Over the past week or so, I’ve been searching for a fun St. Patrick’s Day recipe to create and share with y’all. Although I was initially thinking of something savory, this happened—boozy cupcakes. If you spend anytime on social media, you know that this time of year Guinness and Irish liquor inspired sweets are all the rage. So, I finally jumped on the bandwagon. Having recently fallen hard for NOLA Brewing’s Irish Channel Stout, it was tough not to. Irish Channel Stout is the Guinness of New Orleans—only better. Yes, I’m partial to local products. But I also find this beer to be more flavorful and easier to drink than Guinness. And like most stouts, NOLA Brewing’s version delivers plenty of coffee and chocolate notes—a perfect profile for baking—which I have emphasized in this recipe with the addition of more chocolate and more coffee. But don’t freak out if coffee and craft beer (stouts to be exact) are not your thing. These cupcakes will appeal to anyone who loves, or likes, chocolate.
About the name. The Irish Channel is an old, working-class neighborhood in New Orleans that was settled in the early 19th century predominately by Irish immigrants who came looking for work following the great potato famine. It’s a quaint little vacation destination in the Central Garden District that’s home to one of the country’s best St. Patrick’s Day parades, two great Irish bars/restaurants (Parasol’s and Tracey’s) and, more recently, NOLA Brewing Company.
Until next time …
Irish Channel Stout Cupcakes Recipe
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup Irish Channel Stout
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup hot coffee
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
4-6 tablespoons whole milk
Mini chocolate chips
FOR THE CUPCAKES. Line 2 12-cup muffin tins with decorative paper liners; set aside. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In the bowl of a electric mixer with whisk attachment, briefly blend the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt on low speed. Add the eggs, beer, oil and vanilla. Mix on low speed, scraping down the sides as necessary, until thick and creamy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer running, gradually add the hot coffee, mixing at low speed until just combined. The batter will be quite thin. Transfer batter to a 4-cup measuring cup and pour equal amounts into prepared muffin tins. Bake for about 10 minutes then switch positions, rotate pans and bake for another 10-12 minutes, or until set. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack; let cool completely.
FOR THE FROSTING. In the bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter and cream cheese on medium speed until fluffy. Reduce speed to low and gradually add powdered sugar; beat until well incorporated. Add vanilla, salt and 3 tablespoons milk; beat for 3 minutes. Add an additional 1 to 3 tablespoons milk until you reached desired consistency. Increase speed and beat until frosting is smooth and fluffy.
ASSEMBLY. Pipe or spread equal amounts of frosting onto each cupcake. Dust with cocoa powder and decorate with mini chocolate chips. Makes 24 cupcakes.