Irish Cream-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes (Gluten-Free)

Irish Cream-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes (Gluten-Free)

This entry is part 245 of 245 in the series Chocolate Mondays

Today begins our St. Patrick’s Day celebrations at The Heritage Cook. Normally I have one or two recipes for you, but this year I have a bunch of fun things to bring out your inner leprechaun. Why, you ask? Because this year is the 20th anniversary of the first time The Artist and I met!

That year I was meeting friends at a local pub to celebrate my favorite holiday, but they hadn’t shown up. Thankfully there was a bunch of my buddies from IBM there so I joined them. Then in walked a couple more friends. After a few pleasantries, they said they had a guy for me to meet … and the rest, as they say, is history.

I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. If the people I was supposed to meet had shown up, we probably would have been in another part of the bar and I never would have seen my two friends walk in. When things are supposed to happen, the Universe conspires to put us in the right place at the right time.

Hot from the oven!

I find it funny and ironic that I met The Artist, an Italian-American, on a holiday that celebrates Irish heritage. Until he met me he never celebrated St. Pats. Now he can’t forget it, LOL.

Today is the first of four recipes designed to help you have a fabulous St. Patrick’s Day. These cupcakes are a fun treat, packed with rich chocolate flavor and spiked 3 times with Baileys Irish Cream liqueur … in the cake, the filling and the frosting. Most definitely not a dessert for children!

Cupcake corer, cored cupcake and the plug to be used to cap the filling

Last year one of my blogging friends, the incredible Barbara Schieving of Barbara Bakes posted her Boston Cream Cupcakes recipe. I immediately knew I wanted to make them and share them with you. They were in my “to make” file just waiting for the perfect opportunity – and today is it!

Cored and filled cupcake with “plug” inserted in the top

Barbara is an extraordinary baker, with skills that rival any pastry chef. Another example of the wealth of talent in this country. I had the distinct pleasure of meeting her in person at BlogHer Food last year. She is just as delightful in person as she is online. Make sure you pop over to her blog – you won’t be sorry!

You can lightly sprinkle (center), dip (front), or completely roll the top (last) each cupcake – add as many or as few sprinkles as you like

Barbara’s original recipe is a beautiful cupcake version of the classic Boston cream pie. I need to take a class on cake decorating from her! I decided to use Baileys and give them a distinctive Irish spin. A little whiskey never hurt anyone, right? LOL.

If you are baking these for children, leave out the Baileys and use milk instead. They will like them a lot better! You could also make a double batch of the frosting, one for the kids and one for the adults. Color them differently so your guests can easily tell them apart.

Thank you Barbara for the wonderful inspiration. These will definitely make our St. Patrick’s Day celebration joyful!

Jane’s Tips and Hints:

Make the filling and the frosting a day ahead to save you a lot of the steps on baking day. Breaking it up this way will make it less intimidating for beginning bakers. And, while not necessary, having a cupcake corer makes filling these a snap. Without it you have a lot more work to dig out a core from the center of each one. At around $5, this is one gadget I recommend you get. It won’t take up much room and you will make up recipes just so you can use it!

Gluten-Free Tips:

If you have celiac or are very sensitive to gluten, you may want to use a different liqueur or plain milk. The website says that Baileys is gluten-free, but on the label it says it is contains caramel coloring. Sometimes this can cause a reaction. When in doubt, being careful is the best solution!

Irish Cream-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes (Gluten-Free)

Cupcake and technique adapted from a recipe from Barbara Schieving of See Barbara’s original recipe with her adaptations for high-altitude included.

Yield: 12 cupcakes


  • Irish Cream Filling
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cool butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla or vanilla paste
  • Chocolate Cupcakes
  • 3 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream, Irish whiskey or milk
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend with xanthan gum (or add 1/4 tsp xanthan if your mix doesn’t contain it)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher or fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 6 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Irish Buttercream Frosting
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
  • 2-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • Pinch kosher or fine sea salt
  • 3 tbsp Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 2 tsp milk, if needed
  • 3 tsp vanilla paste
Read the whole recipe on The Heritage Cook