I know what you are thinking, its April not March. The extended celebration of all the “irish” in America ended weeks ago. However, the Chicago running community didn’t get the memo and is hosting the Shamrock Shuffle 8K tomorrow, presumably so that it isn’t crappy cold/snowy/slushy. The Shuffle was my first running race ever 3 years ago and I haven’t managed to run it since. I ran the 8K (just shy of 5 miles) in 54:24 back in the day and I am hoping to run it sub 50 and maybe sub 49:30 tomorrow. [edited to add: I managed to run a 48:11 in the mid 70s "heat" of April and was pretty pumped]
This is all a long-winded justification for sharing these Irish Coffee Cupcakes with you today.
These cupcakes are definitely sophisticated. The cake isn’t really sweet but a dense cake of dark chocolate and coffee with a whiskey spiked dark chocolate ganache. But then you make it to the irish cream flavored cream cheese filling which cuts through the dense chocolate-ness. I will admit that I was a little nervous to make this recipe because of the filling hole cutting but it was really simple.
You just take a sharp small knife and insert it just inside the edge of the cupcake and cut at an angle to make a cone cut out. Then cut off the tip so that you have made a hole for the filling. And then you have an excuse to dip the leftover pieces in the leftover filling, you know, just for quality control. Added Bonus!
Irish Coffee Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from Ready for Dessert
Makes 12 cupcakes (I got 14)
The cupcakes are a little more involved than some other recipes but I think the effort is totally worth it. Make sure to brew your coffee and get all your butter, eggs and cream cheese to room temperature. I especially loved the ganache topping because it looks awesome, tastes awesome and is way less tricky than a buttercream.
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup strong brewed coffee
6 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature (or add a dash of salt if all you stock is unsalted like me)
6 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Irish cream liqueur (like Baileys)
4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
2 tablespoons whiskey (I used more like 1 1/2)
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a standard 12 cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.
Cupcakes: In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a medium saucepan, heat the coffee until almost boiling. Remove from heat and whisk in the cocoa until dissolved. Add the 1/2 cup unsalted butter, stirring until melted. Whisk in the brown sugar and let cool. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla, then stir in the flour mixture, mix into just incorporated. Divide the batter among the cupcake liners and bake until the cupcakes feel just set in the center, 20 to 22 minutes. Cool completely.
Filling: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a food processor, beat together the cream cheese, 4 tablespoons of salted butter, and powdered sugar until smooth. Beat in the Irish cream liqueur.
To fill the cupcakes, use a sharp knife to cut a 2 inch cone shaped hole in the center. Remove the cone piece, trim off the end of each piece to create a disk. Save the disks but feel free to eat the trimmed off pieces.
Divide the filling among the cupcakes, then top off the cupcakes with the disk pieces. Its ok if they don’t look perfect.
Glaze: Melt the chocolate with the cream and corn syrup in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the whiskey. Pour the glaze into a deep but small bowl. Dip the tops of the filled cupcakes in the glaze. Feel free to double dip to completely seal in the tops. Let them cool until the glaze is firm.