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Chocolate makes the best desserts, and it’s only made better by the addition of alcohol! And the great thing about cupcakes is that you don’t have an entire cake sitting around in your frig, waiting to be eaten. You can give away cupcakes much more easily!

I originally made these cupcakes for St. Patrick’s Day, but they’re good enough to be eaten any time of the year. Any chocolate cupcake would do, but my go-to chocolate cupcake recipe is the Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake. To make them more festive, you could replace the water in the cupcakes with Guinness stout. The beer won’t overpower the chocolate flavor of the cupcakes, but it will instead help enhance the chocolate flavor.

Brush the Irish Cream liqueur onto the cupcakes to help them retain their moisture, then top with a simple buttercream flavored with more Irish Cream, and you’ll have perfection!

Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake with Irish Cream Buttercream

2 cups sugar
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup cocoa powder
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
1-2 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream, to brush on top

Irish Cream Buttercream:
2 cups butter, at room temperature
5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
cup Baileys Irish Cream

To make the cupcakes: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pan with paper baking cups. Prepare for 30 cupcakes.

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. With a mixer, beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Fill muffin cups ⅔ full with batter.

Bake 22 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in the pans, then move them to wire racks to cool.

While the cupcakes are still warm, use a pastry brush to brush one or two layers of  Baileys Irish Cream onto the tops of the cupcakes.

To make the frosting: Use the paddle attachment on a stand mixer and beat the butter on medium-high speed until soft and creamy. Reduce the speed to medium-low and gradually add the sifted powdered sugar, beating until the sugar is fully incorporated. If you wish for thicker frosting, add more powdered sugar. Add the Baileys and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Makes enough frosting to frost the cooled cupcakes liberally.

Source: Cupcakes from Hershey’s; frosting adapted from Brown Eyed Baker