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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Irish Cream Cupcakes

I know I'm late to the party but I brought some killer irish cream cupcakes for St. Patricks Day!  Yes, I know that was yesterday but its a family tradition to celebrate everything late and are YOU QUESTIONING MY FAMILY'S TRADITIONS?!

I didn't think so.

Anyways, these cupcakes were pretty easy to throw together and contained my FAVORITE thing Ireland ever produced (next to my Dad of course).   I grabbed the base for the recipe over at Easy Baked but tweaked just a couple minor things.

The icing is TO DIE FOR.  It had a WAY higher butter to sugar ratio than I am used to so I was skeptical but it was SIMPLY FABULOUS and I will definitely be making it again!  The cupcake itself was good, it had a nice flavor but was a little dense for my liking I think this is because it had to be a study cake in order to absorb the baileys that gets painted on top of it when its done baking.  It worked well with the frosting and I'll likely continue to make them this way but a couple of my cake testers compared it to "carrot cake" likely from the dense texture and addition of cinnamon and I don't think the comparison was very far off.

The chocolate ganache is optional and the first time I made these I was in a rush and didn't add it but the second time I made them I intended on leaving half un-ganached but the flavor was SO GOOD I ended up ganache-ing them all so I definitely recommend it.

Cinnamon is used in this recipe to complement and bring out the Baileys flavor and it does a MARVELOUS job of it, I would never have thought of that pairing but it works REALLY well.  I took it a step further and paired the cupcakes with a pot of coffee I made where I threw pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon in with the coffee grounds and it was PERFECT.  So I recommend these cupcakes as part of this totally wholesome and complete breakfast which is not at all fattening in the slightest

Of course since I'm late posting this I do have a FUN FREEBIE for you!  I was bringing these over to a family dinner and wanted to give them a little "flare" so I designed these adorable little cupcake toppers for them, you can grab a downloadable of the design I made right HERE!  Instructions for how I put them together are at the bottom of this post, and look how adorable the are!

Irish Cream Cupcakes

Adapted from: Easy Baked with minor tweaks
Makes: Exactly 22.  I've made this recipe several times and its always 22.  Go figure?
Prep time: About 30 minutes
Bake time: 20 minutes


For the cupcakes

  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 
  • 3/4 cups unsalted butter room temp.
  • 3 eggs room temp.
  • 3 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 1 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream (separated, 1/2 cup for the cakes, 1/2 cup to pour over the cakes after they have been baked)
For the Buttercream Frosting:
  • 4 sticks of butter, room temp
  • 4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup baileys
Optional Ganache

  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips 
  • 1/4 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream



  • Combine all three ingredients in a small saucepan on the stove over medium heat.  Whisk until everything is consistently melted together. 
  • Transfer to a covered heatproof bowl and place in the refrigerator


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the muffin tins with 24 liners (my batch made 22 cupcakes but line 24 just in case)
  • In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon
  • In a large bowl, use a mixer to cream together the sugar and butter for about 3 minutes until light and fluffy.

  • Add eggs once at a time until incorporated and then mix in vanilla.

  • Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the Bailey’s Irish Cream, starting and ending with the flour mixture.

  • Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full and bake for 17-20 min.  This is tricky because at 15 minutes my cupcakes were still gooey inside but at 20 minutes they were overdone so WATCH CAREFULLY.  

  • Cool in pan for a few minutes

  • Using a pastry brush, brush the additional 1/2 cup of baileys over the cupcakes.

I was running a bit late while throwing these together but luckily in New England I have a trick to cool the cupcakes SUPER fast!  Leave them outside!

Baileys Buttercream Frosting:

  • Place butters, powdered sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl.
  • Beat on high until light and fluffy.
  • Add Baileys Irish Cream a bit at a time until buttercream is desired flavor and consistency.
  • Frost cooled cupcakes using a pastry bag.

Topping with Ganache:

  • My ganache was a little tricky to get on the cupcakes looking pretty, if it was too cold then it was "chunky" on the cupcakes.  If it was too hot, it just spilled right off the cupcakes into a puddly mess underneath them.  So this is a little bit of a trial and error thing.
  • Take the bowl of ganache out of the refridgerator, give it a stir with a fork, if it stirs easily then take a "test cupcake" (your ugliest one) and place it on a plate.
  • Dip the fork in the ganache, and let the ganache drizzle from the fork over the cupcake while moving the fork back and forth. If the ganache falls easily and makes an elegant pattern then continue with the rest of the cupcakes.
  • If the ganache doesn't drizzle off the fork at all then stick it in the microwave for 10 seconds, give it a stir and try again.
  • If the ganache falls too quickly then stick it in the freezer for another 10 minutes or so then try again. 

How to make the cupcake toppers

(1) Gather supplies:  Kraft paper backing, white sticker paper (or white paper and glue), scissors, toothpicks.

(2) Print out the cupcake toppers onto white sticker paper (or plain paper), downloaded from HERE.  

(3) Cut out around the brown circle on the topper print out.

(4) Cut the Kraft paper into small squares, slightly bigger than the cut out topper.
(5) Attach the circle to the square craft paper, sandwich-ing the toothpick in between.

(6) Cut the kraft paper square down to a circle using the topper as a guide.


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