car bomb cupcakes


I noticed recently that the sweets around here have been very chocolate-centric. I meant to remedy this. There were citrus desserts in the works. But then these cupcakes happened. And I’m super excited about them. Let me explain.


There were a couple of birthdays to celebrate, and I was racking my brain for a dessert that was suitable for a bunch of dudes. At first I thought some sort of s’more concoction would do the trick. I also liked the idea of a grown-up Hostess cupcake. Then I realized that a boozey sweet treat was most appropriate for this group of young fellas.


And then it became obvious that an Irish car bomb cupcake was going to cover all of the bases. I can’t actually remember the last time I had an Irish car bomb, though I’m guessing it was sometime in my early twenties. I don’t recall ever being too fond of them, but I really liked the idea of them in cupcake form. For the sake of research, I did a car bomb while these were baking in the oven. It made for a fun Thursday night at home to say the least.


This little car bomb cupcake is the bomb (yes, I’m totally from the 90’s). It’s a hybrid of Deb’s cupcake and a Hostess cupcake. It’s a chocolatey Guinness cake filled with Baileys buttercream and glazed with Jameson spiked ganache. I threw in a little gold and silver sparkle for good measure (and because I can’t resist the bling), which gives them that sort of “pot of gold” effect, making these perfect for St. Patty’s day. Bottoms up!


car bomb cupcakes 

adapted from smitten kitchen

makes 2 dozen cupcakes

for the 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

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 standard cupcake pans with liners. Set aside.

Bring beer and butter to a simmer in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in large bowl to blend. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the eggs and sour cream and beat until combined. Add the chocolate mixture to sour cream mixture and beat just to combine. Add the flour mixture and beat briefly on low speed. Using a rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. Bake until tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

for the Baileys buttercream: 

2 cups confectioners sugar

1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

3 – 4 tablespoons Baileys 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add butter and beat on medium speed for several minutes, until light and fluffy. Slowly add the sugar, a few tablespoons at a time.

When the frosting looks thick enough to spread, drizzle in the Baileys and whip until combined. If the frosting becomes too thin, beat in another spoonful or two of confectioners sugar.

for the chocolate-whiskey glaze: 

adapted from Martha Stewart 

makes 1 cup

2/3 cup heavy cream

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1 tablespoon corn syrup

2 teaspoons Irish whiskey (like Jameson) 

Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. Place chocolate and corn syrup in a small bowl. Pour hot cream over chocolate mixture, and stir until smooth. Add whiskey and stir until completely incorporated. Use immediately.

to assemble cupcakes: 

gold and/or silver sanding or crystal sugars  (optional)

Using a cupcake corer or the small end of a large pastry tip, insert into the center of the cupcake and remove a small hunk of the cake to create a well.

Fill a prepared pastry bag with the Baileys buttercream. Pipe buttercream into the well of the cupcake until it reaches the top. Use a spatula to smooth the buttercream at the cupcake’s surface.

Repeat with the remaining cupcakes.

When all of the cupcakes have been filled, dip the tops of each cupcake in chocolate glaze, letting excess drip off. If the glaze gets too thick, set over a pan of hot water until it melts slightly and stir. Let stand until set, about 30 minutes. Embellish with sprinkles.

Cupcakes will keep, covered, for up to 2 days.