It’s time for a little sentimentality via desserts, but not in the traditional sense.
Both my sister and a good friend of mine are heading to England in the next few weeks (on totally separate trips) so while I have been so excited for each respective person and sharing my favorite things from when I studied abroad there, it’s also made me incredibly jealous and heartsick for my own adventures across the pond. I’ve been musing about my favorite paintings, cathedrals, plays we saw, people we met, and of course, pubs we visited. I tried Guinness for the first time at a pub in Bath while I was there, and although I didn’t love it at the time (I had yet to grow my dark beer legs at age 20), it’s still one of the strongest sense memories from my gastronomic catalog of England.
So all week I’ve been craving stout, which I now adore. And after hearing my boss made chocolate stout and vanilla ice cream floats on New Year’s Eve, I couldn’t get the idea out of my head.
After perusing some chocolate-beer cupcakes, I came up with these. Rich and dark chocolate stout cupcakes with sweet and tangy Bailey’s-spiked cream cheese icing. I mean, if you’re making boozy cake, you might as well make the frosting just as naughty, no? The beer adds the most delicious malty flavor to the cake, and the Bailey’s gives the cream cheese frosting that extra little zing to make it special. Since I’m in the microbrew capital of the universe, finding chocolate stout was easy as pie, but it may be a bit tricky for others. Feel free to use Guinness or any stout of your choice.
Of course you buy the bomber. That way the cook (you) gets to drink the rest!
Fizzy liquid ingredients. The smell of chocolate stout with vanilla and milk is to die for.
Naughty frosting ingredients!
Just a small amount needed.
Cupcakes for grown-ups.
Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Baileys-Spiked Cream Cheese Icing
Makes 36 cupcakes.
I’ve adjusted for altitude quite a bit here, so if you’d like to see the original sea-level recipe for the cupcakes, check it out here on CHOW. You can still use my recipe for frosting, of course.
For the cupcakes:
- 1 (12-ounce) bottle chocolate stout (I am in love with Fort Collins Brewery’s Special Edition Double Chocolate Stout right now), or stout of your choice
- ¾ cup milk
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 TBL pure vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- ¾ cup sour cream
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa, plus more for garnish (I prefer Green & Black organic unsweetened cocoa powder right now)
- 1¾ cups sugar
- 2¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
For the frosting:
- 1 8-ounce package Philadelphia cream cheese, at room temperature
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 TBL Baileys liqueur (buy one of those little airplane bottles if you don’t keep it around)
- 8 ounces (½ pound) powdered sugar
For the cupcakes:
1.) Preheat oven to 365° F with rack in lower third of oven. Line 2 cupcake pans with paper sleeves and then spray sleeves with non-stick spray. Set aside.
2.) In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the stout, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla. With the mixer running on low, beat in the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the sour cream.
3.) In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour, and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the wet in three parts, with the mixer running on low. Mix until just combined.
4.) Add about 1/3 cup batter per cupcake tin. Bake 20-25 minutes, until risen and set in the middle, but still soft and tender. Let cool 5 minutes in tin before removing and letting cool completely on wire racks.
For the frosting:
1.) Rinse out the bowl for the stand mixer and reattach the paddle attachment. Beat the cream cheese in a bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the heavy cream and Baileys. Slowly add the powdered sugar until completely incorporated and smooth.
2.) Top each cupcake with a heap of frosting and spread evenly. Enjoy with even more chocolate stout.