Sweet Taste of Ireland

It's been a while since I have done any real baking with alcohol and I realized I missed the experimentation of it and the depth of the flavor it really provides.  Then, with St. Patrick's Day being this week as well, I figured Baileys Irish Cream would be the perfect ingredient to feature this week.  With a mild flavor, it’s so easy to add to a recipe as well!

Irish cream is a liqueur with a base of Irish whiskey blended with cream.  If Baileys or Kerrygold are your liqueur of choice, the base also includes cocoa. If you prefer the golden tones of Carolans, it also includes Irish spirits and honey. Saint Brendan's is more pure with Irish whiskey and fresh cream being the only ingredients. 

Baileys is the original Irish cream.  It was created by consultants David Gluckman and Hugh Seymour-Davies as a way to tame the bite of whiskey and make it more palatable to a wider population.  The original formula came about from a surplus of whiskey created in a distillery not selling it well and surplus cream from the recent popularity of skim milk.  Gluckman is quoted as saying the whiskey and cream alone was “bloody awful” and so they worked to perfect the formula.  To hear Gluckman tell it, the initial thought was about 30 seconds, they went to the store and picked up a bottle of whiskey and a single jug of cream.  The formula was created in a home kitchen with a blender in about 45 minutes!  Fun fact: The original formula used Cadbury drinking chocolate for the chocolate!  The name Baileys came from a London restaurant.  The creators thought international sales would be better if it was associated with something from London.  Baileys was first released to the markets in 1974 and the populace has not looked back since. Carolans followed in 1978.  Kerrygold and Saint Brendan's are the babies in the world having been introduced in 2014 and 2016, respectively. Baileys has a few more ingredients these days, but consumer's love for this liqueur has only grown over time.  

These days you can get Baileys in many varieties ranging from unique flavors like strawberries and cream and salted caramel.  There are varieties for those looking for or even needing something different like light (proclaiming to be 40% less calories than the original) or almonde made dairy free using almond milk. The most recent flavor is Apple Pie just released in December 2020.  They are still 100% Irish though.  The whiskey is Irish whiskey and the cream comes only from Irish cows!

Today, Baileys remains the most popular, but not only the most popular Irish cream.  It is the most popular liqueur consumed worldwide.  It is sold in 160 countries around the world.  According to irelandbeforeyoudie.com, 2,300 glasses of Baileys are consumed each minute!  If there are 1,440 minutes in a day, that totals over 3 million glasses a day!  WOW!  They officially sold their 1 billionth bottle in 2007!

Pick up a bottle of Baileys Irish Cream (or your favorite Irish cream) from Beeline Liquor this weekend. Make your grocery list and meet me in the kitchen for delicious desserts using Irish cream!


Irish Cream Poke Cake

2 cups granulated sugar

1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour

¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 ½ tsps. baking powder

1 ½ tsps. baking soda

¼ tsp salt

2 eggs, room temperature

1 cup milk, room temperature

½ cup vegetable oil

1 cup strong brewed coffee, cooled

1 ¼ cup Irish Cream

Whipped Topping:

1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream, cold

½ cup powdered sugar

2 Tbsps. unsweetened cocoa powder

2 Tbsps. Irish Cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 13 x 9" pan with cooking spray.  In large bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix in eggs, milk, oil, and coffee.  Stir until combined. Pour into baking pan and bake for 35 minutes.  Allow to cool completely.  Poke holes into cake and pour Irish Cream into holes.  Cover cake and refrigerate overnight.  Freeze or refrigerate bowl of stand mixer and whisk attachment for at least an hour before making whipped topping.  It will help it whip better if everything is super cold.  In bowl of stand mixer, add heavy whipping cream.  Beat on medium high speed for 2 minutes.  Lower speed and add in powdered sugar and cocoa powder and beat on medium for 1 minute.  Scrape down sides.  Add in Irish cream and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated and stiff peaks form, about 2-4 additional minutes depending on how warm the kitchen is. Spread chocolate whipped cream frosting over cake and dust with chocolate shavings if desired.

Recipe adapted from strawberryblondiekitchen.com


Irish Cream Macarons

cup almond meal 

1 cup confectioners' sugar 

¼ cup granulated sugar 

2 large egg whites, room temperature

Baileys Irish Cream Buttercream Filling

½ cup unsalted real butter, softened

2 cups confectioners' sugar

3-4 Tbsps. Baileys Irish Cream

Sift together almond meal and confectioners' sugar (remove any large pieces). Preheat oven to 350°F. Using stand mixer, whisk together egg whites and granulated sugar on low speed for 1 minute to combine. Increase speed to high and beat until egg whites form stiff, glossy peaks. Add dry ingredients all at once. Gently fold together with spatula until combined, about 40 strokes and batter flows like lava. Fill batter into piping bag fitted with round tip. On parchment lined baking sheet, pipe batter into ¾ inch rounds about 1 inch apart.  Tap baking sheet firmly on top of counter 3-4 times to release air bubbles.  Let macarons sit out for 20-30 minutes until tops harden slightly.  Bake about 11 minutes.  Cool completely.  Beat together butter and confectioners' sugar until fluffy.  Add Baileys Irish Cream 1 tablespoon at a time until spreadable consistency.  Pipe buttercream frosting between cookies.  Store in airtight container and refrigerate. 

Recipe from artandthekitchen.com.


Double Chocolate Irish Cream Cookies

1 cup real unsalted butter, softened

1 ½ cups sugar

2 eggs

2 tsps. vanilla extract

8 Tbsps. Irish cream

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ cup cocoa powder

1 tsp instant coffee powder

1 ¼ tsps. baking soda

¼ tsp salt

1 cup white chocolate chips

½ cup milk chocolate chips

Cream butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until fluffy.  Add in Irish Cream and mix.  Add flour, cocoa powder, instant coffee, baking soda and salt and mix until combined.  Fold in chocolate chips. Refrigerate dough for 4-6 hours. Preheat oven to 350˚F.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.  Use cookie scoop to portion dough into even scoops.  Roll into balls. Set on baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool two minutes on pan.  Remove from pan onto wire cooling racks to cool completely. 

Recipe from tasty.co.


Frozen Hot Chocolate

¾ cup whole milk

¼ cup Bailey's Irish Cream

¾ cup chocolate milk

4 hot cocoa packets

2 tsps. vanilla extract

3 cups ice

Chocolate sauce for drizzling

Whipped cream for topping

Combine all ingredients (except chocolate sauce and whipped cream) in blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy.  Drizzle chocolate sauce inside glass.  Pour frozen mixture into glasses and top with whipped cream and chocolate sauce if desired.

Note: I prefer not using ice.  I think it waters it down.  I made two cups of hot chocolate using 1 cocoa packet each and poured it into two ice cube trays and placed it in the freezer overnight.  I used that for my ice.  Then, I used the other 2 hot cocoa packets in the blender like the recipe says.   

Recipe adapted from livelovetexas.com.