Irish Trilogy Cupcakes

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I always have three items in my house.

Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey, Guinness, O'Reillys Irish Cream

Funnily enough, they are mainly used for cooking and baking, and these Irish Trilogy Cupcakes are one of the most popular (and requested) items I make.

While they are incredibly popular during St. Patrick's Day festivities I give them for gifts at Christmas and make them on request for birthdays!

Irish Trilogy Cupcakes

Hey- aren't these Car Bomb Cupcakes?

Yep, you caught me. You will find these across the web as Car Bomb Cupcakes, named for the dreadful concoction known as the Irish Car Bomb: pour a pint of Guinness. In a 2 shot glass mix a shot of whiskey and a shot of Irish Cream. Drop into the Guinness and chug it down before it curdles.

Ugh. Not only does that drink sound repugnant, but the name is incredibly offensive to the Irish.

Irish Trilogy Cupcake, cut in half

Irish Trilogy Cupcakes

But these cupcakes are absolutely lovely. A spongy Guinness chocolate cake, filled with rich whiskey ganache, and topped with smooth Irish cream buttercream frosting. Truly it's an Irish Trilogy you won't want to finish!

Just a note: the alcohol of the Guinness bakes out of the cupcake itself, but the ganache and frosting can be potent, depending on how much alcohol you use.

Irish Trilogy Cupcakes

These Irish Trilogy Cupcakes feature 3 of Ireland's best known alcoholic exports in one delicious dessert: spongy Guinness chocolate cake, rich whiskey ganache, and smooth Irish cream buttercream frosting. Perfect for St. Patrick's Day but welcome any time of the year!
Keyword car bomb cupcakes, cupcakes, Guinness cake, Irish cream frosting, Irish cupcakes, St. Patrick's Day
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 18 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 38 minutes
Servings 24 cupcakes
Calories 660kcal


  • For the Cupcakes:
  • 1 cup Guinness stout
  • 1 cup unsalted butter; room temperature
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder Dutch process if you have it
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • teaspoons baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoons salt 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • For the Whiskey Ganache Filling:
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter; room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons Irish whiskey
  • For the Baileys Frosting:
  • 2 cups unsalted butter; room temperature
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Irish Cream taste test frosting; I tend to like mine strong and use at least 8T


For Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners.
  • Bring the Guinness and butter to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  • Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sour cream on medium speed until combined.
  • Add the Guinness mixture to the egg mixture and beat just to combine.
  • Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture and beat briefly.
  • Using a rubber spatula, fold the batter until completely combined.
  • Divide the batter among the cupcake liners.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 15-18 minutes. Cool completely.

For Whiskey Ganache Filling

  • Place 1 oz pieces of chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
  • Heat the cream slowly until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then, using a rubber spatula, stir it until smooth.
  • Add the butter and whiskey; stir until combined.
  • Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped. (Refrigerate if necessary)

Fill the Cupcakes

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    • Using a 1-inch round cookie cutter (or a small paring knife), cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes, going about two-thirds of the way down.
    • Transfer the ganache to a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake over the top. creating a soft peak.
    • Irish Trilogy Cupcakes filled with ganache

    For Irish Cream Frosting

    • With hand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally.
    • Reduce the speed to medium-low and gradually add the powdered sugar- a few tablespoons at a time- until all of it is incorporated.
    • Add the Irish Cream, increase the speed to medium-high and whip for another 2 to 3 minutes, until it is light and fluffy.
    • Frost the cupcakes; add chocolate shavings or sprinkles if desired.
    • Store the cupcakes in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to 3 days.
    • Irish Trilogy Cupcake, cut in half


    Jody Halsted
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