These Baileys Cupcakes are the perfect grown-up cupcake recipe – moist, fudgy chocolate cupcakes with fluffy Irish cream frosting and completely irresistible.
Sometimes dessert needs a little something extra – and that’s what these Baileys cupcakes are for. They’re the perfect cupcake recipe for adults and delicious for Christmas, New Year’s Eve, or St. Patrick’s Day.
They start with moist, fudgy, extra chocolate-y chocolate cupcakes. Then they’re topping with Bailey’s frosting that’s creamy, fluffy, & has just the right amount of Irish cream.
Baileys Cupcake Recipe
I actually played around with this recipe a lot. If you want to get straight to the recipe, feel free to scroll down but for more tips, baking science, etc – keep reading.
At first, I wanted to make a chocolate cupcake recipe infused with Irish cream. However, after multiple recipe tests I realized that the chocolate flavor would just take over and after the cupcakes were baked you really couldn’t taste the Baileys at all. Or the amount of Baileys that you’d have to add to the batter was a little ridiculous, and then the texture of the cupcakes was waaaaay off.
So instead – I settled on the best chocolate cupcake recipe around topped with Baileys frosting. Trust me, you’ll get plenty of Irish cream flavor.
The chocolate cupcakes are super moist because we’re using oil and buttermilk. Oil keeps them tender because it’s liquid at room temperature as opposed to butter which is solid. Then buttercream gives that super soft, light, fluffy texture.
The deliciously fudgy, chocolate flavor is because we’re using cocoa powder and boiling water. I like to use Dutch-process cocoa because it gives a richer chocolate taste. Then the boiling water actually helps to bring out the chocolate flavor because it helps the cocoa “bloom”. I find a richer chocolate flavor pairs perfectly with the Irish cream frosting.
Speaking of which – let’s talk about this Baileys buttercream. It’s easy, simple, and completely amazing. Start with softened butter (real butter and not melted). Beat the butter for at least 3 minutes first – this makes the frosting extra fluffy. Then slowly mix in the powdered sugar, alternating with a little Baileys.
I also added some instant coffee powder to the frosting because I find it helps to bring out/intensify the Baileys. You can leave this out if you prefer – but we definitely enjoyed it.
The amount of Irish cream that you use in the frosting actually isn’t that much, but the Baileys flavor is quite pronounced. So I recommend adding it little by little and doing a little taste test as you go so that you don’t find it too strong.
Don’t want the alcohol? Feel free to substitute Baileys for Irish cream flavored coffee creamer!
These Baileys cupcakes are a must-make for the holiday season. I always start my Christmas morning with a coffee and Baileys, and I’ll definitely be adding a few of these beauties to my holiday celebrations. Because what’s better for celebrations than cupcakes and Irish cream????
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil or canola
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup buttermilk
- ¼ cup boiling water
- ¾ cup unsalted butter softened
- 3-4 cups powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup Baileys Irish Cream
- ½ teaspoon instant coffee granules
- Preheat the oven to 375F degrees.
- Line a muffin pan with muffin papers - you'll end up with 12-14 cupcakes total.
- Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda & salt.
- In a large bowl beat together the oil, sugar, egg & vanilla extract (about 30 seconds to 1 minute).
- Turn the mixer down to low speed and mix in the buttermilk.
- Mix the flour mixture about ½ at a time starting with the mixer on low, then turning up to medium once almost combined.
- With the mixer on low, carefully beat in the boiling water.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling each about ⅔ full.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 14-16 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- In a large bowl beat the butter until very fluffy (about 3 minutes).
- Turn the mixer down to low speed and mix in the salt and 2 cups of powdered sugar.
- Add the instant coffee powder to the Baileys (if it doesn't entirely dissolve, that's ok).
- Beat the rest of the powdered sugar into the butter about ½ cup at a time, alternating with 1 tablespoon of Baileys until the desired consistency and sweetness level is reached.
- Transfer the frosting to a piping bag and frost, or frost with a knife. Optionally decorate with chocolate shavings