The Great Indoors: Chocolate Stout Cupcakes

When I heard that Forum reporter Anna Larson was doing a story on desserts that you make that contain alcohol, I was intrigued. I love a nice dessert and a nice after dinner cocktail. But why not be efficient and combine the two?

She was nice enough to show me how to make one of her favorite desserts: Chocolate Stout Cupcakes. She took the recipe from Dave Lieberman of The Food Network. But she made a few changes, most notably to the frosting, which is, and I’m not exaggerating,THE BEST FROSTING I’VE EVER HAD.

Here is Lieberman’s recipe with a few changes from Anna.

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purposeflour
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch fine salt
1 12 oz bottle stout beer (recommended: Guinness)
1 stick butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract or vanilla paste
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened at room temperature
3/4 to 1 cup heavy cream
1 (1-pound) box confectioners’ sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt.

In another medium mixing bowl, combine the stout, melted butter, and vanilla. Beat in eggs, 1 at time. Mix in sour cream until thoroughly combined and smooth. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.

Lightly grease 24 muffin tins or use paper liners. Divide the batter equally between muffin tins, filling each 3/4 full. Bake for about 12 minutes and then rotate the pans. Bake another 12 to 13 minutes until risen, nicely domed, and set in the middle but still soft and tender.


Two 8-oz. packages of reduced-fat cream cheese (Don’t use fat-free cream cheese! It won’t taste the same.)
2 to 3 cups of powdered sugar, sifted to remove lumps if you wish
1 stick of butter
1 tsp of vanilla extract or 1/4 tsp of vanilla bean paste
splash of heavy cream

Allow the cream cheese and butter to come to room temperature. Beat the cream cheese to soften it; add the butter. Beat to combine.

Slowly add the powdered sugar until you have a consistency that holds some shape. Add the vanilla and splash of heavy cream. You may need more powdered sugar after this step if you plan to pipe the frosting.