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Bailey’s Irish Cream Cake

This Bailey’s Irish Cream Cake is tender, moist, and ultra chocolatey. It boasts a cloud-like whipped cream frosting that won’t melt – the perfect balance of rich, light, and fluffy!

Bailey's Irish Cream Cake slice close up.
Bailey’s Irish Cream Cake stands high above your average chocolate cake – it’s moist, decadent, and extra-fluffy.

Why This Recipe Stands Out

Out of all of our amazing chocolate dessert recipes, this one definitely doesn’t go unnoticed – especially with St. Patrick’s Day on the horizon. Here’s why we love this recipe:

  • The Texture: There’s something magical and irresistible about this ultra tender, moist, chocolatey cake infused with Bailey’s Irish Cream. It’s one of the moistest, fluffiest cakes we’ve ever made.
  • The Frosting: We use a Stabilized Whipped Cream frosting in this recipe which is super light and fluffy yet doesn’t melt.
  • Easy to Make: As homemade cakes go, Bailey’s Irish Cream Cake is actually pretty easy to make. Just mix, pour, and bake!
  • Dessert Prep: Unlike some cakes, this one actually tastes even better the next day and doesn’t get dry. So, you can actually meal prep the whole thing the night before.

What Is Irish Cream?

Irish cream is a kind of liqueur made by mixing heavy cream and Irish whiskey. Usually, you’ll hear people use Irish Cream and Bailey’s interchangeably, because Bailey’s is the most popular brand of this sweet liqueur. Irish cream is smooth and creamy with a slightly sweet, chocolatey flavor. It goes great in a number of drinks and desserts like this one.

Key Recipe Ingredients

  • Oil – We use oil in place of butter, which provides supreme moisture to this Irish Cream cake. Either olive oil or coconut oil work wonderfully, without leaving any distinct flavor to the cake itself.
  • Buttermilk – Buttermilk is an acidic ingredient that tenderizes gluten, giving baked goods an amazingly soft texture.
  • Irish Cream – The Irish Cream is a flavorful substitute for milk, providing extra richness to the cake.
  • Coffee – This is our secret weapon with chocolate desserts. You won’t taste any coffee in the cake itself. Rather, the coffee intensifies the chocolate flavor, like a chocolate booster.
  • Cocoa Powder – Fresh, unsweetened, 100% cocoa powder is classic for chocolate cakes.
  • Stabilized Whipped Cream – Stabilized whipped cream is simply classic whipped cream with gelatin mixed in so that it doesn’t melt.

Substitutions And Variations

Here are a few simple variations for this Irish Cream cake:

  • Buttermilk: If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, one of the easiest substitutes is to mix 1 TB of vinegar into 1 cup of regular milk and let it sit for around 5 minutes before using.
  • Coffee: Don’t want any extra caffeine in your dessert? Decaf works just as well as regular coffee to bring out those chocolatey flavors.
  • Frosting: If you’re looking for a denser, richer frosting, check out the chocolate cream cheese frosting we use in this Dump Cake Recipe.
  • Toppings: Top this Irish cream cake with chocolate shavings, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, Hot Fudge Sauce, or this chocolate ganache from our Kahlua Cake Recipe.

Step-By-Step Recipe Instructions

  1. Whisk together the egg, buttermilk, Bailey’s Irish Cream, and black coffee.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients.
  1. Dump dry ingredients into wet ingredients and whisk until just combined. Divide the batter evenly between greased and floured baking pans.
  2. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes.
  1. While the cake is baking, beat whipped cream ingredients (slowly adding in melted gelatin) until stiff peaks form.
  2. Once cake layers have completely cooled, remove from the pans and frost with stabilized whipped cream. Enjoy!

For full list of ingredients and instructions, see recipe card below.

How To Prep Ahead

This Bailey’s Irish Cream Cake makes a great prep ahead dessert. There are a number of different ways we like to make this in advance. Here’s how:

  • Dry Ingredients: As always, feel free to measure and mix all the dry ingredients together several days in advance. Just store them in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to use.
  • Stabilized Whipped Cream: Unlike regular whipped cream, stabilized whipped cream will actually stay firm in the fridge for up to 3 days. So, you can absolutely make this in advance.
  • The Cake: As we mentioned earlier, this cake tastes even better the next day. So, we like to fully assemble the cake the night before and chill it in the fridge until we’re ready to dig in.
Bailey's Irish Cream Cake fully frosted and garnished.

Commonly Asked Questions

How long does this chocolate cake keep?

This cake will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can also freeze it in an airtight container for up to 2 months.

Does Bailey’s Irish Cream have alcohol?

Yes! Bailey’s Irish Cream is a mixture of heavy cream and Irish Whiskey. However, in this cake, we use such a small amount that it won’t have any real impact on the alcohol content of the cake.

What does Bailey’s Irish Cream taste like?

Irish cream has a sweet, creamy taste with notes of both chocolate and vanilla. These flavors go great with chocolate desserts like this one which is why we add Irish Cream to both the cake and the frosting.

How do I know my cake is done?

When a toothpick inserted comes out mostly clean and the tops of the cakes are firm to the touch, you’ll know they’re done.

What is stabilized whipped cream?

Stabilized whipped cream is simply regular whipped cream with some sort of stabilizer mixed in to keep it from melting and to help it hold its shape for longer. In our stabilized whipped cream recipe, we use gelatin as the stabilizer. We also add Bailey’s Irish Cream into it for this specific recipe.

Did you make this?

Please give us a rating and comment below. We love hearing from you!

Bailey's Irish Cream Cake slice close up.

Bailey’s Irish Cream Cake

4.97 from 33 ratings
This Bailey's Irish Cream Cake is tender, moist, and ultra chocolatey. It boasts a cloud-like whipped cream frosting that won't melt – the perfect balance of rich, light, and fluffy!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 12
Author: Amy Dong

Ingredients  

For the Cake:

For the Frosting:

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, very cold
  • cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup Bailey's Irish cream, very cold
  • 2 tsp unflavored gelatin, Knox dissolved in 2 TB water, in small glass bowl
  • Optional Garnish: chocolate curls or chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F with rack on lower middle position. Generously grease and flour two 9″ nonstick cake pans along the bottom and sides. Gently tap off excess flour; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, oil, buttermilk, Baileys, and coffee. Whisk until fully incorporated; set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, salt, and baking soda until well combined. Add dry mixture to the bowl with wet ingredients. Use hand whisk to gently stir mixture until no streaks/lumps of dry flour remain (some tiny lumps are fine.) Batter will be runny.
  • Divide batter evenly between greased/floured cake pans, ensuring that pans have even distribution of batter. Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few tender crumbs attached. Let cool completely in pans.
  • While the cake is baking: Place a metal mixing bowl and beaters into fridge/freezer to chill 5 minutes. Add cold heavy cream, powdered sugar, and cold Baileys to the chilled bowl. Beat on medium-high until frosting holds together with stiff peaks.
  • If dissolved gelatin is no longer liquid, microwave it for 5-10 seconds just until it becomes a lukewarm liquid (not hot.) Give the gelatin a stir and very gradually drizzle into the frosting bowl as you continue to beat on medium-high (try to drizzle gelatin into the beaters so it gets fully blended into the frosting). Cover and chill until ready to frost.
  • Once cakes in pan have fully cooled, run a thin knife around the edges to loosen; carefully remove first cake from pan, and turn it onto serving plate. Frost with half of the frosting. Top with second round cake and remaining frosting on top. If desired, garnish with chocolate curls or chocolate chips. Cake keeps well covered in fridge.

Equipment

  • 2 9" non-stick cake pans

Notes

  • If needed, pound hard on back of inverted cake pan to release cakes once cooled.
  • This cake’s texture and flavor become even better the next day, so if you want to make it completely the day before, including frosting/assembling, just cover airtight and chill finished caked until ready to serve.
  • For more tips and tricks for making the stabilized whipped cream, check out our classic Stabilized Whipped Cream Recipe.
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Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 514kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 0.002g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 412mg | Potassium: 212mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 639IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Method: baking

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