Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

Let me say this up front. Deb at Smitten Kitchen really knows what she’s doing. Her “chocolate whiskey and beer” cupcakes (but let’s call it like it is — they’re Irish Car Bomb cupcakes) make any other dessert you’ve ever had look like something your aunt Beatrice left on the counter for a few days, then tried to pass off on you. These are so good I’ve devoted not one, not two, but a full six hours of my life to making them twice in the last two weeks. And it was totally worth it.

Right about here is where I would tell you how I did it. But seeing as how — aside from using a plastic knife to cut the centers out of the cakes because I’m painfully short on any kind of cookie cutter — I didn’t change a thing from her recipe either time I made them, it’s probably best if I just send you over to her site for this one. Go. Now. You won’t regret it.


Look at the chunks of butter just waiting to be stirred in with the ganache. This is how all good things start: with chocolate and butter.

What, you’re still here? You somehow need more encouraging? Never heard of an Irish Car Bomb? It’s a dangerously delicious way to take full advantage of any establishment with Guinness on draught. They fill a glass (usually a pint, in my experience), then fill a shot glass with Bailey’s topped with Jameson Irish Whiskey. Directions: Drop the shot glass in the pint of Guinness, then down it before the Bailey’s curdles (that’s the dangerous part). I’m not joking. But before you write it off as an immature frat-boy dare, here’s why you’d bother: it’s like an alcoholic chocolate milk shake. And how dare you question Guinness.


Plucking the centers from each cupcake. Bonus: little bites of cake *you* get to eat as the Pastry Chef!

This cupcake takes the best parts of the drink and puts them in *cake form* (everything’s better in cake form). Chocolatey Guinness is added to incredibly moist and spongy chocolate cake. Jameson is stirred into delectable chocolate ganache (don’t be afraid to add more than she recommends — I doubled the amount I used and we still didn’t taste it), which is then used to fill the aforementioned Guinness cake. Bailey’s finishes off a super rich and creamy buttercream frosting (and take her advice on adding the powdered sugar a couple tablespoons at a time — it totally worked like a charm!). The result is somewhere between the best Hostess Cupcake you’ve ever had and teleporting to Ireland (or at least I assume it would be — I’ve never been) to throw back a few. Could you make this without the alcohol? Maybe. I don’t know how it’d turn out, but sure. But this one’s more fun. And it makes everyone’s eyes glaze over while a smile spreads across their face when they bit into it.

Besides the curdling potential, the other dangerous part is whether you call it an “Irish” Car Bomb, or just a “Car Bomb.” Your choice. I’d base it on the level of Irish-ness the bar boasts. You don’t want to leave with a black eye, on the wings of Jamey McIntosh’s burly biceps.

About Sara