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Chocolate Irish Cream Clouds

What is St. Patrick’s day without a little celebration? I mean, I love corned beef and cabbage. And soda bread. And the “leprechauns” that used to dye the milk green so we could have green pancakes. I have been waiting for Saint Patrick’s day for a whole year, and not because I want to go out partying. Because I love the food.

gluten free bailey;s irish cream cakes

This year, a company potluck fell right at the same time as Saint Paddy’s day, and I felt the need to embrace the holiday with gusto. Only one problem. Not everyone likes Irish soda bread as much as I do (even if it is the gluten-free variety). When I went to sign up, just about everyone asked me if I was bringing dessert. Well, I guess it was settled. I had to bring a dessert. You know, because I never ever bake and bring the trials to the office.

So these gluten-free Irish Cream Cloud Cakes were born. Oh baby. Better than Bailey’s on the rocks. Better than a chocolate cupcake. I might go so far as saying these are my best yet. And I wouldn’t be exaggerating.

A couple of things you should know:

  • This post uses the terms Bailey’s & Irish Cream interchangeably – they are the same thing, Baileys is just a brand name.
  • If you want to make these in mini-bundt pans like I did, please make sure you have 2 or else it will take you 2 hours to get all of them in and out of the oven.
  • You can also make these into cupcakes, it would make about 2 dozen. I would make a standard american buttercream and replace any milk, water, cream or vanilla with the Bailey’s
  • Whiskey (particularly Jamesons & Jack Daniels) is gluten free – gluten proteins are left behind in the distillation process. You might be sensitive to other parts of the grain that do make it through – but if you are drinking a premium whiskey (whisky) or bourbon without added colors or flavors, what you are drinking is gluten-free. Celiac.org has an article that covers the science of gluten & distillation better.
  • Please buy good powdered sugar & good whiskey (if making your own Irish Cream) or you will be able to taste the cornstarch in the powdered sugar (ick!)
  • These cupcakes are not for kids. There is a healthy dose of Bailey’s that doesn’t get cooked in the icing. If you want to make them a little friendlier, you could always make a ganache and drizzle it on top in place of the Irish Cream Glaze.
Chocolate Irish Cream Clouds
#ratingval# from #reviews# reviews
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 50 mins
Serves: 40
Liberally adapted from a hand scribbled recipe from my mom, The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Berenbaum and I’m Just Here for More Food by Alton Brown
  • For the cakes
  • 85 grams (3/4 cup +3 tbsp) cocoa powder
  • 1 cup boiling water (354 grams)
  • 1/2 cup irish cream
  • 300 grams gluten-free all purpose flour (3 SIFTED cups)*
  • 435 grams dark brown sugar (2 cups firmly packed)
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs (150 grams)
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 225 grams (2 sticks/1 cup) butter, cubed and softened
  • For the glaze
  • 150 grams (1 1/2 cups ) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3/8 cup Irish cream
  • 3/8 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  1. First measure out your cocoa and irish cream and then boil some water. Once boiling, use a liquid measuring cup to measure 1 cup of water and add it to your cocoa in a small mixing bowl. Add the irish cream and whisk until smooth and the texture of yogurt (regular yogurt, not greek).
  2. While that mixture cools, preheat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and prepare your miss en place (measure out all your ingredients). If using the flour blend from the notes, toss it in the food processor for a couple of pulses to make sure your flour is fine and light.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine your flour(s), dark brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir on low to create a homogenous mixture.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla. If your chocolate mixture has cooled to room temperature, add 1/4 of it to the eggs and beat well (about 100 strokes).
  5. Add the butter and the chocolate & irish cream mixture to the dry ingredients and mix on medium until combined. Stop and scrape down the sides to ensure an even mix.
  6. Add the egg mixture 1/3 at a time, beating on medium (a 6 on my mixer which goes to 10) for 30 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the sides and paddle before each addition.
  7. Once all the egg mixture has been added, beat on medium for 2 minutes. Just let ‘er go. You are building structure by adding air. (this is why gluten free cakes turn out better than cookies – gluten is a natural enemy of cakes!).
  8. Fill your mini bundt pans no more than 1/2 full so that they don’t have puffy bottoms. Bake for 18-20 minutes. A tooth pick inserted into the center should come out clean (or with a crumb or 2). Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. Invert the pan on a cooling rack and tap the bottom. If you greased your pan well enough, they will fall right out, otherwise take a butter knife or frosting spatula around the edges of the cake wells and coax out the cakes – be gentle! the cakes are delicate!
  9. Repeat until you are out of batter.
  10. Once the cakes are cool, whisk together the powdered sugar, cream and irish cream – adding more cream, irish cream or powdered sugar until you are happy with the taste/consistency. This is not science, just a gut feeling.
  11. Drizzle on the cooled cakes.
  12. Cakes last for, well, they taste good on day 2 but if they are still around that long I’d be shocked 🙂

If you want to blend your own gluten-free flour please try the following: 125 grams (1 cup) sorghum flour, 15 grams (1 tablespoon) ground flax, 100 grams (1/2 cup) sweet white rice flour, 60 grams (1/2 cup) tapioca starch. The flax and eggs in this recipe mean you do not need xantham gum. Pulse the flours in a food processor to create a lighter flour.

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