Cuptail Parties

Saint Paddy’s Day Cupcakes

Add green food coloring for the frosting.

I hail from Boston, a great town to celebrate your Irish heritage or just join in the frivolity and libations on Saint Patrick’s Day.  I’m not Irish, but I’m Catholic , always joked with my friends that I’m “black Irish” and went to Saint Patrick’s grammar and high school, I can do a fabulous Irish jig and even though I’m not a fan of beer or whiskey I certainly have learned how to cook with these awesome beverages.

One of my favorites is Irish liqueur and hence I’ve created a fun cupcake featuring this spirit.  If any of you caught my episode of Cupcake Wars, this is the cupcake the judges loved and it kept me in the running for the competition.  I never gave it a name, but for this holiday I’m calling it my Shamrock Cupcake.  Serve it at your St. Paddy’s Party or make them for your child’s school St. Patrick’s celebration.  May this cupcake bring you the luck of the Irish!

Irish Shamrock Cupcake
Recipe courtesy Celeste Alleyne, Cupcake Wars, 2010
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 one ounce squares of white chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup hot water
1 tablespoon of vodka
1/2 cup unsalted butter (one stick, softened)
1 and 1/2 cups baker’s sugar
3 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 and 1/ 2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Line a mini cupcake or muffin pan with 24 mini cupcake liners or a regular-size cupcake or muffin pan with 12 cupcake liners.  Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a medium-size bowl.  Set the bowl aside.  In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together, about 5 minutes until light and fluffy.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and then add eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.  Turn the mixer to the lowest speed, and add the flour mixture, alternating with the buttermilk and flour mixture, ending with the flour mixture.  Add in melted white chocolate, hot water and vodka.  Add the vanilla extract.  Fill 24 mini cupcake liners 1/2-full with batter and bake for 30 minutes or fill 12 regular-size cupcakes 3/4-full with batter and bake for 25 minutes, or until golden and baked through.  Cool the cupcakes completely.


Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur Whipped Cream Filling:

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon half and half
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur

Whip the heavy whipping cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Add the confectioner’s sugar and Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur. Put the frosting into a pastry bag with small, round pastry tip.

Yield: approximately 2 cups


Kahlua Liqueur Frosting:

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter
1 pound confectioner’s sugar
3 teaspoons Dutch cocoa powder
3 tablespoons Kahlua liqueur
3 tablespoons warm coffee

In an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, add the confectioner’s sugar, add the cocoa powder and mix on slow.  Then add the Kahlua and mix again on slow. Add the coffee and mix until all is smooth.

Yield: approximately 2 cups
To assemble:
Using a small, round, metal pastry bag attachment, cut small center holes into each white chocolate cupcake.  Using a pastry bag and the same small attachment, pipe a small amount of the Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur whipped cream into the center of each cupcake.  Using a larger, swirl-shaped pastry bag attachment, frost the cupcakes with the Kahlua liqueur frosting.  Sprinkle dark chocolate nubs over each cupcake and top with a small square of 65-70% dark chocolate on each cupcake.

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