What's Baking: Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Irish Cream Vanilla Bean Frosting

I am still in the midst of my gluten-free odyssey, but couldn't help but post this recipe for chocolate stout cupcakes I baked last year to share with friends at a St. Patrick's Day party. The chocolate and coffee flavors of a stout beer lend additional richness to the chocolate cupcake. And you really can't go wrong with a vanilla bean frosting that features the delicate taste of Irish cream. Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Stout Chocolate Cupcakes (printer-friendly version)
makes 24 cupcakes

1 cup Guinness stout (or other stout beer)
1 stick unsalted butter, sliced
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup 0% plain Chobani Greek yogurt
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking soda

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake tin with paper liners and set aside.
2. Add the Guinness and sliced butter to a large sauce pot. Heat over medium heat until the butter has melted, Stirring occasionally.
3. Whisk in the cocoa powder and sugar. Remove from the heat.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the Greek yogurt, eggs, and vanilla. Pour the yogurt mixture into the chocolate mixture and stir until combined.
5. Whisk in the flour and baking soda. Stir until evenly combined. Carefully spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake tin. Fill each liner about 3/4 full.
6. Bake the cupcakes for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
7. Remove the baked cupcakes from the tin and set on a wire rack to cool completely.

Irish Cream Vanilla Bean Frosting
makes enough to frost at least 24 cupcakes

8 oz neufchatel cheese (you could also use cream cheese)
4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups sifted powdered sugar
4 tablespoons Irish cream (I used Bailey's)

1. Cream together the neufchatel and butter, about 5 minutes.
2. Add in the vanilla extract and Irish cream. Stir at high speed to combine.
3. Add in the sifted powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Stir at medium speed between additions.
4. Use immediately. Refrigerate any leftovers in a tightly-closed container.

(adapted from a Nigella Lawson recipe via Shutterbean)