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Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

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Celebrating National Chocolate Cake Day, I decided to go a bit different from the traditional chocolate cake by complimenting chocolate with the worlds most loved stout, Guinness. If you’re a chocolate lover, and I don’t just mean milk chocolate… you will love this recipe! You don’t have to like Guinness to enjoy this recipe BUT these cupcakes are meant for taste buds that can appreciate a deep, dark chocolate flavor. So, if you’re ready for decadence, brace yourselves and go all out. I decided to pair it with a salted caramel frosting instead of the popular Bailey’s and/or Jameson frosting that a lot of people are doing. Personally, I find the salted caramel does an equal justice to the Guinness and chocolate.

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The recipe typically calls for two sticks of butter but if you happen to find yourself making dry cakes; what I do is use half butter and half grapeseed oil. You can use any oil that you prefer but grapeseed oil yields the least flavor so the Guinness and chocolate aren’t competing with the flavor of the oil. When decorating the cupcakes feel free to be creative. I like keeping things simple and so all I did was sprinkle a little cocoa powder and edible gold dust on top. You can find edible gold or silver dust in the baking isle of an arts ‘n crafts store like JOANN’s, Michaels or Hobby Lobby, even Amazon.com. Have fun and HAPPY NATIONAL CHOCOLATE CAKE DAY!

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INGREDIENTS
Makes 24-30
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter (I like to use half butter & half grapeseed oil)
1 cup Guinness stout
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
2 eggs
½ cup plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
In a saucepan, melt the butter, add the Guinness, cocoa powder and brown sugar. Whisk everything until smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Add the flour, sea salt, granulated sugar and baking soda into a bowl of a standing mixer. Pour the Guinness mixture in three parts beating everything until everything is just combined. Add the eggs and plain Greek yogurt with the last part of the Guinness mixture, beat on medium until smooth.

Pour the batter into the cupcake pan ¾ of the way.

Bake at 350 F Degrees for about 20 – 25 minutes.

Poke the center with a toothpick. If it comes out mostly clean then your cupcakes are done.

Salted Caramel Frosting

½ cup salted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups (or more) powdered sugar
In a small saucepan melt the butter, dark brown sugar with the heavy cream, salt and vanilla extract until the brown sugar dissolves. Let it come to a light boil for only a minute and then remove from heat to cool.

Pour the salted caramel into a mixing bowl and pour a little bit of powdered sugar at a time. Mix approximately 2 cups until you get a nice thick fluffy consistency. Add a little more powdered sugar if needed.

Use a teaspoon to place a dollop of the frosting on top of the cupcake and use the back of the spoon to swirl around in circles until you have it spread out evenly.

Garnish the top with cocoa powder and/or edible gold dust, sprinkles, whatever you prefer to decorate with.