This morning on NPR they reported cupcake pan sales were up by 20%. Or at least that’s what I thought I heard. I was shuffling around the kitchen and only half-listening, but it reminded me to pull a batch of cupcakes out of the freezer so that Todd could take them to work.
I baked these yesterday. They would have been fine left overnight at room temperature, but I threw them in the freezer to keep them extra fresh. Cupcakes that pretty quickly, anyway.
The recipe was inspired by some pound cake cupcakes I tried in a New York bakery. Like those cupcakes, these are heavier than your usual cupcake, but tight crumbed and definitely more like cake than muffins (provided you use the cake flour). Cream cheese in the batter keeps them moist and works well with the Irish Cream.
For the frosting, I’ve tested these with both regular buttercream and cream cheese frosting with a hint of Irish Cream. I liked the buttercream version a little more, so that’s the recipe I’ve included. As for the Irish Cream, I usually buy Bailey’s, but one of the employees at Spec’s said I should try Michael’s Celtic. It worked perfectly and cost quite a bit less. If you can’t get your hands on any Irish Cream and/or don’t want to use the alcohol, you can substitute coffee creamer. Louise tested the recipe for me using Bailey’s brand coffee creamer and I tested the recipe using Coffee Mate. Both brands worked as well as the actual Irish Cream.
And finally, if you have some jumbo or “Texas Size” cupcake pans, these are great as jumbos. Just increase the bake-time to 40-45 minutes.
- 1 1/4 cups cake flour (5.5 oz) – substituting all purpose won’t work well
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 oz reduced fat cream (Neufchatel) cheese, softened
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg plus 2 tablespoons beaten egg**
- 6 tablespoons Irish Cream (Bailey’s, Michael’s) or flavored coffee creamer
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (use more or less if desired) – mini chips are best
- 4 tablespoons butter (preferably salted), softened
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar – fluffed and lightly spooned into cup
- 1/8 teaspoon vanilla
- 2-3 teaspoons Irish cream plus more as desired or needed
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
- Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. For best results, weigh the flour to make sure you’re using 5.5 oz.
- In a mixing bowl, beat butter and cream cheese. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla; beat until light and creamy. Add the eggs and beat on high speed 1 minute.
- With mixer on low, or by hand, add flour mixture and Irish Cream alternately, beginning and ending with flour mixture;. Fold in chocolate chips.
- Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups.
- Bake at 325 degrees F for 30-33 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. The cupcakes with be very slightly browned on top. Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack. Cool and frost with frosting.
- Frosting: Mix together butter and powdered sugar. Add vanilla and a few teaspoons of Irish Cream. Increase mixing speed and beat until light and creamy, adding more Irish Cream if necessary. If icing tastes too sweet, use a little milk instead.