Irish cream is a liqueur made with Irish whiskey that has notes of coffee, chocolate and vanilla. It’s distinctive and delicious – which is what makes Bailey’s, the best known brand, the best selling liqueur in the world. Bailey’s (and other Irish creams) can be mixed into cocktails or enjoyed on their own. They’re also great ingredients to bake with because their flavor translates well to desserts, including cupcakes. These Irish Cream and Salted Caramel Cupcakes are just one example of how delicious an Irish cream-spiked dessert can be.
The cupcakes are made with a very generous amount of Irish cream, which gives them a rich flavor that is accented with a bit of vanilla extract. The liqueur has a low ABV, but the alcohol that is in it bakes off during cooking, so the cupcake will have hints of vanilla, chocolate, coffee and cream, not alcohol. The fluffy cupcakes are topped with an Irish cream-spiked cream cheese frosting. The sweet Irish cream contrasts well with the tangy cream cheese, so the silky smooth frosting is very addictive. It is even more addictive once it has been topped with a drizzle of caramel sauce and a sprinkle of sea salt. Those two topping elements really take this cupcake over-the-top.
I’ve made my own Irish Cream and I highly recommend giving it a try. The homemade version of the liqueur is both easy and exceptionally tasty. That said, I typically use Bailey’s Irish Cream in this recipe. You’ll get good results, either way. The cupcakes keep well for several days after baking when stored in an airtight container because they are so moist. The caramel sauce and salt, however, should be added to the tops of the cupcakes shortly before serving.
Irish Cream and Salted Caramel Cupcakes
- 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 batch Irish Cream cream cheese frosting (recipe below)
- 1/4 cup salted caramel sauce