Woo-hoo! Today is St. Patrick’s Day!!! And as per usual, the last post of my St. Patrick’s Day recipe run features a cupcake. And oh what a cupcake it is! Are ya’ll ready for this? Baileys Tres Leches Cupcakes!!! Get out, right?! So, instead of making the traditional Tres Leches cake, I made a version of it in portable cupcake form and my innovation did not stop there. Oh no. I replaced one of the Leches with Baileys Irish Cream. The result is an incredibly decadent Baileys drenched dream, just perfect for your St. Patrick’s Day festivities.
As I mentioned, I have always ended my St. Patrick’s Day run of recipes with a cupcake offering. Last year it was these zingy Irish Whiskey Ginger and Lime Cupcakes
The year before Baileys made an appearance in these Butterfly Cakes (aka Fairy Cakes) filled with Strawberry Jam & Topped with Baileys Whipped Cream
and who can forget my Irish Coffee Cupcakes
Guinness takes the stage here with these Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting
One year I even turned Scáiltín, which is an old fashioned Irish milk punch into a cupcake with these Malted Scáiltín Cupcakes
And I was able to squeeze Guinness, Jamesons and Baileys into these boozy Chocolate Whiskey Dipped Irish Cupcakes
Phew! That is a lot of cupcakes! But let me get back to our featured treat today: Baileys Tres Leches Cupcakes. Tres Leches literally means 3 milks. A Tres Leches cake is an ultralight sponge cake, similar to an Angel Food Cake, soaked overnight in a mixture of evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and cream and then topped with a whipped cream frosting. It is popular in Mexico and Latin America as well as here in the States. For St. Patrick’s Day, I thought it would be fun to replace the regular heavy cream in the leches mix with Baileys and I was not disappointed. These moist Baileys bombs are to die for!
These cupcakes are easy to make, but you’ve got to have a bit of patience to get all of that Baileys milk mixture to soak in. After poking holes in the cupcakes with a fork, I put the Baileys soak in a decorating squeeze bottle and slowly drizzled it over the tops of the cupcakes allowing it to soak in as I went. I must admit, when I saw the volume of the Baileys soak (I used all but about 3/4 – 1 cup of the liquid. The leftover is awesome in your morning coffee!), I thought there was absolutely no way that the cupcakes could hold it all. I thought when I undid the cupcake wrapper there would be an absolute flood of liquid. But nope, after an overnight rest in the fridge, it was all impossibly absorbed and the cupcakes magically transformed!
So there you have it. These Baileys Tres Leches Cupcakes will definitely steal the show at any St. Patrick’s Day celebration. So what are you waiting for? Get baking! I wish everyone a safe, healthy and happy holiday! Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daiobh (Happy St. Patrick’s Day)!
Baileys Tres Leches Cupcakes
recipe slightly adapted from: Perfect Tres Leches Cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
- 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 5 large eggs, yolks and whites separated
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1/3 cup whole milk
For the Baileys Soak:
- 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
- 1/2 cup Baileys Irish Cream
For the Frosting:
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup Baileys
- 3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- cocoa powder to dust over top
Preheat oven to 350° F. Line two 12-count muffin tins with foil cupcake liners. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl and set aside. Separate egg yolks and whites into separate bowls.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks and 3/4 cup of the sugar on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes until creamy and light in color. Add the milk and vanilla and mix until incorporated.
Add the flour mixture, mixing until just combined. The batter will be thick.
Transfer the batter to a large bowl and set aside. Wash the bowl of your stand mixer. Add the egg whites to the clean bowl and beat with the whisk attachment on medium-high speed until frothy, about 1 minute. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
Gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter so as not to deflate the egg whites. Use an 1/4 cup scoop to evenly divide the batter between the cupcake liners.
Bake for 15-16 minutes until golden brown on top and the cupcakes bounce back to the touch or a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Cool completely.
Pierce the tops of each cupcake several times with the tines of a fork to create holes down into the cupcakes. Whisk the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and Baileys together, then transfer to a squeeze bottle.
Soak each cupcake with the milk mixture, a little at a time, until most of the Baileys mixture has been soaked up. (You might end up with about 3/4 cup liquid left over). It may seem like too much liquid at first, but if you do a little on each cupcake, then let it soak in while you move on to the others, you can return to the first ones and repeat the process a couple of times until most of the milk mixture has been soaked up. Refrigerate for two hours or overnight.
Beat the heavy cream, Baileys, powdered sugar, and vanilla bean paste in a bowl of a stand mixer until stiff peaks form. Pipe or spoon onto the tops of the soaked cupcakes. Dust with cocoa powder and top with chocolate pearls if desired.
Links for Helpful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Baileys Tres Leches Cupcakes:
Valhrona French Chocolate Pearls – This is what I used to decorate the top of the cupcakes. It is a crispy bit of cereal coated in dark chocolate. This link if for a much, much bigger bag than you would need for just this dessert, but I wanted to let you know what I had used.