Look, here’s a not-so-secret confession: I love Baileys. Oh my goodness, I can’t tell you how much I adore it. I could quite happily spend the majority of the summer sprawled on the lawn in my back garden next to my non-existent swimming pool, guzzling Baileys on ice by the litre. Unfortunately, neither my bank account nor my liver are quite as keen on this idea as I am, so drinking it tends to be a massive and rare treat.
Now, we all know that I don’t really need an excuse to bake cupcakes. I do, however, need an excuse to buy Baileys. So when my friends Steven (who, by the way, loves Baileys as much as I do), Lauren and I organised a catch up afternoon, I came up with a brilliant plan.
Baileys Cupcakes. Right? Right? Well, I was definitely excited.
I spent the next two days cruising around the internet, searching for recipes featuring Baileys in cupcake form. There were loads which looked great, but just…not what I had in mind. So I decided to mess around and make my own recipe.
I basically took my go-to cupcake chocolate brownie recipe from my cupcake bible, The Crabapple Bakery Cupcake Cookbook and played around with it a bit. Then I took my usual buttercream frosting recipe (also from that glorious book) and pretty much just added Baileys to it. The results were basically amazing: dark, rich, gooey chocolatey brownies with a hint of Irish Cream, topped with sweet, creamy Baileys buttercream. YUM!
CHOCOLATE & BAILEYS BROWNIE CUPCAKES
225g butter, softened
400g dark cooking chocolate, chopped (I used 70%)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup white sugar
7 eggs, whisked (mine were around 50g each – use 6 eggs if yours are closer to 70g each)
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups plain flour, sifted
3 tablespoons cocoa, sifted
100mL Baileys Irish Cream
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
3/4 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius (340 fahrenheit/half way between gas mark 3 & gas mark 4) and line two 12-hole muffin trays with cupcake papers.
2. Place the butter and cooking chocolate into a metal bowl and sit over a saucepan of simmering water. Taking care not to allow the water to touch the bottom of the bowl or get into the mixture, stir until the chocolate and butter have melted together and are glossy and well combined. Remove the bowl from the heat and allow the contents to cool to room temperature.
3. Once the chocolate mixture is cooled, add the brown and white sugar and stir until well combined, then add in the whisked eggs, the vanilla extract and the Baileys and mix gently.
4. Add the flour, salt, cocoa and chocolate chips and fold into the chocolate mixture, making sure that there are no pockets of unincorporated flour.
5. Divide the mixture evenly between the 24 cupcake papers and bake for 30 – 35 minutes, until the top of the cupcakes have a dull sheen and feel firm to the touch.
200g softened butter (use salted – it helps to stop the frosting becoming too sickly sweet)
1/3 cup milk, at room temperature (or just microwaved for 15 sec)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
100mL Baileys Irish Cream
8 cups icing (powdered) sugar, sifted
1. Using an electric mixer (stand or hand held, whichever you prefer!), cream the butter for at least 2 minutes on medium-high speed.
2. Add the milk, Baileys, vanilla extract and half of the sifted icing sugar and beat for at least 3-4 minutes, allowing the mixture to become soft and fluffy.
3. Add the left over icing sugar and beat for a further 3 minutes until the mixture once more becomes fluffy, soft and is a spreadable consistency.
4. If the frosting is too stiff, add an extra splash of Baileys. If it’s too runny, add a little more icing sugar.
Now all that’s left to do is frost the cupcakes in whichever way you like (I like using big plastic pastry tips – around twice the size of the regular Wilton 1M star tip). Enjoy!