Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Spiced Wine Cream Cheese Frosting

12/21/12

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Spiced-Wine Cream Cheese Frosting

"This is the solstice, the still point
of the sun, its cusp and midnight,
the year’s threshold
and unlocking, where the past
lets go of and becomes the future;
the place of caught breath…"
                          ~ Margaret Atwood, from "Shapechangers in Winter"

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Spiced-Wine Cream Cheese Frosting

Bon hiver, everyone! ;)

The first day of winter has arrived in a snow-filled fury of wind, sleet, and haunting echos rushing through bare tress. I'm currently nesting on my favourite chair, wearing my favourite woolen leggings (which are surprisingly soft!) and have my absolute favourite grey, nubby, oversize cardigan stretched over my curled-up legs. (Am I the only one who can't sit with their feet planted on the floor?)

I'm also enjoying the last cupcake from this rather boozy recipe.

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Spiced-Wine Cream Cheese Frosting

Last March I made these Guinness cupcakes with a Nutella cream cheese frosting. It was Aaamazing!! This time I had a bottle of sweetly-spiced wine staring at me on the counter. How could I possibly disperse the idea of a wine buttercream-cream cheese frosting?

I know that Guinness and wine may sound like an odd polka-dot and stripes kind of combination, but believe me, in this instance they're a dynamic duo. The rich, hoppy cake allows the sweet, winey frosting just enough room to shine. These cupcakes are made for chilly evenings spent near a roaring fire and a book in the lap. (Or in my case, a cat who always ends up sitting on the book.)


Cheers!

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Spiced-Wine Cream Cheese Frosting


Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Spiced Wine Cream Cheese Frosting
makes about 20-24 cupcakes

for the cupcakes
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Special Dark) {Note: If it's especially clumpy, run it through a sifter}
1 1/2 teaspoons baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
12 oz. Guinness
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup oil
1/2 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3 room temperature eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk (measured out and left at room temperature for about 20 min.)

for the frosting
1/2 cup (that's 1 stick) unsalted, room temperature butter
8 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons super-fine sugar (optional. Gives the frosting a subtle crunch.)
4 cups confectioners' sugar (have 1 extra cup on hand)
1/4 cup spiced wine (any red wine will work)

method
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners. (This recipe will make about 20- 24 cupcakes.)
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking Soda, ground ginger, salt, and sugar; Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment (or any large mixing bowl, it you're using a hand-held), combine the Guinness, whole milk, oil, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until combined. (If it's too slushy, you can turn the speed down to low.) Add the eggs one at a time, beating for about 1 minute after each addition. Add the buttermilk and beat until well combined.
Slowly add the dry mixture and beat until just incorporated. The batter will be thin and it may even be a little bit lumpy...that's okay, they will bake up beautifully. Promise.
Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners. [Note: Since the batter is so thin, it's much easier to fill the liners using a measuring cup with a pour spout.] Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating the pans half-way through the baking time. The tops should spring back when lightly touched and a thin knife inserted into a center cupcake should come out clean. Remove pans from the oven and allow the cupcakes to rest for about 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting.

Prepare the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or any large mixing bowl if you're using a hand-held), beat together the butter and cream cheese until smooth (about 3-5 minutes on medium speed). Add the salt, and super-fine sugar (if using). Beat until well combined.
On low speed, slowly begin to add the confectioners' sugar. (I added mine in 1/2 cup increments.) Once each addition has dispersed into the butter mixture, increase the speed to medium and beat until well combined before adding the next.
After about 3 cups of sugar have been added, beat in the wine until combined. Slowly add the remaining 1 cup of sugar, or just enough to bring it to frosting consistency. {Note: If the frosting is still too thin after adding 4 cups of sugar, slowly more until it thickens.} 
Either pipe out the frosting, or use a small off-set spatula. Decorate as desired.

24 comments:

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

So festive and divine sounding/looking! A great idea.

Happy Holidays!

Cheers,

Rosa

Laura (Tutti Dolci) said...

Love, love, love! Wish I had one right now :).

Beth said...

Love the Margaret Atwood quote - and the cupcakes look pretty amazing too! Bon hiver, indeed.

Grandbabycakes said...

What a perfect little cupcake. I can see how moist they are through the pictures. Wow!

Carol | a cup of mascarpone said...

Holy cupcakes!!! I love these, Val! OMGoodness, I want to bake them right now!!!

La Table De Nana said...

Enjoy your holidays:)

Lovely post ..as always~

Averie @ Averie Cooks said...

Where do I even begin with this one - WOW! Okay the cupcake batter itself, the Guiness, the Dark cocoa, the buttermilk, milk, butter...mmmm, we're off to a great start.

Then the wine-ey buttercream. I wonder if I could just have that forever and ever ? I'd be so happy!

You outdid yourself, Valerie! And your frosting piping is soooo perfect. What tip do you use? I am the worst with pastry piping bags!

Valerie said...

Thank you, Averie! The buttercream was out-of-this-world! I may have a few cavities from enjoying what was left in the piping bag. :D

The tip is an Ateco 824 star tip. I use it almost all the time because it's wide enough to fit nicely in most bags. xo

Pachecopatty said...

I love your festive cupcakes with their flags;-) The lighting in your photo is so pretty-hard to believe it's almost the end of the year!!!
Have a very Merry Christmas and Bon Hiver to you;-)

Chocolate Shavings said...

These ate just stunning!

Suzanne Perazzini said...

Those cupcakes look perfect for a cold winter's day - they are so pretty too. Down here we are in full summer with lovely warm weather but we are getting the edge of the cyclone which devastated Fiji and Samoa tomorrow.

Kate@Diethood said...

Holy mother of buttercreams! That is freakin' brilliant!

Erin | The Law Students Wife said...

I can picture myself going down in baking history for serving these at a party. They are gorgeous and what a fun flavor combo for a celebration.

Jenn Kendall said...

i too must sit with my legs curled up :) i am so intrigued by this combination of guinness and red wine, i've just gotta try it!

Susan said...

Wow, Valerie! These look & sound amazing!

Jen Laceda | Tartine and Apron Strings said...

What a masterpiece, Valerie! I've always liked boozy treats since I really cannot drink alcohol due to my allergies. I can cook or bake with booze though, and I enjoy the flavours they bring! Cooking off the alcohol does not trigger any allergies - yay for me - so these cupcakes are purr-fect-o! Mmmm...I can smell the spices and wine in my head...

jehanne@thecookingdoctor said...

I miss sitting in my sofa with woolly knitted cardi and socks, whilst watching the snow flakes on the window! Here it is either hot or raining..your cuppies look delicious! Happy holidays to you x

Lauren at Keep It Sweet said...

These cupcakes just scream winter comfort! And now I totally want a pair of wool leggings.

Magic of Spice said...

Oh, I just love the idea of boozy cupcakes :) They are gorgeous!

The Café Sucré Farine said...

I'm so jealous of your snow and that I didn't get to eat one of these wonderful sounding cupcakes. Sounds like you have the perfect Christmas weather!

Savory Simple said...

These look amazing, Valerie!

Lisa {Authentic Suburban Gourmet } said...

What a magical cupcake! Love the boozy touch. Your photos are stunning!!!

www.you-made-that.com said...

Valerie you are most definitely not the only one who can't sit with their feet on the ground :) as I sit here enjoying the view from the window and looking at all the pretty snow I too have my favorite cozy pants and socks on with my iPad resting on my knee's on the couch! I'm sure these cupcakes are very delicious, and always lovely photos!

Lora CakeDuchess said...

oh, wow! I'm in love with all the flavors here, Valerie. So creamy and wonderful. The piping is perfect.

 

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