Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Prepare a cupcake pan with 24 cupcake liners.
Combine the cake flour, pudding mix, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in 1 medium bowl. Crack the eggs into a second bowl and add the vanilla extract. Measure the milk and half-and-half into a third bowl. In a 5-quart mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter until fluffy. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides with a spatula. Turn the mixer on first speed, add the sugar, and mix until fluffy. Add the eggs 1 at a time. Scrape down the bowl. Add the sour cream and mayonnaise and incorporate completely. Scrape down the bowl. Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the wet. You will start and end with the dry ingredients. Mix the coffee liqueur and mocha paste into the batter until smooth and no lumps are present.
Using a 2-ounce ice cream scoop, scoop 2 ounces of batter into the cupcake liners. Bake for 18 minutes. Insert a skewer into the cupcake, if it comes out clean they are ready to be removed from the oven. Let cool for 20 minutes.
Scoop out the center of the cooled cupcakes with a melon baller. Fill a piping bag with Irish Cream Filling and cut a small hole at the end of the bag to allow the filling to be piped into the hollowed out center of cupcake. Fill all the cupcakes with about 1/2 ounce of filling.
To assemble: Place a round tip # 809 into a large piping bag. Fill the piping bag with Irish Buttercream. Generously pipe about 1 ounce buttercream onto each cupcake. Garnish each cupcake with 4 or 5 small chocolate pearls and a chocolate cigarette. Mix equal parts gold dust with vodka to make an edible gold paint. Using a small round brush, paint the ends of the chocolate cigarettes. The edible paint will dry leaving behind the gold dust.
In a 5-quart mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and shortening together. On first speed, add the sifted powdered sugar to the bowl in 3 parts. Let each part incorporate into the butter mixture before adding the next. After adding all the sugar, put the mixer on the fourth (highest) speed and mix for 8 to 10 minutes. The buttercream will begin to gain volume and look white and fluffy. Once you bring the buttercream to full volume, add the extracts and the mocha paste. Lastly, add the liqueurs and vodka and incorporate completely.
In a 5-quart mixer with the paddle attachment, add the heavy cream and whip to full volume. Add the Irish liqueur and, on first speed, fold in the liqueur until completely incorporated.
The longer you let it mix, the more volume you will have. If the buttercream is airy and shows a lot of holes, add a small amount of warm water and mix well.
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of Casey's Cupcakes, Cupcake Wars, 2010