Irish Coffee Cupcakes

Irish Coffee Cupcakes

January 25: National Irish Coffee Day

Sometimes on a cold winter night, Highlander has a hot nightcap—a decaffeinated Irish coffee. His favorite flavors of chocolate, coffee and Bailey’s (Irish cream liqueur) with a shot of whiskey is a relaxing drink at the end of a long work day.

He also indulges in Irish coffee cupcakes as an occasional after-dinner treat. They are among his favorite desserts, along with the Irish cream liqueur cake that he often requests for his birthday.

Irish coffee cupcakes are ideal for National Irish Coffee Day as well as St. Patrick’s Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from “Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes” by David Lebovitz)

For the cupcakes

  • 1 ¼ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coffee, strongly brewed
  • 6 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ½ cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Directions

In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a saucepan over medium heat, mix together the coffee and cocoa. Add the butter and stir until melted.

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Add the brown sugar and cool to room temperature before beating in the eggs. Stir in the vanilla. Gradually add the flour mixture and stir until the batter is smooth.

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Scoop into a muffin tin lined with cupcake papers. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely. While the cupcakes are baking, make the Irish cream filling. Yield: 14 cupcakes

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For the Irish cream filling

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter, softened
  • 6 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Irish cream liqueur (we used Bailey’s)

Directions

In a bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until light and fluffy. Gradually add the powdered sugar. Stir in the Irish cream liqueur until the filling is smooth. Core the cooled cupcakes.

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Pipe the filling in the center. Replace the cores and press down to flatten the tops slightly. Chill in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to set the filling. Make the Irish whiskey chocolate glaze.

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For the Irish whiskey chocolate glaze

  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • ¼ cup heaving whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons corn syrup or agave nectar
  • 2 tablespoon Irish whiskey (we used Jameson’s)
  • green confectioner’s candy, melted (optional)

Directions

In a microwavable bowl, melt the chocolate. Stir until smooth. Then pour in the cream. Mix until incorporated. Stir in the corn syrup or agave nectar and Irish whiskey until smooth. Frost with a spatula or dip the tops of the cupcakes to coat.

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Let the chocolate glaze set. Drizzle melted green confectioner’s candy on top (optional).

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Notes

  • We used Wilton brand green candy melts to drizzle on top of the cupcakes.
  • An alternative to the Irish whiskey chocolate glaze is a whipped ganache frosting. Simply cool the glaze to thicken at room temperature and beat until light and fluffy. Place in a decorating bag. We used Wilton tip 1M to pipe swirls on top of the cupcakes. Optional: Sprinkle green shamrock shapes or non-pareils on the frosting for a festive food.

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Cappuccino Cupcakes

Cappuccino Cupcakes

November 8: National Cappuccino Day

On our Italian vacation, we began each day with a breakfast of brioches and biscottis. Highlander would also have his morning coffee as the caffeine would give him a boost of energy as we prepared to go sightseeing all over Rome, Florence and Venice. Instead of his usual “tall, no-whip mocha” that he orders in American coffee shops, Highlander would drink a cappuccino from the Italian cafés.

In Europe, traditionally cappuccino is consumed in the mornings (but now it is starting to get popular to drink it during the day). Cappuccino is made with steamed espresso and hot milk and has a foamy top texture. Some baristas even make artistic designs on top of the foam.

Instead of making the beverage, we baked cappuccino cupcakes. We created them to look like mugs and flavored them with Hawaiian ingredients (Kona coffee).  They are a cute coffee confection to commemorate National Cappuccino Day.

Recipe

For the cupcakes

(Adapted from 125 Best Cupcakes Cookbook by Julie Hasson)

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground coffee (we used Kona coffee)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup sugar (we used C&H brand, granulated white)
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (we used Hawaiian Vanilla Company brand)
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee (we used Mulvadi brand) mixed with 1 teaspoon warm water
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup semi sweet chocolate chips (we used Nestle brand mini morsels)

Directions

In a bowl, mix the flour, ground coffee, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In another bowl, beat the egg with the sugar and oil. Mix in the vanilla.

Cappuccino Cupcakes

Stir in the coffee mixture. Gradually pour in the flour mixture and alternate with the sour cream. Mix until the batter is smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Cappuccino Cupcakes

Scoop into brown cupcake liners, Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Yield: A baker’s dozen.

Cappuccino Cupcakes

For the chocolate glaze

(Adapted from Chocolate from the Cake Mix Doctor by Anne Byrn)

  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate squares (we used Baker’s brand) or chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup

Directions

In a bowl, combine the chocolate, butter and corn syrup. Microwave for a minute until all ingredients are melted. Stir until smooth and well blended. Dip the top of a cupcake in the glaze, twisting and tapping off the excess. Let set.

Cappuccino Cupcakes

For the cappuccino mug decorations

  • Chocolate frosting, cold
  • Chocolate-covered circle mini pretzels (we used Nabisco brand)
  • Whipped cream or Cool Whip
  • Chocolate-covered coffee bean (we used Island Princess brand)

Directions

Spread a little cold chocolate frosting on the side of a cappuccino cupcake liner. Attach a circle pretzel. Continue assembling the other cupcakes. Refrigerate to set the “mug handles” in place.

Cappuccino Cupcakes

Pipe a little whipped cream or Cool Whip on top of the glazed cupcake. Top with a chocolate-covered coffee bean.

Cappuccino Cupcakes

Notes