Irish Coffee Cupcakes

irish cupcakesIf you’re a big fan of Irish coffee, then you’ll be a big fan of this delicious treat. How could you not be? This recipe brings the three most important flavors of this classic beverage–coffee, whiskey, and Bailey’s–together in the form of a dessert. We’re talking about rich, coffee-infused chocolate cupcakes filled with whisky ganache, and topped with an Irish cream frosting. It doesn’t get much better than that. An if you feel like going the extra mile, you can take cake decorating courses but make sure you choose the right cake class for you.

Wrapped up in a tiny package, these cupcakes pack a punch. The name of this dessert might sound complex and fancy, but the truth of the matter is that these cupcakes couldn’t be easier to whip up. The chocolate cake is perfectly moist and embarrassingly simple. If you can turn on a mixer, then you can make these cupcakes. Now, I find that many people hesitate when it comes to cooking or baking with alcohol. The most common misconception is that you’ll get drunk if you eat anything that has alcohol in it. That simply isn’t the case. In fact, when you cook or bake with any type of liqueur, the alcohol tends to burn off in the process, and all you’re left with is wonderful flavor. That should take care of all of the skeptics, right? Another tip, if you’re worried that you can’t make these cupcakes because of the need for a pastry bag and decorating tips, is to use a gallon-sized food storage bag. Simply fill the bag and snip off one of the corners. That should take care of all of the daunting qualities of this recipe and will allow you to use this recipe as the perfect introduction into the boozy food world.

I have to warn you though, because once you try one, you’ll find any excuse to make these. Certain tasks that do not even merit a batch of cupcakes will get you in the kitchen baking, filling and frosting. Whatever the event might be, you will come to the conclusion that these will do just fine. Enjoy!

Irish Coffee Cupcakes

Yield: 24 cupcakes (2 dozen)

Tools: Mixer, bowls, measuring cups, measuring spoons, piping bags, decorating tips


14 ounces granulated sugar

6 ounces cake flour

2.2 ounces cocoa powder

1¾ teaspoon baking powder

1¾ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon instant espresso powder

2 large eggs

8 ounces buttermilk

4 ounces vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon coffee flavored liqueur (optional)

8 ounces hot coffee

whisky ganache filling (recipe follows)

Irish cream frosting (recipe follows)


1. Preheat oven to 350° F and line two cupcake pans with liners. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar, cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder. Mix until combined.

3. Add the eggs, buttermilk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and coffee liqueur (if using), and mix until the batter is smooth. Slowly and carefully stream in the hot coffee while the mixer is on low. The cake batter will be thin and runny, which is okay. It is supposed to be that way.

4. Fill the prepared cupcake pans about ¾ of the way. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool in pans slightly. Place the cupcakes on a  wire rack to cool completely before filling and frosting.

5. Place the whisky ganache in a pastry bag, fitted with a plain circle tip. Poke a hole in the center of the cupcake with the bag and squeeze the ganache directly into the cupcake. Fill with about 2 teaspoons of ganache. To frost the cupcakes, fill another pastry bag with the Irish cream frosting. You can use whichever decorating tip you’d like for this. I used a star tip. Swirl the frosting on top of each cupcake. Sprinkle with cinnamon for garnish and enjoy. Keep any leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container.