Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes with Bailey’s Buttercream

Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes – scroll down for printable recipe

Listen up because I’m about to tell you about the secret ingredient for the most moistest and deliciousest chocolate cupcakes in the Whole Ding-Dong Wuuurld!

I first had these, or a version of them, at the Austin Bakes for Bastrop fundraiser we volunteered at last year. A fellow Austinite made hers for the sale and we were lucky enough to try one. Great googly-moogly! Were they ever good.

This is my somewhat simplified version of hers, which included a chocolate ganache filling. If you’re more into baking than me – and you probably are because honestly baking is not my “thing” – I’ve got a ganache recipe at the bottom of this post that you could try. My cupcake also tastes a little more like beer than that first one I had and I like it. If you’re not a beer person, though, you probably won’t. My mom is a beer-disliker and she said it tasted too much like beer, and I was like “No doy, Mom!” and then I ate the rest of her cupcake and that was that.

Here’s the recipe, just in time for your Saint Patrick’s day celebration! Which, I guess, is actually a celebration of his death, which is maybe kind of sad, but perhaps no one knows when he was born exactly. What we do know is that he chased all the snakes out of Ireland and turned them into shamrocks and then invented green food coloring and I bet that’s what killed him. Don’t quote me on that.

Guinness Cupcake Recipe

Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes with Bailey’s Buttercream – printable recipe


Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes with Bailey\’s Buttercream

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5 from 6 reviews

  • Yield: 12 1x


  • 6 ounces Guinness or another stout beer
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • For the frosting:
  • 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) soft butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 24 tablespoons Irish cream liqueur


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and prepare 12 standard cupcake cups by oiling them or using paper cup liners.
  2. For the cupcakes: beat together the beer, oil, egg and sugar until smooth. Sift the dry ingredients in and combine. It might look lumpy, but that’s okay; I think it’s just beer bubblies.
  3. Divide the batter between the cups, using a scant 1/3 cup of batter for each.
  4. Bake for 22 minutes or so, until they pass the toothpick test. They might be a little flat-topped but I’m not sure how to get around that. It’s okay.
  5. Remove them from the pan and cool on racks.
  6. For the frosting: Beat the soft butter on medium speed until creamy and fluffy. Add the sugar a few tablespoons at a time. When you’ve added about a cup and it’s looking really stiff, add a couple tablespoons of the liqueur and beat it some more. Add some more sugar and go until you like the consistency, adjusting it with more liqueur or sugar. You should end up with about a cup and a half of icing.
  7. Frost the cupcakes and decorate them with little chocolate dealies or sprinkles or some cute-ass green shamrock sprinkles.


I like a light frosting on mine, so this frosting recipe doesn’t make a whole lot. Double it if you’re a big frosting person.

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Aaaand… I promised you a chocolate buttercream frosting recipe in case you don’t want to use raw liquor in your cupcakes, like if you’re serving kids or other people who get rowdy on booze.

Chocolate Buttercream: SO EASY!


  • 3 ounces butter
  • 3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2-3 cups sifted powdered sugar

What to do:

Melt the butter with the chocolate in a double-boiler or microwave. Remove from heat. Sift in half the sugar and beat like crazy. (Okay, I only ever do this by hand, so my beating is probably not quite “like crazy” but I just stir it really really fast.) Add a little more sugar and beat it in. Now stick that mamma-jamma in the fridge a while to cool it off and it’ll thicken up good. Give it a stir every once in a while and when it’s cool, you can add more sugar if it still seems too thin but it probably will be fine. Oh yeah and you could add some vanilla extract if you wanna.


  1. Linda on March 13, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    St. Paddy’s Day is a big deal around our house. My youngest daughter has been performing Irish step dancing for fourteen years so it’s one of our favorite holidays! I’m definately going to make these cupcakes for the weekend celebration. I love Bailey’s more than life itself and I’ll let you know how they turn out!

    • Hilah on March 14, 2012 at 8:18 am

      Hi Linda! That sounds like so much fun. Really wonderful that your daughter has such an interest in dance. I hope your family enjoys the cupcakes and that they add to your St. Paddy’s celebration!
      Thanks for writing,

  2. Michelle on March 14, 2012 at 12:16 am

    Thanks for the blog love Hilah! Chocolate and beer really are a match made in heaven. Here’s a link to my recipe ( if anyone wants a variation on Guinness-gasm cupcakes. Happy St. Patty’s Day, Slainte!

    • Hilah on March 14, 2012 at 8:15 am

      Oh, perfect! Thanks, Michelle!

  3. Amber Boegly on March 15, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    These look delicious, but I don’t like alcohol at all. Is it fine to leave it out entirely? Also, a ganache filling sounds great, but how would you fill the cupcakes? Hoping I can try these sometime.

    • Hilah on March 16, 2012 at 9:09 am

      Hi Amber!
      I’m not positive, but I think you could replace the beer in the cupcakes with buttermilk or even coffee and they would still turn out okay. You’re not the first person to ask about this and I want to test it out myself but I won’t have time before St. Patrick’s day. I’ll update the post when I do, but if you try it before me, would you leave a comment here telling how it went?
      For filling them, you would probably need a small, like 1″ diameter, cookie cutter and push it into the top of the cake, pull out a little “plug” of cake, then fill that cavity with ganache. Hmm. I just thought about maybe chilling the ganache first then actually filling the cupcakes before baking; like a little batter in the botton, then a ball of chilled ganache, then more batter. I might try that, too. It could be a disaster! Or the most brilliant idea I’ve ever had!
      Anyway, I’m rambling. Let me know if you try the cupcakes, without the beer. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

      • Amber Boegly on March 19, 2012 at 12:48 am

        I had another question after telling my mom about this recipe. What purpose does the Guinness bear server? Is it for flavor or what? My mom suggested Kahlua might taste great in these cupcakes since it goes so well with chocolate. We’re planning on trying these once we have a little more time to gather supplies.

        • Amber Boegly on March 19, 2012 at 12:48 am

          That’s “serve” not “server.” Apparently I can’t type late at night.

        • Hilah on March 19, 2012 at 8:14 am

          You’re right, it’s there for flavor and liquid, but the slight acidity also reacts with the baking soda and makes them rise. I think Kahlua would probably work, but the cupcakes would be a little sweeter. Sounds like a fun experiment, though, to try out some different liquids in the recipe. Have fun cooking with your mom! 🙂

  4. Linda on March 16, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Hey Hilah! I made the cupcakes last night and…OMG! I luv them! I don’t think the beer taste is really strong, but you can tell it’s in there. And the icing….oh the icing! I don’t like a lot of icing on cupcakes either, so with the thin layer of frosting on them, they looked liked little mugs of Guiness! I’m taking them to the office today…I’m the only female…and I’m sure the gus with make them dissappear!

    • Hilah on March 16, 2012 at 10:59 am

      Hi Linda! That is SO great! Thanks for letting me know. Hope the dudes at work love them, too!

  5. Linda on March 16, 2012 at 9:44 am


  6. Randy on March 16, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Unfortunately I won’t be able to try these until I get my blood glucose level back under control, but I can’t resist commenting on anything made with one of my favorite beers.

    If you love Guinness you have to try Guinness Foreign Extra Stout. Only recently is it once again being imported to the US (not since Prohibition). It has a much richer flavor and about 2 percent more alchohol than the regular Extra Stout. Even HEB carries it. The downside is that it’s $8.99 for 4 bottles. And they’re 11.2oz bottles.

    I have a tip for filling the cupcake tin easier and faster: get a ladle that holds 3oz. Restaurant supply stores like Ace Mart have them in everything from 1 to 8 oz and they’re cheap.

    • Hilah on March 23, 2012 at 9:48 am

      Drat! I hope you’re doing better, Randy.
      You know, I didn’t realize it but the first go I had with this recipe I must have accidentally used the Extra Stout because it was an 11.2 ounce bottle and it threw off my measuring! I picked it up as a single, though, at the “Flag Store” – that little place with all the world flags on it at 45th and Duval. They have a pretty neat “build your own 6-pack” thing, which is not a financial bargain by any means, but it is handy if you just want to sample some things.
      Thanks for the ladle tip. I need to go poke around a restaurant supply store anyway.

  7. BB on March 17, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    You appear to have left the chocolate out of your chocolate cupcakes. I see no cocoa in the ingredients list, or chocolate of any kind.

    • Hilah on March 17, 2012 at 3:24 pm

      No, it’s there. 1/3 cup cocoa.

  8. Deepika on March 20, 2012 at 11:18 am

    its looks so yummmmmmmhh.. cant wait .. Hope U can deliver it to me 🙂

    • Linda on March 26, 2012 at 11:04 am

      Made another batch for two of my girls who came home for spring break. Man, these things don’t even need the icing they’re so good! Thankyou thankyou thankyou!

      • Hilah on March 26, 2012 at 1:57 pm

        Hi Linda! Thank you! I’m glad you like the recipe. They are so moist, you’re right they don’t need the icing!

  9. Amber Boegly on March 26, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    I got a new mixer for my birthday, and I’m gonna try making these tonight! I’m gonna use coffee instead of the beer, and I’m considering making the chocolate buttercream to go on top. But is it really 3 ounces of butter? I’m not sure how to measure that.

    • Hilah on March 26, 2012 at 8:44 pm

      Perfect! 3 ounces of butter is 3 tablespoons. Hope you like them!

      • Amber Boegly on March 26, 2012 at 9:01 pm

        Good to know! The cupcakes turned out wonderfully! I brewed a cup of Folgers Vanilla Biscotti coffee and used half of it in place of the beer. I went ahead with the original buttercream filling, though I think I added the first amount of sugar a bit soon. It ended up as more of a glaze on my first cupcake, but I probably didn’t let it sit long enough. Still very tasty!

        • Hilah on March 27, 2012 at 12:49 pm

          Ooh, yum, Amber! I bet the coffee was great in there. Thanks for letting me know it can be done without beer. 🙂

  10. Katie on March 30, 2012 at 7:37 am

    Hi Hilah,
    just a small comment: could you maybe revise the way you write this? I got confused and ended up putting butter in the cupcakes because there is no clear separation in the recipe. They were a bit of a mess because of it :/. Also, if it’s not too much trouble, it would be great if you could stick to measurements that are easily converted to metric. Tablespoons/ounces are more difficult to get an accurate conversion. (there is probably even a plugin that would add a button to convert your recipes to metric, like has!)

    anyway I love your show. I’m sure these cupcakes would have been amazing if I left butter out! I’ve never been disappointed by one of your recipes!

    • Hilah on March 30, 2012 at 9:33 am

      Hi Katie!
      Thanks for letting me know. I’ve clarified it. Sorry they didn’t work out for you! I hope you try again.
      I’ve got my feelers out for a converter plugin. Hopefully we can get that installed soon.
      Thanks for writing and I’m glad you like the show and recipes (most of the time!)

  11. Matt on July 21, 2012 at 12:47 am

    Hi Hilah – love your schtuff…trying out the Chick-fil-Gay soon 🙂

    I’ve done a similar cupcake before and wanted to share some ideas. Playing with box cake mixes is an easy and cheap way to try out different cupcake ideas, and a couple substitutions I pulled from another blog work well. Most mixes use water, veg oil, and egg in real close proportions, and by adding an egg and subbing buttermilk for water, you get a real moist product. Then, all ya gotta remember is 1 c buttermilk, 1/2 c oil, and 4 eggs no matter the mix.

    Then you can play with spices or replacing all or part of the buttermilk with other liquids. I did a similar cupcake to this one with 1/4 c whiskey and 3/4 c Guinness in a dark chocolate mix, and a similar Bailey’s buttercream for “Irish Cake Bombs.” (Not using buttermilk makes a lighter, airier cake). I also used 1/2 c buttermilk and 1/2 c Southern Comfort in a yellow cake mix and made a buttercream thinned with bottled key lime juice for a SoCo and Lime cake. Super yums.

    Looking forward to more vidyas!

    • Hilah on July 21, 2012 at 11:10 am

      Hiya, Matt!

      Thanks so much for those variations! I see what you mean about box mixes being a quick (and cheap) way to experiment with flavor combos. The SoCo and lime cake has me intrigued…

      Hope you like the CFG!

  12. Megan on July 28, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    I was wondering. Can I use Bailey’s in place of the beer? I LOVE Bailey’s!!! Beer not so much! Deff going to use the Bailey’s icing on my Nonny’s (grandma) Chocolate buttermilk cake! YUM! You are AWESOME!

    • Hilah on July 29, 2012 at 12:16 pm

      That is a good question, Megan. I think that would work, but they will be sweeter than the original recipe. Cold coffee or tea might be a good substitute, too. Lemme know how it goes!

  13. Jessica on August 27, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    This reminds me of when I made Guinness brownies with my roommates in college. Delicious. I will have to try these out. 🙂

  14. Crystal on January 9, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    Can I use coors instead??

    • Hilah on January 10, 2013 at 11:20 am

      Sure! I think anything will work. You can use coffee instead, too.

  15. Crystal on January 11, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    the 1/2 stick of butter – whats that in cups? 1/4?

    • Hilah on January 11, 2013 at 8:31 pm

      Yes! sorry, it’s 1/4 cup or 4 tablespoons.

  16. Kelly Turner on January 11, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    You are too funny! luv the humor you have and you are real! hahah!

    • Hilah on January 11, 2013 at 8:31 pm

      Thanks Kelly! 🙂

      • Kelly Turner on January 11, 2013 at 10:21 pm

        Made the Guinness cupcakes and the Baily’s icing and they were great! I will be making my own icing from now on! Making a switch of flavor once in awhile…but I loved it! Cupcakes are super moist and quite easy! Im taking them to a “Stock the Bar” party and the groom loves Guinness. Thanks alot!

        • Hilah on January 11, 2013 at 11:08 pm

          Awesome! So glad to hear that, Kelly. 😀

  17. Peggy on March 17, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    On the bright side, your recipes have yet to steer me wrong. Awesome cupcakes.
    On the dark side, with normal box mix cupcakes I can get myself to stop eating after three or so, but these cupcakes are so damn good I have no self control. Hopefully my boyfriend will be happy if there’s still one left when he arrives…

    As a non-beer drinker, I was happily not put off at all by the beer flavor. It was pretty mild, it just cut the sweetness a little but not the chocolatey taste. Definitely the moistest cupcake I’ve ever made. Since it was last minute, could not acquire Bailey’s but I used vanilla and some green dye in icing so they look festive at least. Thanks again Hilah!

    • Hilah on March 17, 2013 at 7:00 pm

      Ha! Thanks Peggy. 🙂 Glad to hear from a non-beer-lover that the beer wasn’t too much. Hope your bf likes them and good going with the green icing. Happy Saint Patrick’s day!

  18. Nicolle on May 9, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    Hi Hilah,

    I made these for a dinner party and they were a huge hit, thank you! I was wondering if it would be possible to modify the recipe for a 2-layer cake? If so, would you suggest doubling the ingredients? In your experience, what would be the best adaptation?


    • Hilah on May 10, 2013 at 9:02 am

      Hi Nicolle!
      So glad you enjoyed these. 🙂 A 9″ round cake approximately equals 12 cupcakes, so you could double this recipe and bake it in 2-9″ rounds. Use the same temperature, but bake for another few minutes. I’d start checking at 25 minutes, up to 30 minutes. Have fun!

  19. Kelly Turner on September 28, 2013 at 10:42 am

    luv this recipe…i am revisiting it again. just for the icing…best icing recipe. i dont buy icing any more~!!!!!! thanks Hilah!

    • Hilah on September 29, 2013 at 11:34 am

      Fantastic, Kelly! 😀 So glad to hear that.

  20. Natasha on November 22, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    I was just wondering whether you used self-raising flour or plain flour. The recipe just says ‘flour’. 🙂

    • Hilah on November 23, 2013 at 10:07 am

      Plain flour, Natasha! I don’t think I’ve ever used SR flour, actually. 🙂 Hope you enjoy!

  21. Catherine on July 10, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    I guess I am a little late to comment on this post, so I hope you won’t mind replying. I usually sub out oil for equal parts unsweetened applesauce to keep baked good “fluffy”. Have you tried that sub with this recipe, or do you think I should stick with the oil? I am excited to make these for a good friend’s birthday party this weekend! Can you guess what his favorite beer is?? 🙂

    • Hilah on July 11, 2014 at 8:22 am

      Hi Catherine!
      I haven’t tried that with this recipe so I can’t say for sure. I think I would try subbing half the oil for applesauce the first time you make them and then if it works, try them with all applesauce the next time. If you make the change, please reply to let us know how it worked!

  22. Sue on March 15, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    i just finished making Guinness cupcakes with Bailey’s Irish Cream buttercream an hour before this email arrived! 😀 The beer makes the cake so tender and soft and the icing is sublime!!

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