganache, it took quite some time to cool.  Enough time for THIS all to go down!  So after the engagement fun, I somehow had to continue to wait for the ganache to cool before I added it to a bag, snipped off the end and starting piping the ganache into the hollowed areas of the cupcakes.

Piping away...
Extreme Close-Up:

So Good!
Since we had a number of delays with all the phone calls etc, we actually popped the trays of the filled cupcakes into the fridge and figured we would frost Sunday before we headed to the party in Southie.

Next came the Baileys Frosting.  The necessities....
  • 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)
The Ingredients...
Using my favorite kitchen device (the stand up mixer, of course) I whipped the butter for a couple of minutes, then slowly added the powdered sugar to the whipped butter.  I did not have to use the full amount of sugar, but depending on where you are, you may need to use more.  When the frosting got thick (almost too thick) I added the Bailey's, which thinned the frosting perfectly.  I once again added more than the suggested amount!

Once the frosting was ready I started piping it onto the filled cupcakes.

Ready to Plate
My piping skills need a lot of work.  I probably could have just used a knife to smooth them out and avoided some of the odd looking frosting tops.

Party Time
These cupcakes were fantastic!  Totally worth the extra effort with the three parts.  While the cake was not very sweet the ganache and frosting more than made up for it.  The frosting was my favorite part of these cupcakes.  I would actually use this recipe for any number of other recipes because it was that good.  Between this and making Hot Nutty Irishmen, Bailey's is something I really want to have on hand at all times.

This was such a fun treat to bring to the party - everyone loved them (though we had to make sure the pregnant party-goers and the kids didn't grab one!)  I am excited to make these again!


  1. love car bomb cupcakes! glad they were a big hit!

  2. Plain and simple! I like your work!

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