Irish Cream Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

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.

Irish Cream Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

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.

Irish Cream Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Cupcakes made with Irish Cream
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12
  • 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
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. For best results, weigh the flour to make sure you’re using 5.5 oz.
  3. 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.
  4. With mixer on low, or by hand, add flour mixture and Irish Cream alternately, beginning and ending with flour mixture;. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
**If doubling the recipe, use 3 large eggs

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  1. says

    It’s interesting to hear that statistic since I was reading an article in the Toronto Star this morning commenting on the idea that Cupcakes are “on their way out”. Although I’m not a huge fan of cupcakes myself (I’m not an icing/frosting person) their popularity is not a mystery. It’s something easy and quick that you can bake at home. No matter how fancy it’s something you feel like you can recreate.

  2. says

    Ohhh I LOVE Bailey’s!

  3. says

    Yeah, I hope they go “out” soon so all the true cupcake lovers can carry on and not be associate with those trendy posers who are eating cupcakes just to be fashionable. Let them move on to pie or savory desserts or whatever ;).

  4. says

    I agree, I don’t like the whole ‘trendy’ cupcake thing. I live in NYC and the line outside Magnolia is just annoying. I’ve been making cupcakes for years and honestly, the ones you make at home are much better than these fancy pants ones with silly names.

  5. says

    I agree, I don’t like the whole ‘trendy’ cupcake thing. I live in NYC and the line outside Magnolia is just annoying to see, get over it! I’ve been making cupcakes for years and honestly, the ones you make at home are much better than these fancy pants ones with silly names.

  6. says

    The area that I live in doesn’t support those kinds of trends so I’ve been spared the cupcake mania. There is one little business that is trying, but I’ve had one of their cupcakes and it was seriously terrible. Dry, not enough flavor and super sugary frosting. You’d do better to make them with a box mix at home!
    Homemade are so much better any day of the week!! All that said, if given a cupcake or a cookie to choose from, I’d go with the cookie.
    This cupcake sounds really interesting. I love Bailey’s so I’m sure I’d like these!

  7. Louise says

    I found this article by Matt Lewis of “Baked” fame to be hilarious – And, notice it’s not recent.

  8. says

    LOUISE!! LOL!!!!
    I don’t know why, but I had you pegged for a fairly prim and proper woman, and you may well be exactly that, but apparently you have a sense of humor that embraces the language of a merchant marine and a baker named Matt. 🙂
    Thanks for pointing out that article. I laughed out loud!!

  9. says

    Louise, thanks for the link. I read the post by Matt Lewis and then moved onto the rest of the blog. I need to bookmark that one so I’ll remember to read it.

  10. says

    i used that coffee creamer stuff in one of my recipes and it was awful. did it work ok in these? i think maybe it was al the chemicals in it that made it not rise and become very mushy. but i bet the baileys gave this a nice even flavor.

  11. Jennifer says

    “Let them move on to pie or savory desserts or whatever…” I’ve actually heard that pie will be “in” for 2011!

  12. Candace says

    you totally read my mind. I bought a bottle of Bailey’s last week with the intention of making Bailey’s cupcakes for bunco this month. I will report back on the 26th, but thanks for saving me the legwork of finding a recipe!

  13. Louise says

    Dawn, The Bailey’s brand Coffee Creamer doesn’t have quite all the chemicals the other creamers have, and it actually has cream and is available in the dairy case. It seemed to work fine for baking and gave a good cake texture and rose as expected. I thought next time I’d like to add some Irish whiskey to the buttercream to kick it up a notch as I like big tastes. Or I might try a white chocolate ganache.

  14. amy says

    I’m planning the St. Patrick’s Day party for my daughter’s class. I can’t wait to make these (with flavored coffee creamer)..they will be a hit with the kids! I found some cello candy bags from Box and Wrap that have shamrocks on the bags….so cute. It’s the extra special touches that make the party great. Thanks so much for the recipe.

  15. Elaine says

    Anna, will the irish cream chocolate chip cupcake receipe using Bailey’s irish coffee creamer work to make as a single layer cake?

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