Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

I can’t say enough about these cupcakes. I had wanted to make them the minute Annie posted about them (and that’s not just because everything Annie makes is awesome). I had the perfect opportunity a few months ago, when a guy in my office turned 21. I know, right? How cute. He’s the only person I work with who is that young, so I knew I had to make it special for him.  These cupcakes did it. They were the talk of the office floor, and all sorts of people were “visiting,” hoping to be offered one.

So yeah. Make these cupcakes. In fact, make a double batch. They’re amazing. Completely worth the multiple steps. And if you don’t tell anyone about the surprise ganache in the middle, you’ll really get some great reactions.

The below recipe has a few modifications. I used a little extra Bailey’s in the ganache and the frosting, and made an extra half batch of the frosting in order to cover all of the cupcakes (although that could be that I’m just now experimenting with piping the icing).

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

Adapted from Annie’s Eats, originally found on Smitten Kitchen

Makes 24 Cupcakes

Ingredients for the Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes:

  • 1 c. Guinness stout
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 c. sour cream (I used reduced-fat and it was fine)

Ingredients for the Bailey’s Chocolate Ganache Filling:

  • 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2/3 c. heavy cream
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp. Bailey’s Irish Cream

Ingredients for the Bailey’s Buttercream Frosting:

  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3-4 c. confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 8 Tbs. Bailey’s Irish Cream*

* Note: I love the taste of Bailey’s so added quite a bit to the frosting. I’d recommend adding a little at a time, starting at 2-4 Tbs., and tasting as you go.

Make the Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes:

Line two cupcake pans with paper muffin liners and preheat oven to 350° F.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine Guinness and butter. When butter is melted, add cocoa powder, whisking until smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat eggs and sour cream just until combined. Add Guinness mixture, again mixing until barely combined. With the mixer on low-speed, gradually add in salt, baking soda, sugar, and flour.

Portion batter into prepared muffin tins, filling each to 3/4 full. Bake 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for a few minutes before moving cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

When cupcakes are cooled, core center with a small paring knife. This will be for the chocolate ganache.

Make the Chocolate-Bailey’s Ganache:

On the stove, set up a double broiler. In the top bowl, heat cream, until very hot. Add chocolate and allow it to sit for a minute. Whisk cream and chocolate together until the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and Bailey’s. Set aside to cool.

When ganache is cooled and thick enough to be piped, transfer to a piping back and pipe into the cupcakes.

Make the Bailey’s Buttercream Frosting:

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Gradually add confectioner’s sugar, until the frosting has reached a good consistency for piping or spreading, until incorporated. Then mix in Bailey’s, until incorporated.

Frost the cupcakes using a piping bag or spreading.

Rum Cake Cupcakes

Ahoy Mateys!

Each year, on September 19, I like to treat my coworkers to a little treat, for Talk Like a Pirate Day. Usually, I make rum cake. However, in the past year, my team has exploded in size, and one cake wasn’t going to cut it. Instead of adapting my recipe, I decided to try a new one – these were nice and easy. I did use less than half of the glaze called for (reflected below), so if you don’t have enough, it would be fine to make a full batch.

And so, happy talk like a pirate day, mateys! Enjoy!

Rum Cake Cupcakes

Adapted from The Cupcakery

Yields: 24 cupcakes

Ingredients for the Cupcakes:

  • 1 c. chopped pecans
  • 1 box (18 1/2 oz.) yellow cake mix
  • 1 box (1 3/4 oz.) instant vanilla pudding
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 c. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. rum

Ingredients for the Glaze:

  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1/8 c. water
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. rum

Make the Cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 325F and line 2 cupcake pans with muffin liners. Sprinkle chopped pecans on the bottom of each liner. Set aside.

Combine all cupcake ingredients in a large bowl. With an electric mixer, beat for about 2 minutes. Pour mix into prepared cupcake pans, filling the liner 3/4 of the way. If you have extra pecans, sprinkle a bit extra on top.

Bake 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes in the pans before moving to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Make the Glaze & Finish the Cupcakes:

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add sugar and water, and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly – caution, it will come to a boil very quickly.

Remove from heat and stir in rum.

With a toothpick, poke holes in the cupcakes. Using a teaspoon, drizzle glaze over cupcakes, repeating until the glaze has been absorbed.

S’mores Cupcakes

Last weekend, my girlfriends and I hosted a “Boobieque” raise money for our Susan G Komen 3-Day for the Cure team. While the menu and other photos will be posted later this week, I wanted to get this recipe up sooner, as there have been lots of requests for it.

I’ve been eying Annie’s S’mores Cupcakes for quite a while – chocolatey goodness topped with toasted marshmallows? Can’t get any better, right? Wrong! These far surpassed my expectations. I loved the graham cracker crust at the bottom and the sweet bite of chocolate chip before reaching the chocolate cake. The best part was the marshmallow frosting, which tasted like fluff with just a little bit of the burnt marshmallow.

This was my first time using a pastry bag for frosting, and also the first time using my mini-blowtorch, so the cupcakes aren’t perfect. I don’t have the perfect frosting that normally comes from this icing technique, and if you look closely, you can see a bit of the burnt cupcake liners (there was no fires, I swear!) Anyway, these cupcakes were amazingly good – I’m already plotting when to make them again.

S’mores Cupcakes

Adapted from Lovin’ From the Oven via Everyday Annie

Makes 24+ Cupcakes

Ingredients for the Graham Cracker Crust:

  • 1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs (about 1 1/2 packs)
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 5 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Note that the cake batter and frosting make more than 24 cupcakes-worth. Feel free to add a little extra graham crackers, sugar, and butter to make extra crust.

Ingredients for the Chocolate Cake:

  • 2 c. plus 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c. plus 1 Tbs. cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 c. whole milk
  • 1/2 c. vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. boiling water

Ingredients for the Frosting:

  • 8 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

Make the Crust:

Preheat oven to 350° F and line two cupcake pans with liners.

In a small bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Place 1 Tbs. mixture into each cupcake liner and press down slightly – with your fingers, the bottom of a 1/4 c. measuring cup, or the bottom of a squeeze bottle. Sprinkle a bit of the chopped chocolate on top of the crust.

Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

Make Cake Batter:

In a stand mixer, whisk together eggs, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla on low-speed. Sift the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt into the stand mixer, mixing on low-speed for 30 seconds, until combined. Scrape down the bowl and beat for 2 minutes. Add boiling water, mixing until just combined.

Add batter to cupcake liners, filling each almost to the top. Bake 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Be sure to rotate pans halfway through. (If making mini-cupcakes, bake 16-18 minutes).

Allow cupcakes to cool in pans for 5-10 minutes, before transferring cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely. The cupcakes will be very soft if you pull them out too soon!

Make the Frosting:

In the clean bowl of a stand mixer, combine egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar. Set on top a pot of simmering water, heating and whisking often until mixture reads 160° F.

Remove from double broiler and set back in stand mixer, fitted with whisk attachment. On low-speed, whisk mixture, gradually increasing speed to medium-high, to form stiff, glossy peaks. Mix in vanilla.

Using a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip, frost cooled cupcakes. Brown with a mini-blowtorch – be careful not to burn the cupcake liners! Garnish with chocolate or graham crackers.

Peanut-Butter Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

Peanut-Butter Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes (p. 118)

Makes 12-15 cupcakes

Ingredients for the Peanut Butter Filling:

  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 c. confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 3/4 c. creamy peanut butter (i.e. Skippy)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Ingredients for the Chocolate Cupcakes:

  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 4 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 c. all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 325F and line a muffin tin with liners.

Make the Filling: Combine all ingredients, stirring until smooth.

Make the Cupcakes:

Melt chocolates and butter together over a double broiler (or in the microwave). Stir until smooth. Cool slightly.

Whisk sugar into the cooled chocolate mixture. Add eggs and whisk to combine. Whisk in vanilla.

Sift salt, baking powder, and flour into chocolate mixture. Stir to combine. Dough will feel heavy and will be very wet.

Spoon 2 tbs. of chocolate batter into each of the prepared muffin cups. Add 1 tbs. of the peanut butter filling, and top with 1 tbs. of the chocolate batter. For a marbled look (skipped here), take a toothpick and swirl the batter.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.