Without a Stout

Green. A symbol of envy as well as inexperience.

Both apply when assessing my cupcake skills, so it makes sense that a raucous holiday rich with clover colored elements would act as a Merrily Baked cupcake moment.

A bottle of Thomas Creek Banana Split Chocolate Stout has been floating around the back of the fridge for an almost embarrassing amount of time. It is really delicious! I just moved away from craving heavier beers. Plus, I loved being greeted by a sultry golden image of a pinup-worthy woman emerging from a half-peeled banana every time I opened the fridge.



Since I have always (not since birth or anything, but for a considerable time) wanted to attempt some version of a chocolate stout cake, St. Patrick’s Day manifested itself as the perfect opportunity to make room for a different bottle of something in the fridge and make this baking dream come true.


Mini Chocolate Stout Cupcakes

Adapted from Chocolate Stout Cake  by Smitten Kitchen

2 Cups AP Flour
2 Cups Sugar
1 ½ Tsp. Baking soda
1 Tsp. Salt
¾ Cup Vanilla Greek Yogurt
2 Eggs
2 Sticks (1 Cup) Unsalted Butter
1 Cup Stout of Choice (I used Thomas Creek Banana Split Chocolate Stout)
¾ Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder ( I used Hershey’s Specialty Dark)
1 Package, 10 oz., Semi-Sweet Mini Chocolate Chips (I used Ghirardelli – Half of these will be used for the frosting)

  • In a large saucepan, melt the butter then pour in 1 cup stout and bring to a simmer
  • Turn off the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder til velvety, then set to the side to cool
  • Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare mini muffin tins with mini cupcake papers (this makes about 68 mini cupcakes)
  • Sift together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda
  • In a stand mixer or bowl with an electric mixer, combine the Greek yogurt with the eggs
  • Mix in the velvety cocoa stout mixture
  • With the mixer on low, incorporate the dry ingredients – to avoid over mixing, I only let the machine whirl a couple turns, then finished the process by manually folding everything together with a rubber spatula
  • Use a small cookies scoop to place dollops of batter in the cupcake papers
  • Top each cupcake with mini chocolate chips
  • Bake 10 minutes, til the top is set and a toothpick comes out clean
  • Allow to cool thin top with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe below!



Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

1 Package Cream Cheese, 8 oz., Room Temperature*
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
1 Tsp. Vanilla
Approximately Half the Semi-Sweet Mini Chocolate Chips, Melted
Green Sugar Sprinkles (Optional)

  • Place whatever amount of mini chocolate chips are left in the package in a microwave safe bowl
  • Microwave at 20-second intervals, stirring with a fork in between each segment of time until the chips are just melted
  • Set the room temperature cream cheese in a large mixing bowl
  • Commence whipping it with an electric hand mixer
  • Add powdered sugar ½ a cup at a time, incorporating it thoroughly
  • Pour in the vanilla
  • Add in the melted chocolate a few scoops at a time until fully combined
  • Swirl the frosting on top of each cupcake then top with the green sugar sprinkles for a festive touch


I often decide to bake on a whim and therefore do not have the luxury of foresight to ensure ingredients – like butter, eggs, or cream cheese – are at room temperature. For this reason, I have developed a couple straightforward techniques to achieve the same result without the need for a Time-Turner.

  1. Butter – Place in the microwave for 1 minute at 10% power level. Repeat til butter is just softened
  2. Eggs – Turn the water tap on hot and run the eggs under the water for about 30 seconds, then place in a small bowl and fill with warm water. Allow to hang out and they will be ready when the egg step of the recipe comes into play.
  3. Cream Cheese – While still in the foil wrapping, place the cream cheese in a bowl and cover with warm water. Similar to the eggs, allow to hang out for about 10 minutes, and the cream cheese will be good to go!

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