Have a Craic Cupcakes

by Rachel on March 17, 2011

Last night, I ran into Specs liquor store at 8:55 PM.

“A bit late, aren’t you?” the door man said. “We close in five minutes.”

“It’s the night before St. Patrick’s Day!” I said over my shoulder. “And I know what I need!”

At 9:01 I ran out with some Baileys. Like I said…I knew what I needed.

When I studied abroad in Ireland, we learned about “the craic” — pronounced “crack,” it just means good, old-fashioned Irish fun. One smell of this frosting and I thought of the craic.

Despite how exciting it is to make boozy frosting, these cupcakes were still a huge endeavor.

I saw “The Adjustment Bureau” last weekend and I’m convinced that by deciding to make these cupcakes, I went off “The Plan” somehow and guys in hats decided to step in and mess with my life. There is no other way I can explain all the problems I went through trying to get them made. I hope you have some sort of Irish blessing when you try for yourself.

The recipe itself isn’t difficult; I just probably didn’t have time to make cupcakes last night. I wanted to make Smitten Kitchen’s Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes, or even just espresso cupcakes with Baileys frosting. When I realized I didn’t have time to make cupcakes from scratch, I came up with a new plan to do white boxed cupcakes stuffed with Jessica’s (amazing!) white chocolate ganache and topped with the Baileys frosting. And that would have worked if I’d actually bought white cupcakes…but instead I flaked out and bought chocolate cupcakes instead (Duncan Hines double fudge cupcakes to be exact).

Well, I wasn’t going to stuff chocolate with white chocolate [insert sexual race joke here], so I decided to stop at Wal-mart (not my preference, but it was the only place open on my way home) for white cupcakes. I was met with so many more challenges at that point, it was too late to make the white chocolate ganache.

So that’s the short story of why these cupcakes are chocolate, and not chocolate with Guinness, or espresso stuffed with whiskey and chocolate, or white with gooey white chocolate inside. And if you want the long story, just go to PeopleofWalMart.com and stare at it for 45 minutes without moving and you should have an idea of the rest of my night.

(Side note — the lengths I’ll go to to make something happen when there is booze, food, and a theme involved: totally awesome vs. rock bottom?)

The good news is, if you have as much hassle as I did, and find yourself frosting cupcakes at 11 PM, you won’t have to worry about pouring yourself a drink when you’re done. You can just dip a finger in the frosting to eat and drink your frustrations!


12 chocolate cupcakes, baked from a box mix (Wow…that’s a legit start to a cupcake recipe, isn’t it?)

4 cups powdered sugar

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature (I didn’t have time to let it sit out, so I accidentally melted the first stick of butter in the microwave. Of course. Of course I did.)

5-6 tbsp Baileys Irish Cream (This is more than the original recipe calls for, but I do love my drink. But even that isn’t very much, so I went with the mini bottles because it’s how broke-ass hoes cook)

This is How We Do It

Bake your cupcakes according to the boxed directions and let them cool completely. Meanwhile, beat the butter in a bowl with an electric mixer until it is very fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar. When the frosting looks thick (or, in my case, when it looks like perfect biscuit dough because the cupcake gods are revolting), drizzle in the Baileys. It should fluff right up and get smooth. And it will smell like booze…in a really good way. I mean, Baileys is pretty warm and inviting!

Now, the other problem I’d been having with these cupcakes was a decorating dilemma. Personally, I hate the look of chocolate cupcakes with white frosting, and green frosting just makes my stomach turn. So I decided to do light brown frosting and make the cupcakes look like a black and tan. Baileys is light brown, after all. I was lucky enough to find brown gel food coloring in my bag-o-fun-baking-shizz in my closet, so I went with that. The frosting started out a nice creamy off-white, and I could have just left it like that, but I went ahead with the brown food coloring anyway…and the frosting began to turn mauve. I was not happy. Luckily, after adding a ton of brown food coloring, it turned brown, though it wasn’t the tan color of Baileys I had imagined.

But then my darling boyfriend had to tell me that that didn’t seem very festive. I thought it was a mature take on the holiday — I love St. Patrick’s Day, but I’m never going to be the girl in the light-up, blinking shamrock pin — but he gave me a hard time about it.

So I sprinkled some green sugar on top.

(I imagine the cupcake saying that in an angry Irish brogue.)

Whatever you decide about colors and sprinkles is up to you. Once your frosting is done, scoop it into a pastry bag or plastic zip-top bag with a baking tip inserted and pipe it on out onto your cupcakes however you like.


{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sable March 17, 2011 at 9:21 am

LOL I love this post!

It may not be just you deviating from “The Plan,” it may be some kind of curse associated with boozy cupcakes, because I made a recipe similar to this and it was…ridiculous. Just to give you a little taste, by the end of the night (right around midnight) there was a smear of green frosting on the CEILING and one of the cupcakes had fallen off the pan while being put into the oven and burned. Fun.

I love the pictures! haha. Too cute.


2 [SMASH] March 17, 2011 at 9:36 am

YUM, that frosting sounds really good. :)


3 Carolyn @ Lovin' Losing March 17, 2011 at 9:39 am

I DID find myself frosting cupckaes at 11PM last night! :) Only they were green cupcakes made with spinach and applesauce. And you know what else…they were GOOD! Yours look fantastic, though!!

P.S. Love the the “pinch me” picture BTW. That’s generally how I feel about St. Patrick’s Day. Except THIS TIME I remembered to wear green.


4 Manon March 17, 2011 at 9:40 am

Uhhhh….slobber..slobber…drool…drool….how I have not thought of putting my 2 favorite things, booze and cupcakes, TOGETHER. I want to have their babies.


5 Ashley Breton March 17, 2011 at 9:46 am

hahahah i love the bottom picture. they still look delicious :)


6 vanessa March 17, 2011 at 9:56 am

You should have eaten and drank that with old gregg: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydr8a3UHUy4


7 Tenecia March 17, 2011 at 11:15 am

“Have you drank Bailey’s out of a shoe?!?!”

Old Gregg = best thing EVER!!!!



8 Dori March 17, 2011 at 10:24 am

I think green sugar is the perfect festive touch (you HAD that?) and I also think your cupcakes came out looking awesome. I would do anything for some Bailey’s frosting this very second. I wish you were my wifey.


9 Rachel March 17, 2011 at 11:39 am

Awww, I could be your wifey. When I stopped by his office to bring him one this morning, he had already forgotten I was coming and didn’t check his phone/come down to get his cupcake so I had to leave. I know you’d appreciate my talents a bit more.


10 Brittney March 17, 2011 at 10:29 am

Haha, I saw The Adjustment Bureau too and totally wonder if I’m on the right track all the time now! Those cupcakes look awesome :)


11 Tenecia March 17, 2011 at 11:17 am

I just want you to know that you totally shamed me…I only make cupcakes & cakes from a box…I know…I know…I’m a horrible person….sorry I’m not sorry :)



12 Rachel March 17, 2011 at 11:43 am

I didn’t mean to shame you! Honestly, cupcakes from a box nearly always taste better, so there is no shame in that! (Really it’s the canned frosting that I can’t get behind.)


13 Rachel's Mom March 19, 2011 at 10:05 am

Yep….never do the canned frosting. It tastes awful when you are used to homemade.


14 Rachel's Mom March 19, 2011 at 10:04 am

I make lots of awesome cakes (Yy’ve seen some on Rachel’s blog) and I always use a boxed mix. I’ve tried making cakes from scratch, and they are always dry. A couple of years ago I made some cupcakes for Rachel’s birthday from a recipe she had. They were from scratch. They were OK, but I still like boxed mix better.

Don’t feel shamed.


15 Anna March 17, 2011 at 11:24 am

I saw that movie too, and now every time something changes I feel like it’s an adjustment! Lolz.


16 Allie March 17, 2011 at 11:24 am

I love your captions … they make my day!


17 Teri [a foodie stays fit] March 17, 2011 at 11:37 am

Can i move in with you? Please? Thanks.


18 Colleen @ The Lunchbox Diaries March 17, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Oh my gracious – I am so effing glad that I found your blog! You make me laugh.Cheers to you!


19 Lauren at Keep It Sweet March 17, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Whatever happened, this looks like a good result to me. Cupcakes + alcohol is too good of a combo to mess up.


20 Megan@Dirty Dishes Daily March 17, 2011 at 1:40 pm

Such a moody cupcake.


21 Rachel March 17, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Some cupcakes are bad drunks.


22 Stephanie March 17, 2011 at 3:04 pm

I’ll take a dozen. I’ll even pay what it would have cost had you actually made the cake part from scratch. ;) Love this.


23 Rachel March 17, 2011 at 3:08 pm

YUM! I’m seriously obsessed with your little blurb clouds that pop out of your pictures! I look forward to them every time…oh so adorable!


24 Clare @ Fitting It All In March 17, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Where did you study in Ireland? I was at UCD!


25 Angela (the diet book junkie) March 17, 2011 at 7:22 pm

haha…i want to see that movie!! p.s. your cupcakes look excellent. extra frosting for me, please! ;)


26 Jess-The SemiAbnormal Gal March 17, 2011 at 10:17 pm

I love your photo “captions”! What a fun twist on St. Patrick’s!


27 Jodi March 17, 2011 at 10:43 pm

Inspired by your facebook status I ended up making Irish Carbomb cupcakes last night. Except by the time I started and got the cupcakes baked, I was too freakin’ lazy to fill the cupcakes and nicely frost them, so I ended up breaking warm cupcakes in half (that’s right, cupcakes plural, my granny is in the hospital and I was eating my feelings), dumping a scoop of ganache and a scoop of icing on them in a heap and eating them over the sink. Absolutely ridiculous. I feel like I should probably be ashamed of myself, but I’m not.


28 Rachel March 18, 2011 at 7:28 am



29 Jackie @ Baking Charms March 18, 2011 at 8:25 am

I’m making these for my mom! Who cares if it’s not St. Patty’s anymore… she loves Bailey’s :)


30 Maria March 18, 2011 at 10:20 pm

You.are.hilarious. Period. I just want to let you know that you are the reason I started doing Core Fusion dvds… and while I havent committed to a month challenge yet, i’m getting there.

Thank you. Seriously! :)


31 Sarah March 20, 2011 at 1:32 am

This is the second year in a row that I have made smitten kitchen’s Irish Carbomb Cupcakes. Soo incredibly time consuming… but worth it!!!


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