Sunday, March 31, 2013

Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes

Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes

I am not a big fan of baking with alcohol, but when the selfless and generous-hearted volunteers from the Atlanta Humane Society requested Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes, who was I to refuse them anything? They give 200% of themselves every single day and more than deserve a cupcake treat for Springtime!
The Guinness made these cupcakes dense and moist and utterly delicious, and the cream cheese frosting complemented nicely with its light and subtle flavor. With the recipe's high yield (24 cupcakes) I was able to spread the scrumptiousness and sweetness to a handful of friends, all of the volunteers, and still have a couple left over to sample myself! :-) Now that is perfection!!!

For the cupcakes:
Yield 24
Bake 350* for 20 - 25 minutes

1 (11.2-ounce) bottle Guinness stout
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large cage-free eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine salt

For the frosting:
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
Pinch fine salt
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 pound powdered sugar
Natural unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
(I used pale blue food coloring instead)

For the cupcakes:
Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Place cupcake liners in two (12-well) muffin pans; Set the pans aside.
Whisk together the Guinness, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla in a large bowl until combined. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until completely incorporated. Whisk in the sour cream.
Whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a second large bowl to aerate and combine. Gradually fold this mixture into the wet Guinness mixture. Divide the batter among the muffin wells.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Set the pans on a wire rack and let the cupcakes cool completely before removing from the pans.

For the frosting:
Place the cream cheese and salt in the bowl and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, gradually beat in the heavy cream until smooth, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. With the mixer on medium speed, gradually mix in the powdered sugar until completely incorporated and smooth, about 3 minutes.
Top each cupcake with a heap of frosting and dust with cocoa powder.

*I am celebrating SPRING!!!!! so instead I chose to add a small drop of blue food coloring to my frosting, and place a blue mini Cadbury egg on top of each cupcake, like a wee robin's egg.

(M+M eggs work just as well, and multi-colored eggs are also very pretty!)

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