Car Bomb Cupcakes

Written by Jamie on September 15, 2011




This boozy recipe is inspired by the Smitten Kitchen.  The recipe was modified to more accurately represent a Car Bomb cocktail and create a lighter, more delicious treat.  A traditional Car Bomb begins with a shot of Irish cream that has Irish whiskey floating on top.  The shot is placed in a glass of Irish stout, where it must be immediately consumed, often ushering the consumer into a late night filled with drunken antics.

In order to accurately represent the famous drink, the cupcake is made with an Irish stout beer, filled with an Irish cream chocolate ganache, and frosted with an Irish whiskey frosting.  The original recipe uses Irish cream in the frosting and whiskey in the ganache.  Putting the Irish cream inside the cupcake more accurately portrays the drink.

Additionally, creating a light and delicious cupcake is always a fun MO.  Instead of the original frosting recipe, an italian meringue butter cream was used because I've been on a kick lately.  They are divine and not overly sweet, but take extra time.  Additionally, some ingredients were changed to prevent greasiness and procure delicacy. 

The recipe creates 24 cupcakes.  The frosting recipe will generate about 4 cups of frosting, which can be stretched to frost 48 cupcakes if modestly frosted, see posted pictures. 


Irish Whiskey Italian Meringue Butter Cream Ingredients
5 egg whites
pinch salt
1/2 tsp cream of tartar (if not using a copper bowl)
2 ounces (1/4 cup) castor sugar

8 ounces (1 cup) castor sugar
1/4 cup water

6-8 tablespoons Jameson Irish Whiskey
Butter, 1 lb., unsalted, and soft


Irish Cream Chocolate Ganache Ingredients

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
3-4 tablespoons Bailey's Irish Cream


Chocolate Stout Cupcake Ingredients

1 cup stout (I used Guinness Stout)
1 cup minus 2 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process, Valrhona is my fav)
2 cups cake flour, sifted
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream



The directions will be broken into four parts, one for each main component, followed by assembly.  Hints: The ganache should be made first because it takes time to set.  Both the ganache and frosting can be made 2-3 days in advance if stored and sealed properly.  Here is an excellent video about how to make an italian meringue buttercream.  

  1. Ganache
    1. Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl.
    2. Heat the cream until simmering
    3. Pour cream over chocolate.
    4. Let it sit for one minute and then whisk until smooth.
      1. If chocolate remains unmelted, use a double boiler to gently melt what remains
    5. Add the Bailey's Irish Cream
    6. Put ganache in fridge until slightly cool
    7. Using a mixer, whip the ganache until light and fluffy
    8. Keep unrefridgerated if using immedately, else store in refridgerator
  2. Frosting
    1. This recipe calls for the syrup and meringue to be made simultaneously (steps 2 and 3)
    2. In a sauce pan, create the syrup
      1. combine 8 oz of sugar and 1/4 cup water
      2. Wisk and put on medium heat with a thermometer to monitor the temperature
        1. If meringue is complete, remove syrup from the heat when thermometer reads 240-245 (sea level)
        2. If sugar syrup approaches 230 prior to the meringue's completion, turn off the heat and cover the sauce pan
          1. Reheat when prompted later in recipe
    3. Create the meringue while the syrup is being made
      1. In a large mixing bowl, add egg whites and cream of tartar (if needed) and begin mixing with a wire whisk attachment on medium/medium-low speed
      2. At the soft peak stage, increase mixer speed to medium high
      3. At the hard peak stage, increase mixer speed to high
      4. Begin to add extra 1/4 cup sugar slowly as mixture transitions from Hard Peaks to Firm Peaks
        1. At the firm peak stage, the mixer is on highest speed
      5. When meringue reaches the firm peak state, change focus to the sugar syrup. (Step 4)
    4. When meringue is finished, slowly add the syrup if it has reached the 240-245 degree mark, aiming for the space between the mixer and the side of the bowl.
      1. If the syrup was removed from heat or is not 240-245 degrees
        1. Turn on medium to medium-high heat
        2. Monitor syrup, and remove from heat as temperature reaches 240-245 degrees F
      2. After syrup is added, the bowl should be warm
    5. Beat for 7 - 10 minutes
      1. Outside of bowl should be room temperature
    6. Slowly add the butter 1 - 2 tablespoon at a time, and continue beating on a high speed until the frosting is thick and glossy
    7. Slowly add the Jameson, 1 - 2 tablespoon at a time
      1. Taste to determine desired flavor
      2. Alcohol intensity will decrease over time
    8. Store frosting sealed in refridgerator if not using immediately
  3. Cupcakes
    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 
    2. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. 
    3. Bring 1 cup stout and butter (1 cup minus 2 tbsp) to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. 
      1. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. 
      2. Cool slightly.
    4. Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. 
    5. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. 
      1. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. 
      2. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed.
      3. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. 
    6. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. 
    7. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean
      1. Rotate them once front to back if your oven bakes unevenly, about 17 minutes. 
    8. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely.
  4. Assembly
    1. If ganache or frosting were stored in the refridgerator
      1. Frosting: Allow time to soften at room temperature
      2. Ganache: Ganache can be warmed slightly via double boiler, though ganache should remain relatively thick and not melt completely.  Rewhip with a mixer.
    2. Place ganache and frosting in pastry bags. 
      1. side note: I used a squeeze bottle for the ganache.  winning!
    3. Using an apple corer or a butter knife, cut nickel sized cylinders halfway into each cupcake and discard core
    4. Fill each cupcake with ganache
    5. Pipe frosting onto each cupcake
    6. Cupcakes can be frozen, and need to be refridgerated.  Please allow ample time for frosting and ganache to soften prior to eating.


  HPIM3021 HPIM3022




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