It’s a lovely day for Guinness cupcakes with Bailey’s frosting. This dessert is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day! Chocolate stout cupcakes are filled with a whiskey ganache and topped with Irish cream frosting.

a bite taken out of guinness cupcake with bailey's frosting on paper cupcake liner.


Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Today I’m sharing my favorite recipe for the Irish holiday: Guinness cupcakes with Bailey’s frosting and whiskey ganache. It is decadent, sweet and with a kick of alcohol. It’s the perfect dessert to bring to any shenanigans you have planned today. You may also like baking Irish bread pudding, which features Irish whiskey as well.

Why you’ll love this recipe

It is so Irish and perfect for St. Patrick’s Day! The recipe features Guinness beer, Irish whiskey and Irish cream. The cupcakes turn out super chocolate-y and moist while the Bailey’s buttercream frosting is perfectly sweet (I also use it in my Bailey’s brownies). The ganache and frosting can be made ahead of time for easy holiday prep.

Ingredient notes

guinness cupcakes and baileys frosting ingredients in bowls labeled with text.
  • Guinness: This stout beer makes the cupcakes flavorful while enhancing the chocolate taste. I suggest the Guinness Extra Stout, but Guinness Draught or a similar stout beer will work too.
  • Sour cream: If you want insanely moist cupcakes, use full-fat sour cream. Plain yogurt is a good substitution.
  • Unsalted butter: All three components of this recipe use butter. I suggest unsalted butter and make sure it is room temperature.
  • Cocoa powder: High quality cocoa powder is a must for the best tasting chocolate cake. I prefer Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa powder.
  • Chocolate chips: These are melted down for the cupcake batter and they are also used for the whiskey chocolate ganache. Again, use good quality chocolate. Chopped bittersweet chocolate also works.
  • Irish whiskey: For a truly decadent St. Patrick’s Day dessert, I added Irish whiskey to the chocolate ganache.
  • Bailey’s Irish Cream: This sweet liquor is used in the buttercream frosting. Make sure it is room temperature.

Recipe variations

This recipe makes a generous 24 cupcakes, but it can easily be cut in half to yield 12 servings. You can also use this recipe to make a full cake. Use two 9-inch round cake pans or one 13×9 baking pan. Baking time will vary between approximately 25 and 35 minutes.

To make this recipe alcohol-free, use Bailey’s coffee creamer in the frosting and omit the Irish whiskey from the ganache (increase cream to 3/4 cup). The alcohol in the Guinness will bake off, but you can also use an alcohol-free stout as a substitution.

I personally love the Bailey’s frosting, but for some it’s too sweet. As an alternative, try a classic buttercream frosting. You can also make Bailey’s cream cheese frosting by replacing 1/2 cup butter with 1/2 cup block cream cheese.

Remember to make the cupcakes festive for St. Patrick’s Day! Use gold foil liners, green sprinkles and cupcake toppers for a fun and festive touch.

How to make Guinness cupcakes with Bailey’s frosting

photo collage demonstrating how to make guinness cupcakes in a mixing bowl.
  1. Make Guinness chocolate mixture: In a medium saucepan, simmer beer and butter until melted.
  2. Add cocoa powder and chocolate chips. Stir until smooth. Set aside to cool.
  3. Whisk dry ingredients: flour, sugar baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  4. Make the batter: Whisk eggs and yogurt together until well combined. Add cooled chocolate mixture and stir until incorporated.
photo collage demonstrating how to make guinness cupcakes in a muffin tin and irish whiskey ganache in a saucepan.
  1. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix just until combined.
  2. Transfer batter to muffin tin. Fill each cup 2/3 full. Bake at 350 F for 15 to 18 minutes.
  3. Make Irish whiskey ganache. In a medium saucepan, melt chocolate, butter and cream. Stir until smooth. Add Irish whiskey.
  4. Set ganache aside to cool/thicken. 
photo collage demonstrating how to make baileys frosting and assemble guinness cupcakes with whiskey ganache.
  1. Make the Bailey’s frosting: Beat butter, Bailey’s and confectioners’ sugar until smooth.
  2. Core the cupcakes using a cupcake corer or the wide end of a piping tip.
  3. Spoon ganache into the cupcakes filling each hole to the brim.
  4. Transfer frosting to a piping bag with desired tip. Frost cupcakes and serve.

Expert tips

Read the whole recipe and prep your ingredients before starting. This recipe has a lot of components and steps. If you’re making these cupcakes for an event or party, then it’s important you have everything you need before getting started!

Weigh your ingredients for accurate measuring. If you don’t have a scale, spoon your flour into a measuring cup and level with a knife (don’t pack it down). Do the same with the cocoa powder and confectioners’ sugar.

Use room temperature ingredients. Not only does this make it easier to mix, but it also makes a more smooth and consistent batter. As a result, you will have uniform cupcakes that are soft and moist.

This recipe requires melting chocolate and using a double boiler. If you this is something you have trouble with or are new to, read my guide to melting chocolate.

chocolate stout cupcake with irish cream frosting on paper cupcake liner.

Storage and make ahead tips

Storing Guinness cupcakes: When stored in an airtight container, the cupcakes will keep for up to 3 days at room temperature or 1 week in the refrigerator. If you are bringing them to an event, I recommend assembling up to 24 hours in advance for optimal freshness.

Make ahead tips: The Irish whiskey ganache will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Bring to room temperature before reheating in the microwave for 20-30 seconds on 50% power level. The Bailey’s frosting can also be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Bring to room temperature and give the frosting a couple stirs before frosting the cupcakes.

Freezing instructions: You can also freeze the cupcakes for up to 3 months. Let the cupcakes cool completely, then store in an airtight container. For best results, individually wrap the cupcakes in plastic wrap to keep them fresh. I do not recommend freezing the frosting or the ganache because defrosting can affect the texture.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Guinness cupcakes make you drunk?

No. The alcohol in the cupcakes is baked off in the oven. However, there is alcohol in the whiskey ganache and Bailey’s frosting. It’s very minimal per serving so it is unlikely to have an effect.

Do these cupcakes taste like Guinness?

Yes, you can taste the Guinness in these cupcakes. There is a subtle malty flavor that complements the chocolate wonderfully.

Why are my cupcakes sinking?

The individual cups were overfilled or the cupcakes were under baked. Fill each cup about 2/3 full and check for doneness with a toothpick.

guinness cupcakes with baileys frosting on a plate with a few green sprinkles.

Did you love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below and if you REALLY loved it, consider leaving a comment further down the page.

a bite taken out of guinness cupcake with bailey's frosting on paper cupcake liner.

Get the Recipe: Guinness Cupcakes with Bailey’s Frosting

It's a lovely day for Guinness cupcakes with Bailey's frosting. This dessert is perfect for St. Patrick's Day! Chocolate stout cupcakes are filled with an Irish whiskey ganache and topped with Irish cream frosting.
5 (26 ratings)


Guinness Cupcakes

  • 1 cup (240 ml) Guinness Extra Stout, or similar stout beer
  • 1 cup (226 g or 2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup (48 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup (85 g) semisweet chocolate chips, or chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 cups (250 g) all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • cup (160 g) full-fat sour cream or plain yogurt, room temperature

Irish Whiskey Ganache

  • 2 cups (12 oz or 340 g) semisweet chocolate chips, or chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • cup (160 ml) heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 teaspoons Irish Whiskey, such as Jameson

Bailey's Frosting

  • ¾ cup (170 g or 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups (360 g) confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 4-6 Tablespoons (60-90 ml) Bailey's Irish Cream


Guinness Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350° F.  Line two muffin tins with cupcake liners and set aside.
  • In a pot or large saucepan, simmer the beer and butter on medium until butter is completely melted. Add cocoa powder and chocolate chips and stir until your mixture is smooth. Take off heat and set aside to cool.
  • In a separate medium bowl, whisk together, sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In mixing bowl, whisk eggs and sour cream together until smooth. Slowly add the cooled chocolate mixture. Next, add flour mixture and stir just until combined.
  • Scoop batter into prepared cupcake tin until cups are about 2/3 full. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from oven when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool on racks.

Irish Whiskey Ganache

  • In a large saucepan, melt chocolate chips, cream, and butter on medium-low. Stir until smooth. Add your whiskey, stir, then remove from heat and set aside to let mixture cool/thicken.
  • While your ganache is cooling, scoop a hole into the center of each cooled cupcake with a cupcake corer or a large round frosting tip. Fill holes to the brim with thickened ganache.

Bailey's Frosting

  • In a bowl with an electric mixer, cream together butter, 4 tablespoons Bailey's, and confectioners' sugar. If consistency is too thick, add more Irish cream one tablespoon at a time until piping consistency is reached.
  • Spoon frosting into a pastry bag fitted with desired tip. I used a large star tip (Ateco 823 or Wilton 1M). Pipe it generously on top of each filled cupcake and enjoy!


Beer: I used Guinness Extra Stout for stronger flavor, but Guinness draught or similar stout works well too.
Alcohol-free version: The alcohol in the cupcakes will bake off in the oven, but you can also use alcohol-free stout. For the frosting, use Bailey’s coffee creamer, and for the ganache, omit the whiskey.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for a week.
Freeze cupcakes (unassembled) in an airtight container for up to 3 months. 
Make ahead: Ganache and frosting can be stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Bring to room temperature before assembling.
Serving: 1cupcake, Calories: 438kcal, Carbohydrates: 48g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 26g, Saturated Fat: 16g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 64mg, Sodium: 179mg, Potassium: 177mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 35g, Vitamin A: 609IU, Vitamin C: 0.1mg, Calcium: 37mg, Iron: 2mg

This recipe was originally published March 14, 2014, with the title Irish Car Bomb cupcakes. The cocktail has since been renamed to an Irish slammer and the recipe has been renamed to reflect the cocktail’s ingredients.

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