Bailey’s Irish Cream Cupcakes

Recipe Pin
2 hours 45 minutes
24 cupcakes

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Rich vanilla cake surrounds a ‘hidden middle’ crowned with a magnificent swirl of cream cheese frosting atop my Bailey’s Irish Cream Cupcakes!

cupcake with festive sprinkles

Bless your little Irish heart and every other Irish part, and may your days be filled with cupcakes! Celebrate the luck of the Irish with this incredibly amazing cream cheese frosting made better with Bailey’s Irish Cream liquor and powdered sugar.

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This recipe was inspired by a Baileys buttercream frosting I tasted while visiting Nashville, but y’all know however that I am a sucker for a sweet cream cheese frosting over buttercream any day.

After experimenting with Guinness cupcakes, Irish whiskey ganache, and everything Irish in between, a Baileys frosting emerged delicious atop the vanilla cake batter in the recipe card, and also atop Guinness chocolate cupcakes. Saint Patrick would approve…

I am including a method for vanilla cupcakes mainly because it is among my favorite recipes. Why?

It’s the perfect base (and the perfect time of year given St. Patrick’s Day is around the corner!) to experiment with a good quality creamy frosting fit for a leprechaun. The crumb is super moist and by themselves, these bakes are fantastic with each two to three bite tease of cake let alone with a Bailey’s frosting and green sprinkles 😉

The green middle is no more than green food coloring whisked to a smooth consistency in a bit of the cupcake batter, then piped in. If you wanted a truly unique flavor and didn’t prefer to emphasize the ‘wearing of the green,’ consider topping with mini chocolate chips, silver or gold icing sugar, or a light dusting of sifted cocoa powder combined with Confectioners’ sugar.

Ingredients for Irish Cupcakes

For the Irish Cream Frosting

  • Bailey’s Irish Cream Liquor
  • unsalted butter
  • cream cheese
  • Confectioners’ sugar

For the Cupcakes

  • unsalted butter
  • white granulated sugar
  • room temperature large eggs
  • vanilla extract
  • all-purpose flour
  • cornstarch
  • baking powder
  • Kosher salt
  • whole milk
  • 3 to 4 drops of green food coloring
A bottle of liquor next to a brick wall

How to Make Cupcakes with Bailey’s Frosting

Make the Frosting

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine soft butter with cream cheese, a few tablespoons of Baileys liquor, and some confectioners sugar.

Depending on your preference for frosting cakes and cupcakes, scrape into a piping bag or baggie with a tip, or alternatively cover bowl with plastic to frost with an offset spatula.

Place into your refrigerator for at least 2 hours. This shouldn’t be an issue because it gives you plenty of time to bake up some cakes and allow them to fully cool.

NOTE: this frosting will be very stiff, so you may need to allow 10 minutes or so for it to soften before you begin to frost. Apply the frosting only to completely cooled cakes or cupcakes.

Assemble Batter

Preheat oven to 350°F and line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a hand held mixer), beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add each egg, one at a time, beating well after each addition and finally, some vanilla mixing until combined.

In a separate large bowl whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, beating until just combined.

Pour in the milk and mix until fully incorporated. Add remaining dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

cupcakes with festive sprinkles

Pipe-In the Green Centers

Ladle 1 1/4-cups of the batter into a small mixing bowl. Add 3 to 4 drops of green food coloring and whisk until fully incorporated.

Using a short drinking glass, open a sandwich-sized re-sealable baggie over the mouth of the glass, one corner point down. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the green batter into the baggie and into the corner point. Seal the top being sure to squeeze out most of the air from the bag.

Fill each cupcake liner 3/4 full with regular batter. Use scissors to cut a SMALL tip at the corner of the bag. Insert the tip into the center of each battered liner and submerge the tip slightly.

Squeeze for 2 to 3 seconds, the equivalent of a teaspoon of green batter. Repeat with each battered liner.

Bake the Cakes

Bake until slightly golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely. Frost with Bailey’s Irish Cream frosting. Dust with festive sprinkles or other toppings.

Modifying the Norm to Make It Not Entirely Average

  • Add red (just enough to make the batter pink) or blue food coloring for sweet gender reveal cupcakes.
  • Reduce Bailey’s by half in a pot on the stove and drizzle the viscous glaze that it becomes over the frosting for a seriously flavor packed cupcake.
  • Skip the food coloring and instead pop a frozen Rolo or frozen Hershey’s Kiss into the center of each cupcake right before baking for candy middles.
Can Kids Eat Bailey’s Frosting?

There is a difference between baking or cooking alcohol into a dish or a bake, versus adding it to a dish or a bake unaltered by temperature and it remaining largely in its original potency. I do not recommend serving Baileys Frosting to kids.

Can My Bottle of Baileys Go Bad Even in The Refrigerator?

According the the Baileys website, Baileys Original lasts 2 years from the day of bottling, opened or unopened when stored at the optimum temperature (0 to 25°C/32 to 77°F). For other Baileys products, shelf life varies depending on the flavor. It’s best to reference the Baileys website if in doubt or purchase a new bottle when embarking on a recipe using the liquor.

Bailey’s Irish Cream Cupcakes from Scratch

Jenny DeRemer
Rich vanilla cake surrounds a 'hidden middle' crowned with a magnificent swirl of Bailey's Irish Cream frosting made with cream cheese.
5 from 1 vote
Servings: 24 cupcakes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Chilling Time for Frosting 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Irish, Southern
Servings 24 cupcakes
Calories 270 kcal

Equipment

  • 2 12-cup muffin tins
  • 24 paper cupcake liners
  • stand mixer with paddle attachment
  • or large mixing bowls and handheld electric mixer
  • piping bags or zippered plastic bags
  • cake decorating tip

Ingredients
 

for the frosting

  • 3 tablespoons Bailey's Irish Cream Liquor plus more to taste, but keep in mind the liquor will thin the frosting to a degree, so add slowly so you achieve proper consistency
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 8 ounces (1 package) cream cheese softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup Confectioners' sugar sifted

for the vanilla cupcakes

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract may also use vanilla paste
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ¾ cup whole milk

optional

  • 3 or 4 drops green food coloring
  • festive icing sugar or sprinkles for decorating

Instructions
 

make the frosting

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter with cream cheese, Baileys, and Confectioners sugar. Depending on your preference for frosting/decorating, scrape into a piping bag or into a zippered plastic bag with a tip. Alternatively, cover bowl with plastic film to later frost using an offset spatula.
  • Place into refrigerator for at least 2 hours. NOTE: this frosting will be very stiff, so you may need to allow 10 minutes or more to soften before you begin to frost. Apply the frosting only to completely cooled cakes or cupcakes.

bake the cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a hand held mixer), beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add each egg one at a time beating well after each addition. Add vanilla mixing until combined.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, beating until just combined. Pour in the milk and mix until fully incorporated. Add remaining dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  • For Green Centers:
    Ladle 1 1/4-cups of the batter into a small mixing bowl. Add 3 to 4 drops of green food coloring and whisk until fully incorporated. Using a short drinking glass, open a piping bag or sandwich-sized zippered bag over the mouth of the glass, one corner point down. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the green batter into the baggie and into the corner point. Seal the top being sure to squeeze out most of the air from the bag. Fill each cupcake liner 3/4 full with regular batter. Use scissors to cut a SMALL tip at the corner of the bag. Insert the tip into the center of each battered liner and submerge the tip slightly. Squeeze for 2 to 3 seconds, the equivalent of a teaspoon of green batter. Repeat with each battered liner.
  • Load into a preheated oven and bake until slightly golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and place on wire rack for 5 minutes before removing each cupcake from the pans and allowing them to cool completely.
  • Frost with Bailey’s Irish Cream frosting. Dust with festive sprinkles or other toppings.

Notes

Please Note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not use table salt or iodized salt in any of the recipes you find on Not Entirely Average UNLESS specified otherwise.
Refrigerate Cupcakes Covered in an airtight container with tight-fitting lid due to cream cheese frosting. Eat within 5 days of baking/assembling.
Baileys Frosting Works Well also with this Guinness chocolate beer cake batter.
Variations and Substitutions:
    • Add red (just enough to make the batter pink) or blue food coloring for sweet gender reveal cupcakes.
    • Reduce Bailey’s by half in a pot on the stove and drizzle the viscous glaze that it becomes over the frosting for a seriously flavor packed cupcake.
    • Skip the food coloring and instead pop a frozen Rolo or frozen Hershey’s Kiss into the center of each cupcake right before baking for candy middles.
 

The nutrition value can vary depending on what product(s) you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use a calorie counter you are familiar with.

Please note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not deviate unless otherwise specified.

Nutrition

Serving: 1frosted cupcakeCalories: 270kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 3gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 167mgPotassium: 48mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 543IUCalcium: 42mgIron: 1mg
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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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2 Comments

    1. Thanks Cousin!! Are these fun or what? The cake batter can be used with any frosting (they’re DELICIOUS), but I especially like the Bailey’s for Saint Pat’s!