Irish Cream Cupcakes

Irish cream cupcakes

Want to know one of the things I love about having a food blog?  Getting to make cupcakes for absolutely no reason at all.  Well, technically I made these because St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, but really I just wanted them for myself.  And then I can use this blog as an excuse for doing so.  It’s pretty awesome.

Irish cream cupcakes

So let’s talk about these cupcakes, shall we?  The cupcake base uses both irish cream and coffee – making it oh so very moist.  The coffee taste is not really prominent, it more just brings out the deep chocolate flavor.  And the frosting?  As always, probably my favorite part.  It has that wonderful silky buttercream texture and is full of irish cream.  Which pairs perfectly with the chocolate base.

Irish cream cupcakes

I intended to decorate these with chocolate covered espresso beans… but that plan didn’t go so well when I realized that I somehow bought chocolate covered raisins instead.  Seriously, I have no idea how I did that.  So let’s just keep it between us that those “espresso beans” in the pictures may not actually be espresso beans…

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Irish Cream Cupcakes

Recipe for Irish cream cupcakes. A moist chocolate base with coffee and Irish cream to deepen the flavor. Topped with a silky Irish cream buttercream.

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 ½ cups cake flour
  • ½ cup dutch process cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup strongly brewed coffee, cooled slightly
  • ¼ cup irish cream liqueur

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons irish cream liqueur
  • 1 tablespoon strongly brewed coffee, cooled

For garnish:

  • chocolate covered espresso beans, optional
  • mini chocolate chips, optional

Directions:

  1. To make the cupcakes – preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with baking cups and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter and sugar. Cream on medium speed for 1 minute. Add in the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined. Add in the flour mixture and mix on low until just incorporated. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine the coffee and liqueur. Add half of this mixture to the batter. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute (start on low then increase to medium so it doesn’t splatter everywhere). Scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed. Add in the remaining half of the coffee mixture and then beat again on medium speed for 1 minute.
  3. Scoop the batter into the prepared cupcake tins, filling them about ⅔ of the way full (I probably had enough for 1 more cupcake – so a total of 13 – but didn’t bother). Bake for 17 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. To make the frosting – add the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, slowly add in the confectioners’ sugar. Once incorporated, increase the speed to medium and beat until well combined. Add in the salt, vanilla, liqueur and coffee. Beat on low speed until incorporated and then increase the speed to high and beat for about 3 minutes, until fluffy.
  5. Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip. Pipe frosting on the cupcakes as desired. Garnish with chocolate covered espresso beans or mini chocolate chips.

Cupcakes adapted from King Arthur Flour.  Frosting adapted from my favorite maple buttercream.