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Irish Coffee Cupcakes

In celebration of Saint Patrick's Day, we've reimagined the traditional drink as a cupcake for grown-ups. The moist, delicate cupcakes are flavored with espresso and brown sugar and topped with billowy whipped-cream frosting spiked with whiskey. A dusting of espresso powder makes a festive finish. If you don't have two muffin tins, bake these cupcakes in batches.

  • Yield: Makes 15
Irish Coffee Cupcakes

Source: Martha Stewart Living, March 2010


For the Cupcakes

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons instant-espresso powder
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs

For the Frosting

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon whiskey
  • Instant-espresso powder, for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the cupcakes: Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Pour water over espresso powder; let cool. Combine espresso with milk. Beat butter and granulated and brown sugars with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with espresso-milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour (batter may look broken).

  2. Fill 15 cups (of two 12-cup muffin tins) three-quarters full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes. Let cool; turn out cupcakes from tins.

  3. Make the frosting: Whisk together cream and confectioners' sugar until medium peaks form. Add whiskey; whisk until slightly stiff peaks form.

  4. Top each cupcake with 2 tablespoons frosting; dust with espresso powder.

Reviews (5)

  • sportygrly 17 Mar, 2014

    Ths flavor of the cupcakes was pretty good. The frosting is great...I used the Irish whiskey, but also added some cinnamon whiskey for a little more flavor. I also used a mocha instant coffee for the dusting on the frosting. However, I dont really like the cupcakes and frosting together. I feel like the cupcakes are too heavy for the whipped frosting and need something richer and thicker.

  • loredocm 28 Oct, 2013

    The cupcake was good, but the frosting is gross... consider making a different one or add some coffee to the heavy cream.

  • frawlabut 4 Mar, 2013

    I make this cupcake today it's very very super Delicious
    love it .

  • AbbyCakes 22 Mar, 2012

    What a nice cupcake this recipe makes. Not too sweet, just right. Good coffee flavor, not too heavy. I used whole wheat flour for extra goodness. I also have a heavy hand on the whiskey - I used more than the recipe says to use for the topping. Yummy!! All in all, easy delicious cupcake!

  • ellevee78 22 Sep, 2010

    These are so good! I made them one morning at my parents house. They lasted an hour. Plus, if there is any left over whipped cream (with the Irish Whiskey) you can add it to your coffee. YUM!

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