When deciding what to take to the St. Patrick’s Day party I’ll be going to this Saturday night, I kept thinking about cupcakes. I’m not a cupcake fanatic like some people are, but I’ve seen some recipes floating around for cupcakes with frosting made with Baileys Irish Cream, and I was intrigued. I love Baileys.

I thought about doing what are called Irish Car Bomb cupcakes. (The name can be controversial. While they’re named after a cocktail, the cocktail is named after an actual terrorist action.) Those cupcakes are made with Guinness in the cake, a cream filling made with Irish whiskey, and a frosting made with Baileys. I decided I didn’t want to do the cream filling step, so I went with chocolate cupcakes made with stout and cream cheese icing made with Baileys.

Call these what you want — St. Patrick’s Day cupcakes, Irish cupcakes, Grown-up, boozy cupcakes, or just plain yummy. If you make these for St. Patrick’s Day, people will love you.

I searched at my local liquor store for a locally made stout, but had no luck. IPAs are all the rage in my region right now, and I couldn’t find a stout made even remotely close to New Jersey (Colorado was the closest). So I decided to go with good old Guinness Stout, one of my favorite beers. If you can find a locally made stout for these cupcakes, by all means use it. If not, Guinness ups the Irish-factor of these treats.

I scaled down a recipe for chocolate stout cupcakes from Food Network and created my own cream cheese icing with Baileys for these cupcakes. I used organic, local and fair trade products where I could.

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Baileys frosting


For cupcakes

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch table salt
  • 6 ounces stout beer
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
For the icing
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk cocoa, sugar, flour, baking soda and salt until combined.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix the stout, melted butter and vanilla together.
  4. Beat the eggs into the stout mixture, one at a time. Then mix in the sour cream.
  5. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients a little at a time until it’s all mixed together thoroughly.
  6. Lightly grease 12 muffin tins (or use non-stick spray or cupcake liners). Pour the batter evenly into the tins.
  7. Bake from 18-24 minutes, checking at 18 minutes and continuing to bake until they are set in the middle.
  8. Allow to cool.
  9. While cooling, make the icing.
  10. Combine the softened cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer (hand or stand mixers will both work). Add the confectioners sugar and mix. Slowly add the Baileys and mix until icing is the desired consistency.
  11. When the cupcakes are cool, frost with icing.

My notes

  • Regular white icing with Baileys instead of milk would also work on these cupcakes; you don’t have to make a cream cheese version.
  • If you have natural green food coloring, go ahead and use it in the frosting for St. Patrick’s Day. If you don’t have natural food coloring, skip it. They taste just as delicious either way.
  • The alcohol in the stout should cook away during the baking process, so the cupcake portion is fine for kids. (Although my 9-year-old said he could taste the beer and didn’t like it.) Since the frosting doesn’t get cooked, the alcohol in the Baileys doesn’t evaporate. When frosted, these become adult-only cupcakes, but they look like regular cupcakes, so make sure they are clearly marked or kept away from children.

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Baileys Frosting
You'll have to put a big sign by these boozy cupcakes saying 'for adults only,' but don't let that stop you from making a batch.