These Irish Cream-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes are a fun treat, packed with rich chocolate flavor and spiked 3 ways with Baileys Irish Cream liqueur … in the cake, the filling, and the frosting. Perfect for those who love boozy desserts!
We love celebrating St. Patrick’s Day here at The Heritage Cook. Why, you ask? Because this year March 17th marks the 25th anniversary of the first time I met The Artist!
That year I was meeting friends at a local pub to celebrate my favorite holiday, there was a bunch of my buddies from IBM there so I joined them. Then in walked a couple more friends. After greeting each other, they told me they had a guy for me to meet … and the rest, as they say, is history.
I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. If the people I was supposed to meet had shown up on time, I never would have seen my two friends walk in and met my future husband. When things are supposed to happen, the Universe conspires to put us in the right place at the right time.
A few years ago one of my blogging friends, the incredible Barbara Schieving of Barbara Bakes posted her Boston Cream Cupcakes recipe. I immediately knew I wanted to make them and share them with you. They were in my “to make” file just waiting for the perfect opportunity – and today is it!
Barbara’s original recipe is a beautiful cupcake version of the classic Boston cream pie. I decided to use Baileys and give them a distinctive Irish spin. A little whiskey never hurt anyone, right? LOL.
Barbara is an extraordinary baker, with skills that rival any pastry chef. I had the distinct pleasure of meeting her in person at the BlogHer Food conference five years ago. She is just as delightful in person as she is online. Make sure you pop over to her blog – you won’t be sorry!
If you are making these for children, leave out the Baileys and use milk instead. They will like them a lot better! You could also make a double batch of the frosting, one for the kids and one for the adults. Color them differently or put sprinkles only on the children’s versions so your guests can easily tell them apart.
Thank you Barbara for the wonderful inspiration. These Irish Cream-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes will definitely make our St. Patrick’s Day joyful! 🙂
Key Ingredients for Irish Cream-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes:
- Whole milk, Bailey’s Irish Cream, cornstarch, sugar
- Eggs, Butter, vanilla, bittersweet chocolate
- Cocoa powder, gluten-free flour blend, baking soda
- Oil, vinegar, Confectioners’ sugar
Make the filling and the frosting a day ahead to save you a lot of the steps on baking day. Breaking it up this way will make it less intimidating for beginning bakers.
While not necessary, having a cupcake corer makes filling these a snap. Without it you have a lot more work to dig out a core from the center of each one. This is one gadget I recommend you get. It won’t take up much room and you will search for recipes just so you can use it!
How to make Irish Cream-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes:
- Cream Filling: Cook together the milk, Bailey’s and cornstarch; add sugar, egg yolks, and salt, whisking until smooth then boiling until thickened
- Whisk in the vanilla and butter piece until melted and silky; refrigerate until set
- Make the Cupcakes: Mix together the chocolate, cocoa, and boiling water; add the Bailey’s and whisk then cool completely
- Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda; set aside
- Whisk the oil, eggs, vinegar, and vanilla into the cooled chocolate mixture; add the flour mixture and beat until smooth then set aside to rest for 15 minutes
- Fill cupcake liners and bake 17 to 19 minutes or until done; cool on a wire rack about an hour
- Core and Fill the Cupcakes: Cut a cored plug from the top center of each cupcake, pipe the filling into the holes and cover with the top piece of the plugs
- Make Buttercream and Frost Cupcakes: Beat the butter until soft and fluffy then add remaining ingredients and mix until creamy; beat in food coloring if desired
- Press the plugs down again and spread the cupcakes with the frosting or pipe it on; add decorations if desired
If you want the best selection of special decorations, sprinkles, jimmies, edible glitter, and more, you need to check out Fancy Sprinkles. You won’t be disappointed!
Recommended Tools (affiliate links; no extra cost to you):
- 2-quart saucepan
- Whisk or nonstick whisk
- Muffin pan
- Mixing bowls
- Cupcake corer
- Off-set spatula
- Piping bags and tips
If you have celiac or are very sensitive to gluten, you may want to use a different liqueur or plain milk. The website says that Baileys is gluten-free, but it contains caramel coloring. Sometimes this can cause a reaction. When in doubt, being careful is the best solution!
Irish Cream-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes (Gluten-Free)
Start your St. Patrick’s Day celebration early with these fabulous spiked cupcakes. These cupcakes are a fun treat, packed with rich chocolate flavor and spiked 3 ways with Baileys Irish Cream liqueur … in the cake, the filling and the frosting!
Irish Cream Filling
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp cool butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 tsp pure vanilla or vanilla paste
- 3 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 1/4 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream, Irish whiskey or milk
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend with xanthan gum (or add 1/4 tsp if your mix doesn’t contain it)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp kosher or fine sea salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 6 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp white vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Baileys Irish Buttercream
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
- 2-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- Pinch kosher or fine sea salt
- 3 tbsp Bailey's Irish Cream
- 2 tsp milk, if needed
- 3 tsp vanilla paste
- Make the Cream Filling: In a heavy 2-quart saucepan, whisk together the milk, Bailey’s, and cornstarch until smooth. Add the sugar, yolks, and salt, whisking until there are no lumps and the mixture is smooth. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking constantly. Boil 1 minute or until thickened and the mixture coats the back of a spoon.
- Remove pan from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and butter pieces, mixing until the butter has melted and the mixture is silky. Transfer to a medium bowl, cover the surface of the custard with plastic to keep a skin from forming. Refrigerate until set, 1 to 2 hours.
- The custard can also be made a day ahead. Press plastic wrap on the surface and top the bowl with another piece of plastic wrap to seal it. Refrigerate until ready to use. Let it sit at room temperature about 20 minutes and stir until smooth before proceeding with filling the cupcakes.
- Prepare the Cupcakes: Place an oven rack in the middle and preheat to 350°F. Line a 12-cup standard size muffin pan with paper liners.
- Place chocolate and cocoa in the bowl of your standing mixer. Pour boiling water over the chocolate mixture and let sit 3 minutes; then whisk until smooth. Add the Baileys and whisk until fully incorporated. Set aside to cool completely, about 20 minutes, so you won’t risk scrambling the eggs.
- In medium bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda together; set aside.
- Whisk the oil, eggs, vinegar, and vanilla into cooled chocolate-cocoa mixture until smooth. Add the flour mixture and beat until smooth. If using gluten-free flour, set the batter aside to rest for 20 minutes. This helps the flours absorb the liquids, reducing the sandy or gritty texture often found in gluten-free baked goods.
- Divide batter evenly among muffin tins, filling about 2/3 to 3/4 full. Bake until the cupcakes are set and just firm to touch, 17 to 19 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center will have a few moist crumbs attached to it.
- Remove the cupcakes from the oven and place the baking pan on a cooling rack about 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, carefully lift each cupcake from pan and set on the wire rack. Cool to room temperature before coring, filling, and frosting, about 1 hour.
- Core the Cupcakes: Use a cupcake corer to remove a “plug” from the center top of each cooled cupcake. Slice about 1/2 inch of the top off each core and set it next to the cupcake. Scoop the pastry cream into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Pipe the filling into the hole in the center of each cupcake nearly to the top. Place the slice from the plug onto the filling, pressing down until they are almost the same height as they were originally. This creates a surprise filling in every bite. Cupcakes can be made up to this point several hours ahead or up to overnight. If made ahead, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Make the Buttercream: Place the butter in the bowl of your stand mixer. Beat until softened and fluffy. Add remaining ingredients and mix until smooth and creamy. Beat in food coloring if desired.
- Frost the Cupcakes: If the plug has lifted, press it back down so the top is fairly even. Put a dollop of frosting on each cupcake and smooth it over the top with an off-set spatula. Or you can put the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a round or star tip and pipe it onto the cupcakes. You can add sprinkles, chocolate jimmies, or any other decorations you and your family like.
Recipe adapted from Barbara Schieving of BarbaraBakes.com
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 591Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 108mgSodium: 471mgCarbohydrates: 63gFiber: 2gSugar: 43gProtein: 6g
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I make a vanilla version of Baileys cupcakes, but I will have to try your chocolate version Jane~ love the surprise in the middle!
Thanks Jenna! If you like pudding and Bailey’s, you will love the surprise 🙂
Barbara @ Barbara Bakes
I love this post. Not just because of your sweet compliments, but also to hear the story about how you met your honey. Your cupcakes are decorated beautifully. A perfect treat for St. Patrick’s Day.
Ah Barbara, you say the sweetest things 🙂 Thank you for the wonderful recipe inspiration – it was an honor to play with one of your creations!