Friday, December 18, 2015

Jen Porter's Fabulous Holiday Cupcakes

Welcome back to Penny Watson's GREAT BIG HOLIDAY GIVE-AWAY! This is post #2, Jen Porter's Fabulous Holiday Cupcakes. Jen (from Romance Novel News) made some incredible holiday cupcakes recently, and I begged her for the recipes. In typical Jen fashion, these cupcakes have a smidge of naughty. *wink* Enjoy! 

Don't forget to leave your name and location in the comments section to enter the give-away. Or shoot me an email. And tell us your favorite holiday sweet treat!


Holiday Cupcakes!


I adore cupcakes. They are very festive and give the baker the ability to be creative in terms of decoration. I like to add different flavors to the cupcake batter and/or make different types of frosting. One of my recent discoveries is Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes. I admit that I resisted trying Guinness cake for years, afraid that the taste of beer would ruin the cake. But there is no beer flavor, just chocolatey goodness.


Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes (quantity 24 cupcakes)



  • 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • ½ cup of cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp of salt
  • 1 & ½ tsp of baking soda
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup of light or dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter - softened
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup of sour cream
  • 1 bottle (12 oz) of Guinness or other stout beer



  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare cupcake baking pans (with butter or cupcake liners).
  • Mix the following dry ingredients together in a bowl: flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
  • In a stand mixer with paddle attachment (or hand mixer), mix the butter, sugar and brown sugar. Beat together until all are incorporated together.
  • Add 1 egg and beat until evenly mixed. Don’t forget to scrape down the edges of the bowl.
  • Add the 2nd egg and the vanilla extract. Beat until incorporated.
  • Add the sour cream and beat together.
  • With the mixer still running, SLOWLY add in the Guinness.
  • Sift the above mentioned dry ingredients (the flour, cocoa powder & baking soda) into the batter until everything is evenly mixed. Be sure there are no pockets of flour on the sides or on the bottom of the bowl.
  • Put ¼ cup of batter into each cup in the cupcake pans. You should get about 24.
  • Cook on the middle rack of the fully-heated oven for 20-25 mins. You will know they are done if you insert a toothpick into the cupcake and it comes out clean.
  • Let the cupcakes cool to room temperature before frosting.


Cream Cheese Frosting:



  • 1 8oz package of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 4oz stick of unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups of confectioner’s sugar



  • In a stand mixer (or hand mixer), mix the cream cheese, butter and confectioner’s sugar. Beat these until light and fluffy.
  • If you are adding anything else to the frosting, mix in now (more information to come).


That is the basic recipe for the cupcakes and for the cream cheese frosting, but you can add so much more.


One of my favorite things to do is to add chocolate chips to the cake batter (dark chocolate works best because these cupcakes are dark). This is really good with Bailey’s cream cheese frosting. For this just add some Bailey’s into the frosting after you’ve got it mixed completely. The amount is completely up to you. Taste it to get a sense of what works for you. Once frosted, decorate with more chocolate chips or even dust some cocoa powder over them.


Do you like mint chocolate? Cut up some mint chocolates and add them to the cake batter. Instead of Baileys in the frosting, try peppermint schnapps or if you prefer something non-alcoholic substitute peppermint extract for the vanilla extract in the recipe. Green food coloring can give the frosting a festive look as can sprinkling some of those mint chocolate pieces over the tops of the cupcakes.

Grand Marnier also adds a great flavor to the cream cheese frosting. I didn’t add anything to the cake batter with these but did top these cupcakes with strawberries.


I am sure there are many more great combinations too!

Holy Cupcake! These look amazing. Huge thanks to Jen Porter for these tasty recipes.

Don't forget to leave a comment to be entered in the give-away today--or shoot me an email. Leave your email and location (US, overseas, etc). And let us know your favorite holiday sweet treat!
For complete list of prizes, see original post here.

Stay tuned for the next post, coming up at 12 pm.

Post #3: Penelope's ETSY Favorites, a shopping guide! 


extraordinary ordinary whimsy said...

That looks fantastic. And not too complicated either. Me likey.

Unknown said...

I'm not entering but I might just have to make these cupcakes!!! xoxox

Blodeuedd said...

Mmmm they look delish

MY fav treat is, well...I do not know how to translate it!
I hope blogger wont think this is sPam, but here is a pic
With a taste of gingerbread, mmmmmmmm

blodeuedd1 at gmail dot com

Christine Maria Rose said...

Those look awesome Jen! I usually make brown sugar cookie cutouts with the kids and then we make different colours of vanilla frosting and use sprinkles, silver balls etc, to decorate them. Planning to do that this weekend!

Penny Watson said...

Hi Juju! I can't wait to try these!

Penny Watson said...

Hi Carolyn...thanks so much for participating!

Penny Watson said...

Hi Blodeuedd...thank you for stopping by!

Penny Watson said...

Hi Christine...have a great time making your cookies. I think we'll make gingerbread men this weekend.

Unknown said...

No joke! This, in cake form, has been on my Pinterest page since last St. Patrick's Day. ;) I love to make lemon ricotta cookies and wine cookies with recipes from my mother's Italian side of the family.

Susan said...

I discovered a super easy, quick holiday cookie recipe in last weekend's newspaper.

1/2 cup Nutella
2/3 cup flour
1 egg

Mix together and fill lined mini muffin tins no more than 3/4 full. (Put a pecan or walnut piece on top, if you like) Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. You can top the cooled cookie/muffin with just a little icing, too, for a more complete look.

suz_glo (at) yahoo (dot) com
Susan (NC)

Brenda Jackels said...

I'm one of the few crazy people in the world who do not particularly like chocolate cake, but this recipe sounds amazing!

Today I'll be baking my mom's date cookies. And hopefully some divinity. In fact, I might make the divinity first since the date cookies involve a trip to the grocery store.

bjackels5 at gmail dot com

Tampa, FL - where I'm enjoying the cold (for Tamp) 50 degree morning with wide open windows. It's 62 in the apartment! Heaven! :)

Julie said...

These look so yummy! I will have to try them.

Patti (@TheLoveJunkee) said...

I'm not a cook, or baker, but my mom makes great holiday cookies that I look forward to every year. Now she takes my kids during their school break and spends a day with each making cookies.

lovesfabromance at cox dot net


Penny Watson said...

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