Yes! Spring finally feels like it’s coming here in Illinois. The birds are singing, sun is shining, and the 15 inches of snow on the ground are slowly melting away into a distant memory. Ahhh… Tony and I can’t wait to resume our visits to the park and long walks at the nearby forest preserve. It’s also nice to see Tony taking his camera out again to take pictures of the outdoors. Nature, I love you! Edit: Non-Winter nature, I love you. Yes, I’m a taaaaad bit biased.
I think, to celebrate the coming of beautiful weather, some serious baking is in order. And why not make it a little Irish inspired considering the green holiday is soon to come? I’m thinking beery, yeasty, rich chocolate cupcakes with a finger-licking Irish cream frosting.
I love how cupcakes can be super simple, like the cake mix and canned frosting ones from my childhood, or they can get more sophisticated. Like beer and chocolate sophisticated. But regardless of how pinkie-up the cupcakes get, admit it, they have a way of stirring up a bit of youthful joy.
Speaking of joy, let me fill you in these cupcakes. Mmmm… They have a wonderful, chocolaty deep flavor with just a hint of yeast from the stout– subtly sweet and just yum.
And then there’s the frosting. It’s ooey, gooey, creamy, and sweet with just a hint of Irish cream flavor. (Side note: we used our Dulce de Leche Homemade Irish Cream recipe in this frosting and it worked perfectly.) The frosting compliments the less sweet cupcakes nicely. It’s soft, but pipes and spreads on like a dream. If you prefer a more stiff frosting, try throwing your cupcakes in the fridge after frosting them for about 20 minutes. That’ll do ya.
Too little time? Try this hack. No piping bag? No problem. Just use a handy dandy resealable plastic bag. Simply transfer the frosting to a large bag and cut the tip off of one of the bottom corners. If it comes out messy, don’t stress. Just top it off with sprinkles. People love sprinkles.
What does your almost-Spring ritual look like? What’s the first thing you do when you notice it’s not going to be Winter anymore? We’d love to hear all about it. See you next time!
- ¾ cup stout beer (preferably one with a chocolate or coffee flavor)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup flour
- 1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- 6 tablespoons Dulce de Leche Irish Cream or other Irish Cream
- pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a cupcake tin with 12 cupcake liners.
- In a small saucepan, combine the beer and 4 tablespoons of butter and place over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the butter is just melted. Set aside to cool a bit while you combine the other ingredients.
- In a large bowl, combine the egg, brown sugar, sour cream, and vanilla until well incorporated. Slowly add the beer mixture while stirring constantly. In a separate medium bowl, sift together the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until incorporated.
- Fill the cupcake liners until ¾ of the way full. Bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Set the cupcakes aside to cool to room temp while you make the frosting.
- In a medium bowl, beat together the softened cream cheese and 6 tablespoons of softened butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar followed by the Irish cream and salt. Beat until fluffy and well incorporated.
- Transfer the frosting to a piping bag and pipe onto cupcakes or spread on with a knife. Cupcakes store well in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container or you can devour them right away.