Strange But Good Gluttony: Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

Gluttony is controversial in blog-land.

I’m a firm believer that you should have everything in moderation.  Including moderation.

When my softball team requested these cupcakes after our game last weekend, I had to oblige.  I’d made the ‘cakes for them 3 or 4 years ago, and they’ve been requested every year since.

These are not your ordinary cupcakes.  They are called Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes.  A reader pointed out the negative connotation of that name… I’m sorry if it offends anyone.  These cupcakes are referring to the popular shooter.  Many of you may have taken seen the shot in college.  You take a 1/2 pint of Guinness and drop a shot of Irish cream and whiskey in it.  Then you chug (you have to drink it fast of it will curdle).

Irish Car Bomb Drink

It tastes like chocolate milk, or so I’m told. ;)

Turning a shooter into a cupcake may be strange, but it most certainly is good.  In fact, I think these cupcakes are better than the shooter.  Not better for you – hence the gluttony.  But the booze (mostly) cooks out, so at least they won’t give you a hangover. 😉

Oddly, they don’t taste particularly boozy.  The cake portion is a chocolate-Guinness combo.  The carbonation from the Guinness makes the cake light and fluffy, and amplifies the chocolate taste without adding too much sweetness.  The center of the cupcake is scooped out and filled with Irish whiskey ganache.  It is also not terribly sweet, and the whiskey only deepens the chocolate taste.

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

The booziest part is the icing.  That Irish cream isn’t cooked out, so you get a little of liqueur taste.  However, if you’ve ever had Irish cream you know it’s sweet and creamy, so it works well as an icing component.  I whipped this up the same time I made the hazelnut icing for Kat’s cake.  I topped it with lucky charms marshmallows (thank you again for that gift, Heather!) to be more “festive.”

The combination makes for a fluffy, moist, decadent cupcake.  You will promise yourself you will only take a bite of… then look down and realize it’s GONE.  Not to be made every weekend, but once a year I think it’s worth a little gluttonous indulgence.

__________________________________________________________________________________ Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes 1

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

For the Cupcakes:

  • 1 C stout (I used Guinness)
  • 1 C (2 sticks) salted butter
  • 3/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 C sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 C sour cream

For the Ganache:

  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 2/3 C heavy cream
  • 2 T salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 T Irish whiskey (I used Jameson)

For the Frosting:

  • 3 C powdered sugar
  • 1 stick (1/2 C) salted butter, softened
  • 4 T Irish cream (I used Bailey’s)
  • Food coloring (optional)

To make the Cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350.  Line 24 cupcake cups with liners.  

Bring the beer and butter to simmer in medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.  Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth.  Cool slightly.

Whisk together flour, sugar, and baking soda in a medium bowl.

In a large bowl and, using electric (or hand) mixer, beat eggs and yogurt.  Add the chocolate beer mix to the egg bowl and beat just to combine.  

Add flour mixture and slowly beat.  Just before it’s completely mixed, use rubber spatula to fold batter until completely combined.  

Pour batter into the cupcake liners, ~3/4 full.  Bake ~15-17 mins. Allow cupcakes to cool completely.

To make the filling:

Break up the chocolate and place in a glass (heat-proof) bowl.  

Place cream in a small bowl and bring to a simmer.  Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, allowing it to sit for a minute before stirring until smooth.  If your chocolate isn’t melted completely, you can pop it in the microwave in 15-20 second increments until melted.  

Lastly, add the softened butter and whiskey.  Stir until combined.

To fill the cupcakes:

Let the ganache cool and thicken.  If you’re impatient like me you can place it in the fridge to firm up; however, it shouldn’t be hard.

Using a cupcake corer, knife, or an apple corer, remove centers from the cupcakes.  Take care to not cut through to the bottom.  About 3/4 deep is perfect.  (Note: save the centers and mix it with leftover ganache and/or icing to make fudgy cake balls.)

Spoon the ganache into the holes, filling to the top.  (This could also be done with a piping bag, but I don’t have one.)

To make the frosting:

Whip the butter at a med-high speed using an electric (or hand) mixer until light and fluffy.  Slowly add the powdered sugar – just a few tablespoons at a time.

When the frosting thickens, drizzle in the Irish cream and whip until combined.  Add food coloring, if using, until desired color is reached.  In the event that the frosting becomes too thin, simply add more powdered sugar until its think enough to spread.


Now that my gluttony is out of the way, what’s strange but good creations have you been concocting?  Someone post a healthy recipe to balance me out… 😉

The link up rules can be found here or by clicking on “Strange But Good” in the menu bar above.

In short, I want to see what concoctions have earned you weird looks from co-workers, family and friends!  Post your Strange But Good creations, grab the logo below for your blog, and link up here.


Sprint 2 the Table

Remember to use #strangebutgood in any Tweets and Instagrams of your creations. :)


 No need to wait until next St. Paddy’s to make these cupcakes.  I’ve done them for birthdays, 4th of July, NYE… Easter… break those Lenten alcohol and sugar bans in style! 😉

Spill it: Have you ever done an Irish Carb Bomb?

What strange but goodness have you been eating this week?


  1. says

    I’ve never had an Irish car bomb, and beer in cupcakes? Strange! 😉
    I might have something strange to share today. Spicy and healthy but not green.

  2. TOni @ Runninglovingliving says

    They sound delicious!! I had an Irish Car Bomb on SUnday…..I may never drink again, but cupcakes I can do!!!

  3. says

    The only shooter I remember having was a Apple Pie Shooter at a frat party in college. Clearly, I am classy. :)

    As I just purchased a rather obscenely large package of Lucky Charms marshmallows, I love the idea of using them to dress up cupcakes. To be honest, I can’t remember the last time I had a cupcake. Or cake. Geez,

  4. says

    Jager bomb, I’ve done, but I can honestly say I’ve never done an Irish car bomb. I don’t like guinness so I think I’d hate it.

  5. says

    So I know you saw my pic on IG but your spaghetti squash pie is AMAZING. I am in love. I made a few changes and hope to post the recipe when I make it again (soon). It was so absolutely delicious. It’s definitely going into my regular menu rotation. YUM!

  6. says

    Yum! I’m glad you posted a non-healthy recipe. It is all about moderation. I make this Kahlua bundt cake every Christmas and it’s AMAZING…but also very bad for me, so I stick to one, okay, 2 slices a year! 😉

  7. says

    I’ve never done an Irish CarB or Car Bomb, but I would really love it if these cupcakes magically appeared on my kitchen counter. I may be able to top a pizza, but decorating cupcakes is not my strength (my poor children) and it is clearly yours.
    I do have a bottle of Guinness remaining after the St Patty’s day festivities (I should post that as strange but good, we had Irish cheese-filled shamrock-shaped ravioli–Costco–dipped in greek yogurt and some put up pesto, then rolled around in bread crumbs and baked–how not Corned Beef and Cabbage is that?) and I really can’t decide between savoury and sweet uses for it. I think my spouse will give up and just drink it to relieve me of my dilemma.
    Today I decided my Salmon, Goat Cheese, and Arugula Pesto pizza was strange enough for you, and while getting ready to link up I figured that the other stuff I’ve done this week is pretty strange (and pretty good) too. I made muffins, whole grain soaked-oat muffins, without refined sugar: Molasses Date Oatmeal muffins. They are tasty!
    Then I thought about how I lugged my slow cooker, my rice cooker, even my measuring spoons up to my in-law’s place and prepared Slow Cooker Chicken and Chick Pea Tikka Masala for the first time ever using the great recipe/directions from Foodie With Family. Maybe that’s more scary and good, but I think it’s strange to cook for others without having made the dish before, and having such clear instructions from a wonderful blog really helped me out.
    I just checked the counter . . . the cupcakes have not yet arrived. Are you sure you put Lucky Charms on the top? Perhaps all the leprechauns are still hung over . . .

    Thanks for hosting, Laura!

  8. says

    I’ve never had an Irish Car Bomb – or any bomb shot type of thing. My tummy is churning LOL. I did a strangebut good lunch yesterday. Well a few people didn’t find it the least bit strange and you prob won’t either. But my hubby looked at my all crazy like: kabocha, brussels sprouts, hummus, hemp seeds, sriracha.

  9. says

    I loooooove boozy sweets! I haven’t had any shooter-type drinks in years, but I’m sure the flavors of an Irish Car Bomb lend themselves well to a chocolatey cupcake. Great idea and love the marshmallow decorations.

  10. Shari says

    One of my friends told me to try an irish car bomb while at a bar. I did not know what to expect – certainly not beer (which I don’t drink). I think I choked it down and never asked them to suggest anything ever again, lol.

  11. Christy says

    I make something similar to these called Guinness-gasms…maybe that could be a more politically correct, albeit still moderately offensive, name for them. :)

    Either way———-DELICIOUS!

    Thanks for sharing!

  12. says

    I’m sorry… I think you said “or so I’m told?” Does that mean you’ve never done a carbomb?!?! Oh girl. You are MISSING OUT. I am not a big drinker at all anymore and do LOVE beer- but get a hangover if I have more than one. (Getting old sucks.) But, I would still do a carbomb if challenged. I actually have a talent of taking one down faster than anyone I know (including any guy I know). It’s always been impressive. 😉
    And the cupcakes… this is one of the many things that I am writing on my list of foods I want you to make for me one day when we’re neighbors. :)

    • Laura says

      LOL! Lauren… sometimes I try to pretend like a good healthy blogger. 😉

      Also… “a talent of taking one down faster than anyone I know.” HAHAHAHAHAHA!

  13. says

    What do you mean in college?? I actually had an alcoholic strange but good ready for today, well at least the pictures but not the actual content so it’ll have to wait for next week. Which works out well because I wouldn’t want to compete with these bad boys. They look great.

  14. says

    Ha! Well, you won’t be getting in help in the “healthy department” from me this week! Though, I have to say…lean ground beef, nitrate-free bacon, whole wheat bun…hey, Elvis could have (and DID) do a lot worse! 😉

    So, have YOU ever had an Irish Car Bomb shot? I ask, because you said it tastes like chocolate cake (so you’re told). I’ve never had one. But I like cake. I think we need to make this happen on my next veeeeeee-sit! Just remind me to close my eyes…if I even BEGING to see it curdling, I’m sure I’ll throw up! Haha! Or better yet…how about scaling down this recipe and just make me ONE? Lol

    Seriously?! A cup cake corer?!?! Now I’ve seen it all!

    • Laura says

      We should have gotten together an had one gut-busting dinner! I LOVE your burgers!!!

      Yes, I have done the shot. I dislike having to chug things though. In my old age I prefer fancy drinks I can luxuriously sip on.

      Right?! My sister got it for me at Christmas a couple of years ago when I was stuffing gingerbread cupcakes with frangelico ganache. :)

  15. says

    I am not a beer or whiskey or even a drinking type person – well, a couple Hawaiian sweet drinks, 😉 , but those look amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If I were there & you made them for me, I would have to try! :)

  16. says

    Amazing. St. Patrick’s day brought out so many recipes that use stout beers and I’ve pinned about 8,000 of them and tried none of them so far! I need to get on that.


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