Recipe: ‘Irish Coffee’ Cupcakes

Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, so I thought we’d squeeze in one last treat today!  All decked out in green coffee mugs and topped with glimmering shamrocks, these cupcakes are a big drink of Irish fun!  Chocolate cake is baked right in the mug and then topped with layers of whiskey-infused ganache and espresso buttercream.  Chocolate drizzle and a glittering candy shamrock finish the look!  Grab your apron because we’re whipping up some Irish Coffee Cupakes!

'Irish Coffee' Cupcake Recipe  |

Funny thing is… I had an actual Irish Coffee once.  While it looks like a fluffy cocktail, the Irish whiskey is actually quite strong!  So let me assure you.  This “Irish Coffee” cupcake looks fluffy and fun and tastes equally delicious.  It’s really all about the coffee and chocolate flavors with a little Irish flair.

'Irish Coffee' Cupcake Recipe  |

I have to admit… I think these would be even cuter if baked in the clear, tall coffee mugs traditionally used for Irish Coffee.  A clear glass would let you see all of the layers inside and look more like the original cocktail.  But sometimes budgets win over style!  The Irish Coffee mugs were $4 a piece while these green mugs were only $1.25 a piece.  I also think this would be adorable baked up in a mini espresso cup and saucer!  Maybe next year!

Since I went with the green mugs, here’s a peek at what’s inside.  Chocolate cake.  Chocolate Whiskey Ganache.  Espresso Buttercream….

'Irish Coffee' Cupcake Recipe  |

Even if you don’t have the chance to make these for St. Patty’s Day, I still hope you give this recipe a try!  Simply swap out the color of the mug and trade the shamrock for a chocolate covered espresso been…. you’ll have delicious Cafe Mocha Cupcakes!  Yum!  Let’s grab a spoon…

'Irish Coffee' Cupcake Recipe  |

Irish Coffee Cupcakes
Chocolate Cake (baked from scratch or made from a mix)
Oven Safe Coffee Mugs
Espresso Buttercream
Chocolate Whiskey Ganache
Glittering Shamrocks (find my DIY here)

Chocolate Cake:
Make your favorite chocolate cake recipe as normal.  Place coffee mugs on a lined baking sheet and spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Fill half way with batter.  Bake at regular heat for slightly longer than normal for a cupcake.  I baked mine at 350 for 25 – 30 minutes.  Total baking time will vary based on the size of your mug.  Cupcakes are done when a toothpick comes out almost clean.  Let cool but do not remove cake from mugs.

Espresso Buttercream
2 sticks of unsalted butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup cooled espresso
1/4 tsp salt
4 cups powdered sugar

  1. In a measuring cup, mix together vanilla extract, espresso and salt.  Stir to dissolve salt.
  2. Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine butter, liquid mixture and roughly 1 cup of powdered sugar.  Beat on medium until well blended with no visible lumps.  (I always error on more mixing than less, to avoid grainy icing.)  Scrape down sides of bowl.
  3. Add another cup of sugar and beat well.  Scrape down sides of bowl.  Repeat until all remaining sugar has been added.  Beat until well combined.

Chocolate Whiskey Ganache
1 cup heavy whipping cream
12 oz chocolate chips
1 T whiskey (optional – substitute espresso or omit, if desired)

  1. Heat cream in saucepan on stove on med-high until almost boiling.  Remove from heat.
  2. Pour cream over chocolate chips in a medium sized bowl.  Let rest for a few minutes while the hot cream melts the chocolate.
  3. Stir, stir, stir until all chocolate has melted and ganache is smooth and shiny.  (If small bits of unmelted chocolate remain, pop bowl into microwave for 30 seconds at 50% power.  Stir and repeat until completely melted and smooth.)
  4. Add whiskey and stir, if using.
  5. Let cool slightly before assembling cupcakes.

To Assemble

  1. Once cupcakes have cooled completely, spoon a layer of chocolate ganache into each mug.
  2. Pipe espresso buttercream on top, using a pastry bag fitted with a #1M tip.  Start in the center and swirl outward in a circle to cover cup.  Do a second swirl, this time, starting on the outside and moving upward and in, to create a nice mound.
  3. Drizzle additional chocolate ganache on top of buttercream.  I used a pastry bag fitted with a #1 tip and followed with swirl of the buttercream.
  4. Place candy shamrock on top.  Enjoy with a spoon!

'Irish Coffee' Cupcake Recipe  |

Whether you bake these up tonight to add something sweet and green to your St. Patty’s Day… or give these a try later in the year without the green flair, I hope you enjoy my Irish Coffee Cupcakes!  Wishing you the Luck of the Irish and a very Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Happy Friday everyone!

Carrie Sellman , Founder & Editor

Carrie Sellman is the Founder & Editor of The Cake Blog. Her work has been published in BRIDES Magazine, Country Living Magazine and featured online at People, Today, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Redbook, Real Simple, TLC, The Cooking Channel and more.


  1. 6

    Tracy says

    I made these this weekend, using the stackable coffee cups available at Cost Plus/World Market. The website claims they are 8.5 oz but they look a little smaller than that to me. They come 6 in a box for $12.99, and include a stainless steel rack. I needed to make 24 cupcakes so I doubled the cake recipe – I used two boxed cake mixes – and the icing recipe, but only one and a half timesed the ganache recipe. I had exactly the right amount of cake and icing, and a lot more ganache than necessary. I would have been fine without increasing the ganache recipe at all. Cupcakes got a wonderful reception this morning; thank you very much for the recipe!


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