Lots of kids looked forward to a big glass of chocolate milk as a treat when they were growing up. While I liked chocolate milk, I preferred to sip bright pink Strawberry Milk when I had the chance. I loved the sweet berry flavor and the oh-so-pretty color – and I’ll even have the occasional glass to this very day, though I make my all natural Homemade Strawberry Milk instead of opting for the store-bought powder.
This year, Baileys released a Strawberries n’ Cream liqueur that definitely brings back memories of my childhood favorite – even if it is in a much more adult package. The creamy liqueur is similar in consistency to Baileys classic Irish Cream liqueur, but it is a soft pink color and has a soft strawberry and vanilla flavor to it. It tastes a lot like strawberry ice cream, but with a hint of alcohol at the end. It’s sweet, but very tasty, and it inspired me to get a little creative in the kitchen to see how else I could use it besides in a cocktail.
These Baileys Strawberries n’ Cream Cupcakes use a very generous amount of the seasonal liqueur in the batter and are topped with a Strawberries n’ Cream buttercream frosting. The liqueur is quite sweet and adds a candy-like strawberry flavor to the batter, but the finished cupcakes aren’t overly sweet and the Baileys comes through extremely well. They may look like plain vanilla cupcakes at first glance, so the burst of berry flavor will be a surprise when you take that first bite!
The frosting is a simple buttercream that is spiked with a couple of tablespoons of Baileys Strawberries n’ Cream liqueur. The liqueur gives the frosting just the right strawberry flavor and ties in extremely well with the cupcakes. I added a splash of pink food coloring to capture the flavor of the liqueur, since it gets lost behind all the butter and sugar in the frosting. Even though I eyeballed the amount of food coloring that I used, I think you’ll agree that I came very close to capturing the original color when you compare the cupcakes and the liqueur in the pictures.
Serve these as a grown-up treat at any spring or summer party. They’ll make adults feel like kids again! Though there isn’t much alcohol left in these cupcakes by the time they’re baked, you might want to make up a batch of my Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes for a non-boozy dessert if you have some kids to treat to strawberry cupcakes, as well.
Baileys Strawberries n’ Cream Cupcakes
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup Baileys Strawberries n’ Cream liqueur
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, followed by vanilla extract. Stir in half of the flour mixture, followed by the Baileys. Stir in the remaining flour mixture and mix until the batter is uniform and no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Divide batter evenly into prepared muffin cups.
Bake for 17-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean or with only a few moist crumbs attached. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
Strawberries n’ Cream Frosting
1 cup butter, room temperature
3 tbsp Baileys Strawberries n’ Cream liqueur
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar
In a large bowl, beat together butter, liqueur, vanilla and 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar. Gradually blend in remaining confectioners’ sugar until a thick, smooth frosting forms.
Spread or pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes.