Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes with Irish Cream Frosting

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Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes with Irish Cream Frosting… Think Bailey’s Irish Coffee, but in cupcake form! Rich and chocolate-y cupcakes made with simple ingredients and good helping of espresso powder to give these cupcakes that delicious coffee kick. Each cupcake is then frosted with the most delicious and creamy Irish cream buttercream frosting that’s only 4 ingredients! There is nothing to not love about these little cakes. If you’ve been searching for the perfect cupcake to bake this weekend, you’ve found it. They are guaranteed to be a hit at your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations or just weekend parties!

seven cupcakes on wire cooling rack with parchment paper, coffee beans, chocolate curls, and stack of plates behind

About The Recipe

Happy day before St. Patrick’s Day!

I feel like we’ve been celebrating a lot of things this week. From the weekend, to Pi day, and now St. Patrick’s Day. Though, we definitely aren’t done with celebrating because these cupcakes are a definite cause for celebration. The idea came to my mom after we started thinking about what we could make for tomorrow. We’ve already made Irish Soda Bread, Bailey’s Ice Cream, and Guinness Cupcakes… So, what could we do?

Admittedly, the most popular recipes this time last year were the Bailey’s Ice Cream and…you guessed it, our Guinness Cupcakes! So, the challenge was how do we combine the two?

We talked everything from cupcake flavors, to fillings, and beyond. What could we do to make a unique and delicious cupcake?

Well, after thinking about it for a day or so, we realized that Irish Cream is often used in coffee. What goes really well with coffee? Chocolate, of course! We had our flavor profile sorted and the rest came pretty quickly after that. Simple espresso cupcake with a boozy and delicious buttercream frosting. I mean, it really doesn’t get any better than that.

cupcakes on parchment paper lined cooling rack with glass of irish cream behind

The best part about these cupcakes? They are ready to eat in 35 to 40 minutes. So, if you are last minute planning for a St. Patrick’s Day party, you NEED to make these cupcakes. Every bite is chocolate-y, coffee-y, very light and fluffy. When combined with the Irish cream butter cream…so. good. It’s literally the perfect match!

The sweetness of buttercream balances out the bitter from the espresso powder and cocoa powder. It just creates the perfect cupcake! Even my brother, Ian, who hates coffee, ate more of these cupcakes than I did. A definite crowd pleaser.

What To Expect From These Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes with Irish Cream Frosting

  • Super simple to make.
  • Strong on the chocolate and coffee flavor.
  • A touch boozy with the buttercream.
  • The perfect balance between sweet and bitter.
  • Tastes just like your favorite mug of Bailey’s Coffee.
  • Ready in 35 – 40 minutes!
angled close up of chocolate espresso cupcakes on wire cooling rack

Equipment Needed

Ingredients

(Full ingredient amounts and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the post)

For The Cupcakes:

  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Dutch-Process Cocoa
  • Espresso Powder
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Large Eggs
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Whole Milk
baking powder, butter, salt, cocoa powder, eggs, sugar, milk, vanilla, espresso powder, and flour on marble surface

For The Buttercream:

  • Salted Butter
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Irish Cream
  • Vanilla Extract
powdered sugar, butter, irish cream, and vanilla on marble surface

How To Make Espresso Cupcakes with Irish Cream Frosting

Step 1: Make the cupcakes

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Beat butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Stir in the vanilla.

Add the flour mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Portion batter into prepared muffin tins, filling each about 3/4 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until done.

Step 2: Make the frosting

Beat butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.

Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth.

Stir in liqueur and vanilla.

Step 3: Pipe onto cooled cupcakes

Place desired tip into piping bag and fill with frosting. Pipe as desired onto cooled cupcakes!

frosting piped on one cupcake with more cupcakes around

4 Quick Tips To Make Buttercream Frosting

Sometimes, buttercream can be a bit of a challenge. Though, if you follow all of these tips, you should have the silkiest and most delicious buttercream frosting!

  1. Start off with room temperature butter. Starting with chilled butter will only cause you problems.
  2. Be careful not to over beat! It may seem tempting to just leave it whipping while you fill cupcakes, but this is actually one of the worst things you can do.
  3. Be sure to sift the powdered sugar! This is so you don’t have a lumpy buttercream.
  4. Don’t add more sugar than stated in the recipe. Whatever happens, more sugar will probably not help!

How To Store

There are a couple of ways you can store these cupcakes! First of all, if you don’t need these cupcakes asap, make the cupcakes ahead of time and stored in a zip top bag in the fridge or freezer. The cupcakes should last about 3-5 days in the fridge, but frozen they will store for 2-3 months! It’s always better to make the frosting fresh, as it’ll be lighter and fluffier!

If the cupcakes are already assembled, place the cupcakes in a lidded container and store in the fridge for 3-5 days. You can also freeze them for about a month.

pulled back photo of seven chocolate espresso cupcakes on wire cooling rack with coffee beans and chocolate curls around, a stack of white plates, two empty glasses, and a glass of irish cream behind

Expert Tips

  • The butter and eggs need to be room temperature for this recipe.
  • Be careful to not over-mix the batter.
  • This cupcake batter is VERY thick. It’s best to use a cookie scoop to portion it into the cupcake pans.
  • If you don’t having piping bags, you can actually use a zip top bag and cut the corner off to pipe the frosting!
  • Make sure you store these cupcakes in the refrigerator!
  • Baking may vary based on your oven! Use a cake tester/tooth pick to check if your cupcakes are done.
  • Remember to sift the powdered sugar for the frosting to ensure no lumps are in your frosting!

When you make these Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes with Irish Cream Frosting, leave a comment down below! We love hearing from you and answering any questions you might have! Also, be sure to tag us on social media and hashtag it #BakersTable.

angled close up of chocolate espresso cupcakes on wire cooling rack

Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes with Irish Cream Frosting

Traci
The absolute best Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes with Irish Cream Frosting! Every bite is the perfect balance between sweet buttercream, bitter espresso, and chocolate cake. It always leaves you wanting more! SO. GOOD.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 18 mins
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Servings 18
Calories 432 kcal

Ingredients
 

Cupcakes

  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup Dutch-process cocoa, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons espresso powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 ⅛ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk

Frosting

  • 1 ½ cups salted butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3 Tablespoons Irish cream liqueur
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Cupcakes

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Line muffin tins with liners or spray with baking spray. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • Beat butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Stir in vanilla.
  • Add flour mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  • Portion batter into prepared muffin tins, filling each about 3/4 full.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, until done.

Frosting

  • Beat butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Add powdered sugar.
  • Beat until smooth.
  • Stir in liqueur and vanilla.
  • Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.

Notes

  • The butter and eggs need to be room temperature for this recipe.
  • Be careful to not over-mix the batter.
  • This cupcake batter is VERY thick. It’s best to use a cookie scoop to portion it into the cupcake pans.
  • If you don’t having piping bags, you can actually use a zip top bag and cut the corner off to pipe the frosting!
  • Make sure you store these cupcakes in the refrigerator!
  • Baking may vary based on your oven! Use a cake tester/tooth pick to check if your cupcakes are done.
  • Remember to sift the powdered sugar for the frosting to ensure no lumps are in your frosting!

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupcakeCalories: 432kcalCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 4gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 17gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 100mgSodium: 268mgPotassium: 126mgFiber: 2gSugar: 34gVitamin A: 855IUCalcium: 62mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

When you make this recipe, remember to tag @bakerstble or hashtag it #BakersTable!

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