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Pistachio & Irish Cream Cupcakes

Updated: Nov 22, 2021

Think of the most luxurious pistachio gelato. Now imagine having that with a glass of Bailey's. That's pretty much the effect that these gorgeous cupcakes have!

When I think about a cupcake that embodies deliciously moreish, these are the ones that immediately come to mind.

I've not seen the combination of pistachios and Bailey's in a cupcake before and for the life of me I can't see why! It really is a winning combination and I think it's one of my favourite cupcakes to make.

Of course, I immediately thought of including Irish cream in my St Patrick's Day cupcakes because not only is it delicious but it's so iconic. Believe me when I tell you that the combination of the nutty pistachio sponge with that familiar Irish cream taste in the buttercream is divine.

I use Baileys, but you can use any Irish cream, and can adjust the quantity depending on how much you like it. I think the Caking It recipe got the perfect ratio, but you'll have to do some taste testing as you go to find out if it's right for you (what a chore, I know!)

After deciding on the Irish cream, I knew that I wanted to include a green element as an ode to the Irish shamrock, and I really love pistachio cake. The Caking It recipe is the perfect balance of moist, nutty, and scrumptious. When I put the pistachio sponge and Baileys buttercream together I got so excited because I knew it was something special. For that extra decadence, these are filled with white chocolate ganache because, why not?!

The result is a mouthful of soft and nutty sponge, sweet white chocolate ganache, and light and creamy Baileys buttercream. It is a truly luscious and dreamy combination.

I really can't impress upon you how much I loved making these, and they're really easy to make so the pay off is worth it!

If you've not made chocolate ganache before then have no fear! Its just about combining hot cream and chocolate in different ratios to make the right consistency for you.

This one is light on the cream to get a thicker ganache. Initially, I made these with a liquid ganache but it ended up seeping straight through the sponge! So, some minor alterations to the ratios in the recipe finally resulted in the perfect one.

As with every bake, make sure all your ingredients are room temperature before starting.

So, convinced yet? Let me know if you have a go at making these. I think they're going to be a Caking It classic because I really love them so much and I hope you do to.

Let's get Caking It!



180C (170C fan)

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Prep: 20 mins

Bake: 20 mins

Assembly: 10 mins



150g unsalted butter

150g caster sugar

4 medium eggs

1/2 tsp almond extract

100g unsalted, shelled pistachios

150g gluten free self-raising flour

1 tsp gluten free baking powder

1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/4 tsp xanthan gum

2 tbsp sour cream

2 drops green food colouring gel (optional)


80g double cream

100g white chocolate


175g unsalted butter

350g icing sugar

2 tbsp Irish Cream (I use Baileys)


Method: Sponge

This sponge is just the right amount of nutty pistachio flavour, while maintaining a soft and light sponge.

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Fill a 12 holes muffin tin with cases.

  2. Cream the butter until pale, then add the sugar and cream together until fully incorporated.

  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing with an electric whisk between each addition. Mix in the almond extract.

  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, bicarb, and xanthan gum with a fork, and then add this to the mixture, mixing until fully incorporated.

  5. Blitz the pistachios in a blender, or chop them with a sharp knife until they are the size of small breadcrumbs. Fold these into the mix.

  6. Place a few drops of green food colouring, if using, into the sour cream and mix until green. Then, spoon this into the batter and mix until fully incorporated.

  7. Spoon 2 tbsp of the mixture into each muffin case until 3/4 full. Don't be tempted to add more or they will overflow. If there is still mixture left after spooning 2 tbsp each, then make more!

  8. Gently smooth the top of each cake with the back of a spoon and let sit in the cases for 20 minutes before placing in the oven for 20 minutes. A skewer or toothpick inserted into the cupcakes should come out clean.

  9. Let cool in the tin for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Method: buttercream

This is a super easy buttercream that can be adjusted depending on how much you like Irish Cream.

  1. With a fork, cream the room-temperature butter until pale.

  2. Add in sifted icing sugar a few tablespoons at a time until its fully incorporated. It should now be quite stiff.

  3. Add 1 tbsp of your Irish cream and beat until silky. Taste to see if you need another tbsp.

Method: ganache

This ganache adds an extra layer of pure indulgence to these cupcakes. Making ganache is an easy process if you get your ratios right so don't be afraid of having a go!

  1. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the white chocolate ganache.

  2. Chop the white chocolate into chunks and place in a glass bowl.

  3. Heat the cream in 30 second bursts in the microwave until it is lightly steaming. Pour over the chocolate and let it sit for 3 minutes before stirring.

  4. Stir the white chocolate and cream together until its silky smooth and completely combined. Let it cool, stirring every few minutes as it thickens, and when it is a dropping consistency then you can move on to assembling your cakes.


  1. Making sure the sponges are completely cool, scoop out the middle of the cupcake with an apple corer, taking care not to go right down to the bottom.

  2. With a teaspoon, fill the middle with some chocolate ganache. It should be easy enough to scoop and manipulate into the cupcake hole, but not so liquidy that it seeps through the sponge.

  3. Frost your cupcakes generously with the Irish Cream buttercream.

  4. I finish my cupcakes with some crushed pistachios, but you can drip some Irish cream on top if you want a further kick!

  5. Enjoy and Happy St Patrick's Day!

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