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Guinness Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Sauce

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Guinness Dark Chocolate Cupcakes are made with Guinness extra stout to create a robust flavor, frosted with creamy dark chocolate buttercream, and drizzled with homemade salted caramel sauce. Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day!

guinness chocolate cupcake with caramel sauce drizzled on top with bottle of guinness behind, three cupcakes, and spoon of caramel.

We’re celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day this year with these delicious Irish-inspired cupcakes made with Guinness. They’re simple, rich, and malty, with hints of caramel and intense chocolate flavor. The homemade chocolate buttercream frosting is light, fluffy, and not too sweet, while the salted caramel sauce adds the perfect finishing touch. These cupcakes are a must-try!

These Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes Are:

  • Made in ONE bowl!
  • Extra chocolate-y and not overly sweet.
  • Subtly flavored with Guinness.
  • Tender, soft, and super moist!
  • Piled high with dark chocolate buttercream.
  • Finished with a perfectly salted homemade caramel sauce.
bite taken out of guinness chocolate cupcake with more cupcakes behind and bottle of beer.
overhead shot of eight guinness chocolate cupcakes with flowers and bottle of beer.

Baking With Beer… Tips & Tricks You Should Know!

The one thing you should know is that baking with beer doesn’t mean these cupcakes are boozy and alcoholic. The beer really only enhances the chocolate and gives these cupcakes a bit of a malt flavor, plus it add a little bit of extra lift. It also makes the crumb very tender and moist. Now that you know what it does in the cupcake, here are some tips and tricks to get the best cupcakes possible!

  • Make sure to use a freshly opened, room temperature beer! Cold beer will not work.
  • These cupcakes (and really any other beer dessert) are best when fresh! The flavor of the beer can change as the cupcakes sit, so try to bake and serve on the same day!
  • A stout is definitely needed for this recipe. It’s the only beer that gives these cupcakes enough flavor.
  • When you add the beer to the cupcake batter, it will bubble up! Pour the beer in small amounts for easier mixing.

What Beer To Use

In this recipe, we used Guinness Extra Stout. You could also use Foreign Extra Stout. That one is actually our favorite for baking these cupcakes, but it tends to be a little hard to find. If you can’t find Guinness or simply don’t like it, use a strong stout that has flavors of vanilla, chocolate, coffee, or caramel! Those will lend the best flavors to the cupcake.

close up of guinness cupcakes with bottle of beer behind, spoon, and jar of caramel sauce on stacked plates.

Everything You Need To Make These Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

There are three elements to these cupcakes – the cupcake, the frosting, and the salted caramel. For each element to be a success, it’s important to know what you need and why you need it. Below, you’ll find the ingredients for each element in this recipe and a brief description of why it’s in the recipe!


  • All-Purpose Flour – Provides the base structure for the cupcakes. The gluten in the flour forms a network that gives the cupcakes shape and a slightly chewy texture.
  • Cocoa Powder – Our choice for the chocolate in this recipe. Choose a good quality Dutch process cocoa powder for a deep, rich chocolate taste.
  • Baking Powder – This is the leavening agent that will help your cupcakes rise. The baking powder reacts with the liquids in the batter, creating carbon dioxide bubbles that expand and make the cupcakes light and fluffy.
  • Granulated Sugar – Not only does it add sweetness, sugar also contributes to the moistness and tender texture of the cupcakes.
  • Salt – Just a small amount of salt is essential to balance out the sweetness and enhance the other flavors in the cupcakes.
  • Large Eggs – Eggs are a binder. They provide structure as their proteins set when baked. They also add richness and moisture.
  • Whole Milk – Milk hydrates the dry ingredients and contributes to the tender crumb of the cupcakes. The additional fat from whole milk adds richness and a slightly denser texture.
  • Vegetable Oil – This keeps the cupcakes extra moist. Oil stays liquid at room temperature, preventing the crumb from becoming too dry or crumbly.
  • Vanilla Extract – Vanilla adds a subtle, rounded sweetness that complements and enhances the flavors in this cupcake.
  • Guinness Extra Stout – Adds a deep roasted flavor with notes of coffee and a slight malty sweetness. Plus, it has a subtle bitterness that balances out the sweetness of the other ingredients.
Ingredients for guinness cupcakes with text overlay.

Caramel Sauce:

  • Granulated Sugar – The base of the caramel sauce. The sugar melts down and caramelizes, creating the rich, amber color and deep sweetness of the sauce.
  • Salt – Cuts through the sweetness of the caramel, creating a delicious balance of flavors. It also enhances the depth and complexity of the sauce.
  • Unsalted Butter – adds a lovely richness and smooth texture to the caramel. It also helps temper the sweetness and mellows out the flavors. Be sure to use unsalted butter to control the salt content of your caramel.
  • Heavy Cream – This is what gives caramel sauce its creamy, luscious texture. The fat in the cream emulsifies with the caramel, creating a silky smooth sauce. It also dilutes the sweetness from the sugar and adds its own subtle richness.
  • Vanilla Extract – Vanilla enhances the overall flavor of the caramel sauce by adding a bit of depth and sweetness, creating a beautifully rounded flavor profile.
Ingredients for caramel sauce with text overlay.

Chocolate Buttercream:

  • Salted Butter – The base of the buttercream, providing structure and richness. Using salted butter adds a subtle salty note that balances the sweetness of the frosting.
  • Powdered Sugar – This is the main source of sweetness in the buttercream. Powdered sugar dissolves easily, creating a silky-smooth texture.
  • Cocoa Powder – Again, our choice for the chocolate flavor! As with the cupcakes, choose a high-quality Dutch process cocoa powder for the best results.
  • Whole Milk – Milk helps loosen the frosting, making it easier to spread. It also adds a touch of creaminess and balances the richness of the butter.
  • Vanilla Extract – Vanilla serves as a flavor enhancer, adding a hint of sweetness and a bit of depth to the chocolate buttercream. It rounds out the flavors and makes the frosting extra delicious.
Ingredients for chocolate buttercream with text overlay.

Overview: How To Make These Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

Once you’ve gotten your ingredients together, it’s time to make the cupcakes! Luckily, they are SUPER simple to make and require only one bowl. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Be careful not to over mix! Stir in the beer in small amounts. Portion the batter into lined cupcake pans. Each cavity should be 3/4 of the way full. Bake at 350℉ for 15-20 minutes, or until the cupcakes test done.

⊹ Tip For Success! ⊹

Due to the addition of the beer, this is a very liquid muffin batter. It’s best to use a large cookie scoop to help ensure each cupcake is the same size.

Salted Caramel Sauce

While the cupcakes cool, we’re going to make the caramel sauce! Combine sugar and salt in a small pot. Cook over medium-low heat until the sugar melts, about 10-12 minutes. Let the sugar cook for another minute. It should be a light golden brown color. Remove from the heat. Quickly whisk in the butter. Once it’s incorporated, mix in the cream. Finally, stir in the vanilla and set aside to cool.

⊹ Caramel Sauce Troubleshooting ⊹

Caramel hardened too much to stir milk in. This happened because the caramel cooled too much before you added the milk or the milk was too cold. It’s okay, though! Don’t throw it away. Place over low heat with the milk in the sauce and continually stir until the caramel softens again and you’re able to mix the milk in. Be careful, the caramel can over cook slightly when doing this!

Sugar Keeps Burning. You need to make the sauce in a heavy sauce pan. The pan you’re using could be too light, or the burner is running too hot. If the burner is too hot, reduce the temperature.

Rich Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Now that the caramel sauce is done, we can move forward with the buttercream. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light, fluffy, and smooth.

chocolate buttercream in glass bowl.

Recipe FAQ’s

If your cupcakes turned out dry, it could be due to over baking. To prevent this, check for doneness a few minutes earlier than the suggested time. Remember every oven cooks differently. Also, make sure to measure the flour accurately and avoid over mixing the batter because this can result in a tougher texture.

Yes, you can use a strong stout with flavors of vanilla, chocolate, coffee, or caramel if you can’t find or don’t like Guinness. You can also use a non-alcoholic beer, as well!

While we really love these cupcakes with the dark chocolate buttercream, you can use a cream cheese frosting or even an Irish cream buttercream.

Dutch-process cocoa powder is recommended for a richer flavor. If you use natural process cocoa powder, the leavening will have to be adjusted.

Store the cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. If frosted, it’s best to store them in the refrigerator. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months before frosting and finishing.

More Recipes For St. Patrick’s Day

guinness chocolate cupcakes on parchment with chocolate chunks, caramel sauce, a bottle of beer, and more cupcakes around.

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When you make these Guinness Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Sauce, leave a comment down below! We love hearing from you and answering any questions you might have! Also, be sure to tag us on social media and hashtag it #BakersTable.

Happy baking!
x, Caylie

chocolate cupcake with caramel sauce drizzled on top with bottle of guinness behind, three cupcakes, and spoon of caramel
5 from 1 vote

Guinness Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Sauce

Rich, moist, extra chocolate-y, and SO. GOOD. These Guinness Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Sauce are everything a perfect cupcake should be!
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 21 cupcakes



  • cups all-purpose flour*
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup Dutch process cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Guinness extra stout

Caramel Sauce

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, sliced, room temperature
  • ½ cup heavy cream, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Dark Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • 6 Tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • ½ cup cocoa powder, sifted
  • cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract



  • Heat oven to 350℉.
  • Line 2 muffin pans with cupcake papers or spray with baking spray. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt together.
  • Add eggs, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla to dry ingredients.
  • Whisk until smooth.
  • Add Guinness a little at a time, stirring to combine.
  • Portion batter into prepared pans.
  • Bake 15-20 minutes, or until cupcakes test done.
  • Let them cool slightly then remove cupcakes and place on a cooling rack.

Caramel Sauce

  • In a small heavy sauce pan, combine sugar and salt. (Make sure the sugar is spread evenly on the bottom of the sauce pan!)
  • Cook over medium low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until sugar melts (about 10-12 minutes).
  • Stop stirring and cook for another minute. It should be a light golden brown.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Whisk in butter. (It will bubble up!)
  • Whisk in cream a little at a time.
  • Stir in vanilla.


  • In a medium bowl, combine butter, powdered sugar, cocoa, milk, and vanilla.
  • Beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.


  • Spread or pipe frosting on top of cooled cupcakes.
  • Drizzle with caramel sauce.

Notes + Tips!

*This recipe was written using an average of the dip and sweep method for measuring flour and the spoon and level method. If you are using a scale, you will need to add 3/4 oz or 22 g  to the measurement for each cup of flour.
  • Room temperature is about 70℉.
  • Use an oven thermometer to ensure accurate cooking temperatures.


Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 296kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 197mg | Potassium: 124mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 301IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

When you make this recipe, remember to tag @bakerstble or hashtag it #BakersTable!

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