Baileys Cupcakes

These intensely rich and flavorful Baileys cupcakes are perfect for St. Patrick's Day or just for the Bailey's lover in your life. The chocolate cupcakes are so moist and delicious. Each cupcake has Baileys Irish Cream brushed on the top of it and a swirl of Baileys chocolate ganache frosting. These are everything you want in a cupcake meant for grown-ups.

Baileys chocolate cupcakes with swirled frosting garnished with chocolate sprinkles on a wooden surface with a navy linen

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The Bailey’s soak helps to keep the cupcakes moist while also adding more of that flavor you crave. The Baileys chocolate ganache elevates these cupcakes to a whole new level. It only takes about twenty minutes to whip up these cupcakes and another twenty minutes in the oven. Then set them aside to soak in Bailey's Irish Cream while you get your other party food ready. And don't be mistaken - this is party food 100%.

Why You'll Love This Recipe

Baileys Irish Cream - This recipe packs a punch of boozy delicious flavor. The Baileys is in the chocolate cupcake, the soak, and in the chocolate ganache frosting.
Decadent - This cupcake is so rich and decadent mostly because of the chocolate ganache frosting.
Easy To Make - To whip up the cupcakes, you need a handy dandy whisk and mixing bowl. It doesn't get any easier than that!

Ingredients for Bailey's Chocolate Cupcakes

overhead photo of ingredients for baileys cupcakes and baileys ganache frosting in clear bowls on a marble background with text

See the recipe card at the bottom of the post for all ingredients and quantities.

  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder - Regular or dutch processed cocoa powder can be used for this recipe. I enjoy Hershey's but use your favorite kind, especially in these Chocolate Cupcakes.
  • Vegetable Oil keeps the cake moist even while it's being refrigerated. Canola oil is also okay to be used.
  • Whole Milk is recommended for this recipe. I haven't tested the recipe with other types of milk like 2%, skim, or buttermilk.
  • Vanilla Extract helps add flavor to the cake. Use your favorite store-bought vanilla or homemade vanilla extract.
  • Baileys Irish Cream. You will need enough for the cupcakes, the soak, and the frosting.
brownie mix cookies
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Baileys Frosting Ingredients

  • Bittersweet Chocolate Chip - This gives a deep chocolate flavor that balances out with the sweetness. If you prefer a sweet chocolate, you can also use semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips. Just know, the ganache may set up slightly different with each kind of chocolate chip.
  • Heavy Whipping Cream helps create a chocolate ganache that doesn't seize up because of the Baileys Irish Cream.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Vegetable oil can be substituted for Canola oil in the cupcake batter
  • If you prefer more sweetness, you can substitute the dark chocolate chips for the same amount of semi-sweet chips or milk chocolate chips.
  • For an even easier Baileys Cupcake Recipe, substitute the cake for your favorite chocolate cake box mix. Replace the water that the cake mix calls for with Baileys Irish Cream. Continue with the soak and ganache frosting.

NOTE: This recipe has not been tested with other substitutions or variations

How to Make Baileys Cupcakes

Ingredients for baking Baileys cupcakes arranged on a kitchen counter, including a bowl of dry mix, chocolate chips, eggs, and a measuring cup of oil.

Step 1: Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.

Ingredients prepared for baking Baileys cupcakes, with eggs, sugar, and chocolate chips in separate bowls on a kitchen surface.

Step 2: Whisk together the sugar, milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a separate large bowl.

Ingredients for baking Baileys cupcakes in separate bowls: melted butter and dry cocoa mix in the foreground, chocolate chips in the background.

Step 3: Whisk the dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients until smooth.

A whisk in a bowl with melted chocolate and a heart-shaped pool of Baileys-flavored cream, with chocolate chips in the background.

Step 4: Add the Baileys Irish Cream to the cake batter and whisk until combined.

Freshly baked Baileys chocolate cupcakes in a muffin tin.

Step 5: Fill each cupcake with 3 tablespoons of batter and place in the preheated oven to bake for 18 - 22 minutes.

Glazing Baileys chocolate cupcakes on a cooling rack with a pastry brush.

Step 6: Use a skewer or toothpick to poke holes in the cupcakes and brush the Baileys Irish cream on top of the warm cupcakes.

Make Baileys Ganache Frosting

Step-by-step process of making Baileys chocolate batter.

To make the ganache, heat the heavy cream, baileys, and salt over medium heat. Do not boil. Whisk constantly until it begins to simmer. Remove it from the heat and add the chocolate chips (Image 7). Whisk until smooth (Image 8). Allow it to cool for three hours and then refrigerate for one hour (Image 9).

TIP: I like to whisk the ganache every 10 to 15 minutes while it's sitting out at room temperature for 3 hours to help it cool down and thicken.

Pull the ganache out of the fridge and beat it with a stand mixer with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy (Image 10). Frost the cupcakes with the whipped ganache frosting. Add your choice of garnish and serve!

A tray of Baileys chocolate cupcakes with swirled chocolate frosting.

Tips for Best Results

The Bailey’s soak helps to keep the cupcakes moist while also adding more of that flavor.

The frosting makes enough to generously frost 24 cupcakes, if you do not want as much frosting, you can get away with making just half.

These cupcakes would look great garnished with mini cookies, mini chocolate chips, more melted chocolate, and chocolate shavings. 

How to Store & Freeze Cupcakes

These cupcakes will keep at room temperature for up to 2 days. Because of the ganache, after 2 days they need to be refrigerated and will last up to 5 days.

Baileys cupcakes can be frozen for up to 3 months. Once the cupcakes are cooled to room temperature, skip the Baileys soak and ganache frosting. Place the cupcakes in an freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months.

Thaw the cupcakes overnight in the fridge or a quicker option is out at room temperature.

You can also freeze the frosted cupcakes. First, you'll need to place the cupcakes with the frosting in the fridge or freezer until the ganache frosting is firmed up. Then place the cupcakes in a freezer-safe container that is tall enough to not smash the frosting down. Place in the freezer for up to 1 month. The frosting won't last as long as just the cupcakes.

To thaw the frosted Baileys cupcakes, place them in the fridge overnight.

Chocolate cupcakes with swirls of Baileys frosting on a wooden surface, surrounded by dessert ingredients.

Recipe FAQs

Can Baileys Chocolate Cupcakes be made ahead of time?

Yes. You can keep the cupcakes for two days at room temperature or up to one week in the refrigerator. You can also freeze the cupcakes and thaw for one day before serving. This gives you maximum flexibility when planning ahead for your event.

Can I make Bailey's Cupcakes Gluten-Free?

Yes! Just substitute your favorite gluten-free cake mix and make sure to still soak the cupcakes in Bailey's Irish Cream. You can even make Baileys Red Velvet cupcakes gluten-free this way!

Can kids eat these?

Definitely not. These cupcakes are loaded with Baileys Irish Cream that hasn't been cooked off.

More Amazing Desserts Made with Baileys Irish Cream

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Chocolate cupcakes with Baileys frosting and shavings displayed on a wooden surface.

Baileys Cupcakes

These intensely rich and flavorful Baileys cupcakes are perfect for St. Patrick's Day or just for the Bailey's lover in your life.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Cool Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 42 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24 cupcakes
Calories 354 kcal


Baileys Chocolate Cupcakes

Baileys Irish Cream Soak

  • ¼ cup Baileys Irish Cream

Baileys Chocolate Frosting

  • 20 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips semi-sweet chocolate chips will work
  • 12 ounces Baileys Irish Cream
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ½ teaspoon salt


Baileys Chocolate Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 cupcake pans with paper liners and set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Whisk until incorporated.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the sugar, milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients. Whisk until combined and most of the lumps are worked out of the batter. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Add the Baileys and stir until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir in any remaining Baileys.
  • Fill each cupcake liner with 3 tablespoons of batter.
  • Place in the preheated oven and bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cupcakes in the middle of the pan comes out clean or with moist crumbs.
  • Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes.
  • While the cupcakes are still hot and in the cupcake pans, poke holes all over the tops using a toothpick or skewer.
  • Turn the cupcakes out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Baileys Soak

  • Brush the tops with the additional Bailey’s for the soak. Allow to cool completely.
  • While the cupcakes are cooling, make the ganache frosting.

Baileys Ganache Frosting

  • Place the chocolate chips into a large, heat-proof bowl and set aside.
  • Place the Baileys, heavy cream, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk constantly until it just comes to a simmer.
  • Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate chips. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
  • Whisk the chocolate chips and Baileys mixture until smooth.
  • Allow to cool for 3 hours at room temperature. This is optional but continue to whisk it every 10 - 15 minutes help it cool faster.
  • Place in the fridge for 1 hour to firm up.
  • Place the ganache into the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Whip for 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix until there are no streaks. You can also use a large mixing bowl and beat the ganache with a hand mixer for 4 to 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Add the ganache frosting to a disposable piping bag fitted with the Wilton 1M piping tip. Pipe tall swirls of ganache frosting on top of each cupcake.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


Storage: You can store these cupcakes with the frosting at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 7 days in an airtight container. 
Freeze: You can freeze the cupcakes without the Baileys soak or frosting for up to 3 months in a freezer storage bag or freezer container.  The ganache frosting will last up to 1 month in the freezer. 
Thaw: You can thaw the cupcakes with or without the frosting in the refrigerator overnight.


Calories: 354kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 4gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 135mgPotassium: 258mgFiber: 2gSugar: 30gVitamin A: 184IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 117mgIron: 1mg

(Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.)

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