Bailey's Irish Cream Cupcakes

Admittedly, it would have made more sense for me to post this recipe around St. Patrick's Day, but as usual I had given up sweets for Lent and didn't really want to tempt myself (or Will!) by making cupcakes and leaving them around the house. My mom recently bought me The Cupcake Diaries book, by the Georgetown Cupcakes sisters. Trust me, it was all I could do to keep myself from making every single recipe in the book! Seeing as how I absolutely love cooking/baking with alcohol, I decided to give the Irish Cream Cupcakes a try. I thought they were delicious; not too heavy, not too rich, and the Bailey's flavor was just perfect. My husband and our next door neighbor (who normally eats gluten-free food, I might add) wolfed these bad boys down in no time!
Source: The Cupcake Diaries


For the cupcakes:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
8 T European-style unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract (preferably Madagascar Bourbon)
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
1/2 cup Valrhona cocoa powder, sifted (may substitute another good-quality cocoa powder)
1/2 cup Irish Cream (such as Bailey's brand or nonalcoholic Irish Cream coffee syrup)

For the Irish Cream frosting:
4 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
6 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup Irish Cream


For the cupcakes:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard cupcake pan with twelve paper baking cups, and a second pan with six baking cups, or grease pans with butter if not using baking cups.

2. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt on a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper and set aside.
 3. Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a bowl with a handheld electric mixer. Beat on medium speed until fluffy. Stop to add the sugar; then beat on medium speed until well incorporated.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition.
4. Combine the vanilla extract and milk in a large liquid measuring cup.
5. Reduce the speed to low. Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, then gradually add one third of the milk mixture, beating until well incorporated. Add another third of the flour mixture, followed by one third of the milk mixture. Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the remaining flour mixture, followed by the remaining milk mixture, and mix slowly until just combined.

6. Add the cocoa powder, beating on low speed until just incorporated.
7. Add the Irish Cream, still beating on low speed, until just incorporated.
8. Use a standard-size ice-cream scoop to fill each baking cup with batter, so that the wells are two-thirds full.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes (start checking at 15 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting:

Mix all ingredients in an electric mixer for approximately 5 minutes, until the frosting is light and airy.
The Irish Cream will give the frosting a slightly beige color. When frosting the cupcakes, remember the signature swirl! (Yeah. This, I'm not so great at).


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