Baileys Brownies (Irish Cream Brownies)
Baileys Brownies are rich, Irish cream-spiked brownies loaded with chocolate chips and topped with spiked cream cheese frosting. Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day, or any day!
I don’t have a ton of St. Patrick’s Day recipes around here. Truth to be told, I don’t think my family has any Irish heritage, and I’d really rather not partake when it comes to some of the traditional foods like corned beef.
So, unfortunately, if you’re looking for a treasure trove of recipes to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, this will probably never be the site for that.
BUT, I do hope that what I lack in quantity, I make up for in quality. And I can assure you, without a doubt, that these Baileys brownies are the ONLY dessert you need for St. Patrick’s Day (or any day of year, really)!
What are Baileys brownies?
These are homemade chocolate brownies, where instead of using water as the liquid for the batter, we’re using Baileys Irish Cream. We’re also stirring a generous amount of chocolate chips into these Baileys Irish Cream brownies for extra richness.
These Baileys brownies are topped with a fluffy, creamy, cream cheese frosting that also has been spiked with . . . you guessed it . . . more Baileys Irish Cream.
This Baileys Irish Cream dessert recipe is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day thanks to the Irish cream, but honestly, I make these all year ’round! Brownies + alcohol? Count me in for that.
What you need for this Baileys Irish Cream dessert recipe:
- butter – I use unsalted butter for both the brownie batter and the frosting.
- sugar – regular old white granulated sugar is what I use for these Baileys brownies.
- cocoa powder – unsweetened. I use regular Hershey’s cocoa powder, just like I use in my banana mocha smoothie.
- Baileys Irish Cream – you’ll need 1/4 cup for the brownie batter and another 1 tablespoon for the frosting. You can buy a relatively small bottle, or even a couple of mini bottles and you should have enough.
- salt – a little bit of kosher salt goes into both the batter and the frosting to balance the sweetness.
- vanilla extract – this makes the chocolate brownies taste even more chocolatey!
- eggs – you will need 2 large eggs for this Baileys Irish Cream dessert recipe.
- flour – regular all-purpose flour is what you need for Baileys Irish Cream brownies.
- chocolate chips – I use semisweet chocolate chips, but chunks or even mini chips are also good.
- cream cheese – you’ll need half of a bar of full fat cream cheese. Not the kind in a tub, but the kind sold in bars is what you want, just like for my crab rangoon pizza.
- powdered sugar – to sweeten the frosting. Most people sift powdered sugar before making frosting, but I’m lazy and I don’t, and everything still turns out fine.
How to make Baileys Irish Cream brownies:
You’ll be making two different elements for these Baileys brownies – the brownie batter, and the cream cheese frosting.
For the brownie batter, you’ll be melting butter in a pot on the stove. Once it’s melted, you’ll whisk in sugar, cocoa powder, the Baileys and a pinch of salt.
This mixture might look chunky and grainy at first, but don’t worry – it’ll come together in the next step.
This is where you add the vanilla and eggs and keep whisking. Then, whisk in the flour and chocolate chips. It should turn into a smooth, glossy brownie batter.
Pour it into a parchment-lined 9×9 pan and bake about 22 minutes or until the brownies are cooked all the way through.
You’ll need to let the brownies FULLY cool (at least 1 hour) in their pan before frosting them (make and drink a brandy old fashioned while you wait). While they’re cooling, you can also make the frosting.
To do so, you’ll be beating cream cheese, butter and a pinch of salt with an electric mixer until it’s nice and creamy. You will need to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally while this is happening.
Then, reduce the mixture to low and slowly add in the powdered sugar. Once the sugar is all in, add the Baileys Irish Cream. Then, give everything one more beating until it’s all light and fluffy.
To finish up this Baileys Irish Cream dessert recipe, turn the brownies out of their pan and place them on a cutting board. Evenly spread the frosting over the brownies, and then use a sharp knife to cut the brownies into 16 small squares.
An even easier way to make Baileys brownies:
So, this recipe includes completely from-scratch brownies. But you know what? I secretly kind of love boxed brownie mix. Both the flavor and the complete ease of preparation.
So guess what? You can use boxed brownie mix for this Baileys brownies recipe. I tested it!
I used a box of fudge brownie mix, and I replaced all of the water called for in the instructions with Baileys Irish Cream. It turned out great!
This version of Baileys Irish Cream brownies doesn’t have quite as pronounced of a Baileys flavor as the from-scratch recipe, but there is also Baileys in the frosting, so that flavor still comes through.
I used Pillsbury fudge brownie mix when I tested the Irish brownies this way. Food Network has a list of best store-bought boxed brownie mixes if you want to take a look at that before making your selection.
I add a special finishing touch to these Baileys Irish Cream brownies.
I LOVE to finish these Baileys brownies with a sprinkle of sea salt over the frosting. I use Maldon sea salt, and it adds the perfect counterpoint to all of the rich, sweet flavors in this recipe. I also love Maldon for making salted caramel iced coffee.
Because the Baileys frosting has some caramel-y flavor notes, this kind of reminds me of a salted caramel brownie when I serve it this way.
Plus, the big, crispy flakes of sea salt add visual appeal and a nice little crunch when you’re eating the Baileys Irish Cream brownies, too.
Do Irish brownies need to be refrigerated?
For food safety reasons, it really is best to refrigerate any baked good that has a cream cheese element. So, any leftovers of this Baileys Irish Cream dessert recipe should be refrigerated.
Plus, I secretly love cold brownies. I know it’s weird, but I do!
For the Baileys Brownies:
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup Baileys Irish Cream
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
For the Frosting:
- 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Pinch kosher salt
- 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon Baileys Irish Cream
- Make the Baileys Brownies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line bottom of 9x9 baking pan with parchment paper and lightly spray parchment with cooking spray.
- Add butter to medium saucepot and heat over medium heat until completely melted. Remove from heat. Add sugar, cocoa powder, Irish cream and salt and whisk until smooth.
- Add eggs and vanilla and whisk until incorporated. Add chocolate chips and flour and whisk just until incorporated.
- Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Transfer to oven and bake 22 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of pan comes out almost clean. Transfer to cooling rack and allow brownies to cool in pan for at least 1 hour before frosting.
- Make the Frosting: Place cream cheese, butter and salt in bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally.
- Reduce speed to low and gradually add powdered sugar, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally.
- Add Irish cream and beat on low speed until incorporated. Increase speed to medium and beat 1 to 2 minutes or until frosting is light and fluffy.
- To finish, turn brownies onto cutting board. Evenly spread frosting over brownies, then cut into 16 squares. Refrigerate any brownies that aren't eaten right away for up to 3 days.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 305Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 74mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 1gSugar: 33gProtein: 3g
This website provides estimated nutrition information as a courtesy only. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.
Note: This recipe was originally published in 2013. The recipe was changed in 2022 to be even better (more Baileys flavor!), the photos were reshot, and the post was updated accordingly. The original photos appear below.