Irish Coffee Cupcakes

"These Irish Coffee Cupcakes are divine", said my neighbor. I agree! They start with a simple box of dark chocolate cake mix, have all the ingredients for an Irish coffee stirred in and then are topped with an Irish Cream Frosting.

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What is an Irish Coffee?

Irish coffee is a cocktail made with sweet coffee, Irish whiskey and cream and it’s delicious! These Irish Coffee Cupcakes take those flavors of the perfect Irish coffee and stir them into chocolate cupcakes because, well… chocolate. It never made anything worse! 

Chocolate cupcakes on the counter and in a muffin pan with a bottle of Irish whiskey and a green towel in the backgrouind.

Easy Cupcake Shortcut

This recipe honestly couldn’t be any easier because it starts with a box of chocolate cake mix. Chocolate cake mix is really just the dry ingredients for your basic chocolate cake and a great shortcut to use to save time. Strong coffee is used as the liquid for the batter, along with a little Irish whiskey. Full disclosure – there is no need to buy Jameson’s Black Barrel whiskey for this recipe, other than the fact that you’ll only use 2 tablespoons of the whisky in the cupcakes and then you’ll be left with a delicious whiskey to enjoy on its own afterwards. A less expensive Irish whiskey is perfectly suitable if you’re not a fan of Irish whiskey in a glass.

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Ingredients for Irish cream frosting on a counter - powdered sugar, butter, and Bailey's Irish Cream.

Irish Cream Frosting

Now the Irish cream frosting really is the icing on the cake, both literally and figuratively! This frosting is so delicious that you should make sure you have enough for a secret teaspoon or two to disappear before you start spreading it on the cupcakes. It’s very simple to make, adding just a little Bailey’s Irish Cream to whipped butter and sugar. If you don’t want to use Bailey’s in the cupcakes, I would suggest making a buttercream frosting for these cupcakes instead. You’ll find a recipe for buttercream right here

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Irish Coffee Cupcakes with a plain swirl design on a plate with green cupcake liners and green sprinkles on the counter.

How to Decorate Cupcakes

When it comes to decorating cupcakes, we all have different skill levels and different equipment. If you have a piping bag and a star tip, it’s relatively easy to pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes, starting on the outside of the cupcake and moving in concentric circles towards the middle. If you don’t have a piping bag, use a spatula to spread the icing on top, making a swirl at the end. A few green sprinkles or green sanding sugar on top will put the perfect St. Patrick’s Day touch on the cupcakes regardless of how the icing has been spread on top.

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Irish Coffee Cupcakes on a plate with frosting piped on with a star tip and a bottle of Bailey's and two coffees in the background.

Perfect St. Patrick’s Day Dessert

It’s true – these are the perfect dessert or treat for St. Patrick’s Day. A few green sprinkles and some green cupcake liners make them more festive for the day. Double line the cupcakes with the liners for a brighter, prettier color. You can also bake these cupcakes in coffee mugs so they actually look like a cup of coffee with cream on top. Check out the video below to see how that is done.

Yes, they are perfect for St. Patrick’s Day, but Irish coffee is a drink that is enjoyed year around and it would be a shame to relegate these cupcakes to just one day of the year. I give you full permission to make these in the middle of the summer if you so choose!

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A hand holding up a single Irish Coffee Cupcake over a plate.

Go on. You know you want one. 

Watch The Recipe Video

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Irish Coffee Cupcakes

  • Prep Time: 20 m
  • Cook Time: 18 m
  • Total Time: 38 m
  • Servings:
    24

Ingredients

  • 1 box dark chocolate cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • cup melted butter
  • ½ cup strong coffee
  • 2 tablespoons Irish whiskey optional
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • green sugar sprinkles optional
Irish Cream Frosting:
  • cups  unsalted butter softened
  • ½ cup Bailey’s Irish cream
  • 6 cups sifted powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350ºLine two 12-cup muffin pans with cupcake liners.
  2. Combine the cake mix, eggs, melted butter, coffee and whiskey in a large bowl. Whisk until the batter is smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips. Pour the cake batter into the muffin pans so the muffin cups are filled about two thirds full.
  3. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes at 350ºTest the cupcakes for doneness by inserting a wooden skewer into the center of one – it should come out clean with no uncooked batter left on the skewer. Transfer the pans to a cooling rack and cool for 15 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pans and let them cool completely on a cooling rack.
  4. Make the frosting. Whip the butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer for 1 minute. Add the Irish cream liquor and powdered sugar and beat for another 2 minutes, until the frosting is smooth and fluffy. Set aside.
  5. Ice the cupcakes. You can spread the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes with a spatula making swirls on top, or pipe the frosting on with a piping bag and star tip. Sprinkle some green sugar sprinkles on top of the frosting if desired.
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