Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Baileys Irish Cream Frosting

From 6 Bittersweets

Cake adapted from Barrington Brewery via Bon Appétit 

Makes about 27 cupcakes

XIAOLU'S NOTES: Unfortunately, my cold cream cheese technique for making this frosting really requires the power of a stand mixer. If you only have a hand mixer, I'd recommend omitting the cream cheese from the frosting and increasing the amount of butter to 1 3/4 cups. I didn't think of this until it was too late, but a ganache filling would have been a great addition to these cupcakes. For example, this one over on Annie's Eats sounds fantastic.

1 cup PLUS 2 Tbsp (9 oz.) stout beer (such as Guinness)

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

3/4 cup (60 g) unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process), sifted

2 cups (8.8 oz.) all purpose flour

2 cups (14.1 oz.) sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

2 large eggs, room temperature

11 Tbsp sour cream

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Baileys Irish Cream Frosting (Recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the top of two or three standard 12-cup muffin pans (I use 2 pans and 3 standalone paper baking cups). Line pans with 27 baking liners. 

Bring stout and butter to a simmer in heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add sifted cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Let cool at least 8 minutes. Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in large bowl to blend. In a measuring cup, whish the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla together well. 

Add the stout-butter mixture to the dry ingredients, and immediately whisk just until the batter is mostly smooth (no more than 1 minutes and small lumps are fine). Next, add the egg mixture and mix just until evenly incorporated. 

Distribute batter evenly among baking cups, filling each about 2/3 full. When finished, slam the pan evenly and firmly downward from 2 inches above the counter to force out any large bubbles. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven right away, let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to finish cooling. Once cupcakes have cooled completely, pipe or spread on frosting. Enjoy!

Baileys Irish Cream Frosting

3 1/2 cups (14 oz.) powdered sugar

1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

6 to 7 Tbsp Irish cream (such as Baileys)

8 oz. (1 block) full-fat cream cheese, COLD and cut into 6 to 8 chunks

Sift powdered sugar into a small bowl. Using a stand mixer, cream the butter, and 1 1/2 cups of the powdered sugar until thoroughly blended and fluffy. Add another cup of powdered sugar along with 3 tablespoons of Irish cream, then mix again until evenly incorporated. Add the remaining powdered sugar, the rest of the Irish cream, and the vanilla. Mix until evenly incorporated.

Now turn the stand mixer to medium high speed (about 6), then add the COLD cream cheese, a chunk at a time, waiting at least 5 seconds after each addition so the mixer has time to incorporate it. Finally, turn the mixer up to high speed and beat for 1 minute until smooth. But be careful to avoid overbeating or the cream cheese may start to break down and become gloppy. Keep in a cool location and try to use within 30 minutes since the frosting will begin to soften as the cream cheese warms up.