Chocolate Cupcakes with Baileys Irish Cream

The richness of a moist chocolate cupcake paired with Baileys Irish Cream- what could be more perfect for St. Patrick’s Day? Betsy Pruitt of Belly Feathers combines two of her favorite recipes for one pretty, delicious treat.

 

“These cupcakes are so good that it's hard to believe that they didn't come from a gourmet bakery,” Pruitt says. Wrapped with a decorative ribbon and shamrock, they look just as fabulous as they taste. “Beware, the smell of the frosting is a little intoxicating,” warns Pruitt, “but isn't that part of what St. Patrick's Day is all about?”

Baileys Irish Cream Frosting
Recipe from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes

Ingredients:
1 ½ cups unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3  tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream liqueur
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions:
1. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter until smooth.
2. Reduce speed to medium. Add the confectioners’ sugar, ½ cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed, about 5 minutes total. After every two additions, raise speed to high and beat 10 seconds to aerate frosting.
3. Add Baileys and vanilla, and beat until combined and smooth. 

Use immediately, or refrigerate up to 5 days in an airtight container; bring to room temperature and beat on low speed until smooth before using.

Makes enough for about 24 cupcakes.

Chocolate Cupcakes
Recipe from Cupcakes! by Elinor Klivans

Ingredients:
3 ounces unsweetened  chocolate, chopped
1  cup unbleached all-purpose flour
½  teaspoon baking powder
½  teaspoon baking soda
¼  teaspoon salt
½  cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ¼ cups sugar
2  large eggs
1  teaspoon vanilla extract
½  cup sour cream
½  cup water

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
2. Melt chocolate in a double boiler, stir until smooth. Remove from water and set aside to cool slightly.
3. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
4. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until smoothly blended and creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing.
5. On low speed, mix in the melted chocolate. 
6. On medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, mixing until each is blended into the batter. Add the vanilla and beat until the mixture looks creamy and the color has lightened slightly, about 1 minute.  Mix in the sour cream until no white streaks remain.
7. On low speed, add half of the flour mixture, mixing just to incorporate it. Mix in the water.  Mix in the remaining flour mixture until it is incorporated and the batter looks smooth.
8. Line muffin tins with paper liners and fill each with a generous amount of batter to about ⅛ inch below the top of the liner.
9. Bake just until the tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 15-20 minutes.
10. Cool the cupcakes for 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack.  Remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack.

Makes 18.