On to the plate

Experimenting with flavours, colours and style of food served at our place

Stout cupcakes for St Patty’s Day


Here’s the last of this weekend’s baking for St Patrick’s Day. I know it’s a week early. Baking early gives others (if there are any) a chance to get items they might need in order to make this for the 17th. And next weekend is our Wedding Anniversary and I have something else in mind, plus I need to make a start on Easter baking. We’ll be away Easter weekend. It’s Mr Fussy’s birthday. March is definitely madness.

Happy St Patricks Day

I hunted high and low last night looking for the container of shamrock sprinkles. In the end I put them in the new place I’ve got for all my decorating bits and pieces. Though I’d been convinced I had them in the kitchen, on the bench.

I didn’t really expect to make any of my own decoration. I have some Wilton shamrocks that are still tucked away in the spare room. I’m pretty happy with the thing I’ve made on my own and almost feel like I wasted money buying the pre-made decorations.  Never mind. I didn’t know what I was capable of.

Rainbow cupcakes

I made use of all the extra icing from yesterday’s Rainbow Cake. It seemed to work fine. Though it wasn’t easy to get the icing bag to the bottom of the new icing bag. Ok I know that’ hard to imagine. Here’s a photo of what I ended up with, which is pretty much what I was aiming for. I had to do it in two round. Pipe a colour in and drag it up the bag, repeat until I had all colours in. The pull the sleeve of the icing bag up and start again.

Rainbow colours

I still had a lot of blue and lilac left. I put the icing, bag and all, into a Glad Ziplock bag and into the freezer they went. I’ll find a use for that during Easter, I’m sure.

Rainbow frosting

As much as it was fun to combine the colours to make rainbow frosting, this post is about making Stout cupcakes.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that I don’t (hardly ever) drink. I’d seen a recipe for Stout cupcakes but I didn’t really understand what Stout was. I asked Mr Fussy if he could buy me some since there’s a liquor shop closer to his work than mine. Lord knows what I would have been looking for if it were left up to me.

I used to work with a guy that called Guinness “Vitamin G”. That’s really all I thought was important when it came to Irish drinking.

Right, I’ve decided that I’m going to share some photos I took when we had a brief visit to Dublin in May last year.


We were on a Hop on Hop off Bus, which is pretty much the only way we got to see most things. We really had very little time, which was pretty much the way we felt the whole 4 weeks we were flying around Europe and the UK.

And speaking of Saint Patrick.


We made sure we visited a number of churches and cathedrals. We had a good look around Christ Church Cathedral. Living in Christchurch, New Zealand, we’re a bit short of churches thanks to the earthquakes.

But what trip to Ireland would be complete without Molly Malone and a Leprechaun?


So now you’ve had a brief look at our brief look of Ireland, let’s get back to (again) the Stout cupcakes.

Dark Stout Chocolate cupcake

As soon as I opened the bottle of Stout I could smell that hoppy, yeasty beer smell. Since I don’t drink beer, nor do I visit pubs, the smell is quite distinct to me. I have no idea if it really smells and tastes so different to the type of beer Mr Fussy sometimes partakes in.

As for the taste, well the batter certainly had a beer like taste to it, but by the time the cupcakes were baked, that obvious flavour had disappeared. Mr Fussy reckons he could taste it, but I thought it was more the unsweetened cocoa. It was a little bitter but to me I’d have said it was the cocoa had I not known there was stout as an ingredient.

Mr Leprechaun

This was the best Leprechaun I made, or at least that’s my opinion. I used an edible marker to make the face.

I digress. When I looked back at the recipe on Friday night I scanned the list of ingredients and got them out onto the bench ready for a quick start Saturday morning. That’s when it registered just how much sugar there is. Yikes! And all I can think is that my friend Zarnia might be re-thinking whether she wants to make this recipe. But since she’s just completed another Ironman last Saturday, she might be a bit more relaxed about how much sugar passes her lips.

And to the recipe.

Stout Cupcakes by Smitten Kitchen


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

For the frosting

  • 113 gm of butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup of Kremelta (shortening)
  • 4 cups of icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 Tablespoon Baileys Irish Cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Bean paste


For the cupcakes

  • Heat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
  • Prepare a muffin tin with liners.
  • Melt the butter and stout into a small pan over medium heat.
  • When the butter is all melted add the cocoa and whisk until it’s fully incorporated. Allow to cool.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
  • Add to the dry ingredients the eggs and sour cream and mix this in. The mixture will be very stiff.
  • Add the stout/chocolate mixture and mix until it’s just combined.
  • Use a cookie scoop to fill the cupcake liners, or around 3 tablespoons of batter.
  • Bake the cupcakes for around 18-20 minutes, using a toothpick to test doneness.
  • Leave the cupcakes in the tin for around 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to completely cool before frosting.

For the frosting

  • In a stand mixer beat the butter and Kremelta (shortening) for around 5 minutes. The longer you beat the whiter the mixture will be.
  • Reduce the speed and slowly add the sifted icing sugar, a tablespoon at a time.
  • Add the Baileys Irish Cream and vanilla bean paste and continue to mix until light and fluffy.
  • Decorate as desired.
  • The rest of the recipe on the Smitten Kitchen website goes on to make these very fancy, but I didn’t have time to make a ganche and fill the cupcakes. Apparently a Car Bomb is an alcoholic drink. And from what I can gather, the post on the blog became very controversial.

My Notes:

  • If I made these again (maybe in a year’s time?) I’d mix all the wet ingredients together before adding them to the dry ingredients. I was using another blog’s recipe, which came from Smitten Kitchen but where the sour cream was swapped out for Buttermilk. And the method of mixing is as I’ve described here. Trying to get the eggs and sour cream into the dry ingredients took a lot of work, then to loosen the mixture with the stout/chocolate mixture took quite a lot of mixing, and I was concerned I might end up over mixing.
  • I forgot I had photos of the making of these cupcakes. So here’s a barrage of photos, and you’ll see for yourself how stiff the mixture was pre-adding the stout/chocolate mixture.
  • If you don’t want to use Kremelta (shortening) then replace this with butter. So the butter will be 1 cup, or 226 gm.
  • The vanilla bean paste can be substituted with vanilla essence, use about 1 teaspoon.


Mixture consistency

Cupcakes ready to bake

Texture of the Stout cupcake

I’ll have just one more post during the week related to St Patrick’ Day, just showing how I achieved rainbow vanilla cut out cookies.

Lastly, I’d like to thank Donna of Cake Stuff for making sure all the goodies I ordered arrived in time for the weekend. There was one item holding the order from being dispatched, but Donna sent the rest and then the one item overnight so that it all arrived on time, at no extra cost to me. It’s not often you find such good service these days. And not only that, Donna seemed genuinely interested in what I was planning on making this weekend, even asking for my blog address. Once again, thanks Donna.

Enjoy your Irish baking!


2 thoughts on “Stout cupcakes for St Patty’s Day

  1. Just can’t hold off any longer! These are so attractive! I have a skin problem at the moment that keeps me out of the kitchen – had to buy some bikkies from Couplands today! gulp! Felt so guilty!

    • Thanks Alison. I have lots of the shamrock and Leprechaun decorations left and not sure how I’ll use them now. They aren’t really something you can use at a later date :-/ Hope you’re on the road to recovery so that you don’t have to torture yourself another week banished from the kitchen.

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