Print Recipe

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bailey's irish cream, chocolate cupcakes
Servings: 30 cupcakes
Author: Heather Perine


For the cupcakes

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup Bailey's Irish Cream (or milk)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder instant espresso

For the frosting

  • 16 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 8 ounces heavy cream
  • 8 ounces Bailey's Irish Cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • Heat oven to 350°F. Prepare two muffin pans with cupcake liners.
  • Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil, vanilla extract beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. In a measuring cup microwave 1 cup of water (or heat on stovetop). Stir in instant espresso. Add boiling water to batter. Stir to combine. (batter will be thin) to the cake batter. Fill each cupcake well about 3/4 cup full of batter.
  • Bake for 22-25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, rotating pans halfway through baking. Remove cupcakes from pans and allow to cool on a wire rack. Cool completely. Repeat with the additional cupcake batter (about 6 additional cupcakes)
  • To Make The Frosting: In a seperate bowl, chop your chocolate (unless you are using chips). Then in a saucepan or microwave safe bowl, heat the heavy cream and bailey's to a simmer. Pour over the chocolate and let sit undisturbed for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Allow to cool and slightly harden, then whisk in a stand mixer until light and fluffy. 
  • With a pastry bag and tip attached, pipe the frosting on each cupcake. Decorate with sprinkles. Store at room temperature for up to 2 days.Refrigate for up to 3 days, just bring back to room temperature before serving.


  • Get Your Pans Ready First. Before you start be sure to pre-heat your oven and prepare your pans with your cupcake liners.  If your oven is not pre-heated properly, your cupcakes could bake unevenly.  My Favorite Go To Cupcake Liners Are These. 
  • Measure Correctly. Be sure to measure your flour accurately. You want to first give it a stir then spoon it into your dry measuring cup and level off with a flat edge. Overmeasuring your flour can result in dense tough cupcakes. 
  • Use Natural Cocoa. Be sure to use natural unsweetened cocoa powder not dutch process. They are not the same and will affect how the cupcakes turn out!
  • Rotate Your Pans. For cupcakes that all come out perfectly, I like to set my timer for half the time the recipe calls for in order to remember to rotate my pans halfway through baking. Most ovens have what are called "hot spots" where it's hotter in certain areas. So cupcakes that are in the "hot spots" can bake faster than others, so by rotating your pans halfway through you can ensure they evenly bake.  
  • Use A Cooling Rack. Once baked, it's best to immediately take them out of the pan and let them cool on a cooling rack. If you leave them in the pan, they will continue to bake from "carryover heat", which means your cupcakes could come out perfect and then end up being being dry if left in the pan. 
  • Let The Cupcakes Cool. Whatever you do, don't decorate too quickly or you will melt the buttercream. Make sure your cupcakes are completely cooled before you frost.