Rich ganache-stuffed chocolate guinness cupcakes are the ultimate dessert. They’re moist, decadent, and topped with espresso buttercream for the best St. Patrick’s day dessert you’ll ever have.
Let me start out by saying these chocolate Guinness cupcakes are insane. They’re the richest chocolate cupcakes I’ve ever had. So of course, I decided to ramp up the decadence even more— with a luscious chocolate ganache filling and an espresso buttercream. Let’s just say they don’t disappoint.
I have a tendency to go all out for St. Patrick’s day. It’s my birthday and I love to use the occasion for a special baking project. I used to go a little overboard with the green food coloring in college, but these days I prefer something just as festive but a little more… subtle.
So this year, it’s chocolate and Guinness and espresso. I wanted to make something insanely rich, delicious, and beautiful. These ganache stuffed chocolate guinness cupcakes with espresso buttercream were the result. They’re the perfect way to celebrate St Pat’s-- and anything, really. We all need a little more celebrating in our life. Don’t wait for a holiday to do it. Celebrate getting off of work early, celebrate the dog not eating your dinner, celebrate your toddler wearing glasses for 20 minutes. Celebrate the small stuff-- great food is the perfect way to do it.
what makes these chocolate guinness cupcakes so great?
I love this cupcake batter for a number of reasons. It uses a mix of granulated and brown sugar for extra flavor. It’s quick to throw together. It uses all butter (rather than neutral vegetable oil), so you get even more flavor. And the beer helps the crumb stay super moist.
Best of all, these chocolate guinness cupcakes are stuffed with a rich dark chocolate ganache. It really takes them to the next level. I prefer to use an apple corer to cleanly remove a piece of the center, but you could also do this with a paring knife.
This is a wet batter, so the cupcakes will sink a bit in the middle. This doesn't matter, since the center will be filled with ganache-- and the extra moist crumb is worth it.
If you want an intensely dark crumb, replace 2 tablespoons of the cocoa powder with black cocoa. This is used solely for coloring and won’t really intensify the chocolate flavor, so use it sparingly. Plus, black cocoa powder is the coolest thing ever and it’s worth having a pouch in your pantry.
chocolate guinness cupcakes— what about the beer?
You might be wondering about the Guinness beer here. What does it do? How does it taste? You don’t taste the beer in these cupcakes per se, but there’s something about the Guinness in the batter that deepens the chocolate flavor and adds a soft maltiness. It’s also responsible for making these cupcakes insanely moist— and they stay that way for days.
If you’re worried about the alcohol, don’t be. It’s less than ½ tablespoon of beer per cupcake, and while I can’t guarantee it, I’m fairly confident it cooks off. Whoever eats it will be fine— and totally hopped up on sugar.
how to make chocolate guinness cupcakes
- Whisk flour and baking soda together; set aside.
- Whisk sour cream, egg and vanilla together; set aside.
- Melt butter, Guinness beer, salt and espresso powder in a saucepan.
- Mix in both sugars and cocoa powder.
- Whisk beer mixture into sour cream mixture.
- Whisk in dry ingredients.
- Divide batter into cupcake pan, bake at 350°F for 22- 24 minutes.
- Let cool, then use an apple corer to remove center
- Fill hole with chocolate ganache and top with a piece of the center.
- Decorate with espresso buttercream. Enjoy!
how to make espresso buttercream
- Dissolve espresso powder in a tiny amount of vanilla extract.
- Soften butter in mixer— don’t cream. We don’t want to mix in air bubbles. We just want to break up the butter and smooth it out.
- Add all of the sifted powder sugar to the mixer, put on your splash guard and slowly mix. Let the mixer run for about 3 minutes until the buttercream just comes together, then stop.
- Add a teaspoon of boiling water to the espresso mix.
- Increase mixer to high and add the hot espresso mix. Beat until just incorporated, about 20 seconds. The hot water will pull the frosting together and reduce graininess from the sugar.
- Divide into bowls (as many as you want for different shades). Mix in a tiny amount of black and brown cocoa to color the different bowls of buttercream. Load into bags. My favorite piping tips to use are 1M, 4B, 6B and 199.
tips with the espresso buttercream
You can get as decorative— or as simple— as you want with the buttercream.
For piping, I use a technique I learned from Kerry’s Bouqcakes, where you make a very stiff buttercream and beat it to an absolute minimum. This prevents air bubbles and gives the crispest edges for piping decorative shapes. The boiling water is added at the very end to remove graininess from the frosting and pull everything together. You may need to stop the bowl halfway through, and scrape in any liquid that pools at the bottom of the bowl, then finish mixing.
If you just want to spread the cupcakes with frosting and need it to be a little softer, don’t worry so much about the technique. Beat in heavy cream, a teaspoon at a time, until you reach your desired consistency.
ganache stuffed chocolate guinness cupcakes with espresso buttercream
Rich ganache-stuffed chocolate Guinness cupcakes are the ultimate dessert. They’re moist, decadent, and topped with espresso buttercream for the best St. Patrick’s day dessert you’ll ever have.
- Prep Time: 30
- Cook Time: 22
- Total Time: 52 minutes
- Yield: 12 cupcakes
- Category: Cupcakes
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
chocolate guinness cupcakes
- 1 cup plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
- 1 ¼ tsp baking soda
- ⅓ cup Guinness extra stout
- 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp instant espresso powder
- 6 tbsp cocoa powder (substitute 2 tbsp black cocoa for an extra dark color)
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- 1 large egg
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 ½ ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- 1 tbsp instant espresso powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 cups (700 grams) unsifted powdered sugar
- 1 ½ cups (350g, 3 sticks) butter, cubed and softened to cool room temperature
- 1 tsp boiling water
- black cocoa powder, for coloring (optional)
chocolate guinness cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners and set aside. Whisk together flour and baking soda in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Combine Guinness, butter, salt and espresso powder in a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat. Cook gently until butter has melted. Whisk in cocoa powder, granulated sugar and brown sugar; let cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, combine sour cream, egg and vanilla in a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Add Guinness mixture and whisk until combined. Whisk in dry ingredients until just combined. Fill each liner ⅔ full of batter. Bake for 22- 24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cupcakes will sink in the center-- it's okay. Let cupcakes cool 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- While cupcakes bake, prepare the ganache filling. Place bittersweet chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until bubbles just begin to form at the edges. Pour over chocolate and let sit 2- 3 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Refrigerate about 10 minutes, or until it starts to set (pull out before it gets too firm).
- When cupcakes have cooled, use an apple corer to remove the center of a cupcake, about 1 ½-inches deep (be careful and don’t go all the way to the bottom). Fill with a teaspoon of ganache and plug the top with about half of the removed cupcake core. Frost cupcakes with espresso buttercream (recipe below).
- Combine espresso powder and vanilla in a small bowl and stir until fully dissolved. Set aside.
- Sift powdered sugar into a large bowl. Place butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed to soften, about 30 seconds. Add all of the sifted powdered sugar (use splash guard to avoid a huge mess) and mix on low speed until it just comes together, about 3 minutes. Mixture will look very powdery at first. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl, and mix again to incorporate any loose powdered sugar.
- Add boiling water to espresso mixture. Turn mixer on high, immediately add hot espresso mixture, and mix until just combined, about 20 seconds. Use buttercream as is, or create additional shades. Divide buttercream into several bowls and stir in various amounts of black cocoa powder (starting with a teaspoon). Transfer to a piping bag and decorate cupcakes as desired.
- Cupcakes can be made 1 day ahead, covered, and stored at room temperature.
- Freeze frosted or unfrosted cupcakes for up to 3 months.
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- Serving Size: 1 unfrosted cupcake
- Calories: 280
- Sugar: 16g
- Sodium: 195mg
- Fat: 16g
- Saturated Fat: 9.7g
- Unsaturated Fat: 5.3g
- Trans Fat: 0.1g
- Carbohydrates: 29g
- Fiber: 2.2g
- Protein: 3.9g
- Cholesterol: 47mg