These Guinness Donuts with Irish Whiskey Frosting are incredibly moist and perfectly spiked, making for a festive and fun St. Patrick's Day celebration.
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 older, 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 donuts 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.
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
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.
Even better, they taste absolutely delicious! As much as I wanted the beer flavor to come through in these 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.
I made an Irish whisky frosting for even more St. Patrick's Day appeal, but you could also do a Guinness frosting or the frosting flavor of your choice.
You can decorate them however you want and make them appropriate for any day of the year!
The ingredients for these Guinness donuts are pretty simple and you don't need much! Here's everything required (be sure to check out the recipe card at the bottom of this post for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions):
- All-purpose flour
- Granulated sugar
- Baking powder
- Large eggs
- Melted unsalted butter
- Chocolate milk: can use soy or other dairy or dairy alternative
- Irish Whiskey Frosting: recipe below or use the frosting flavor of your choice.
- Sprinkles: optional, but they add some fun!
If you're planning to make the Irish whiskey frosting, here's what you need:
- Confectioners' sugar
- Unsalted butter
- Irish whiskey
- Green food coloring
You'll also need a standard-size donut pan to make this recipe.
🍩 How to make Guinness donuts
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and lightly spray doughnut pan with nonstick spray or cooking oil.
Now, whisk all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
And then combine 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.
To make it easier to get batter into the donut pan, I like to put it in a plastic bag, cut off the corner, and squeeze it right into the pan. You could also opt to use a pastry bag filled 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 a wire rack. Repeat with second batch of doughnuts (if your doughnut pan only holds six).
Remember, you want your Guinness donuts to be completely cooled before frosting! Otherwise…. disaster.
🥣 How to make Irish whiskey frosting
If you thought those donuts 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!
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.
You can either dunk the donuts in the frosting or spread it over the top of the donuts.
I also recommend adding some festive sprinkles. Gold would be pretty, but I love the mixes from Sweetapolita!
⏲️ How to store
Once the frosting is totally set on the donuts, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up 2-3 days.
If you're stacking the donuts in the container, be sure to place layers of wax paper or parchment paper between them.
You can store the Guinness chocolate donuts in the fridge for about a week, but they tend to lose a little bit of their moistness when chilled.
🧁 More frosting flavors
If the Irish whiskey in the frosting sounds like too much for you, you can certainly use another flavor. Here are some delicious frosting flavors that would go well with the Guinness in the donuts:
- Guinness: instead of adding whisky to the frosting, mix in more Guinness in its place for double beer donuts!
- Chocolate: chocolate frosting will go perfectly with the Guinness.
- Vanilla: vanilla frosting will add a nice light touch to the donuts.
- Cream cheese: a sweet and tart cream cheese frosting would help balance out the bold beer flavor.
- Coffee: coffee and Guinness are a match made in heaven, so this would be a delicious frosting choice! You can even use actual Irish coffee in the frosting.
- Baileys Irish Cream: if you prefer Irish cream to whiskey, I highly recommend replacing the whiskey with Baileys in this frosting!
🍺 Other kinds of beer donuts
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 Donuts: Guinness is a delicious stout, but chocolate stout adds even more chocolate-y flavor.
- Coffee Porter Donuts: Coffee and chocolate? Sign me up! (p.s. peanut butter porter works, too)
- Holiday Spiced Beer Donuts: During the holiday season with some holiday sprinkles on top, holiday spiced beer doughnuts are perfect.
But I should also say that chocolate Guinness donuts with Irish whiskey frosting can be enjoyed any time of year and not just on St. Patrick's Day.
If you want to boost the chocolate flavor, you can add a little cocoa powder into the donut batter.
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 for a boozy 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:
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 ingredients.
And then Boston would get a whole lot rowdier.
How do you celebrate St. Patrick's Day?
Guinness Donuts 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
- Preheat 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 a cooling rack 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.