Mar 15

Celtic Cupcakes


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‘Tis the time to me merry once more with the advent of St Patrick’s Day on Sunday. Question is, who’s gonna turn up for work on Monday? And all that stout drinking …. yeckkk! Not a fan of the beverage (no offence, people at Guinness), however, R. loves the stuff. I’m just not a fan of bitter-tasting food and drink; which is why you will not see me with a beer in hand. Ever.



Anyway, so what’s up with St. Patrick’s Day and all the Irishness? It would seem that the day is yet another excuse to party, guzzle alcohol and to walk around the place saying things like, “KISS ME! I’m Irish.” All this during the month of Lent, no less! Also, who is this saint and why is he so popular? All I know is he is the patron saint of Ireland.



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Well, after some Google time, I have discovered that he lived between 385 – 461 AD. Wow, that’s a seriously loooooong time ago. His father was a deacon, his grandfather was a priest. There was something about a kidnapping; a trip in a boat across to Ireland; then a vision, from the Man upstairs himself, that told him to take a boat back to England, where upon his arrival he joined the priesthood. Years later he travelled back to the Irish isle, bringing Christianity to the masses. The end.



So much for the spiritual side of things. These days people generally use the day to celebrate all things Irish ~ pots of gold, leprechauns, and the like. My friends can typically be found down the pubs, ordering pints and pints of Guinness. While I have never been very fond of the drink, I don’t mind cooking with it. What I have for you today is a lovely Guinness and chocolate cupcake, topped with homemade vanilla buttercream and edible sugar decorations. This is one of the simplest recipes to put together and you don’t even need an electric mixer.

Ingredients: (makes 24 regular cupcakes)
  • 300 mls Guinness stout
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 125 mls milk
  • 125 mls veggie oil
  • 150 g sour cream
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1½ cups white sugar
  • ½ cup light brown (Demerara) sugar
  • 2½ cups self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt




Preheat oven to 180ºC. Line a 12-hole cupcake tin with cupcake liners of choice. Now let’s get down to cupcake making.


First, mix all the wet ingredients together in a large mixing bowl ~ milk, oil, sour cream, vanilla extract and eggs. All you need is a wire whisk to whip everything into a nice creamy mixture.



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In a clean bowl, sift flour, sugar, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt. Now add this to the wet ingredients in thirds. Stir until just combined and don’t over mix the batter.


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Spoon out the mixture into the cupcake cases. Fill the cases 2/3 full, give the tray a little wiggle and a tap to settle the mixture, then place everything into the oven.


Bake for 20 – 25 mins until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and dry. Remove the cupcakes and cool them on a wire rack completely before icing them with buttercream.



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These cupcakes came out very moist and they had a rich velvety texture. I was skeptical initially when I tried the raw cake batter. It had an awful bitter after taste, and I was having a panic attack in the kitchen. But once they got baked the alcohol cooked off and the cakes came out really chocolatey with just a hint of stout. They were so good on their own that I would have no problems eating them with just a simple dusting of powdered sugar over the top, as opposed to frosting them with buttercream.




Speaking of buttercream, here is what you’ll need :

  • 250 g plain unsalted butter, room temp
  • 500 g powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp clear vanilla extract.
  • 4 tbsp very cold milk or cream*.



Whip the butter in a stand mixer until very pale and fluffy. I just left the machine on for 5 – 8 mins, on medium speed.


Then add the vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue to beat the butter.


Once the butter is whipped thoroughly, you can add in the powdered sugar in halves, along with the milk. Whip again and adjust the consistency according to what you want to achieve. This recipe is really handy for piping flowers coz it whips to a very stiff consistency. If you want to ice a cake with this then use a bit more milk to make it more manageable and spreadable without tearing the cake.


* If you want to make an Irish Cream frosting then simply substitute the milk for Bailey’s.



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With this I wish you all a happy and safe St. Patrick’s Day. Have fun. Catch a leprechaun, and steal his gold. 🙂 Until next time … ciao!



~ Enjoy ~




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