These chocolate stout cupcakes are, hands down, the best chocolate cake I have ever eaten. The cake is moist and chocolatey and the buttercream is smooth and sweet and just the right amount of peanut buttery.
This recipe makes a million cupcakes (or like 48) but also bakes nicely into a bunt cake or a 9 inch 2 layer cake. If you want to double down with chocolate frosting on a chocolate cupcake, you can always use chocolate peanut butter buttercream instead or just plain chocolate buttercream. The options are endless.
It also has a not so secret ingredient making it perfect for St. Patrick’s day celebrations or basically and day where you feel like drinking half a beer (cause the recipe doesn’t require the whole bottle).
Why use beer in our cake?
Why not? Just kidding. The flavors in stout beer add a rich layer of complexity to the chocolate cake. By both simmering the beer and butter together and baking the cake in the oven, all the alcohol is baked off and what remains is the complex essence of the beer that will take your cake to a whole new level.
Does the kind of stout I use matter??
Most stout cake recipes call for just using a stout and many call for using Guinness. While Guinness is probably the most commonly known stout, it is not the best choice for this recipe. It’s a little bit too bitter. I like to use a chocolate stout (cause we’re making a chocolate cake) or a milk stout. I’ve even used a coffee stout. All have flavor profile to go with the chocolate cake. Plus, you can typically buy the nicer micro brews in just a single bottle.
Why use “regular” peanut butter instead of natural in my buttercream?
Natural peanut butter doesn’t contain any emulsifiers which is pretty much a fancy way of saying, the oil separates out. (You know how you have to stir your peanut butter before using it? That). We don’t want the oil from the peanut butter separating out of our buttercream and making it oily.
Chocolate Stout Cupcakes
- 2 cups stout beer I use Rogue Chocolate Stout
- 4 sticks butter
- 1 1/2 cups cocoa powder
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 4 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/3 cups sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 muffin pans with cupcake wrappers. Because this recipe makes so many cupcakes, you will need to bake the cupcakes in two batches or cut the recipe in half.
- Put beer and butter into a medium large saucepan. Heat over medium heat until the butter has melted and the mixture starts to simmer.
- Take off the heat and stir in cocoa powder. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
- In a separate large bowl, beat together eggs and sour cream.
- Slowly pour in cooled chocolate mixture. Beat to combine. Beat in sugar.
- Add in baking soda and flour and mix by hand until just combined.
- Divide cupcake batter into the cupcake pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven. Allow to cool in muffin pan for about 5 minutes then take the cupcakes out of the muffin pan to finish cooling on cooling rack.
- Frost as desired.
Peanut Butter Buttercream
- 1 cup butter softened (2 sticks)
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter regular, not natural
- 8 cups powdered sugar (1-2 pound bag)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/4 cup water
- If using a stand mixer, fit with paddle attachment. Beat together butter and peanut butter. Stop mixer and scrape down sides.
- Add vanilla extract and beat to combine.
- Slowly (and I cannot stress that enough) pour in powdered sugar. If the mixture is getting too thick as you’re adding the powdered sugar, stop mixer and scrape down the sides. Add 2 tablespoons of water and beat to combine.
- Once all the powdered sugar is in, evaluate your consistency. For piping Wilton 1M swirls, I like my frosting to be easily stirrable but have my spatula still stand up in the frosting. If your frosting is too thick, you can add in more water 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency.