Irish Cream Cupcakes

Anything with Bailey’s Irish Cream in it is worth it’s weight in gold, but in our lean student years, hubby and I couldn’t afford it. After we tasted a homemade version of it at a friend’s party, he asked for the recipe. I had to laugh when I saw how he titled it: “Bay Leaves Irish Cream.”
Lots of laughs over the years on that one!

Irish Cream Cupcakes

  • Servings: 30 large cupcakes
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3-3/8 cups (743 g) light brown sugar
3-3/8 cups (405 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1-1/8 cups (96 g) Dutch process cocoa, sifted as it usually has lumps
3-3/8 tsp. (20 g) baking soda
1-3/4 tsp. (7 g) baking powder
3/8 tsp. (2 g) salt
1-3/4 cup (414 ml) strong coffee, cooled (this is particularly good with a medium roast)
1-3/4 cup (414 ml) buttermilk (in a pinch, you can make your own. For each cup of buttermilk, add 1 T of white vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice to 1 cup of whole milk. Stir and let it stand for five minutes. Actually, you can use lower fat milks too, I just prefer whole).
1 cup (237 ml) canola oil
5 large eggs (275 g)
2-1/4 tsp. vanilla (11 ml)

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Place 30 tulip paper wrappers in cupcake tins. (I have become a big fan of tulip papers because they are pretty and make bigger cupcakes, but they do need to have the support of a muffin or cupcake tin as they aren’t sturdy enough to sit on their own). [If using regular cupcake papers, your quantities will be higher. You’ll want to adjust baking time (start at 12 minutes and keep an eye on them).]

Combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, soda and salt in the bowl of a mixer and whisk on low to combine, making sure it’s lump free.  Add the coffee, buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla and mix on medium low for two minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides.  The batter will be pourable.

Pour the batter into each tulip just to the point where the paper goes above the top of the muffin tin.  Bake for 18-20 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Using both hands, lift them out of the tins by the tops of the paper and place them on a rack to cool.

Adapted from a cake recipe by Susan Nickum

One 8 oz. package (227 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
Two sticks (227 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 cups (750 g) powdered sugar, SIFTED (Important)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup + 2 T (89 ml) Irish Cream liqueur

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. If the ingredients haven’t had a chance to come to room temperature, they will be lumpy. If this happens, leave it for a while to warm and beat again.

Gradually add the powdered sugar, a cup at a time, until combined. You’ll want to use low speed here, or you’ll powder your kitchen! Add the vanilla and 1-2 T of the liqueur at a time until light and fluffy.

If the frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar, and if it’s too thick, add a splash more Irish cream.

To Pipe:
Place a 1” piping tip (I used a star tip for the cupcakes in the photo) in the bottom of an icing bag and fill 2/3rd full with the frosting. Swirl a tablespoon or so on the top of each cupcake. I topped each with a Bailey’s Irish Cream chocolate (cut in quarters) from Boehms Chocolates, a Pacific Northwest favorite. YUM!!

Refrigerate until it’s time to serve.

Frosting recipe adapted from

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