St. Patrick's Day Sweets: Black & Tan Cupcakes

Although I’m not a beer fan, I’m pretty proud of this combo if I do say so myself. A classic black & tan is made with dark stout or porter (most often Guinness) and pale ale, the contrast creates a light bottomed, dark topped pint; the layering of the Guinness on top of the ale or lager is possible because the relative density of the stout is less than that of the ale.

These cupcakes are the reverse – dark on the bottom and golden on top – the Guinness chocolate cupcakes are dense and moist, and the frosting, also spiked with Guinness, doesn’t taste of beer but has a buttery, caramelly flavor that I found completely addictive – I couldn’t get enough of it.

Black & Tan Cupcakes

1/2 cup butter
1 cup Guinness or other dark stout
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
1 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

Guinness frosting:
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4-1/3 cup Guinness

In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the Guinness over medium heat; remove from heat, pour into a bowl and whisk in sugar and cocoa. Whisk in the sour cream, eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking soda and salt just until blended. Divide the batter between paper-lined cupcake tins and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 20-25 minutes, until tops are springy to the touch.

To make the frosting, beat the butter, confectioners’ sugar and Guinness until you have a spreadable frosting. Wait until the cupcakes have cooled completely before frosting.

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