If you find Guinness to be too bitter, a trick I learned after a friend's trip to Dublin is to add black currant cordial to sweeten it up and offset the bitterness. Whether you like the bitterness of Guinness or not, these Guinness Cupcakes with Black Currant Frosting have the perfect blend of delicious Guinness flavor combined with a slight sweetness of a dessert. They're super easy to make, and perfect for your St. Patrick's Day celebrations!
Why this recipe works
Because Guinness is particularly bitter, it is an acquired taste so it's apparently common for college kids and tourists to Ireland to add black currant juice to the beer to make it more palatable. It seems that locals feel this addition ruins Guinness, but I also understand that U.S. Guinness is not on the same level as Guinness from the source, so hopefully the fact that I'm working with U.S. Guinness justifies my use of the liqueur!
The batter of this Guinness cupcake takes on the bitterness of the stout beer, but when the Creme de Cassis frosting is added to the cupcake the flavors meshed perfectly, and the bitterness is completely offset by the flavor of the icing. So if you can't make it to Ireland, this simple and delicious alcoholic cupcake will be the perfect addition to your St. Patrick's Day celebrations!
Ingredients and notes
Guinness Stout Beer - I used Guinness in this beer-themed cupcake recipe, but another stout beer should work - you'll just want to be cautious of the flavored stouts and how those flavors will bend with the flavor of the creme de cassis in this frosting.
Creme de Cassis - Black currant comes in many forms. The fruit itself can be fresh or frozen. There is also juice or concentrate. Black currant wines are also popular. But these stout beer cupcakes use black currant liqueur. What seems to be the easiest to find in the U.S. is creme de cassis so that's what I used. In the UK, black currant seems to be much more easily available and much of it is used to make Ribena, a popular black currant drink. A cordial, juice, soda, syrup - any liquid form should be great in this recipe!
How to make this recipe
Beat the butter and sugar until it's light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time and incorporate each one fully.
Combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt) in a separate small bowl, then alternate adding the dry ingredients and the beer to the butter mixture, till both are fully incorporated.
Fill cupcake liners about ¾ of the way full and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.
Cool cupcakes completely before frosting.
Beat butter till soft and smooth.
Add the beer and cream de cassis until well combined.
Slowly add powdered sugar until the frosting reaches its desired consistency. You may not need the full amount of powdered sugar.
If the frosting is too thick, add a bit more beer, and if the frosting is too soft, add more powdered sugar.
Pipe or spread on top of cooled cupcakes and enjoy!
Black currant is a berry that is said to be quite tart, but it is often sweetened when it is made into juices, jams, syrups, and other purees, before being added into baked goods. Black currant cordial, like we use in these cupcakes, is also sweetened to balance the tartness.
For this buttercream frosting recipe, you could likely substitute Chambord, a raspberry liqueur, in place of the creme de cassis. While they're not the same, they should be close enough to both work in this recipe. For the fruit itself, blueberries could be a good substitute in baking, and grapes or blackberries could be good substitute for juices.
No, you would get sick from eating cupcakes before you'd get drunk from these! There is less than 1 ½ cups of alcohol in this entire batch of 24 cupcakes which is about 1 tablespoon of booze per cupcake. Most of it is baked into the cake which reduces but does not fully remove the alcohol content.
Tips & Tricks
- The process of creaming butter and sugar is done by beating the ingredients together, usually with an electric mixer, to whip air into the butter. This process makes the butter light and fluffy and the butter will get paler in color.
- If you dont have piping tips and piping bags, to pipe frosting onto cupcakes, fill the bag about half way with frosting - you don't want to over-fill it - and cut the corner off the bag. Pipe the frosting out of the open corner of the bag, swirling it on to the cupcakes. The frosting can also just be spread on top with a knife!
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Guinness Stout Beer Cupcakes with Black Currant Cordial Frosting
- cupcake pan
- cupcake liners
- stand or hand mixer
- Mixing bowl
- 3 sticks butter
- 3 cups sugar
- 5 eggs
- 3 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt Diamond Crystal
- 1 cup Guinness
- 2 sticks butter
- ¼ cup Guinness
- 2 tablespoons Creme de Cassis
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line cupcake pan with paper liners.
- Cream butter and sugar till very light and fluffy.
- Add eggs one at a time, incorporating after each.
- Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
- Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the beer until both are fully incorporated.
- Fill cupcake liners most of the way to the top.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Cream butter till light and fluffy.
- Add beer and creme de cassis till well combined.
- Add powdered sugar.
- If the icing is too thick or stiff, add a bit more beer. If it's too thin, add more powdered sugar.
- Once frosting is the desired consistency, top cooled cupcakes and serve!
This recipe was originally posted on March 5, 2020, but was republished with additional information about the recipe, step-by-step instructions, FAQs, and tips and tricks in March of 2022.