I think I've figured it out.
You know how I made those Mocha Cupcakes before? And they weren't very mocha-y?
Well, perhaps it's because I used instant coffee instead of instant espresso. I tend to do things like this a lot. It happens. But I finally found instant espresso in the grocery store and I needed to put it to good use.
Hoboken St. Patrick's Day usually takes place on the first Saturday of March. Since my roommate and I were having a brunch party, I decided to remake the mocha cupcakes for this event. I decided I'd use espresso this time to increase the caffeine kick. And no cup of coffee is complete on St. Patrick's Day without a little Bailey's to top it off. Hello, new cupcake idea!
Bailey's Espresso Cupcakes
adapted from Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake recipe
makes ~24 cupcakes
- 2 cups sugar
- 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup cocoa
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 rounded tablespoons espresso powder
- 1 cup boiling water
1) Heat oven to 350°F. Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups.
2) Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla in mixing bowl.
3) In another bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4) With the mixer on medium speed, gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in several increments. Mix ingredients together for another 2 minutes to blend completely.
5) Dissolve the espresso powder in the boiling water.
6) Stir the boiling water into the batter. The batter will be thin.
7) Pour batter into cupcake liners. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter.
8) Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost with Bailey's Espresso Frosting (recipe below).
Bailey's Espresso Frosting
adapted from Smitten Kitchen's Bailey's frosting
- 6 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream
- 1 - 1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder
- 4 - 5 cups confections sugar
- 2 sticks (1 cup or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1) Whisk the espresso powder into the Bailey's Irish Cream. The powder will dissolve a bit, but not entirely. This is fine. Set this mixture aside.
2) Whip the butter using an electric or hand mixer for several minutes. You want the butter to look almost white and be very light and fluffy.
3) Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time. Slowly.
4) When the frosting is thick, drizzle in the Bailey's and espresso mixture. Whip until combined. If the frosting is too thin at this point, add another spoonful or two of powdered sugar.
5) Pipe or spread on the cupcakes.
I could eat these all day. These cupcakes have two of my favorite ingredients: caffeine and alcohol. Unfortunately, the espresso doesn't really shine in the chocolate cupcake, but 1) it really gets a chance to shine through in the frosting (along with the Bailey's!) and 2) a little bit of espresso really makes a chocolate cupcake taste more like chocolate. Really. You should try this cupcake with and without espresso and I'm sure you'll be more impressed with the cupcake that has the espresso in it.
So what's not to love? This cupcake is the perfect compliment to brunch. An even more perfect compliment to a St. Patrick's Day brunch!