Monday, March 28, 2011

Substitute Teachers

This cake is sweet and delicious.

First my friend Greg introduced me to the existence of Chocolate Beer Cupcakes with Irish Whisky Buttercream, then my friend Katia countered with Irish Cream Cupcakes with Baileys Buttercream Frosting. When I had to repay Greg in cupcakes for buying me an awesome pirate shirt, he gave me my choice of what kind to make, and I chose the latter because leftover Irish cream I will drink, leftover stout I will not.

I did not purchase Baileys for this recipe, which is only the first of the substitutions. I chose instead to buy O'Mara's for about half the price at Trader Joe's. Baileys is a whisky-based Irish cream while O'Mara's is wine-based (which is why Trader Joe's can sell it in Michigan where they don't have a liquor license so only sell wine and beer). For trivia's sake, another popular Irish cream that I used to buy from Meijer, Carolans, is made with mead-wine.

The next item that I did not buy was cake flour. told me that I could make my own cake flour by mixing regular flour (I use whole wheat) and cornstarch, two ingredients I had in abundance on hand. My final substitution was baking soda and cream of tartar for baking powder. It probably seems a little strange that I had cream of tartar and not baking powder in my cupboard, but I guess I just didn't need baking powder until now, and the cream of tartar came from raiding my mother's cupboard a couple months back. (She had multiples and I thought it might come in handy. And lo, it was so!)

If I had a blender, I could have made my own powdered sugar, as well! Dang it. Good thing powdered sugar is only a of couple dollars at Meijer and comes in handy enough that I don't mind leftovers.

The batter was a little thicker than I expect from cupcakes, but I wasn't too worried. They just took a little longer to bake, and they rose quite nicely. The buttercream frosting turned out to be the fluffiest and creamiest frosting I have ever made. And I whipped it by hand with a fork! The frosting is where there taste of Irish cream is the strongest, so be careful when mixing it yourself.

Since I still had most of the bag of mini chocolate chips left, I decided to use those to decorate the tops of the cupcakes for a little added flare. Now that I can deconstruct these little guys, I am already getting ideas on how to vary up the recipe. I was thinking chocolate cupcakes with mint Irish cream next time. Baileys also makes caramel, which would make an awesome frosting, but not sure about batter.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this little treat as much as I did. Have fun experimenting with your own!


  1. OMG I want cupcakes sooo baaadly now.

  2. These were so amazing. I'm totally going to try the chocolate mint Baileys cupcakes next time.

  3. These are to die for. I could taste the liquire in them. crystal was nice of enough to bring some to work... =) happy baking.