Car Bombs for Dessert

I got this recipe from a fellow Komen volunteer a couple years back, now they are all over the place on foodgawker for St. Patrick’s day and the aftermath.

When I originally made them, I made regular sized cupcakes. I quickly found out I could only eat a quarter, maybe even a half, because they were so rich! These cupcakes are a Guinness chocolate cupcake with an Irish whiskey ganache center topped with Bailey’s spiked frosting.

Decadent, yes?

So this year I made them in mini form! While they were slightly more time consuming to pop the centers out to fill, the results were more worth it. The cupcakes were deliciously moist, and the leftovers are still super moist, even today!


It made about 5 dozen mini cupcakes! I brought some to work on St. Patrick’s day and made Tim take a bunch to football. Everyone absolutely loved them!

Feel free to dye the frosting Irish colors if you’d like. I just got lazy cause I worked almost every day last week! I just topped mine with some orange and green sprinkles I had around.

For the alcohol in the recipe, if you don’t think you’ll drink a whole bottle of whiskey or Bailey’s eventually, buy the nips!


Tip: Anytime you’re changing a recipe from normal muffin/cupcake size to mini (which I often do!) decrease the baking temperature to 325 and bake for 15-18 minutes.

Mini Car Bomb Cupcakes
(Makes about 5 dozen)

For the cupckes:

1 cup Guinness (drink the rest while they bake…)
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 OR plain non-fat Greek yogurt (I substituted that this time and they were great!)

For the Whiskey Ganache:

8 oz. (about 1 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips
2/3 c. heavy cream
2 tsp. Jameson

For the Bailey’s Buttercream:

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
~ 4 c. confectioner’s sugar
3-4 tbsp. Bailey’s

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line mini muffin tins with cupcake liners of your choice.

In a small saucepan, heat the cup of Guinness and 1 cup of butter to a simmer over medium heat. Then remove from heat and add 3/4 cup cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. The mixture gets deliciously thick! Cool slightly.

In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In a stand mixer or another bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the eggs and sour cream or Greek yogurt until smooth. Slowly add the beer/chocolate mixture into the bowl and stir until mixed well. Then, gradually add the flour mixture on low speed until just combined.

Fill the cupcake liners about halfway – about a tablespoon of batter. Bake for about 15 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean. Pop them out onto a plate and continue along baking the rest of the cupcakes.

While the cupcakes cool, you can make the ganache. I found an easy was to make it – no double boiler necessary! Put the heavy cream into a microwave safe bowl. Nuke for about 2-2.5 minutes until the cream starts to bubble. At this point immediately add the chocolate chips. Keep mixing until the chocolate is a uniform looking sauce. I promise, it will eventually come together even though it looks odd at first! Add the whiskey. Stir to combine. Cool slightly.

When the cupcakes have cooled, time to hull out the center a bit. I took the tip of a paring knife and put it at a 45 degree or so angle halfway in between the center and edge. Keeping the knife at an angle, run the knife in a circle and the center should pop out. It sounds more complicated than it is. Basically you just want to get a little of the center out, without going all the way down to the bottom of the cupcake or breaching the sides.

Fill the center with ganache until it reaches the top. Repeat until you’re finished. If the ganache settles a bit into the cupcake, I just popped the top of the cupcake back on!

To make the frosting, put your room temperature butter into a mixing bowl. Whip on medium high speed until light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar. When you’ve added about 3.5 cups, add the Bailey’s. Test taste it. If you want more Bailey’s, add some more. At this point, you can add more sugar so the frosting becomes more stiff.

Place into a piping bag with a tip or ziploc bag. I used a ziploc bag and cut about 1 cm of the corner off. My cupcakes look like they have a little wave to them because the corner didn’t cut off cleanly and I ripped it the rest of the way off. I kind of like the effect it made 🙂

Top your cupcakes however you want with the frosting and decorate with sprinkles if you desire.


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