Guinness Cupcakes

I am not a beer fan; honestly, I am not really an alcohol fan in general, but I particularly loathe beer. I get loopy when I drink, yep loopy and sick, so it’s just better for everyone that I stay far away from the stuff!

Although I do not like to drink beer, I do like to cook with it, especially when it’s Guinness. There is something about this dark, thick stout beer that enhances some dishes and really imparts a fabulous flavor. Up until recently, I have only used Guinness in savory dishes, so when I came across a recipe for Guinness cupcakes, I was all over it!

I had faith that these would just have a hint of Guinness and be heavy on the chocolate flavor due to all the cocoa powder. This recipe is very easy to whip together and although the batter reeks of Guinness, the finished product is a moist, light cupcake full of chocolaty goodness. I topped these with a nice dollop of vanilla bean frosting and a quick sprinkling of chocolate jimmies. Brian rated these an A and my co-worker Adam said, “This may be the best thing I have ever put in my mouth.” Now if that statement doesn’t make you want to rush into your kitchen and make these, I don’t know what will.

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Guinness Cupcakes


For the Cupcakes

1 (12-ounce) bottle Guinness Stout
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (I used Scharffen Berger Cocoa)
2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

For the Vanilla Bean Buttercream

1 stick salted butter – room temperature
1 stick unsalted butter – room temperature
1/2 cup shortening
1 tablespoon Clear Vanilla extract
1 1/2 pounds confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar, 10x)
4 tablespoons very cold milk


For the Cupcakes

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the Guinness, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the sour cream.

3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour, and baking soda. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet Guinness mixture.

4. Butter 24 muffin tins and divide the batter among the muffin tins.

5. Bake 25 minutes, until risen and set in the middle but still soft and tender. Cool before turning out of the tins.

For the Vanilla Bean Buttercream

1. Cream the butter and shortening in the bowl of an electric or stand mixer.

2. Add the clear vanilla extract and combine well. Begin adding in the sugar and mixing thoroughly after each addition.

3. After all of the sugar has been added and mixed thoroughly, begin adding the very cold milk one tablespoon at a time, combining very well after each addition (mixer on medium-high to high speed) until you reach the desired consistency.

adapted from Dave Lieberman on


52 Responses to “Guinness Cupcakes”

  1. Phyl — March 21, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    Beautiful!! I’m not a big drinker, and I hate most beers, but I love Guinness. And I love things cooked or baked with Guinness. I will definitely have to give these a try.

    Thanks for the recipe.


  2. Tracey — March 21, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    Gorgeous cupcakes Jamie! I’m with you completely – Guinness on its own = ick, but in cooking and baking, it yields many terrific dishes!


  3. Danae (The Busty Baker) — March 21, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    I’m with you. I hate beer with a passion, but Guinness in a cake? I’m positively obsessed. Top it with Baileys Irish Cream Frosting and I’m in absolute heaven. Mmm. Now you’re making me want to run out to the store to get some Guinness to bake these RIGHT NOW!


  4. Jeanne — March 21, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    I love Guinness cupcakes! Guinness is definitely better when it’s baked into chocolate cake.


  5. Krissipoo — March 22, 2010 at 1:21 am

    *drools* might have to make these for work


  6. Katie — March 22, 2010 at 4:32 am

    These are so cute and look delicious.


  7. Jessica @ How Sweet — March 22, 2010 at 7:56 am

    I want one of those for breakfast. It looks amazing.


  8. Lianne — March 22, 2010 at 7:58 am

    This looks so yummy! (: Thanks for sharing the recipe. Think I will make this VERY SOON!


  9. marla {family fresh cooking} — March 22, 2010 at 8:35 am

    We also don’t drink booze around here….but these cupcakes sound awesome. Guiness is a great addition to baking, ice cream & savories. Wonderful inspiration and great photos!


  10. kristan roland — March 22, 2010 at 9:28 am

    My husband refuses to take even a tiny sip of beer….when we were first dating, I would sometimes order a beer and it was so funny to see the waiters always set it down in front of HIM!! I guess we all assume men like beer. These cupcakes look so yummy, I would love to make them, let him eat one, and then tell him he ate a beer cupcake!!


  11. Happy Cook — March 22, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    I have never baked anything with guiness, this looks so so good.


  12. Jonathan Green — March 22, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    Looks like a nice recipe. I haven’t baked with beer yet (not a a huge fan), but I have done bourbon, brandy, rum, and cognac. Just a little bit of advance. Try heating the alcohol and then adding it to the cocoa powder, this will melt the residual cocoa butter in the cocoa powder, giving you a more intense chocolate aroma and flavor. Then add this mixture to your eggs and oil. I always use this technique when I’m making chocolate cake “anything.” Trust me you will notice a difference. Good Job.



  13. Su-yin — March 22, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    I made similar cupcakes last weekend, and oh my they were good. Easily one of the best chocolate cakes I’ve ever made. And I don’t like beer!
    Yours look amazing – I didn’t make a frosting, and yours looks perfect. :)


  14. carolyn — March 22, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    who would’ve thought? i’ve only used guinness in savory dishes, but this is the perfect solution for all the guinness we have left over from st. patty’s.


  15. Maria — March 22, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    I don’t drink, but I am pretty sure I could handle one of these cupcakes with no trouble:)


  16. Susan — March 24, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    These looked so amazing I tried them last night, they were really yummy but some how mine ended up hollow! They were like little cupcake tops, anyone have any idea what went wrong?


    • sam — March 9, 2012 at 3:21 am

      I have just made this recipe susan, and i make cupcakes for a living.. Mine did exactly the same… working on some tweaking now :)

    • Veronica — March 14, 2012 at 2:12 pm

      I think that the key might be to use the Extra Stout stuff that comes in the large glass bottles and NOT the stuff that has those nitrogen ball thingies in them. I was worried about them being hallow too, since Guinness is so foamy usually, but this wasn’t an issue at all for me. The only reason I can guess is that I used the Extra Stout stuff that wasn’t nearly as frothy. Hope this helps!

  17. Tamara — April 1, 2010 at 1:29 am

    These look absolutely fabulous. LOVE the use of the beer cap as decoration. What a great gift idea for a boyfriend or husband (or girlfriend or wife, for that matter!). Thanks for sharing!


  18. Elana — April 9, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    I made a cake that was just like this, but it was too big for my boyfriend and i to finish.

    I love the cupcake idea. I am going to make mini guiness cupcakes with a new pan i got from KaTom (a restaurant equipment online site)
    Check it out. You can make 24 in it


  19. Jessica — April 25, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    I’ve made these multiple times since I’ve run across the recipe! They are extremely tasty and moist. The most recent time I made them I substituted the milk for more Guinness – YUM! Everyone has loved and raved about them. Thanks for sharing.


  20. Lauren — May 3, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    These cupcakes are a hit whenever I make them! Fantastic recipe as always!


    • Amanda Templeton — April 9, 2013 at 10:44 am

      How do I “measure” out 1.5 pounds of confectioner’s sugar? Thank you!

    • MBA — April 11, 2013 at 7:32 am

      1.5 pounds of confection’s sugar is around 3 cups. I hope this answers your questions and have a great day!

  21. sophia — August 9, 2010 at 6:17 pm


    Does the Guinness have to be fresh? I have a bottle in the fridge that’s been opened for like a week and am wondering if I can use it!


    • Jamie — August 9, 2010 at 8:49 pm

      I think the guiness should be fresh for this recipe.

  22. Emma — October 4, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    omg what a heavenly recipie!! I will definitely be making these at some point but the only thing i’m not sure about is the butter …. when you say stick what do you mean? please help cos my hubby will love these!!!


  23. my — October 19, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    Hi, I saw your recipe just had a question, so for the frosting its a combination of salted and unsalted butter?

    I am hoping my brother will like it for his 21st birthday. Thanks for sharing the recipe.


  24. KRISHNA — November 7, 2010 at 8:05 am

    what a great looking cupcake. i want cut this cake in my birthday


  25. yolanda — December 5, 2010 at 11:58 am

    i made these for a coworker who loves guinness and she loved them… a matter of fact the entire office raved about these cupcakes…..thanks for a great recipe!


  26. Melissa — December 19, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    These were fabulous. Brought them to a holiday party, and everyone raved. The frosting was wonderful, too! Thank you!


  27. Chasity — January 20, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    I just made these with a Chocolate Bock beer and they taste great! I’ve been saving this recipe and it didn’t disappoint, even with a variation!


  28. Tina Nyren — February 9, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    I’m a big beer fan but not really of Guinness, it’s a little to strong for me, but my boyfriend LOVESSS it!!! So I made him these the other weekend and they came out soooo goood!! And they gave me the best idea!! Theres the most delicious chocolate stout that I love (Youngs Double Chocolate Stout) and I’m gonna add it to this recipe instead of Guinness and make delectable Valentines Day Chocolatey Chocolate cuppycakes!! with your raspberry white chocolate frosting!!! Really excited!!


  29. Diane — March 15, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Just made these cupcakes for St Pattys but I added a teaspoon each of cinnamon and nutmeg and grated orange peel. I topped with a glaze made with the orange peel, Guinness and confectioners sugar. The cupcakes are tasty but they sunk somewhat in the middle and are more of a brownie consistency. If that is what it should be then they turned out perfect otherwise they are still good.


  30. alissa turosik — March 17, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    I just made these last night and they turned out Fabulous! Thank you, Thank you for this Aaaaaamazing Recipe!


  31. Katherine B. — July 16, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    So…these are in the oven right now, and the smell of the Guinness mixing with the chocolate is magnificent. And they look gorgeous! Can’t wait to try them!


  32. Stephanie — July 18, 2011 at 10:44 am

    I made these last night and they turned out PERFECT! I was worried because my batter was quite soupy–I was praying that they’d turn out and they did! Moist and light, just like you said. Must just be all the beer before it bakes into the cupcake. I also added a whole vanilla bean worth of seeds into the frosting and used 1 teaspoon of vanilla rather than a tablespoon and the frosting was perfect! Kudos to an awesome recipe!


  33. Chelci Fadden — October 28, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    These were absolutely AMAZINGGGG. We used a different recipe for the frosting, but seriously…. My new favorite cupcakes. I posted my changes to the recipe and a picture of it here:


  34. Mel (Sharky Oven Gloves) — November 28, 2011 at 10:39 am

    I made these over the weekend (but with a cream cheese frosting rather than buttercream) and they were absolutely delicious! I really don’t like Guinness to drink, but it works so well in cakes, particularly when paired with chocolate… Yummy!


  35. Cindy — December 23, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    I make Guiness cupcakes and I add an Irish Whiskey ganache filling and top them off with Irish Cream butter cream…they are requested at all get togethers and they are very decadent…a little more work but worth every bite!


  36. Veronica — March 14, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    I made these last night to test out for a St. Patty’s Day party and I am now addicted! I love Guinness anyway but I don’t think that the Guinness flavor is very strong at all in these cupcakes; it’s just bold enough to compliment the cocoa. I topped mine with a Bailey’s cream cheese frosting. Yum! Thanks so much for sharing!


  37. Mary Carpener — March 18, 2012 at 12:10 am

    Since the local Safeway was running a special on Guinness, I bought two 6 packs! I wanted to make the Guinness cupcakes for friends and neighbors to spread around a bit of the Irish cheer! I, too, thought the batter was really runny, but the
    cupcakes turned out so moist and tasty. My husband and I split one right away and it didn’t even need the frosting. I made a chocolate ganache for the top and sprinkled on some St. Patrick’s day sprinkles. Since I gave away all the cupcakes, I have to make more for my family to enjoy! This is a keeper!!


  38. Vera Zecevic-CupcakesGarden — December 7, 2012 at 10:20 am

    I do not like beer at all, but this cupcakes forced me to change my mind, they are great. I’ve featured yours cupcakes on my blog! I hope you don’t mind! If you don’t agree with that please contact me and I will remove it. All the best.


  39. Alma Cerezo — November 12, 2014 at 11:51 pm

    Hi. May i know what frosting tip you used here and how to pipe it just like in the picture?
    Many thanks :))


    • Jamie — November 19, 2014 at 6:56 pm

      I used a large round tip. I hope this helps. :)

  40. christin — January 15, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    Hello! I just made these and the iceing! They smell awesome but I haven’t tried yet. I have a question about the iceing. Mine turned out very thick and extremely sweet and suggestions? I doubled the recipe so my mixer was haveing a rough time lol


    • Jamie — January 16, 2015 at 11:07 am

      You might try adding a little milk if you think it is too thick and you can adjust the sugar to your taste. I hope this helps.


  41. Easteen — May 5, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    Is the sour cream a necessity? What can I substitute it with?


    • Jamie — May 6, 2016 at 10:54 am

      Hi, Easteen! The sour cream brings a richness to the cake. You don’t taste it at all, but if you’d like to substitute for it, you could use whole milk Greek yogurt, buttermilk, or strained plain yogurt. I hope you enjoy them!


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