I may have made the best cupcakes in the world.
Or I may just be delusional from my nearly four week deprivation of baking anything.
Yep, its definitely one of those two things.
This semester I may have bit off more than I can chew, taking a full load of classes, working two jobs, carrying out my senior capstone, planning for my future, preparing for my summer internship in Japan, and preparing to study abroad in Korea next year before graduating next May. Looking back I am not sure why I thought this all seemed reasonable, but then again, hindsight is 20/20 right?
No matter how busy I got, I knew I had to do something for St. Patricks Day, and luckily for me it fell during a week when one of the schools I attend was on spring break. Knowing that this recipe would have to make up for an entire month of not baking–and not knowing when my next baking fix would come–I knew it had to be epic. I searched and searched on every blog, website and social media I knew until I found it. Irish Coffee Cupcakes.
Because for me being on spring break does not equate excess free time, i made the cake part of the cupcakes on Monday, then covered them until Tuesday when I whipped up the frosting, frosted the cupcakes, and served them. The recipe made so many cupcakes that I had a few stragglers that I kept in my refrigerator, which were still delicious by Friday, so this recipe can definitely be made in advance, which is fantastic.
The recipe is actually quite simple and does not require much know-how, even though people who don’t bake a lot might be scared away by the list of ingredients. Trust me, it is not a challenge and the many ingredients ensures the cake is moist and delicious!
Basically the wet ingredients such as coffee, buttermilk, oil and Irish Cream liquor are mixed together separate from the dry ingredients, then everything eventually gets combined with eggs and sugar.
The Buttercream that goes with this recipe is very simple but still delicious!
As the name of the cupcake describes, the buttercream incorporates both coffee and Irish Cream liquor. Knowing that I would be serving people at school and people underage, I boiled the crap out of the Irish Cream before adding it to the frosting. The coffee addition is also unique, as it calls for adding some liquified instant coffee granules–I used one of the little Starbucks packs.
One of the great things about frosting is that you can use it immediately after you make it, so as soon as this was whipped up I stuffed it into two different piping bags–one with a petal tip and one with a star tip–and went to town on my cupcakes.
I first made a pan of mini cupcakes…then a pan of regular sized ones…and there was still enough batter for another entire pan of regular sized cupcakes! I really wanted to pipe roses, but because of the sheer number of cupcakes I had and my afore mentioned time constraint, I ended up piping roses on about half of the regular sized ones and left the others with swirled piped frosting. I did spice these up by sprinkling some of the Starbucks coffee granules over the top of half of these, so it looked a little like sprinkles and only added to the flavor.
Because I had three designs of frosting, I ended up having a very pretty display even if it wasn’t originally intentional. Between the mini cupcakes and the mound of frosting from the roses, it looked like I had almost three layers of heights, and there was a lot of different texture.
I gave a lot away to people throughout the day and to my co-workers, but for the party I intentionally made the cupcakes for, I used a tiered stand to make them stand out even more. Quite a success if I do say so myself.
Irish Coffee Cupcakes
Inspired by The Cozy Apron
3 cups flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon + 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 fluid oz olive oil
8 fluid oz buttermilk
8 fluid oz brewed coffee, cooled
4 fluid oz Irish Cream liqueur
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line at least two cupcake tins with cupcake liners.
2) Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and stir to combine.
3) Whisk the oil, buttermilk, coffee and Irish Cream together in a separate bowl and set aside.
4) In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar, eggs and vanilla for a few minutes until light and fluffy.
5) Alternately mix in the wet and dry ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.
6) Once the batter is fully incorporated, portion out into the prepared tins and bake for about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely before frosting.
Irish Coffee Frosting Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups softened butter
5 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons Irish Cream
1 teaspoon instant coffee powder (I used Starbucks) with 1 teaspoon warm water
1) Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and whip until they form a crumbly yet combined consistency.
2) Add the coffee and Irish Cream and mix to combine.
3) Continue to whip until the frosting is light and fluffy. Use immediately or store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.