cream cheese

Guinness, Chocolate and Potato Chips – Super Bowl Sunday!

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Hope everyone had a fun Super Bowl Sunday! The game ended on an exciting note . . . but of course you know I was only watching for the commercials, and for an excuse to bake more cupcakes.

These two cupcakes draw inspiration from Chuao Chocolatier again, this time from one of their newer flavors, the “Potato Chips in Chocolate” bar. This first cupcake is a simple chocolate cake. I tried to work with an even simpler recipe than my prior chocolate cupcakes, in case I ever needed to pull it together with basic ingredients, and I think this one worked out well enough. The frosting is a Swiss meringue milk chocolate buttercream frosting, topped with crushed potato chips and some added sea salt. Mildly sweet with a bit of crunch.

Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes 21-22 cupcakes (or 54 minis)

  • 3 ounces finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • ¾ cup Dutch-processed cocoa (2 ¼ ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 ¼ cups boiling water
  • 1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour (7 ½ ounces)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups sugar (10 ½ ounces)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Combine the chocolate, cocoa, and espresso powder in a large bowl. Pour the boiling water over the chocolate mixture, cover, and let sit for a few minutes to help melt the chocolate. Whisk until smooth, then set aside to cool slightly, about 2 minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together.
  3. Whisk the sugar, eggs, and vanilla into the cooled chocolate mixture. Slowly whisk in the oil. Whisk in the flour mixture in two portions, mixing gently until most of the lumps are gone (do not overmix).
  4. Bake for 20-22 minutes for regular cupcakes, or about 10 minutes for mini cupcakes.
Milk Chocolate Frosting

Makes 2 ¼ cups

  • ⅓ cup (2 ⅓ ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • pinch table salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 ounces milk chocolate, melted and cooled
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Combine sugar, egg whites, and salt in bowl of stand mixer; place bowl over pan of simmering water. Whisking gently until sugar is completely dissolved and mixture is slightly foamy.
  2. Place bowl in stand mixer with whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Add butter, about 1 Tbsp at a time, and beat until smooth. Then add cooled melted chocolate and vanilla; mix until combined. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light, fluffy, and thoroughly combined.
The second cupcake is a Guinness draught chocolate cake with a Guinness cream cheese glaze, topped with a potato chip dipped in milk chocolate. Because of the Guinness, this cake is a bit more bitter, but that makes for a nice contrast to the sweet glaze and salty-crunchy topping. 
Guinness Cupcakes

Makes 21-22 cupcakes (or 54 minis)

  • 1 cup of Guinness® Draught
  • 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoon baking soda 
  • Pinch of cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. In a large sauce pan over low heat, combine Guinness® and butter, stirring until butter melts. Remove pan from heat and whisk in cocoa powder and brown sugar. 
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together sour cream, eggs and vanilla. Combine with beer mixture. 
  4. Sift together flour and baking soda, then fold into batter.
  5. Bake for 20-22 minutes for regular cupcakes, or about 10 minutes for mini cupcakes. 
  6. Make the glaze. With a mixer, whip 8 oz. cream cheese until smooth. Sift 1 ¼ cups confectioner’s sugar into cream cheese, and beat. Add ⅓ cup Guinness®, and beat until smooth. Note: The recipe I found stops there; however, I added a stick of unsalted butter to provide for a sturdier frosting. Dip the top of cupcakes into this glaze/frosting and twist when lifting for a smooth coating.
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Maple-Bacon Cinnamon Cupcakes

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These cupcakes are inspired by Hollis Wilder from Cupcake Wars. I love her ideas, and love that she brings her culinary experience to the pastry world. The cake is a cinnamon swirl sour cream cake, that is moist and fluffy, and much like a coffee cake. The key to the pop of cinnamon flavor is to fold in a brown sugar-cinnamon mixture, without fully blending. See swirls below.

The frosting is a strawberry cream cheese with maple butter, and the topping is maple-glazed turkey bacon, with maple sugar sprinkled on top. Maple butter and maple sugar are pretty amazing (but pricey)check your local health food store to find those items!

Cinnamon Cupcakes
Makes 16 cupcakes (or 40 minis)

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (no need to use cake flour for this one)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream
  • 1 T. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (loosely packed)


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a mixer bowl, with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and then add the vanilla and one egg at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and sour cream, alternating between the two, beginning and ending with the flour.
  4. Mix the cinnamon and brown sugar together in a small bowl and fold by hand into the batter. Do not fully mix into the batter, it should be swirled in.
  5. Fill regular sized cupcakes, bake for 26-28 minutes or until golden and baked through.
  6. Once cooled, top with cream cheese frosting (mix 1 pound cream cheese, 4 tablespoons maple butter, 1/4 cup strawberry jelly and 1/4 cup fresh strawberries, hulled, and finely diced), turkey bacon (cook as usual until crisp, then lightly coat with maple syrup and continue cooking over low heat until slightly caramelized), and maple sugar.
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Pumpkin Cupcakes – Happy Halloween!

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For the office Halloween event this year, I handed out chocolate chip walnut cookies and these pumpkin cupcakes—with cream cheese buttercream and handmade marzipan pumpkins—in lieu of the usual candy fare.

Hm, well, that’s not entirely true. I admit I put out some Almond Joys and Snickers to get rid of the surplus from my Costco variety pack, after having picked out all the Crunch and Twix for myself =)

These cupcakes were made at 2am once again, but well worth it to see the trick-or-treaters at work look so eager and happy. I never received cupcakes for Halloween as a kid, but I guess I like to hand out what I would have liked to receive!

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