These are definitely grown-up cupcakes with a complex flavor.
Guinness adds a touch of nuttiness here, which is a nice complement to the flavor of vanilla and a faint echo of the roasted flavor of coffee in the buttercream. The buttercream is ridiculously easy to make, and just as delicious as it is easy. Salted butter helps mellow out the buttercream’s sweetness, and so does a bit of dissolved espresso.
The green theme is fun too, but if you’re looking for a fun non-green St. Patrick’s Day dessert, this is it.
And P.S., these are the dark chocolate sprinkles I use. I heart them.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow!
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup (100 g) sugar
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup (60 ml) Guinness Draught
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- ¾ cup (95 g) all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- 4 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
- ¾ teaspoon instant espresso powder dissolved in 1 teaspoon hot water
- ¼ teaspoon caramel or butterscotch extract
- 1 cup (115 g) powdered sugar
- 1 to 2 teaspoons milk (more or less as needed)
- Dark chocolate sprinkles, for decorating (optional)
- For the cupcakes, preheat oven to 350F and line a muffin tray with 6 paper liners.
- Use a handheld electric mixer to beat together the butter and sugar in a medium bowl; once combined, beat in the egg and mix until light and fluffy. Beat in the Guinness, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean paste.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix only until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, and being careful not to over-mix.
- Pour the batter into the prepared tray and bake until a toothpick inserted inside comes out clean, about 18 to 20 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.
- Once the cupcakes are cool, make the buttercream. Use a handheld electric beater to mix the butter, dissolved coffee, and caramel extract together in a medium bowl. Add the powdered sugar and continue beating while gradually adding milk until the buttercream is smooth and creamy. (You may need a little more milk or powdered sugar to achieve the right consistency.)
- Frost the cupcakes with the buttercream and decorate with chocolate sprinkles if desired.
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