Irish Coffee Cupcakes for a Sweet St. Patrick's Day

March 13, 2018

As Food52 gets older (and wiser), and our archive of recipes grows, we’re making the effort to revisit some gold recipes from our community. Today, meet an Irish coffee cupcake that’s perfect for St. Paddy’s Day...or any day.

The first time I sipped a Guinness, I nearly choked. I was 18, spending the summer in Ireland with a college program, and our supervisor decided the best welcome to the Emerald Isle would be a pint at a pub. Nothing against Ireland’s best-selling beverage, but I struggle sipping blond ale, to say nothing of a dark stout. Seeing my distress, the bartender started chatting with me, eventually handing me a warm glass mug filled with what looked like coffee. “You’ll like this better,” he said, as I took a sip of my first Irish coffee. He wasn’t wrong.

Bitter coffee and smooth Irish whiskey sweetened with cream (and a little sugar) became my go-to order for the rest of the summer. And these coffee-flavored cupcakes topped with buttercream, from Alice Crone (a.k.a. someonewhobakes), perfectly capture those same warm flavors. These treats aren’t for the faint of heart—the frosting contains a healthy dose of Irish cream, while the cakes are brushed with whiskey after baking to keep them moist.

Photo by James Ransom

To get a distinct whiskey flavor, Crone suggests brushing the tops of the baked cakes twice.

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“Be patient with the whiskey drizzle,” she says. “If you want to be able to really taste it, you might need to let a little soak in, and then go back with a little more. One quick brush isn’t going to make a big difference.”

Are you an Irish coffee fan? Or do you prefer Guinness?

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

Katie is a food writer and editor who loves cheesy puns and cheesy cheese.


Laurita March 19, 2018
These were okay, but not up to Community Pick standards. My cupcakes came out light, but pretty dry, and would have required at least double the whiskey to keep them moist. The coffee flavor was not as strong as I would have liked either, and the bailey's frosting was too sweet with not enough bailey's flavor. We ate them, but I wouldn't make them again according to this recipe.
amy March 18, 2018
These were awful! The cake was really dense and bland, not at all light and fluffy like a cake should be! The measurements were off, I would not recommend this at all! Good idea on flavor combinations- too bad