Autumn is definitely here and I don’t have to tell you that the days are getting shorter and the warm weather is no longer. One of my kids even said the “f” word this morning….frost. It’s time for warmer drinks and comfort foods and I can’t think of anything better than a hot cup of coffee with a Bailey’s shot- or two– in it! I can think of something better actually…how about a Rich Dark Chocolate Mocha Cupcake with the most amazing Bailey’s Swiss Meringue Buttercream?
When I made these, I also filled them with a chocolate ganache infused with Bailey’s. I would leave it out. It’s not necessary because the real star of the dessert here is the icing. You know about my ongoing love affair with Swiss Meringue Buttercream. I have to say that the boozy version is absolute bliss and sits right at the top of my favourites list!
I frosted these this morning before going to work. And you can be darn sure I licked the bowl shiny clean. I could’ve easily eaten the whole bowl without the cupcakes. It’s that yummy. And I had a container of chocolate covered espresso beans for garnish. So as I was licking the icing bowl I was also munching on espresso beans. Breakfast of champions.
You can imagine the state I was in when I got to work….
I couldn’t wait to post this recipe today to share with you! Let me know if the Bailey’s Swiss Meringue Buttercream makes your top ten! Enjoy!
Dark Chocolate Mocha Cupcakes
*adapted from What The Fruitcake?
Makes 24 cupcakes
3/4 cup strong hot coffee
3 tsp instant espresso powder
3/4 cup dark cocoa
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups brown sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp mayonnaise, room temperature
Preheat oven to 350°. Line cupcake pans with 24 cupcake liners
1. Whisk together coffee, espresso powder and cocoa in a small bowl and set aside. Sift together flour, baking soda and baking powder in another small bowl and set aside. Measure out buttermilk and mix with vanilla extract and set aside.
2. In a large bowl cream together butter, sugar and salt. Add eggs, one at a time, beating each egg in thoroughly and scraping the side of the bowl before adding the next egg. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix until combined. Add 1/2 of the buttermilk and mix until combined. Repeat, ending with the last of the flour mixture. Add the cocoa and coffee mixture and mix until thoroughly combined. Fold in mayonnaise.
3. Divide equally into prepared cupcake liners. Bake for 16-18 mins or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool thoroughly on wire racks before frosting.
Bailey’s Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- 5 egg whites
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 cups of unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 tsp pure vanilla
- pinch of salt
- Bailey’s to taste
1. Fill a saucepan (large enough to fit your mixing bowl just a few inches) with two inches of water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to med-low so water continues to simmer.
2. In your stand mixer bowl, hand whisk the egg whites and the sugar just until combined. Place over simmering pot and whisk for approx 4 mins until the egg whites are hot (about 150 degrees). The sugar should be dissolved by this time as well. Place bowl on stand mixer and attach the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium speed until whites have increased in volume, are thick and glossy and the outside of the bowl is just slightly warm to the touch (this can take up to 10 minutes!).
3. Remove whisk attachment and replace with paddle attachment. Beat on low-speed until mixture is completely cooled. Increase speed to medium and add butter pieces one at a time. Scrape the bowl and continue to beat until buttercream is glossy, smooth and thick. It may separate at first, but continue beating and it will emulsify. Add vanilla flavouring, a pinch of salt and Bailey’s (to taste) and beat until combined. Use immediately.
*I’ve since edited this to add that LorAnn Oils has an excellent Irish Cream Flavour that can be added to this icing to enhance the Baileys flavour. It can be found in most baking supply stores.
Garnish with a chocolate covered espresso bean.