Guinness Gingerbread Cupcakes

These Guinness-Gingerbread Cupcakes from Ready for Dessert by David Lebovitz are the perfect treat for Saint Patrick’s day. The spicy gingerbread pairs so well with the rich, malty stout. Sophisticated, festive, and delicious, these cupcakes would make a true Irishman proud.

Guinness-Gingerbread Cupcakes
from Ready for Dessert by David Lebovitz (Ten Speed Press, 2012)

1/2 cup (125 ml) stout beer, such as Guinness
1/2 cup (125 ml) mild-flavored molasses
1/2 cup (125 ml) vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup (170 g) packed light brown sugar
11/3 cups (185 g) all-purpose flour
11/4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup (50 g) finely minced Candied Ginger 
(page 266)


4 tablespoons (2 ounces/60 g) salted or unsalted butter, at room temperature
11/2 cups (180 g) powdered sugar, sifted
21/2 tablespoons (40 ml) freshly squeezed lime juice, or more to taste
1 tablespoon whole milk
Strips of Soft-Candied Citrus Peel or 
Candied Ginger, for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.

2. To make the cupcakes, in a very large saucepan, bring the stout, molasses, and oil to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat and whisk in the baking soda until dissolved. (The mixture will foam up, then settle down.) Stir in the brown sugar, then let cool until tepid.

3.  Into a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.

4. Whisk the eggs into the stout mixture, then whisk in the flour mixture just until incorporated. Don’t overmix. Gently stir in the minced candied ginger.

5. Divide the batter among the cupcake liners and bake until the cupcakes feel just set in the center, 22 to 24 minutes. Let cool completely.


To make the frosting, in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth, about 10 seconds. Decrease the speed to low and, with the mixer running, gradually add half of the powdered sugar. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl as needed to make sure the ingredients are being incorporated. Add the lime juice, then add the remaining powdered sugar. Once the sugar is incorporated, add the milk. Beat the frosting on high speed until completely smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Taste, and add a few more drops of lime juice, if desired.

Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Remove the cupcakes from the muffin tin. Pipe rosettes of frosting in the center of each cupcake. (If you don’t have a pastry bag, you can spoon a mound of frosting decoratively in the center.) Garnish each with strips of candied citrus peel or a piece of candied ginger.

Storage: The cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days at room temperature.

Variation: For kids, feel free to use apple cider in place of the stout.

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