Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes

Well, apparently the last full week of March was a big food week for me. March 28 was the Day of Guinness Cupcakes. I felt the end of March needed to be commemorated, and I thought a St. Patrick’s Day-inspired treat would be appropriate. Plus, I’d been wanting to making Nigella Lawson’s Guinness Cake for awhile. Chocolate. Beer. How bad can that be? The answer: not bad at all.

I followed Nigella’s recipe for Guinness Cake found in her book “Feast.” Instead of the spring form pan she calls for, I used a cupcake pan with liners. I’ll admit I was a little weary about the final products since this is a pretty wet batter and is supposed to yield a rather moist cake. There were no real problems with the cupcakes, although the ones from the darker pan did come out with little dimples in their centers. Not entirely sure why that was, although the cupcakes from that pan usually have a little more color than my other pan. I attribute that, again, to the darker color and finish on the pan. A couple of the cupcakes in the other tin suffered the same fate, although it wasn’t as pronounced.

See? Dimples.

They almost look like thumbprints, huh? Well, they’re not. Unless, of course, there are little stove gnomes hard at work messing with my mind.

While the little guys were cooling I whipped up some frosting. I followed Nigella’s suggestion for a cream cheese frosting, but I thought why not add a little more Guinness? I had another thought to add some Bailey’s instead of the Guinness, but since a Guinness was already open… I found myself having to add more than I thought of the stout to get a discernible flavor in the frosting, but my advice is start off with a teaspoon or two and adjust to desired taste and consistency. I think my frosting came out a little runnier than I had anticipated because of the additional Guinness, but I don’t think it was any worse for it. Actually, I was rather pleased with the frosting – beautifully cream in color and oh-so-glossy.

I couldn’t be bothered with properly applying frosting to all the cupcakes – or even one for that matter – before tasting, so a cupcake was lifted out of the tin and eagerly bitten into by yours truly. Very moist, pretty light, and provided an almost gooey-like (but totally cooked) satisfaction. The beer definitely came through and, to me, it lent slightly floral undertones to the cupcake. It had an almost flowery and yeasty scent from the Guinness. I always like to taste the cake in its pure state, the frosting in its pure state, and then the combination. So, finally, a sizeable dollop of frosting was plopped onto the cupcake with a bite out of it. Wonderfully squishy indulgence all around. Don’t forget, the frosting has cream in addition to the cream cheese. Creamy, dairy goodness.

I know that’s not the best photo technically, but I find something about it so appealing. I think I liked the way the frosting is slowly drooping down the bite mark just glistening there, inviting another bite…

I’ll confess I’m not gaga for cream cheese frosting – I don’t think I ever will be – but this was a good application. Grapefruit cupcakes with grapefruit cream cheese frosting also hit a happy spot. Maybe I’m a sucker for flavored cream cheese frostings. Being gaga for chocolate like I am, I think these would be good with a dark chocolate frosting too. Maybe chocolate cream cheese? Or chocolate Guinness? Experiments will have to be conducted.

And to give you an idea of the finished product…

I really think the posh paper towels I lined them up on make all the difference, don’t you? ;)

Recipe From “Feast” by Nigella Lawson


1 cup Guinness
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups superfine sugar (I used regular sugar.)
3/4 cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda


8 oz. cream cheese
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream (I added a little Guinness to this.)



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and/or line a 9-inch springform pan or 2 cupcake tins. (I got 19 cupcakes total.)

Pour the Guinness into a large wide saucepan, add the butter – in spoons or slices – and heat until the butter’s melted, at which time you should whisk in the cocoa and sugar. Beat the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla and then pour into the pan and finally whisk in the flour and baking soda.

Pour the cake batter into the greased and lined pan and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. (I started checking at about 40 minutes.) Leave to cool completely in the pan on a cooling rack, as it is quite a damp cake.

When the cake’s cold, sit on a flat platter or cake stand and get on with the frosting. Lightly whip the cream cheese until smooth, sift over the confectioners’ sugar and then beat them both together.

Add the cream and beat again until it makes a spreadable consistency. (I added the Guinness at this point.) Ice the top of the black cake so that it resembles the frothy top of the famous pint.


  1. #1 by Sunflowerdiva on October 5, 2010 - 5:20 am

    Oh…delicious! Yes, the picture of the frosting dripping is absolutely mouth-watering. :D

  2. #2 by The Zen Assassin on October 5, 2010 - 5:22 am

    I love a good cupcake.

  3. #3 by farahfab on October 5, 2010 - 5:29 am

    hi there
    loving the choc cupcake post
    check out this:
    thought u mite like it

  4. #4 by Emily Jane on October 5, 2010 - 5:30 am

    Om nom nom… these sound beyond fantastic!

  5. #5 by CultureChoc2010 on October 5, 2010 - 5:30 am

    They look great – did they taste as good?

  6. #6 by Jenica on October 5, 2010 - 5:37 am


  7. #7 by notcomplicated on October 5, 2010 - 5:54 am

    Congrats on being freshly pressed! These. Look. Amazing.

  8. #8 by Chloë on October 5, 2010 - 6:14 am

    I always thought that Guinness cupcakes (or cake) was supposed to just LOOK like a pint of Guinness. At least, the one I had in Ireland didn’t taste like Guinness. But if it COULD have… Nice. :)

  9. #9 by ancaparema on October 5, 2010 - 6:26 am

    Those look amazing… we had chocolate stout shakes for St. Patrick’s this year (just chocolate ice cream and Guinness mixed in a blender) and the mix of stout and chocolate was perfect.

    Thanks for sharing!

  10. #10 by superfan307 on October 5, 2010 - 6:27 am

    They sound delicious! I too am a huge fan of Guinnes and chocolate. Would happen to have the recipe handy?

  11. #11 by sly fox on October 5, 2010 - 6:31 am

    WOW! These sound amazing…and the photos are making me hungry.

  12. #12 by She.Is.Just.A.Rat on October 5, 2010 - 6:38 am


  13. #13 by sundryandco on October 5, 2010 - 6:45 am

    These look delicious and stylishly Guinness-y!

  14. #14 by intrepidtraveller on October 5, 2010 - 6:46 am

    Oh my. They look sooo delicious! Thanks for sharing. I once made multi-coloured cup-cakes, they looked awesome but nasted rancid!! :)

  15. #15 by Karen on October 5, 2010 - 7:06 am

    Beautiful photos, and your description makes them sound soooo yummy, even to someone who doesn’t like beer. At all. I still want to try these now. :)

  16. #16 by Katie on October 5, 2010 - 7:08 am

    Okay, now I need to look up that recipe. Those look delicious! Especially the frosting…

  17. #17 by Kate on October 5, 2010 - 7:22 am

    You should give these a shot:

    Basically the same cupcake, but with Jameson-chocolate filling and a Baileys-based buttercream. They’re really really good!

    • #18 by Oh, I like you, food. on October 6, 2010 - 9:42 pm

      Those sound great, Kate! Thanks for sharing!

  18. #19 by TraciMel on October 5, 2010 - 7:24 am

    I consider myself a cupcake connoisseur … these look FABULOUS!

  19. #20 by alma on October 5, 2010 - 7:26 am

    hey thanks for the advice i love the cup cakes!!!!

  20. #21 by Ing. on October 5, 2010 - 7:27 am

    wowww wonderfull!

  21. #22 by dsimple on October 5, 2010 - 7:35 am

    Hm … I love chocolate. And Guinness. But together? My mind isn’t quite comprehending the possibilities. Maybe I’ll have to give it a go just to see for myself. And Guinness-flavored cream cheese frosting sounds “interesting” as well. Thanks for the food for thought. ;-)

  22. #23 by The Simple Life of a Country Man's Wife on October 5, 2010 - 7:45 am

    I am totally gaga for cream cheese frosting. Yum. Great post!

  23. #24 by earthymind on October 5, 2010 - 8:02 am

    it looks totally delicious…!!

  24. #25 by sciencebase on October 5, 2010 - 8:04 am

    Paper towels just add that little extra. You could be on for a personal Michelin star with that finishing touch…

  25. #26 by The Perfectly Imperfect One on October 5, 2010 - 8:13 am

    Looks yummy!

  26. #27 by notesfromrumbleycottage on October 5, 2010 - 8:18 am

    These look tasty. Going to have to try them out. Congrats on getting freshly pressed.

  27. #28 by incomepowerboost on October 5, 2010 - 8:18 am

    They look really good. My mouth started to water more at the thought of using the Baileys though.

  28. #29 by bestpaidmoneysurveys on October 5, 2010 - 8:46 am

    Looks very tasty ;)

  29. #30 by bobbi on October 5, 2010 - 8:54 am

    I’ve made something similar, but I used a local stout and made a whiskey ganache.

    • #31 by Oh, I like you, food. on October 6, 2010 - 9:44 pm


      Both the beer and the cupcakes sound great. I’m always up for trying new beers. Thanks for sharing!

  30. #32 by Sophie on October 5, 2010 - 9:33 am

    Great post – I’m always looking for new, creative ways to ingest more alcohol :) The Bailey’s icing was a great idea – I definitely want to try it!

  31. #33 by damnhellblogger on October 5, 2010 - 9:34 am

    Those look delish! I like the droopy frosting too, btw. lol

  32. #34 by Edi on October 5, 2010 - 9:38 am

    They look so yummy! Give us the recipe, will ya?
    I would love to try and make them too. Thanks.

  33. #35 by Andrea on October 5, 2010 - 9:38 am

    I’m sure these are delicious. I love Nigella. And I love your photos. Thanks for sharing!

  34. #36 by Darragh on October 5, 2010 - 10:11 am

    That makes me sooooo happy. yay! chocolate!

  35. #37 by littledarkgirlwithkindeyes on October 5, 2010 - 10:38 am

    I have to try this! Looks incredible. and I agree, about the drooping frosting. good pic! :)

  36. #38 by PC on October 5, 2010 - 10:39 am

    Do you have a link to this recipe that you could share?

  37. #39 by Sharon on October 5, 2010 - 10:43 am

    those cupcakes look so good! Plus, Nigella Lawson is the best<3 the chocolate frosting idea sounds like its worth trying :)

  38. #40 by lizardpak on October 5, 2010 - 11:18 am

    Wow. I hate beer, but you have totally intrigued me. I need to try this. BTW, on a scale of one to ten, how would you rate it?

    • #41 by Oh, I like you, food. on October 6, 2010 - 9:50 pm

      I would give them about a 7/8 out of 10. Hope you try them!

  39. #42 by Matt on October 5, 2010 - 11:27 am


    I once made a guinnes-cheesecake-shake (rather than milkshake) and I thought that was the greatest thing. No. This is the new greatest. I’M GOING TO MAKE BOTH OF THEM TOGETHER AND EXPLODE THE UNIVERSE IN AWESOMENESS.

    side note: I sort of like Guinness

  40. #43 by J on October 5, 2010 - 11:28 am

    OMG these look so good!

  41. #44 by 24 Blogazine on October 5, 2010 - 11:37 am


  42. #45 by Santa's Own on October 5, 2010 - 11:59 am

    Omg this is sinful! and I can’t resist! It looks so delicious! excuse me while I hop in the car and head straight to the bakery

  43. #46 by javierbella on October 5, 2010 - 12:10 pm

    Awesome idea!!!
    Im a chef and i love to do all the sweet’s and cake side of it, a sort of pastry chef in training :D

    And as i love Guinness and chocolate…i am so going to make these at work tomorrow.

    here is one of my fave cakes, and sooo simple…
    lime and coconut…
    10oz self raising flour,
    12oz caster sugar
    2oz coconut
    1 block of unsalted butter,
    6 eggs,
    1 teaspoon of baking powder
    3 lime peel(i use a grater)
    juice of 1 lime.

    butter and sugar, blend till white and fluffy, add eggs, blend… add flour and baking powder, blend, then lime juice and zest of the 3 limes, blend.

    stick it in a big lined tin, in the oven at 170 degrees,
    for 50 mins.

    ICING…… juice of the remaining limes plus 2 more = 4 limes.
    add to icing powder, add some coconut into it aswell for extra tastyness!!
    mix by hand into a smooth paste.
    Then apply onto cake when it is cooked and cooled off.
    THEN….. get stuck in!!!!!!! xxxxxx

    • #47 by Oh, I like you, food. on October 6, 2010 - 9:51 pm

      Hope you like them if you try them. :) And thanks for sharing your recipe – I love lime and coconut.

  44. #48 by sayitinasong on October 5, 2010 - 12:44 pm

    Guiness…?? really??? That just sounds intriguing enough to try… I also liked your idea of Baileys… liquor and baked goods… can it get any better?

  45. #49 by thatgirlcarol on October 5, 2010 - 1:18 pm

    it looks delish!! Nigella’s dessert recipes are the best P:

  46. #50 by blogergal on October 5, 2010 - 1:34 pm

    Yummmm.. beer and chocolate, two of the best things.

  47. #51 by Pamela on October 5, 2010 - 2:44 pm

    They sound awesome. . .will try them!

  48. #52 by fontgirl on October 5, 2010 - 3:10 pm

    Love this recipe – and your pictures look great!! I’m deffinitely going to give these a try. I have a ton of cupcake recipes over at my blog “Stay Calm, Have a Cupcake” – feel free to stop over and grab a few.

    Looking forward to reading mor eof your blog.

    • #53 by Oh, I like you, food. on October 6, 2010 - 9:55 pm

      Thanks! And I like your blog name. :)

  49. #54 by Avantika Sharma on October 5, 2010 - 3:13 pm

    Oh these look amazing. I love Nigella’s recipes and these sure seem to taste fabulous.

  50. #55 by kelnkelp on October 5, 2010 - 3:15 pm

    They look delicious… can you add the actual recipe into your post??

  51. #56 by dawneatscake on October 5, 2010 - 3:19 pm

    Chocolate Cake + Dark Tasty Beers = My Favorite!Love the un-pretensious pictures! I’m wishing for a recipe though…

  52. #57 by clairelynow on October 5, 2010 - 3:36 pm

    Those look absolutely delicious. Is the recipe available online?

  53. #58 by kevin on October 5, 2010 - 3:48 pm

    that cupcake looks like a very delicious cake. especially it is a chocolate one, one of my favorites.

  54. #59 by Norah on October 5, 2010 - 5:28 pm

    I’m not the biggest chocolate fan, but those look great!!

  55. #60 by Laggylife on October 5, 2010 - 6:12 pm

    Oh my Golly! I want them NOW!!!!

  56. #61 by free games cool on October 5, 2010 - 7:12 pm

    oh i like food! me too

  57. #62 by Fire Crystals on October 5, 2010 - 7:18 pm

    Wow!. Yummy!!

  58. #63 by Bestin Jose on October 5, 2010 - 7:59 pm

    Nice blog with taste dear ! :)

  59. #64 by Some Funky Dude on October 5, 2010 - 11:07 pm

    I’m drooling, and I love Guiness. gj with the cupcakes.

  60. #65 by Eat Out With Kids on October 6, 2010 - 3:49 am

    For the benefit of your Australian readers who also LOVE Guinness and LOVE the look of your cupcakes, how much is a stick of butter? I’ve always wanted to know- ever since I watched Sesame St 33 years ago and they had a cartoon about shopping and buying a stick of butter. From that moment til now, I have never known what a stick of butter is. Please enlighten me- to satisfy my childhood curiosity and so I can make a batch of those cupcakes!! (If you could convert a stick of butter to metric it would be a double bonus!) Thanks.

    • #66 by Oh, I like you, food. on October 6, 2010 - 9:58 pm

      1 stick of butter is about 113.4 grams/4 ounces/ 1/2 cup/8 tablespoons

      Happy baking!

      • #67 by Eat Out With Kids on October 7, 2010 - 6:37 am

        Thank you- I love how precise you are 113.4 g!!! I always bake happy, as I’m sure you do too!!!

  61. #68 by Heather CJ Atkins on October 6, 2010 - 4:02 am

    Mmmmm. The calorific goodness.

  62. #69 by on October 6, 2010 - 4:26 am

    Just returned from an absolutely fabulous walking/pub tour in England where I heard about Guinness cake. I believe it was a Martha Stewart recipe… but I’m not sure. While I enjoyed the local ales and beers I took the opportunity to enjoy Guinness on tap and loved it even more than when I’m back in Canada. I could live in lovely Yorkshire home to romantic moors and dales and air fresh as heather in full bloom just for the opportunity to get my fix of Guinness at a local pub. Good for the tummy especially if you have Lactose intolerance (which i do not) I’m told.

    • #70 by Oh, I like you, food. on October 6, 2010 - 9:59 pm

      Sounds like such a nice trip!

  63. #71 by Kristine on October 6, 2010 - 5:13 am

    This recipe sounds and looks absolutely amazing. Yum. Thank you for sharing it!

  64. #72 by charlotte on October 6, 2010 - 5:14 am

    it looks so good :)

  65. #73 by Micheal Ken on October 6, 2010 - 5:29 am

    Oh no! Now I have to eat some cake :)

  66. #74 by Abigail on October 6, 2010 - 5:39 am

    I am going to give this a shot and make it with Bailey’s frosting and call them Irish Car Bombettes, or something. Mmm.
    Fun review- thanks!

  67. #75 by Oh, I like you, food. on October 6, 2010 - 10:04 pm

    Thanks to the WordPress community for being so welcoming! You guys made my day. :)

  68. #76 by Mark Jordahl on October 7, 2010 - 3:14 am

    Mmmmm…Guinness and Chocolate. What more can you ask for?

  69. #77 by Steelinho on October 7, 2010 - 5:06 pm

    Looks great. I’ll have to try it out on one of my gluttony days!

  70. #78 by cheekybird on October 8, 2010 - 11:08 am

    They look great. And you’re right. That paper towel makes all the difference!

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