These easy Fireball Cupcakes pack a punch! Full of cinnamon flavor and a few shots of Fireball Whisky they're a surefire way to get the party started. And don’t let the pretty buttercream frosting fool you. It has a little cinnamon whisky in it too!
With a boxed cake mix and a little liquor, this boozy treat works for both dessert and happy hour and is ready in just over half an hour!
Why this recipe works
Alcohol-infused cupcakes are fun (and easy) to make and awesome to serve at parties. These would even be great for your next girl's night in!
If you haven't had the pleasure of tossing back a shot of Fireball, or 3, it's a cinnamon-flavored whisky. It's spicy and sweet and it's one of the most popular liquors out there.
It can be used in all kinds of different cocktail recipes, like a Cinnamon Mule, but it's also great in baking! And what I love most about this recipe is HOW EASY IT IS!
It’s a fun addition to cupcakes and baked goods and a great way to add some extra flair to frosting too. Plus hard liquors like whisky and rum help create sky-high baked goods that are incredibly soft and fluffy.
The cinnamon flavor of the Fireball Cupcakes is delicious! And you don't get any of the burn from the liquor. These are some of my favorite cupcakes. Ever. Topped with the cinnamon whisky-infused buttercream, this recipe is easy and fun and one you need to try.
Seriously, I never thought I would use as much Fireball as I do.
For the Cupcakes
You know I love a dessert with a boxed cake mix! It's such a great time saver and always brings a delicious flavor. Adding your own spices to the basic cake mix is a great way to jazz up the flavor. I do not suggest using a spice cake mix.
The Fireball adds a sweetness to the cake as well as a hit of cinnamon flavor. But if you weren't that excited about having whisky in your cupcakes, this base recipe is still super delicious. Just replace the whisky with more milk.
Adding a little cayenne pepper gives it that spicy heat that you expect to come through from the Fireball. Do not skip this! It's pretty subtle but a fun little kick in these Fireball Cupcakes!
Make sure your butter is at room temperature before you start making these yummy cupcakes.
For the Fireball Buttercream
The above image shows all the ingredients to make my very best Classic Vanilla Buttercream recipe which is the base of all my flavored frostings.
You will be able to taste the cinnamon whisky more than in the cupcakes. But you can leave it out if you prefer. In fact, the last time I made these cupcakes I used the vanilla buttercream instead and it was a glorious flavor pairing.
Be sure to check out the full buttercream post for the frosting step-by-step instructions.
To make the cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners and set aside.
In a bowl (I use this batter bowl all the time when baking) add vanilla cake mix and butter. Mix it together as best you can. using a fork helps to break up the butter and incorporate it into the flour. The mixture will be crumbly and not smooth.
Add vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground clove and cayenne. Then mix together.
In another bowl beat together eggs, milk and Fireball. I made these in my stand mixer, but you can do this with a hand mixer if you prefer.
Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well.
Mix until everything is well incorporated and the batter is shiny.
Divide the Fireball Cupcakes batter between the cupcake liners and take to the oven.
Bake for 18 minutes.
Remove the cupcakes with whisky from the oven and from cupcake pan and let it cool completely before decorating.
To make the Fireball Buttercream
Make the basic vanilla buttercream recipe. Then add powdered sugar, cinnamon, cayenne and Fireball whisky.
Whip until fully mixed and fluffy.
Decorate the cooled Fireball Cupcakes with the frosting. I added some red food coloring to mine, but you don't have to. The frosting is mind-blowingly tasty as is.
I got 24 frosted Fireball Cupcakes from this recipe but it will depend on how full you fill the cups. But fill them at least half full.
Tips and tricks
- To get these Fireball Cupcakes in the oven fast, gather all your ingredients before starting so you have everything you need within reach.
- For a more cocktail-esque flavor, brush more Fireball Whisky on top of the baked cupcakes so it can soak in the flavor.
- You may need to play around with the food coloring to get your perfect red for the frosting. The red shown in these photos was hard to replicate with regular red food coloring. Adding some brown to it helps but seriously, who has brown food coloring? Also, consider trying gout gel colors for deeper pigments.
- If using a piping tip is too advanced for you for decorating, you can just use a butter knife to spread some on. Trust me, when people taste these Fireball Cupcakes they won't care what they look like. And be sure to grab my free decorating hacks cheat sheet below!
- Don't want to hassel making a buttercream? Try a simple Cool Whip Frosting or Russian Buttercream (so easy!)
There is varying information online about how much of the booze bakes out of cupcakes. The longer they bake, the less alcohol they have left in them at the end. For a cupcake that bakes about 20 minutes, there can be about 35% of alcohol left in the baked cupcake.
While these boozy cupcakes do have a few ounces of alcohol in them and are then baked - (but see above question), it is not probably enough to get you drunk. There is raw Fireball in the buttercream, but again, you'd have to eat a lot before it would impair your behavior. But, of course, use caution and your best judgment.
If at all possible, store the Fireball Cupcakes, unfrosted, in an air-tight container. You can leave them at room temperature for about a day but after that I would store them in the fridge. In the fridge, they should last for about 3 days.
These spicy, flavorful Fireball Cupcakes are easy to make for all your celebrations and game day parties! Just grab a bottle of cinnamon whisky and a box of cake mix and you'll have a cocktail-inspired dessert in a flash!
To Make the Fireball Cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix vanilla cake mix with room temperature butter. Use a fork to cut the butter into the mix. It will be course and crumbly not fully mixed in.
- Add vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground clove and cayenne then mix well.
- In another bowl (a stand mixer or use a hand mixer) beat together eggs, milk and Fireball.
- Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients mixing until everything is well incorporated and the batter is shiny.
- Divide the batter between the cupcake liners and take to the oven.
- Bake the Fireball Cupcakes for 18 minutes.
- Remove from oven and from cupcake pan and let it cool completely before decorating.
For Fireball Buttercream
- In another bowl, make the basic vanilla buttercream and mix with confectioner's sugar, cinnamon, cayenne and Fireball.
- Whip until fluffy.
- Decorate the Fireball Cupcakes with the frosting.
- I got about 20 cupcakes out of this batter, but it will depend on how full you fill the cups.
- To get these cupcakes in the oven fast, gather all your ingredients before starting so you have everything you need within reach.
- For a more cocktail-esque flavor, brush more Fireball Whisky on top of the baked cupcakes so it can soak in the flavor while they are warm when they come out of the oven.
- Try using gel food coloring for a more bold, rich color like the ones shown.
- If using a piping tip is too advanced for you for decorating, you can just use a butter knife to spread some on. Trust me, when people taste these they won't care what they look like.
- Store the cupcakes, unfrosted, in an air-tight container. You can leave them at room temperature for about a day but after that, I would store them in the fridge for up to 3 days.