Irish Coffee Cupcakes

St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, and what better way to celebrate than with some Irish coffee cupcakes? These treats are an easy adaptation of my mocha cupcakes and feature Bailey’s Irish Cream in both the cupcake and frosting. The recipe conveniently uses three tablespoons of Bailey’s total – the exact amount in a miniature bottle that you can find at your local state store.

What’s a state store, you non-residents of Pennsylvania may ask? Here in the commonwealth all liquor stores are state-run, and therefore called state stores. Beer, however, comes from a different shop known as a beer distributor, where you can buy six packs or cases. Some restaurants and grocery stores can sell six packs to go, too. What can I say? Apparently Pennsylvanians took Prohibition pretty seriously, and we’ve never quite caught up with the rest of the country…not that you’d be able to tell that on St. Patrick’s Day. Happy (and safe) celebrating!

Ingredients

For the cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup coffee, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature

For the frosting

  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners; my recipe yielded 20 cupcakes.

In a medium-sized glass measuring cup, whisk together coffee and espresso powder until the powder is completely dissolved. Add milk, vanilla, and Bailey’s and stir to combine, then set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg and mix to combine, scraping down your bowl at least once. Add flour mixture and coffee/milk mixture in alternate batches, starting and ending with the flour and mixing just to combine between each. Stir with a spatula to ensure that all the flour mixture is incorporated.

Using a two-inch cookie scoop, drop scoops of batter into the cupcake wells, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake for 17-20 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven, then remove cupcakes from tin and cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the frosting, combine espresso powder, vanilla extract, and Bailey’s in a small bowl and stir to completely dissolve the espresso powder. Beat butter on medium speed for about 2 minutes, then add powdered sugar all at once and beat until the sugar is fully incorporated into the butter. Add espresso mixture and beat 2-3 minutes until completely combined; you’ll want to scrape your bowl a few times in the process.

Fit a large piping bag with a Wilton M1 tip and pipe swirls of frosting on each cupcake. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.

Makes 20.

Guinness Chocolate Cookies

guinness-chocolate-cookiesMy very dear friend Amanda sent me a link to these cookies, and I just had to bake them. While the original recipe from Irish Central called for the Bailey’s frosting to go on top of each cookie, I decided to make them into sandwiches instead, like a whoopie pie/gob. I tweaked the frosting recipe just slightly and am pleased to report that it turned out perfectly, with just enough for all of the sandwiches. Two cookies, as well as a little container of the frosting, are on their way to Amanda out in California right now – I hope they arrive in one piece!

According to Mike and our friends Kevin and Tia, these cookies are delicious, fudgy, and have the right amount of alcohol in them – enough without being too boozy. If you don’t keep Bailey’s on hand, you could certainly just make the cookies without any frosting. Mike ate one unfrosted cookie because this actually made 39 cookies; I suspect if I’d made a few cookies a bit smaller, it would have made an even 40.

Guinness Chocolate Cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup Guinness*

*Allow the Guinness to sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes before using so it’s not as cold. 

Bailey’s Buttercream Frosting

  • 10 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream

Preparation

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugars; add eggs and beat to combine, then add Guinness. Mixture will be clumpy, but don’t worry – it will smooth out when you add the flour mixture.

Add flour mixture in three batches, beating to combine between each and scraping the sides of your bowl frequently.

Chill batter for 1 hour before baking.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.

Using a 2-inch cookie scoop, drop scoops of dough onto prepared baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart because cookies will spread when baking. Bake for 11-13 minutes, until edges are set and tops are still puffy.

Remove from oven and cool on baking sheets for about 5 minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely before filling.

To make the frosting, place butter in a mixing bowl and beat on medium speed for about 1 minute.

Add powdered sugar and beat on low speed until all of the sugar is fully incorporated into the butter; this will take a few minutes.

Add Bailey’s one tablespoon at a time, beating well and scraping the sides of the bowl between each addition.

To fill the cookies, flip cookies over so the flat side faces up. Using a 1-inch cookie scoop, drop scoops of frosting onto half of the cookies; spread with a small offset spatula, then top with another cookie.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days.