Friday, 16 March 2012

Cupcakes A to Z: Bailey's Chocolate Cupcakes

My Momma said this would happen.

Just kidding - she didn't.  But I did!  This one is slightly out of order, but that's okay.

Remember the Bailey's Buttercream debacle at the very, very beginning of this blog?  Man, I seriously needed a redemption.

This recipe is a boxed cake mix with Bailey's subbed in for some of the milk and then I changed up the frosting for a Bailey's Buttercream.

I found that I had to watch the recipe really closely.  It says that you need 1 1/4 cups water PLUS 1/4 cup Bailey's.  But then further down it says to sub 1/4 cup Bailey's for 1/4 cup water....

And the recipe also says to prepare using the box instructions, but the box I used said 1 1/3 cups water.

Good thing I was watching somewhat closely.  (Even though I was on the phone dealing with work stuff!)

Moving along.

I started out by sifting the box mix into my stand mixer bowl.  I remember reading somewhere that sifting a box mix will make it a little smoother and give it a better "finish".

Pop everything into the mixer bowl and mix for 30 seconds to combine.  Then turn the mixer speed to medium and beat for two minutes.

Considering I used a Devil's Food mix, I was really surprised at how it lightened up.  It almost became like a milk chocolate (which is my favorite chocolate!).  And, in the uncooked batter, you could taste the Bailey's.

Yes, I taste batter.  Lower that eyebrow. 

Of course, I knew once they were baked it would lose the Bailey's flavouring.

Once they were cooled, I started on my Bailey's Buttercream.  I had been eye-balling the recipe that Michelle from Brown-Eyed Baker used for her Guinness Cupcakes.  So far, Michelle hasn't let me down and I knew that this Buttercream would be PER.FECT.

Using the whisk attachment, beat the butter for 5 minutes until smooth and creamy.  Then, on low speed, add in the icing sugar until combined and then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.

Then pipe on your cooled cupcakes.

What I thought.  Even though I am, in general, somewhat adverse to using a box mix (and that's just my personal preference, if you want to use a box mix knock yourself out!), I thought that the cupcakes came out lighter in color than a classic Devil's Food, and that the cake itself was moist and tender.  I am convinced that this is because of the Bailey's in the mix.  Nice. 

And the buttercream?  Dee?  Do you remember what it was like the first go-round?  Well, this time it piped perfectly and tasted like BAILEY'S!!!  What a concept.  YAY!  Thank you Michelle!!!

Overall, I was quite pleased with the results.  I was especially ecstatic about the Buttercream.  But I don't think I'd make the cupcake itself again.

Oh!  I almost forgot!  I wanted to dress up the cupcakes a little bit for St Patrick's Day, but I didn't have anything that was really green or appropriate so I though about it a little bit.

Then I remembered reading something about sanding sugar and food coloring.  So I took out the sparkling sugar I bought at Christmastime and pulled out the Wilton green food gel.

I put a little bit of gel into a Ziploc bag and poured in a little of the sparkling sugar and shook it up. 

The sparkling sugar took on the gel color and turned green.  Perfect!  Then I just sprinkled the sugar onto the top of the cupcakes.

Add only a little gel for a little color and add more for a more vibrant color.

Watch out though, the gel on the sugar seems to stay kind of "wet" and transfers to your fingers - but I didn't notice a lot of color loss on the sugar that I sprinkled onto the cupcakes.

I suppose you could spread the sugar out in the bag and try to let it dry.

Anyway - just a little tip from me to you!

Feelin' a little tipsy from the glorious buttercream, this is the Cane Girl - signing off.

Bailey's Chocolate Cupcakes
I changed the ingredients somewhat to reflect the cake mix that I bought
1 box Duncan Hines chocolate cake mix
3 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 + 1/3 cups water
1/4 cup Bailey's Irish Cream
  1. Prepare batter according to the package directions.
  2. Bake according to the package directions.
  3. Cool in pan about 5 minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool completely.
Source:  Designs by Gollum

Bailey's Buttercream

2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups icing sugar
6 tablespoons Bailey's Irish Cream
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, with the whisk attachment, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
  2. Reduce the speed to medium low and slowly add the icing sugar until it's all incorporated.
  3. Add the Bailey's and increase the speed of the mixer to medium-high and whip for 2 to 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  4. Pipe on to cupcakes or frost onto cake.
Source:  Brown Eyed Baker


  1. Cane Girl - You continue to amaze me - I have never even heard of sparkling sugar and certainly not the green stuff you used to colour it. They looked beautyyyyyful!!! Well done!

    So what about the chunks from the mix that you sifted - did you just press them through the sifter? That's what I would have done??

  2. Thanks MOM! About the chunks - I just pressed them through the screen with the back of a spoon.