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!
Soft vanilla and Irish cream sponge cupcakes topped with a decadent swirl of Bailey’s frosting – yes please!
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
I’m such a big Irish cream fan that I wanted to make a simple cupcake that was pure Bailey’s goodness. Even though Baileys is great with chocolate, I wanted one that was all Bailey’s, no messing around.
These cupcakes are based on one of my favourite vanilla cupcake recipes. It's the same as the one I used 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.
These cupcakes are great any time, but St Patrick’s Day is a perfect opportunity to make Bailey's cupcakes if I’ve ever heard one! Serve these beauties alongside green beer, Guinness and a whole lot of fun.
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 cupcake recipe calls for the following ingredients:
- Unsalted butter
- Caster sugar (granulated sugar)
- Plain flour (all-purpose)
- Baking powder
- Bailey’s Irish cream liqueur (Original)
- Unsalted butter
- Icing sugar (powdered confectioners’ sugar)
- Vanilla extract
- Bailey’s Irish cream liqueur (Original)
- Salt (optional)
- White chocolate (optional)
See the recipe card for quantities.
If you don’t have the actual brand of Bailey’s Irish cream, you can use another brand of Irish cream liqueur instead. You can also use different flavours of Bailey’s, such as the strawberries & cream variety.
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.
- Room temperature ingredients mix together better than cold ones. Take your butter and eggs out of the fridge to come up to room temperature before you start baking. For me this takes about 30mins to warm up.
- Using unsalted butter lets you control the amount of salt in your cupcakes. I like mine to be low salt so I don’t add much to cake batter or frosting. You can add an optional ⅛ teaspoon salt to both depending on taste.
- I recommend sieving your flour, baking powder and powdered icing sugar for this recipe for a smooth batter and frosting.
- When measuring your ingredients, it’s best to use weights rather than cups for better accuracy.
- I prefer using vanilla extract to vanilla essence. As it’s less processed, it has a purer vanilla flavour.
I use the following equipment for this recipe:
- Muffin tin / cupcake tin
- Cupcake liners or baking cups
- Electric hand mixer or stand mixer (or whisk / fork)
- Rubber spatula or wooden spoon
- Medium mixing bowl
- Weighing scales
- Measuring spoons
- Wire rack
- Piping bag and piping tip e.g. Wilton 1M (optional)
For this recipe, I usually use a 12-hole muffin tin (like this muffin tin by Wilton) and either paper liners or baking cups. If you're using baking cups, they're sturdy enough to place on a baking tray instead of into a muffin tin.
I usually use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer for this recipe because it’s nice and easy. You can instead use a whisk, spatula or fork to make both your batter and frosting. This might take some elbow grease, for the frosting especially, but it’s definitely doable!
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.
You can also use the piping tip of your choice! I’m a big fan of this starter set of cupcake piping tips by Wilton. Or just slather on your frosting with a knife and/or a teaspoon – easy as that!
- I like using digital scales for weighing my ingredients as it's easy and accurate. I like these KitchenAid or Salter scales.
- It’s best to use measuring spoons, as cutlery teaspoons and tablespoons aren’t actually the correct volume. I’d also recommend levelling off any heaped scoops for more accurate measurement.
- When using a stand mixer, I like to use the paddle attachment with a low speed for the batter. This helps reduce the chance of overmixing. For the frosting, I use a medium speed.
- It’s a good idea to scrape down the sides and bottom of the stand mixer bowl every so often so you get an even mixture.
- 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.
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).
Your Baileys cupcakes should last up to 4 days at room temperature stored in an airtight container.
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.
You can also freeze your cupcakes (frosted or unfrosted) for up to 3 months before defrosting and eating. It’s best to label your frozen treats with what they are and when they were frozen so you don’t forget about them!
💭 Top tips
- For a super smooth sponge batter, cream together you 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, are springy to touch and turned a light golden colour. 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.
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.
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.
If you’ve got any specific questions on making your own Baileys cupcakes, please feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll try my best to help out!
I love using Baileys Irish cream original liqueur, but they have a whole bunch of other tasty flavours you can choose from. You can also swap the type of liqueur you use in these cupcakes, for example for another type of cream liqueur.
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 chocolate ganache.
These Irish cream cupcakes look pretty cute with a simple white chocolate drizzle, but there are loads of ways you can decorate them. You can 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).
You can also sprinkle on some brown sugar. They’re cute like real sprinkles but will also give your cupcakes a slight caramel taste.
To make gluten-free Bailey’s cupcakes, you’ll need to swap the plain flour for a 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.
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- 115 g (½ cups) unsalted butter room temp.
- 115 g (⅔ cups) caster sugar granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 115 g (1 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!
Nutritional information is an estimate based on an online nutritional calculator, actual values may vary.
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