If like me you’re partial to a bit of Bailey's Irish cream, then these Bailey's cupcakes with Bailey’s buttercream are the perfect treats for you!
It doesn’t even have to be St Patrick’s Day (though they are great for the occasion). I love these cupcakes all year round and I hope you will too.
✏️ Recipe creation
Soft vanilla and Irish cream sponge cupcakes topped with a decadent swirl of Bailey’s frosting – yes please!
These cupcakes are based on one of my favourite vanilla cupcake recipes, which I also use for my funfetti cupcakes. The addition of Bailey’s really takes the soft fluffy cake to the next level.
Similarly, this creamy Bailey’s buttercream is based on my classic vanilla American buttercream frosting recipe. The Irish cream liqueur perfectly replaces the heavy cream in the original recipe turning it into a delicious Irish cream frosting!
Irish cream cupcakes are great any time, but St Patrick’s Day is a perfect opportunity to make these Bailey's cupcakes! Serve these beauties alongside green beer, Guinness and a whole lot of fun. Check out this collection of the best St Patrick's Day cupcakes for more sweet St Paddy's Day ideas!
They’re also great around the Christmas holiday season. Bailey’s is always a hit amongst my friends and family for sweet gifts, festive entertaining and the perfect dessert to share.
This Bailey's cupcake recipe calls for the following ingredients:
- Unsalted butter: room. temp for ease of mixing.
- White sugar: caster or finely granulated sugar.
- Plain flour (all-purpose)
- Baking powder
- Bailey’s Irish cream liqueur (Original)
- Unsalted butter: room. temp for ease of mixing.
- Icing sugar (powdered confectioners’ sugar): sieve for a smooth frosting.
- Vanilla extract: choose extract or paste over essence for better flavour.
- Bailey’s Irish cream liqueur (Original)
- Salt (optional)
- White chocolate (optional): use baking white chocolate or melting wafers for ease of melting.
See the recipe card for quantities.
Top tip: For accuracy, it’s best to weigh your ingredients rather than using cups.
You can also use other Irish cream liqueur brands or even different flavours of Bailey’s, such as strawberries & cream or birthday cake.
This recipe calls for caster sugar (white fine granulated sugar), but you can also use a golden caster sugar variety too – tastes amazing!
Instead of plain flour, you can swap this for self-raising flour and reduce the baking powder to ½ tsp.
I like the vanilla and Baileys flavour combo in these cupcakes, but you can also give them a chocolate twist. Try adding cocoa powder - 1 ½ tablespoon to your cupcake batter and 1 tablespoon to your frosting.
For extra chocolatey Baileys chocolate cupcakes, cut the middles out of your cupcakes with a knife or cupcake corer and fill them with this delicious Irish cream chocolate ganache.
These Irish cream cupcakes look cute with a simple white chocolate drizzle, but you can also drizzle over a different type of melted chocolate, such as milk, dark or even ruby.
Another topping option is to dust them with cocoa powder. I find this looks really nice if you’ve used a round piping nozzle (like the Wilton 2A).
To make gluten-free Bailey’s cupcakes, you’ll need to swap the plain flour for gluten-free flour. I recommend using a gluten-free plain flour blend, such as King Arthur's measure for measure flour or Freee from Doves Farm.
You should also add ¼ teaspoon of xantham gum to the cupcake batter unless your flour blend already includes it.
For gluten-free cupcakes, beat your batter really well then let it stand for 20mins. Pour your batter into your liners and bake.
First, preheat the oven to 180°C / 160°C (fan) / Gas Mark 4 / 350°F.
In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Sieve in the flour and baking powder, mixing until only just combined. Stir in your Baileys Irish cream and spoon your batter into a cupcake tin lined with cupcakes cases.
Bake for 15-20mins until golden and springy, then transfer to a rack for cooling.
Make the buttercream while your cupcakes are cooling. Beat the butter until fluffy then sieve in half your icing sugar and beat until smooth. Repeat with the other half of icing sugar and add in the Bailey’s, vanilla and salt (if using).
Pipe your frosting onto your cooled cupcakes. You can then decorate with a drizzle of melted white chocolate (heat in a heatproof bowl for 20secs at a time in the microwave).
💭 Top tips
- For a super smooth sponge batter, cream together your butter and sugar thoroughly.
- Try to fill each cupcake case with your batter to just over the halfway point. Too much and you’ll get muffin tops, but too little and you’ll have mini cupcakes!
- You’ll know your cupcakes are cooked when they’ve risen, springy and lightly golden. An inserted skewer or toothpick should also come out clean from the centre.
- For creamy frosting, first beat your butter until it’s pale, light and fluffy. This could take several minutes with an electric mixer and longer by hand.
- I love using a piping bag with a Wilton 1M tip to pipe pretty open star swirls of Bailey’s frosting onto my cupcakes. Instead, you can fill a plastic sandwich / freezer bag with frosting. Cut off the corner roughly ½ an inch in and pipe big round swirls.
- Remove your freshly baked cupcakes from the hot tin and transfer them to a wire cooling rack. This helps to prevent moisture gathering on the outside of your cases, which could make them to peel.
❔ Recipe FAQs
Bailey’s is a well-known brand of Irish cream liqueur, claiming to be the world’s first. It's made from a mix of dairy cream and Irish whiskey, along with other flavours such as vanilla and chocolate.
The alcoholic beverage also comes in a variety of different Irish cream flavours, such as chocolate, salted caramel, strawberries & cream and red velvet cupcake.
Using leftover Baileys in your next dessert is a great way to use up a bottle of Baileys. I love making these Bailey’s cupcakes with Bailey’s buttercream or Bailey’s chocolate cheesecake. You can also put a few tablespoons of Baileys into your hot chocolates.
Your cupcakes should last for up to 4 days stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
If it’s quite warm where you live, you might want to store your cupcakes in the fridge so the buttercream doesn’t melt. They should last up to 5 days in the fridge but might start to dry out a little.
Yes! You can freeze your cupcakes wrapped in a layer of cling film and foil for up to 3 months.
Yes, you can make your cupcakes ahead of time and freeze them. Alternatively, you can make the cupcake sponges a few days in advance (freeze if longer) and then make the buttercream frosting later to finish them off.
This could be caused by a few things. You might have scooped in too much baking powder, e.g. instead of levelling the scoop of a measuring teaspoon.
Another reason could be that you opened the oven partway through baking which caused your oven temp to drop rapidly and sinkhole your cupcake.
🧁 Other goodies
Looking for some other goodies to make?
Or for more cupcake heaven, take a look at these matcha cupcakes. They have such a bright green colour, I love them! For a boozy cupcakes, you might like these rum salted dulce de leche cupcakes with a beach theme or these salted caramel whisky cupcakes.
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- 115 g (½ cups) unsalted butter room temp.
- 115 g (⅔ cups) white sugar caster or finely granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 115 g (¾ cups) plain flour* all-purpose
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 3 tablespoon Bailey’s Irish cream liqueur
- 40 g (⅓ cups) white chocolate optional
- Preheat oven: 180°C / 160°C (fan) / Gas Mark 4 / 350°F
- Cream together the butter and sugar using a spatula, electric hand mixer or stand mixer, until pale and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time until combined.
- Sieve the flour and baking powder into the mixture, gently folding in until just combined.
- Gently stir in the Bailey’s until only just smooth.
- Line your cupcake pan with 10 cupcake cases and divide the batter evenly between them (each should be no more than ⅔ full).
- Bake for 15-20mins until lightly golden and an inserted skewer comes out clean from the middle. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool while you make the frosting.
- Beat the butter (either by hand, using an electric mixer or stand mixer) until pale, light and fluffy. This could take several minutes.
- Sieve half of the icing sugar into the butter and beat until combined, then repeat with the remaining half of the icing sugar.
- Add in the Bailey’s and vanilla extract, mixing until only just smooth.
Assembly and decoration:
- Once your cupcakes have fully cooled, add your buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a nozzle of your choice (e.g. large open star) and pipe large swirls onto each cupcake.
- In a heatproof bowl, heat the white chocolate in the microwave (20secs at a time), stirring until smooth and melted.
- Drizzle the melted white chocolate Baileys mix over your cupcakes (using a spoon or piping bag with a small round nozzle) and enjoy!
- You can swap the plain flour for self-raising flour of the same amount and reduce the baking powder by 1 tsp.
- Swap your Bailey's for any brand of Irish cream or other tasty cream liqueur flavours!
- Instead of piping on your buttercream, you can just slather it on generously with a knife or spatula.
- Try to fill each cupcake case with your batter to just over the halfway point.
- You’ll know your cupcakes are cooked when they’ve risen, springy and lightly golden.
- For creamy frosting, first beat your butter until it’s pale, light and fluffy.
- Remove your freshly baked cupcakes from the hot tin and transfer them to a wire cooling rack. This helps to prevent moisture from gathering on the outside of your cases, which could make them peel.
Nutritional information is an estimate based on an online nutritional calculator, actual values may vary.