Irish Coffee Cupcakes

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

irish coffee cupcakes

St. Patrick’s Day is almost upon us!  and since the holiday is celebrated (at least here in America it is) by drinking as much alcohol as possible, let’s go with one of the classier options, Irish Coffee, and turn it into a cupcake.   Irish Coffee was first introduced in the U.S. by the Buena Vista, a bar in San Fransisco that I have had the pleasure of having breakfast at before.  It’s got a beautiful view from the windows, but the best view, in my opinion, is of the bar where tuxedoed bartenders expertly make Irish Coffee after Irish Coffee.  Strong brewed coffee, sugar, Irish whiskey and to top it off, whipped cream is ever so carefully floated on top.  You definitely have to be trained for years in order to make the perfect cup of Irish Coffee.

Martha Stewart created a fantastic cupcake version of this drink: a brown sugar coffee cupcake and an Irish whiskey spiked whipped cream topping.  The whipped cream on top creates an especially light yet flavorful finish to the cupcake and the espresso powder dusting adds just a touch of bitterness (I would go lighter than I did with the espresso powder-I had a slip of the hand).  The perfect way to celebrate the holiday!

 Irish Coffee Cupcakes
From Martha Stewart
Makes 15 cupcake

  • 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
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon whiskey
  • Instant-espresso powder, for dusting
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare muffin tins by putting 8 cupcake papers in one tin and 7 papers in another tin.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Pour water over the espresso powder and let cool. Mix espresso in with milk.
  4. Beat butter and granulated and brown sugars with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
  6. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with espresso-milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour, until thoroughly combined.
  7. Evenly divide the batter among the 15 papers.  Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes, then take the cupcakes out of the tins and let them cool on a wire rack.  They must be totally cool before adding the whipped topping or else the topping will melt.
  8. To make the frosting, beat together the cream and confectioners’ sugar until medium peaks form. Add whiskey then beat until slightly stiff peaks form.
  9. Top each cupcake with 2 tablespoons frosting; dust with espresso powder.  Enjoy!


  • PeteH

    It’s unfortunate that “the holiday is celebrated (at least here in America it is) by drinking as much alcohol as possible”.

    It’s at least as unfortunate that you perpetuate the image of the Irish as a gang of drunken hooligans.

    I’m ordinarily insensitive to this kind of ethnic slur, but it becomes more pervasive and more offensive at this time of year.

    Having spent considerable time in Ireland, I can assure you that, while the Irish do enjoy a drink, the vast majority of them are moderate drinkers, and most of the public drunks one sees at festivals and the like are NON-Irish visitors.

    • A Gilt Nutmeg

      Pete, I agree and thought that I made clear that this was the American tradition and not the Irish tradition; my apologies that you were offended. My goal was moreso to celebrate the Irish invention of this lovely drink.

      Having spent plenty of time in the UK as well, I do know that the Irish aren’t a bunch of hooligans, in fact, I think in the case of this holiday, it’s the Americans that are the gang of drunken hooligans!

  • Jane

    OOH PeteH… sensitive? I think it was an OBSERVATION that St Patrick’s Day in the USA is celebrated by drunkenness. How can you look the other way? IT IS. People in my circle celebrate the Irish by feasting on traditional Irish food, but far and away, the majority of what gets attention is the drinking of Irish whisky, Irish beer. Every nationality has its stereotypes… If Denis Leary himself didn’t leverage the most vulgar of Irish stereotypes in his stand-up, then one might have reason to get angry. But even the Irish themselves cleave to the image, no matter how accurate or inaccurate. Me? I lived in Dublin for a year. They drink no more or no less than any other nation. However, part of Ireland’s identity is that they produce Whisky and beer… JUST as much as blarney - some of the greatest writers of the English language are Irish (Joyce, Yeats, Beckett, Behan… list goes on) and for that, they are also known. Just please don’t go on a witch hunt and shake your finger.

    Good cupcake, by the way.

  • Ace

    Jane I agree with you. PeteH, you are picking on an individual who was not in any way perpetuating any stereotype but simply observing the customs here in America. You cannot deny that the majority of the American population tends to go on a boozing spree for St. Patty’s, as regrettable as that may be. Witch hunting through the anonymity of the internet is just bullying. And is unacceptable and rude. Emily is a sweet individual and certainly would never intend to stereotype or bully anyone. Love you doll, your cupcakes look fabulous as always.

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