These Guinness Doughnuts with Irish Whiskey Frosting are incredibly moist and perfectly potent, making for a superb St. Patrick's Day celebration.
(This recipe for Guinness Doughnuts with Irish Whiskey Frosting was originally published in March 2013, but was updated with new photos and content in 2019).
Am I a bad part Irish Bostonian if I say I'm not really a huge fan of St. Patrick's Day? Probably. I'm also probably a 93-year-old. Because I think it's really just that I don't like holidays on which people feel the need to get ridiculously drunk for no apparent reason, which is exactly what so many Bostonians do.
Of course, this is not to say I can't get into the St. Patrick's Day eating (corned beef!) and drinking spirit. You know I enjoy a cocktail or five myself. And now that I'm a 30-something living in the suburbs, there's a lot less pressure to go crazy, which allows me to enjoy the finer things about St. Patrick's Day... Like wearing green, eating green foods, and drinking a couple Irish libations (but no green beer, please!).
And so you won't be surprised to hear that these doughnuts contain two types of alcohol between the cake and the frosting. And yes, that frosting? Let's just say the whiskey was diluted by NOTHING, which is exactly how it should be. Potent.
I'm not really sure what kind of transition I just made here. From talking about how I hate drunken holiday stereotypes to discussing the green alcohol-laden doughnuts I just made. But come on, whether you're a St. Patrick's Day lover or not, you can enjoy one of these. Or ten.
And considering I'm talking about St. Patrick's Day a month out, I must not dislike it that much (I have another recipe coming at you next week!). But really, you can make these Guinness doughnuts any day of the year... You may just want to go with a frosting that's not quite so vibrantly green.
How to Make Guinness Doughnuts
As much as I wanted the beer flavor to come through in these Guinness donuts, I also knew it would be a little bit too much if there wasn't another flavor profile. I figured chocolate would be perfect, but opted for chocolate milk for a lighter creamier chocolate as opposed to a cocoa powder. I used chocolate soy milk, but you can use any milk or dairy alternative.
Baked doughnuts are like really ridiculously easy to make and these baked Guinness doughnuts are no exception. I couldn't even believe how quickly they came together. And let me tell you, I am not speedy in the kitchen.
Start by whisking the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. And then combining the wet ingredients in a separate large bowl, including the Guinness and chocolate milk.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry. This is where you need to be careful to stir just until the ingredients are combined, taking great care not to over-mix. Over-mixing your batter will give you cakey doughnuts, which is a big reason why people say they don't love baked doughnuts. Too cakey is not good!
Spray your doughnut pan with oil and fill about ¾ of the way full with batter.
And bake the donuts for 8-10 minutes at 325 degrees until they're cooked through and light and springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for a few minutes before removing to cooling racks. Repeat with second batch of doughnuts (if your doughnut pan only holds six).
Remember, you want your Guinness doughnuts to be completely cooled before frosting! Otherwise…. disaster.
How to Make Irish Whiskey Frosting
If you thought those doughnuts were easy, wait till you see this Irish whiskey frosting. Pretty much all you need to do is whisk all the ingredients together.
And then add a little bit of food coloring and stir to combine. The first time I made these, I went with a super light green whiskey frosting, but this time I decided to go all out and be bright and bold!
Other Varieties of Beer Doughnuts
Don't have Guinness? Want beer doughnuts in October and not on St. Patrick's Day? The good news is that you can use any beer in these doughnuts. You can substitute regular milk for chocolate milk in the batter (if chocolate doesn't go with the beer choice) and substitute milk for the Irish whiskey in the frosting (or you can use another flavoring of choice).
Some of my favorite options are:
- Chocolate Stout Doughnuts: Guinness is a delicious stout, but chocolate stout adds even more chocolate-y flavor.
- Coffee Porter Doughnuts: Coffee and chocolate? Sign me up! (p.s. peanut butter porter works, too)
- Holiday Spiced Beer Doughnuts: During the holiday season with some holiday sprinkles on top, holiday spiced beer doughnuts are perfect.
But I should also say that Guinness doughnuts with Irish whiskey frosting can be enjoyed any time of year and not just on St. Patrick's Day.
Once the Irish whiskey frosting is made, you're done! Well, you still have to frost the doughnuts. Which is probably the most difficult part of this whole shenanigans. The frosting is drippy and messy. And green. But in a really good way.
I also recommend adding some festive sprinkles. Gold would be pretty, but I loved my mix from Sweetapolita!
Smelling the whiskey frosting might get you a little tipsy though. So, I'm not sure what that says about tasting it? Yes, it's potent. I briefly considered mixing some vanilla or something into the frosting, but then said no.
The Irish would not approve of that. And the sugar does a good job of balancing the liquor.
I mean, not that the Irish would probably approve of adding chocolate soy milk to Guinness donuts. But oh well. Just focus on the Guinness people...
Whenever I make baked doughnuts, it's always my goal to make a doughnut that's super moist rather than cakey and dense.
These definitely succeeded. Thank you Guinness and soy milk. And the care I took in not over-mixing the batter (LOL).
More St. Patrick's Day Desserts
Guinness donuts make the most perfect St. Patrick Day dessert (or breakfast... shhh), but if they're not quite your thing or you want to make multiple treats, I have lots of desserts perfect for your March 17 celebrations! Here are some of my favorites:
- Lucky Charms Cookie Dough Bars
- Mint Macarons with Bailey's Buttercream
- Lucky Charms Ice Cream
- Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Irish Whiskey Filling
- Lucky Charms Donuts
- Chocolate Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
- Lucky Charms Granola Bars
- Shamrock Pretzel Sticks (from No Plate Like Home)
- Mint Chocolate Chip Truffles (from Sweet and Savory Meals)
You can go out and drink a ton on St. Patrick's Day (might I recommend a Lucky Charms Martini??). Or you can sit home and eat a bunch of these Guinness doughnuts. Wait, I don't think either of those options is overly healthy. But maybe you could just go out for a little bit and then come home and eat ONE of these?
That sounds more reasonable.
But you've got to make them. Because I'm pretty sure they don't sell anything like this at Dunkin' Donuts. Annnd they'd probably be sued if they did based on the alcohol content. And then Boston would get a whole lot rowdier.
How do you celebrate St. Patrick's Day?
Guinness Doughnuts with Irish Whiskey Frosting
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2 Tbsp melted unsalted butter
- ⅔ cup Guinness
- ¼ cup chocolate milk (can use soy or other dairy alternative)
- 1 batch Irish Whiskey Frosting (recipe below)
- Sprinkles (optional)
Irish Whiskey Frosting
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 ½ Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- ¼ tsp salt
- 4-5 Tbsp Irish whiskey
- 1-3 drops green food coloring
- Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees and lightly spray a doughnut pan with cooking oil.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together eggs, melted butter, Guinness, and chocolate milk.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined, taking care not to over-mix.
- Fill each cavity in the doughnut pan about ¾ of the way with batter. I like to put batter in a plastic bag, cut off the corner, and squeeze the batter into the doughnut pan (you could also use a pastry bag).
- Bake doughnuts for 8-10 minutes until they're cooked through and light and springy to the touch. Let cool in the pan for a few minutes before removing to cooling racks to cool completely. Repeat with second batch of doughnuts (if your doughnut pan only holds six).
- Once doughnuts are completely cooled, frost with Irish whiskey frosting and add sprinkles, if desired.
Irish Whiskey Frosting
- In a large bowl, whisk together confectioners' sugar, softened butter, salt, and 4 Tbsp whiskey until well combined. If frosting is still too thick, add additional Tbsp of whiskey.
- Add green food coloring 1 drop at a time and stir until it's blended and desired color is achieved.
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