Slàinte! Guinness Chocolate Cake for St. Patrick’s Day

With my roommate Shannon planning on making corned beef with cabbage and potatoes for St. Patrick’s Day, I volunteered to round out the menu with a cupcake recipe I’d been wanting to try for some time.

Butter and Guinness… What more do you need? 🙂

As with many things in life, reality gets in the way of plans, and we had to postpone our St. Patrick’s Day celebration one day due to final exams. In addition, while making the cupcakes, I found I had only a 1/3 of the cocoa powder necessary for the recipe. I substituted a handful of Guittard bittersweet chocolate (my goodness, the first time using that stuff and it IS GOOD!), as well as some Trader Joe’s hot chocolate powder. I also believe my measuring skills put in about a full cup of sour cream rather than the 3/4 requested. So I honestly can’t attest to the actual recipe, but it turned out quite well with the substitutions. 😉

The recipe comes together very easily, just melting the butter and cocoa together. Here you can see the batter in progress, with the corned beef bubbling merrily by its side. The cakes themselves were moist and tender, with a richness added by the beer that was really tasty and reduced the sweetness of the cake. Had I had more time I would’ve made a chocolate ganache out of the remaining Guittard chips.

I’ve been meaning to mention our stove for quite a while. It’s a kitchenette-sized range, even though we have a pretty large kitchen. Our landlord called it a “Barbie and Ken stove” when we moved in. The burners are temperamental and sometimes don’t want to heat up (or even worse, once heated up to red-hot suddenly decide to go on vacation), and I definitely don’t entirely trust the oven (cakes have taken up to double the amount of baking time, but still somehow come out ok (?!?)).

As referenced earlier, I only have a 6-cupcake pan, and this batter made quite a large amount, so I used two basic round pans in addition. Unfortunately they didn’t quite fit in the tiny oven…

Resulting in these monstrosities… 🙂

What can I say… There’s a lot of love on St. Patty’s Day! 😉

Guinness Cupcakes
From – Big City, Little Kitchen: Beer Cupcakes


  • 1 cup Guinness
  • 1 stick, plus 1 tb, unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tb vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking soda


  • Preheat oven to 350; butter a muffin tin.
  • Combine the Guinness and the butter, chopped into 1-inch chunks, in a large sauce pan, and heat to melt the butter.
  • Remove from heat, and whisk in the cocoa and sugar.
  • In a bowl, whisk the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla, then add to the beer mixture.
  • Sift together the flour and baking soda, and fold into the batter.
  • Pour into muffin molds and bake for 25 minutes, or until inserted cake tester comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes, remove from muffin tin, and cool completely on a rack.

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