Baileys Irish Cream Cupcakes

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It’s still cold and snowy in New England and on Cape Cod where I live—but it’s finally March, and my thoughts are turning green.  Yes, green as in spring—but, even sooner, green as in shamrocks, leprechauns, and St. Patrick’s Day.

Soon, every self-respecting blogger will be posting recipes for their favorite Irish soda bread, both traditional versions and more dessert-like versions.  Then, of course, there are stews, cakes, cupcakes, shortbread cookies, and even sundaes, where there’s bound to be Guinness, Jameson’s, or Baileys involved.  I love it all!

I’m giving myself points as a blogger because I’m actually posting a recipe to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in time for you to make it yourself.  Yeah, me!  I think this means that I’m finally getting back in the groove after a particularly busy year (retiring, building a house, moving halfway across the country, marrying off a son, breaking my wrist, etc.).  Anyway, sure hope so.

Back to, in this case, Bailey Irish Cream (love the stuff).  It didn’t take much to decide to make a batch of these very special cupcakes which include Baileys as an ingredient in the cupcake, the buttercream frosting, and the chocolate ganache.  A perfect Baileys trifecta.

For the past few years, I’ve made a batch of Irish Carb Bomb cupcakes which are pretty sensational if I do say so myself and include both Guinness and Baileys.  Since I’ve already posted the recipe for these, I thought I’d treat us all to something new even though it would be a tough cupcake act to follow.

I am happy to report that these Baileys Irish Cream Cupcakes more than lived up to my expectations despite the fact that the only chocolate involved is in the ganache drizzle.  They are flavored with cinnamon which harmonizes beautifully with the Baileys.  When the cupcakes come out of the oven, you poke holes in them and brush the tops with more Baileys.  This results in an extremely moist and flavorful cupcake which is then topped with a rich and fluffy Baileys buttercream frosting.  As if that weren’t enough, you then drizzle a Baileys chocolate ganache over the frosting.  Swoon…

In addition to being a taste tester, Roger is often my photography helper where he is required to take bites out whatever I’ve made so that I can photograph it.  Well, after he took a bite out of a cupcake for me, he wouldn’t leave the kitchen until he could finish off the rest of the cupcake.  Of course, he had to wait until I took a photo and checked it out on my computer.  I had to make sure I had a shot I could use, that wasn’t blurry, etc.  When I had the photo below up on the screen, I showed it to him expecting him to say something positive about it.  He took a look, knew immediately I’d be using it and said, “I’m going to eat the rest of the cupcake now.”  I guess that was good feedback.

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My daughters couldn’t come down this weekend, so they missed out.  The cupcakes aren’t gluten free, so I couldn’t give any to one of my sisters, and my other sister is in Florida.  Let’s just say my neighbors with two teenage boys and a mom who doesn’t like to bake are going to save me from pigging out.

Roger and I both gave these an enthusiastic two thumbs up!  I think the leprechauns would second that.

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One year ago:  Broiled Steelhead Trout with Rosemary, Lemon and Garlic

Two years ago:  The Best-ever Italian Wedding Soup

Three years ago:  Coconut Shrimp Curry

Baileys Irish Cream Cupcakes

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Makes approximately 20 cupcakes

Ingredients for Cupcakes

  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 3 tsp. of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt
  • 1 tsp. of cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (preferably super fine—if you can’t find it, simply put sugar in a food processor and let it run until it’s a finer consistency)
  • 3/4 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 3 tsp. of vanilla
  • 1 cup Baileys Irish Cream (divided—1/2 cup for the cakes and 1/2 cup to brush over the cupcakes after they have been baked)

Ingredients for Buttercream Frosting

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter, room temperature
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup Baileys Irish Cream or enough to get the frosting to your desired flavor and consistency

Ingredients for the Chocolate Ganache to drizzle over the top:

  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup of semisweet chocolate chips (or if using a bar, chopped)
  • 3 tbl. Baileys Irish Cream

Directions for the Cupcakes

Preheat the oven to 350o F.  Line the muffin tins with 20 cupcake liners.  In a large bowl, whisk 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 one at a time until incorporated and then mix in vanilla.

Add flour mixture in three 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 18 to 20 minutes.  Use the toothpick test—you want to see some tender crumbs clinging.  If the toothpick is bone dry, your cupcakes will be overdone. (Mine were perfect at 18 minutes.)

Cool in pan for a few minutes.

Using a toothpick, poke holes in the tops of the cupcakes.  Next, use a pastry brush to brush the additional 1/2 cup of Baileys over the cupcakes.  Don’t worry, they won’t get soggy.

Directions for Baileys Buttercream Frosting

Place butters, confectioners’ 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, then drizzle with Bailey’s ganache.

Directions for the Ganache

Put heavy cream, semisweet chocolate chips, and Baileys Irish Cream in a microwave bowl and heat in microwave at 50% power for one minute.  If chocolate chips have not melted, microwave another 30 seconds at 50% power until melted.  Whisk to combine and make a smooth ganache.  Set aside until you are ready to drizzle ganache over frosted cupcakes.  If ganache gets too thick to drizzle, microwave for 10 seconds at 50% power until loose enough to drizzle.

Fran’s Notes

  • With regard to using both salted and unsalted butter, I’m guessing that using one stick of salted butter is meant to cut the sweetness of the frosting.  Alternatively, you could use all unsalted butter and add a pinch of salt to the frosting.
  • The original recipe stated that it made 30 to 36 cupcakes.  All I can tell you is that I used regular-sized cupcake tins, filled the cups 2/3 full and got 20 very normal-sized cupcakes.

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Source:   A recipe from Easy Baked

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