If 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.
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.
Whisky Ganache Filling
Yield: about 1½ cups
Tools: Bowls, whisk, measuring cups, measuring spoons
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
5½ ounces heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 ounce whisky
pinch of salt
1. Heat the cream until it simmers.
2. Place the chopped chocolate into a bowl heat-proof bowl, and pour the simmering cream over it. Let set for about a minute to allow the chocolate to melt. Add the butter, whisky and a pinch of salt. Stir until completely smooth.
3. Let sit at room temperature until cool and slightly thick. If you want to speed up the process you can place the ganache in the refrigerator and stir every 5 minutes until it has thickened. Place in a pastry bag and fill the cupcakes.
Irish Cream Frosting
yield: about 2 cups
Tools: Stand mixer with whisk attachment, measuring cups, measuring spoons
16 to 20 ounces confectioners (powdered) sugar
10 ounces (2½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3 ounces Bailey’s Irish Cream
1. Place the softened butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on high until the butter is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the powdered sugar, a cup at a time, and whisk until combined. Add the Irish cream and mix on high until the frosting is smooth. Frost the cupcakes.
Jonathan Melendez is a contributor at The Boys Club and blogger at The Candid Appetite.