Saint Patrick’s Day Guinness Cupcakes

Guinness Cupcakes 3

Guinness Cupcakes - perfect for St. Patrick's Day. Or any day.

I’ll admit, I’ve never done that much for St. Patrick’s Day. I mean, my mother would festoon the dining room with green clover garlands and chocolate “gold” pieces around the holiday each year when I was little, given our Irish heritage. And I’ve gone out to a couple of Irish bars on the holiday. And there was that one memorable Saint Patrick’s Day during college at Earl’s on the Ave (the old one) with a bunch of blue drinks and my friend Sara. But let’s not talk about that.

It may be a holiday that has garnered little of my attention, but I think that Saint Patrick’s Day is due for a second look. Not because it celebrates a certain Irish Saint, but because it’s an opportunity to bake with beer.

Everyone should bake with beer. I’m just going to put that out there. Baking with beer is awesome. It adds a smoky, almost savory note to baked goods that’s a lovely compliment to sugar. It’s an excellent addition to bread recipes – just replace the water or liquid called for with an equal amount of beer. And dark beers like stouts or porters go exceptionally well with chocolate.

These Guinness cupcakes with Guinness glaze take advantage of the dark beer/chocolate pairing. The smoky flavor of the Guinness helps balance the sweetness of the cake, and brings out the cocoa in the cake. It also contrasts with the sugar in the glaze, which keeps the cake soft and sweet. The only problem I had with the cake is that it turned out exceptionally moist – maybe even a little gummy in the center. I guess a quest for a perfect cake is never really done. But baking with beer? That’s a quest that I’m happily convinced will never be done – there’s just too many things to experiment with.

Guiness Cupcakes 2

Love that you can see the bubbles from the beer in the frosting.

St. Patrick’s Day Guinness Cupcakes

1/4 cups + 2 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup Guinness
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 + 1/8 tsp baking powder
1/4 + 1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 cup) unsalted butter
3/4 cups sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.

In a microwave safe bowl or measuring cup heat Guinness until hot. Add cocoa powder and whisk until dissolved. Let cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and sugar. Remove from heat, pour into a mixing bowl, and mix on medium speed with an electric mixer until cool (4-5 minutes). Add egg and yolk and mix until combined, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Add vanilla and cocoa mixture, and beat until combined. With the mixer on low speed add flour mixture in two batches alternating with the sour cream, beating until each is just combined.

Pour batter into muffin tins, filling each 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean. Transfer to wire rack to let cool completely. Dip the top of the cupcakes in Guinness Glaze (recipe follows).

Guinness Glaze

2 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
4 tbs Guinness

Beat together cream cheese and powdered sugar until combined. Add Guinness, a tablespoon at a time, until the glaze reaches desired consistency.



  1. Kristen said

    They are so yummy! I normally am not a huge Guinness fan despite being part Irish, but in cupcakes…I am sold!

  2. Funny, I find this recipe this morning from Twitter, and then the Guinness Fan Page on Facebook was just asking about Guinness recipes,

    • moderndomestic said

      Well well well. It is that time of year.

  3. Laetitia said

    I’m actually intrigued by those. Might make them and bring them to work on Wednesday. Last time I made one of your “beer” inspired sweet recipe (the pumpkin beer ice cream) it was absolutely delicious!

  4. Julie said

    Made these last night…tweaked the recipe a bit to make a larger batch for a St Paddy’s Day party this weekend, but they turned out fabulously! Great recipe!

    • moderndomestic said

      That is so cool! If you send me a photo I’d totally post!


  5. […] Domestic made St. Patrick’s Day Guinness Cupcakes. I. Die. For boozey […]

  6. Kevin said

    Woah, Very yummy cupcakes. I managed to snag some from Kristen and they were amazing!!!!! You have my Irish seal of approval

    • moderndomestic said

      Whoo hoo! There is no other seal I could care about more with these cupcakes.

  7. Lauren said

    These are really good, especially if you put a tsp. of cinnamon in the cake batter. It gives it a little edge to counterbalance the malty, brothiness of the Guinness.

  8. Brooke said

    The old Earl’s like, in Seattle? I miss the old Earl’s! I mean…the memories are a little foggy. They make a mean black opal. PS. Those cupcakes looks fabulous!

  9. Lauren said

    Just google’d “Guinness Cupcakes”. MD was the 3rd hit, after Congrats!

  10. […] Guinness Cupcakes with Guinness Glaze – now those were going to be a […]

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