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St Patricks day is here – and this year I plan to dress head to toe in green and eat dessert first.
I made the Guinness cupcakes for a recent dinner party and the red velvet cupcakes as the adult sweet treat during a play date, and both were fun additions to the festivities.


1 cup Guinness beer
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 cup cocoa
2 cups dark brown sugar
3/4 cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
cream cheese glaze (recipe follows)

Heat oven to 350F. Put baking liners into muffin tins.
In a large saucepan, combine beer and butter, heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat and whisk in cocoa and brown sugar.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk sour cream with eggs and vanilla, fold in beer mixture.
Sift together flour and baking soda, fold into the batter. Pour mixture into prepared muffin tins and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes, remove from muffin tins and cool on a rack. Spread with cream cheese glaze.


8 ounces cream cheese
1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar
1/3 cup half and half
1 teaspoon Guinness beer

Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth, sift in confectioners sugar and beat until well blended. Add half and half and beat until smooth.
Spread glaze over cupcakes.



2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
pinch salt
1 cup of buttermilk, at room temperature
2 eggs
1 tablespoon of white vinegar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/4 cup of cocoa powder
3 tablespoons of red food coloring
3/4 cup of butter, softened
1 1/2 cups of sugar


1 1/2 cups butter, softened
4 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons Irish cream liqueur
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350F.
Line 24 muffin cups with cupcake liners, set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda and salt together.
In a separate medium bowl, whisk buttermilk, eggs, vinegar and vanilla together.
In a small bowl, stir cocoa and food coloring together to form a smooth paste.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and beat in a third of the flour mixture, followed by half of the buttermilk mixture. Repeat. Then beat in remaining flour mixture until just combined. Beat in cocoa mixture.
Pour about 1/4 cup of batter into each muffin cup. Bake cupcakes 15 to 20 minutes, or until a pick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs.
Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely before frosting.
With an electric mixer on high, cream butter until smooth. Gradually add confectioners sugar (1/2 cup at a time) mixing on medium speed and scraping down sides of bowl after each addition, increasing speed to high for 10 seconds after every two additions. Add liqueur and vanilla and beat until smooth. Use immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Recipe adapted from the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, March 2010