If you enjoy creamy coffee drinks, try this spin on the classic Irish coffee: the Irish Cream Coffee, some may know as Bailey's coffee. Hot coffee with a shot of Irish cream liqueur is topped with lightly whipped heavy cream, and for a little chocolate kick, dusted with cocoa powder and a few chocolate shavings.
Regular coffee drinkers will enjoy sprucing up their morning cup any time of year, but this drink is one of my favorite St. Patrick's Day recipes as well as one of my favorite Christmas recipes.
This recipe is inspired by the recipe for a classic Irish Coffee and doctored up with extra creaminess (both from the Irish Cream Liqueur and the whipped cream topping) and extra chocolate.
- hot coffee: use a medium or dark roast when brewing coffee for this drink and brew a strong cup!
- Irish cream: Baileys is a popular option for this cocktail. If you want to try this, but don't want it to be boozy, use a non-alcoholic irish cream.
- heavy cream: heavy cream gets lightly whipped into a thick foam that sits on top of the coffee.
- vanilla extract: added to the cream to add a hint of sweetness to the whipped topping.
- cocoa powder: this is optional and is inspired by the Starbucks Irish Cream Cold Brew.
- chocolate shavings: Because why not! It amplifies the chocolatey undertones in Irish Cream and gives the drink a festive look.
Please see the full list of ingredients and measurements at the bottom of the post.
- Use a roast that has a flavor profile with words like, "smooth, chocolate, nutty."
- Don't use a light roast for this drink. Lighter roasts have a more fruity and acidic flavor that won't compliment the rest of the ingredients as well as a medium or dark roast will.
- Make a strong cup of coffee. I mention this a few times throughout this post, but that's because it will make a big difference!
STEP 1: Make coffee
I like to make coffee using a french press, but you can use whatever your preferred brewing method is. However you like to make your coffee, make sure to brew it strong and make at least 6.5 fluid ounces of it.
STEP 2: Whip the heavy cream
While the coffee is brewing, whip the heavy cream and vanilla extract together. You want to whip it just before the cream begins to develop soft peaks. You're aiming for a texture thicker than latte foam, but not quite as sturdy as whipped cream.
I think the easiest tool for doing this is an electric, handheld frother designed for frothing milk. It's the perfect size for whipping such a small amount of cream. Full-sized mixers may be a bit difficult because of the size discrepancy.
You can also whip the heavy cream all the way into whipped cream or susbtitute with storebought whipped cream if you'd prefer.
STEP 3: Add the Irish Cream
Pour the coffee and a shot of Irish cream into your mug and stir.
STEP 4: Toppings
Top with the lightly whipped heavy cream. Let it sit on top of the drink, don't stir it in. I like to add a generous amount of the whipped cream to the top of my beverage, but you can add more or less to your liking.
Finally, dust the top with cocoa powder and add a few chocolate shavings. Cheers!
Ways to create the whipped topping:
- electric handheld frother - this would be my first suggestion if you have one
- immersion blender
- standing or handheld electric mixer
- shake vigoursly inside a sealed mason jar (for a good workout!)
Your heavy cream may not be cold enough if it's not thickening as you whip it. Make sure that your cream stays refrigerated until it's time to whip and as an added measure, you can place the bowl or cup you use to whip it in, in the freezer to keep everything cold as possible.
The main difference is right there in the name! An Irish coffee uses Irish whiskey, such as Jameson, whereas an Irish cream coffee uses a whiskey cream liqueur, such as Baileys Irish Cream. A traditional Irish coffee cocktail also includes brown sugar to add a bit of sweetness. Both drinks are made up of a body of hot coffee with a thick foamy top that sits on top.
Absolutely! This would still be a delicious morning coffee drink or after-dinner decaf drink to serve. Use a non-alcoholic Irish cream to make a non-boozy version.
- 6 ½ fluid ounces hot coffee medium or dark roast
- 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ fluid ounces Irish Cream Whiskey
- cocoa powder for dusting
- chocolate curls and shavings
- Brew the hot coffee in your preferred brewing method.
- While the coffee is brewing, froth the heavy cream into a thick consistency using an electric whisk. It should be thicker than latte foam, but not so thick it can form peaks.
- Pour the hot coffee and Irish cream into a mug and stir gently with a spoon.
- Top with the lightly whipped heavy cream. Let it sit on top of the drink, do not mix in.
- If desired, dust the top with cocoa powder and add chocolate chocolate curls. Sip and enjoy!
- The easiest tool for whipping the heavy cream is an electric, handheld frother, designed for frothing milk. It's the perfect size for whipping such a small amount of cream. Full sized mixers may be a bit difficult because of the size discrepancy.
- Use a medium or dark roast for the coffee. Ideally, something that's "smooth" or "chocolatey".
- You can make a non-alcoholic version of this by using a non-alcoholic Irish Cream instead of an Irish Cream Whiskey.
Please note, Holiday Sweets N Treats isn't a professional nutritionist. Any and all nutritional information shared is an estimate. If you're following a specific diet or counting calories, we suggest you use the nutrition calculator of your choice. Calories can vary depending on the brands and products used.
You had me at "strong coffee". 😉 This looks amazing! I'm adding this to my list of yummy things to make in the winter!
My husband LOVED this coffee! It was a great warm-up over the chilly weekend. It was creamy and well balanced with lots of flavor.
This looks like a sweet treat! What a perfect way to enjoy a snowy day in the winter!
This was absolutely delicious! I LOVE Irish coffee! I served this to my husband the other night for a stay date. Thank you!
The best way to curl up on a chilly afternoon! This Irish coffee comes out so creamy and indulgent.
Such a great change from my regular black coffee. It was a delicious treat with breakfast.