These Bailey's Irish cream cupcakes have a moist, chocolate cupcake base filled with chocolate ganache and topped with Irish cream buttercream! They're a fun, Irish coffee flavored treat for celebrating St. Patrick's Day!
Why You'll Love These Cupcakes!
- Perfect for St. Patrick's Day! - I don't know about you, but when I think St. Paddy's Day, I think Bailey's Irish cream!
- Bailey's Irish Cream frosting - the Bailey's flavored buttercream is the perfect compliment to the chocolate cupcakes!
- Moist chocolatey cupcake base - these chocolate cupcakes are moist, fudgy, and full of flavor!
- Filled with homemade chocolate ganache - this is optional, but I love filling cupcakes with Irish cream flavored chocolate ganache!
- Super easy to decorate - all you need to make these Irish coffee cupcakes beautiful are some chocolate shavings on top!
You just need a few ingredients to make these chocolate Irish coffee cupcakes!
- Irish Cream - I love the flavor of classic Bailey's Irish Cream and that's what I like to keep on hand, but you can also any brand of Irish cream that you like!
- Vegetable oil - I use oil instead of butter in these cupcakes to help keep the cake super moist and delicious! You can also use canola oil or a neutral olive oil.
- Cake flour - I always use cake flour in my cupcakes because it makes them super soft and tender, but all purpose flour also works great!
- Cocoa powder - My absolute favorite cocoa powder to use in my baking is the King Arthur Flour Triple Cocoa Blend! It's a blend of natural, Dutch, and black cocoa and is perfect for any baking. But you can easily substitute unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa instead!
- Espresso powder - This is optional, but I love how espresso powder enhances and deepens the chocolate flavor! King Arthur is my favorite brand of high quality espresso powder!
- Brewed coffee - I love adding brewed coffee or espresso to the cupcakes for an even richer coffee flavor! However, if you don't want to brew just ¼ cup of coffee, you can swap it out for water or milk.
- Dark chocolate - For the ganache, use dark chocolate baking bars as opposed to chocolate chips!! Chips contain emulsifiers that help them keep their shape, which also means they won't combine as smoothly as chocolate bars. If desired, you can use milk chocolate instead.
- Heavy whipping cream - This is for the ganache and cannot be substituted.
The complete list of ingredients and amounts is located in the recipe card below.
How to Make Chocolate Ganache
Finely chop the dark chocolate and place into a large bowl.
Place the heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 1-2 minutes or until hot to the touch but not boiling.
Pour over the chopped chocolate and let sit for about two minutes.
Using a spatula, gently mix until the chocolate is fully melted and the ganache is fully combined and smooth. Then add in the Irish cream and mix until combined.
Let sit at room temperature or in the fridge until is has thickened enough to hold its shape.
How to Make Chocolate Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a separate large bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil and granulated sugar until fully combined. Then whisk in the eggs until smooth. Whisk in the brewed espresso and Irish cream until combined.
Then gently mix in the dry ingredients until fully incorporated. The batter will be thin.
Pour about ¼ cup of batter into each cupcake liner (they should be about halfway full).
Bake at 350°F for 18-22 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Remove from pan and let cool on wire rack.
Let the chocolate cupcakes cool completely before filling and frosting.
Use a cupcake corer to remove the center of each cupcake, then fill with 1-2 teaspoons of thickened chocolate ganache.
Frost the filled Irish cream chocolate cupcakes and garnish with chocolate shavings if desired!
Tips for the Best Baked Goods
Use room temperature ingredients! Always make sure ingredients like butter, eggs, milk, yogurt, etc. are at room temperature before baking (unless the recipe indicates otherwise)! This ensures they'll incorporate into the batter more easily and leads to overall better texture. Remove all ingredients from the fridge 30 minutes to an hour before baking for best results.
Measure your flour correctly! It's most accurate to use a kitchen scale, but if you're measuring by volume you want to spoon and level! Fluff up the flour a bit with a spoon, and then spoon flour into the measuring cup. Once it's overflowing, use the back of a knife to level it off. Don't ever pack flour into the measuring cup or you'll end up with way too much! Improperly measured flour can lead to dry, dense baked goods. [Measure cocoa powder the same way!]
Use an oven thermometer! Just because your oven says it's 350, doesn't mean it is! If you oven hasn't been calibrated recently, it can be as much as 30 degrees off, which will negatively affect all baked goods from cakes to macarons! An oven thermometer is the easiest/cheapest way to ensure your oven is always at the proper temperature.
Make sure you baking powder is fresh! Baking powder is important for helping baked goods rise properly, but it has a relatively short shelf life once opened, so it's one of the few items I never buy in bulk! To test if your baking powder is still fresh, add a small amount to boiling water. If it bubbles it's still good to use, but if not it's time to toss it!
Cupcake Decorating Tips
For chocolate cupcakes, I like to use these chocolate brown cupcake liners for a more seamless look!
Make sure you let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting, then use a cupcake corer to easily remove the center of your cupcakes before filling with chocolate ganache.
For these big beautiful frosting swirls on these chocolate Irish cream cupcakes, I use the 1M tip from this decorating kit. The tips are much larger than standard sizes and so fun for decorating cupcakes!
There are several fun ways you can garnish these Bailey's Irish cream cupcakes!
- Chocolate shavings
- Crunchy chocolate pearls
- Drizzle with melted chocolate ganache
These cupcakes are best eaten the same day, but will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days! However, they taste best when served at room temperature! I like to let them sit at room temperature for about an hour before serving.
Using a vegetable peeler, shave the edge of a chocolate bar for narrow curls or the side of a chocolate bar for wider curls. I like to keep the chocolate shavings in a container in the freezer so that they stay fresh and don't melt!
Just a little, but yes! The alcohol in the cupcakes does cook off, but there is Irish cream in the frosting too so these cupcakes should only be served to people over 21.
Tips for Success!
For best results I always recommend using weight measurements (especially when baking) because it's the most accurate. Kitchen scales are super affordable and also reduce the number of dishes you have to do! However, all my recipes also include US customary measurements for convince. Use this chart to convert measurements for common ingredients!
Substitutions: In all my recipes, I've included substitutions that I know will work, but I cannot guarantee results if you substitute ingredients that I have not recommended. [For example, granulated sugar and honey are indeed both sweeteners but they have very different properties so they can not always be swapped 1:1. Using honey in a cookie recipe that calls for granulated sugar will yield a giant mess.] In the recipe card you'll find links to the specific ingredients/brands that I use.
A note on salt: I almost exclusively use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt because it's the best all-purpose salt for cooking and baking. If you're not using kosher salt, consult this handy guide for a conversion chart! When in doubt, if you're using table salt just reduce the amount by half for baked goods. When cooking, I prefer to under-salt because you can always add more! If you've over-salted, adding a little bit of acid (like lemon juice) can help.
More Recipes You Might Like!
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Bailey's Irish Cream Cupcakes
- 1 ¼ cup cake flour, substitute all purpose flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons espresso powder, optional
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup vegetable oil, substitute canola oil or neutral olive oil
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- ¼ cup brewed espresso or coffee, substitute whole milk
- ¼ cup Bailey's Irish Cream, substitute whole milk
- Place the heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 1-2 minutes or until hot to the touch but not boiling.
- Pour over the chopped chocolate and let sit for about two minutes.
- Using a spatula, gently mix until the chocolate is fully melted and the ganache is fully combined and smooth. Then add in the Irish cream and mix until combined.
- Let sit at room temperature or in the fridge until is has thickened enough to hold its shape.
- If your ganache is too firm, microwave for 10 seconds to soften and then stir until ganache is the desired consistency.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil and granulated sugar until fully combined. Then whisk in the eggs until smooth. Whisk in the brewed espresso and Irish cream until combined.
- Then gently mix in the dry ingredients until fully incorporated. The batter will be thin.
- Pour about ¼ cup of batter into each cupcake liner (they should be about halfway full).
- Bake at 350°F for 18-22 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Remove from pan and let cool on wire rack.
- Let the chocolate cupcakes cool completely before filling and frosting.
- Use a cupcake corer to remove the center of each cupcake, then fill with 1-2 teaspoons of thickened chocolate ganache.
- In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the room temperature butter and powdered sugar until smooth.
- Set the mixer to low speed and slowly drizzle in the Irish cream until it's fully incorporated into the buttercream.
- Add in the salt then beat the frosting on high for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy.
- If the frosting in too thick, you can add in 1 tablespoon of Irish cream at a time to thin it out a bit.
- Frost the filled Irish cream chocolate cupcakes and garnish with chocolate shavings if desired!
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.