Irish Cream Cupcakes

Irish Cream Cupcakes

I just couldn’t resist making these creamy and chocolatey Irish Cream Cupcakes to help celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year.  They’re a fun and tasty way to celebrate Irish heritage and religion by lacing both the cupcakes and the frosting with Irish Cream.  These cupcakes are deliciously moist and not too sweet with a white chocolate ganache frosting. Good any day of the year in my opinion.

So what’s the Irish in Irish Cream anyway?

Simply put, Irish Cream is a creamy liqueur made with Irish Whiskey, which can only be named as such if distilled on the island of Ireland, among other regulations.

What are we celebrating on St. Patrick’s Day?

St. Patrick’s Day is a cultural and religious celebration recognizing the patron Saint of Ireland, St. Patrick who died on March 17th, 461. He is best known for bringing Christianity to Ireland.

Why do we wear green?

Ireland is also known as The Emerald Isle, referencing green.

St. Patrick used the green shamrock as a tool to teach people about the holy trinity.

Green is one of the primary colours of the Irish flag.

Wearing green makes you invisible to Leprechauns, who are said to pinch anyone not wearing green, and that’s reason enough for me LOL!

A single Irish Cream Cupcakes sits in focus in the foreground. It sits on a black cooling rack draped with a green and white checkered towel. The background is blurry.
Irish Cream Cupcakes
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    24 cupcakes 60 minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    16-18 minutes 4+ hours
    Servings Prep Time
    24 cupcakes 60 minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    16-18 minutes 4+ hours
    A single Irish Cream Cupcakes sits in focus in the foreground. It sits on a black cooling rack draped with a green and white checkered towel. The background is blurry.
    Irish Cream Cupcakes
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      24 cupcakes 60 minutes
      Cook Time Passive Time
      16-18 minutes 4+ hours
      Servings Prep Time
      24 cupcakes 60 minutes
      Cook Time Passive Time
      16-18 minutes 4+ hours
      Ingredients
      White Chocolate Ganache
      Chocolate Cupcakes
      Servings: cupcakes
      Instructions
      White Chocolate Ganache
      1. Heat cream and Irish cream in a small pot until just at a simmer.
      2. Add chopped white chocolate and butter to a medium size bowl. Pour hot cream over white chocolate and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface and chill until cold, about 4 hours or up to 24 hours in advance.
      3. Using an electric mixer or stand mixer fitted with a whip, whisk ganache until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Use immediately or chill until ready to use.
      Chocolate Cupcakes
      1. Preheat oven to 350℉ and line 24 muffin tins with paper liners.
      2. Using an electric mixer or stand mixer fitted with a whip attachment combine all ingredients EXCEPT the water and whisk until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add boiling water and stir to combine.
      3. Pour or scoop 1/4 cup of batter into prepared tins. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool enough to handle, then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.
      4. Frost with white chocolate ganache frosting.

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      Lemon on Lemon Cupcakes

      Lemon on Lemon Cupcakes

      Do you love bright lemon desserts? Lemon on Lemon Cupcakes are just that in the world of cupcakes. Tender lemon cupcakes splashed with lemon glaze and crowned with light as air lemon buttercream. They are a lovely addition to your Easter weekend.

      I admit, I think I’m addicted to buttercream, especially the smooth cloud like French buttercream. Kissed with lemon, luscious and light while being perfectly sweet, you’ll be addicted too. No doubt your finger will swipe into the bowl more than once my friends. But don’t worry, there’s plenty, so go ahead and sneak a little!

      As much as I love French buttercream for it’s luscious airy texture and pale yellow colour, it is not the best for piping. Although you can see by my photographs that I did indeed pipe this buttercream, it’s not recommended.  It’s doable for sure, but fussy as it tends to soften further as you pipe it and I found myself cooling the piping bag as I went. I fought through it for the pictures but you don’t have to. Simply spread on a good dollop and garnish with sprinkles if desired. Believe me, it’s still a buttercream worth the fuss. Enjoy!

      Recipe source for Lemon on Lemon Cupcakes:  Compelled To Cook

       

      Lemon on Lemon Cupcakes
      Print Recipe
        Servings
        22-24 cupcakes
        Servings
        22-24 cupcakes
        Lemon on Lemon Cupcakes
        Print Recipe
          Servings
          22-24 cupcakes
          Servings
          22-24 cupcakes
          Ingredients
          Cupcakes
          Glaze
          Buttercream
          Servings: cupcakes
          Instructions
          Cupcakes
          1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Line muffin tins with desired paper liners and set aside. In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
          2. Using an electric mixer or stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whisk together sugar, oil and lemon zest until combined. Add one egg at a time, beating well after each. Whisk in buttermilk, lemon juice, and lemon extract. Add flour mixture all at once and whisk until smooth, about 1 minute. Carefully add boiling water with mixer on low and whisk until incorporated and batter is smooth, increasing speed when water has been incorporated, about 1 minute.
          3. Using a 1/4 cup measure, scoop batter into prepared cupcake tins and bake in preheated oven for 15-16 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing cupcakes to a wire rack. Once removed from tins, glaze cupcakes as per directions below.
          Lemon Glaze
          1. Combine sugar and lemon juice in a small sauce pan over medium heat and whisk until sugar has dissolved and mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and use while still warm.
          2. Brush cupcakes with glaze once they have been removed from the tins to a wire rack. You will have enough glaze to make two passes with the glaze.
          Buttercream
          1. In a small pot combine sugar, water and lemon juice. Over medium high heat bring mixture to a boil whisking often until sugar has dissolved. Brush any sugar crystals away from the side of the pot with a pastry brushed dunked in cool water. Once sugar has dissolved, stop stirring and attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pot and continue to boil until mixture reaches 240℉.
          2. Using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat egg yolks until smooth and creamy, 1-2 minutes. When sugar syrup reaches 240℉, slowly pour syrup into egg yolks with mixer running on medium high. Try to hit the side of the bowl with the syrup as you pour. Once all the syrup has been incorporated, continue to whisk until the temperature has dropped to room temperature, about 65-68℉.
          3. Add butter by the tablespoon, making sure each piece is incorporated before adding the next. Once all the butter is added, the buttercream should be light and fluffy. Whisk in lemon extract and food colouring.
          4. French buttercream is a little softer than others and therefore recommended here to dollop each cupcake with approximately 2tbsp and smooth over cupcake.
          Recipe Notes

          -Start whisking egg yolks once sugar syrup hits about 210℉, that way they will be ready when syrup hits 240℉.

          -Use a sealable bag or two filled with ice and a small amount of water to place around the mixer bowl to help it cool to room temperature faster.

          Cinnamon Heart Cupcakes

          Cinnamon Heart Cupcakes

          Warm the heart of your Valentine with Cinnamon Heart Cupcakes. A fluffy vanilla cupcake swirled with spicy sweet cinnamon heart candy gel and topped with Italian buttercream kissed with the same sticky sweetness. Beautiful and perfect for sharing on Valentine’s Day.

          While vanilla cupcakes with buttercream are lovely enough, here they get a hit of sweet cinnamon spiciness and colour from cinnamon heart candy. When thinking of what to make for Valentine’s Day I just couldn’t get the cute heart shaped candies out of my head. I knew I wanted to make them into a gel, but would they actually break down enough to do it? I really didn’t know for sure, so I bought two pounds of cinnamon hearts and set to work!

          The gel was a hit with the first attempt and I was pleasantly surprised at how well they actually dissolved once ground up a little. My second go with the gel yielded waaaay too much for what was actually needed for the recipe. So round three was an adjustment of amounts. Good thing I bought the store out of cinnamon hearts. With the success of this particular candy I am excited to think about the possibilities with other little candy gems. The future looks sweet indeed!

          Making Italian buttercream got you a little nervous? You don’t need to be a master baker to pull it off; you just need to know the process and what to look for. Mostly the later because it will look like a lumpy separated mess at some point and you will think you have failed miserably. When in reality that’s not the case, the butter just hasn’t been fully incorporated and further beating at high speed will generally correct it. It may also be that the buttercream is a little too cold and the butter bits have firmed up too much and it’s not smooth or it’s a little too warm and the butter actually starts to melt a little, creating a separated appearance. Luckily a slight cool down or warming up and a good beating is all that is needed to keep your buttercream on the right track to a silky smooth, feather light wonder.

          Knowing what to look for and how to manage it is the key. Let me tell you, it’s worth every little bit of effort. Not only is it silky smooth but it’s not too sweet or sugary like American buttercream, you know the one with 4 cups of powdered sugar! You’ll notice the difference immediately and your heart will be won. Enjoy!

          Recipe Concept:  Compelled To Cook

          Recipe Source:  Vanilla Cupcakes adapted from Live Love and Sugar, Italian Buttercream adapted from Food 52

           

          Cinnamon Heart Cupcakes
          Print Recipe
            Servings
            20-22 cupcakes
            Servings
            20-22 cupcakes
            Cinnamon Heart Cupcakes
            Print Recipe
              Servings
              20-22 cupcakes
              Servings
              20-22 cupcakes
              Ingredients
              Cinnamon Heart Gel
              Cupcakes
              Italian Buttercream
              Servings: cupcakes
              Instructions
              Cinnamon Heart Gel
              1. Using a mini processor or grinder, grind cinnamon hearts until powdery (some bits will remain). In a small sauce pan bring 1/3 cup water to a simmer. Whisk in cinnamon heart powder all at once, stirring constantly until starting to dissolve. Increase heat and continue to stir, melting the candy, approximately 1-2 minutes (some bits will not dissolve). Dissolve cornstarch in 2 tbsp cold water and add to liquid candy, stirring constantly. Allow to boil briefly and remove from heat. Strain while hot, removing any candy bits that refuse to dissolve. Allow to cool, stirring occasionally. Refrigerate until ready to use. Makes about 1 cup.
              Cupcakes
              1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Line 20-22 muffin tins with paper cups. In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment beat oil and sugar together until combined. Add eggs one at a time, whisking well after each. Whisk in milk and vanilla and mix until smooth. Add dry ingredients all at once and whisk on medium low until combined. Increase speed and whisk until smooth. Add hot water and whisk on low until smooth and just incorporated.
              2. Divide batter evenly between muffin cups, using 1/3 cup for each. Drizzle approximately 1 tsp of cinnamon heart gel over each cupcake ( I used a plastic squeezable bottle with an approximate 1/8 inch hole). Using a thin device such as a chop stick swirl cinnamon heart gel within the batter, creating swirls. Bake for 16-18 minutes or when a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 10-15 minutes before moving each cupcake to a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before icing.
              Italian Buttercream
              1. In a medium sauce pan combine sugar and water. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and heat over medium high heat, stirring often until sugar is dissolved. Brush sides of pan with cold water to remove any sugar crystals that have formed on the side. Stop stirring and allow mixture to cook to 230℉.
              2. When syrup reaches 230℉ start beating the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitter with a whisk attachment. Whisk egg whites until soft peaks form. When syrup reaches 240℉ remove from heat and add to egg whites in a slow steady stream with mixer on medium high speed. Egg white mixture will be smooth and glossy when all the syrup is added.
              3. Continue to whisk until egg white mixture is no longer warm to the touch. I like to speed up the process by placing large zip lock bags with ice water around the base of the bowl. Once mixture is cool enough start adding butter by 1" chunks with mixer on high, incorporating butter as you drop it in. Once all the butter has been added, continue to whisk until smooth and light. Add vanilla and 2-3 tbsp of cinnamon heart gel and whisk to combine.
              4. Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use. If refrigerating, allow to come to room temperature and re-whisk until smooth before continuing.
              Recipe Notes

              You will likely notice about the time all the butter is added that the buttercream looks separated.  Don't panic, continue to whisk at high speed and the buttercream should come together.  If it does not, it is likely too warm.  Cool bowl in an ice bath briefly, stirring occasionally for a few minutes.  Return to mixer and whisk at high speed.