Baileys Chocolate Cake

With St. Patrick’s Day looming around the corner, it just seems right to whip up a Baileys chocolate cake.

When I think about St. Patrick’s Day, I see shamrocks, green beer, and coffee spiked with Baileys.

Image of Baileys Chocolate Cake

Here in New York City, people go all out on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s hard to walk a block without seeing a bar overflowing with people, covered head to toe in green.

That being said, I like to bake something special each year to celebrate!!

In the past I’ve made an adorable shamrock cake last year, and a giant beer mug cake, which didn’t leave me with a ton of ideas for this year’s cake.

I’ve wanted to use Baileys in a cake recipe for years though, so I was very happy when I landed on my cake idea for this year….a A Baileys chocolate cake!

Image of Baileys Chocolate Cake Recipe

What Is Baileys?

Baileys is an Irish whiskey and cream based liquor, which is actually pretty strong (17% ABV). I thought I knew quite a bit about Baileys, until I realized I had been spelling it incorrectly!!

As I was writing this post, I was quite surprised to see that Baileys is spelled without an apostrophe. Guess you learn something new everyday!!

I’m not going to pretend like I’ve never taken a shot of it, but at this point in my life I like to drink it in my coffee.

To mix things up, this week we’re putting it into a cake!! In this Baileys chocolate cake recipe, I’ve incorporated Bailey’s into every component of this cake.

How Did You Add Baileys Into This Chocolate Cake Recipe??

To add it to my chocolate cake recipe, I swapped out some of the buttermilk in my moist chocolate cake recipe for Baileys.

I also added it in the place of some of the heavy cream in my chocolate buttercream recipe, to make the most rich and boozy chocolate frosting.

Image of Baileys Ganache

For the ganache filling, I used an equal ratio of heavy cream and Baileys.

This really lets the flavor from this whiskey liqueur shine though, and creates an indulgent Baileys ganache filling for the cake.

The end result? A delicious, boozy, chocolaty cake that is the perfect St. Patrick’s Day dessert.

How To Assemble This Baileys Chocolate Cake

To create this cake, make the ganache as your cake layers bake and cool, or as you prep your frosting the day of. The ganahce needs about a hour to come to room temperature, but can get too firm if it cools too much.

The Bailey’s gives the ganache an almost elastic texture, and makes it set like glue! If your ganache gets too hard to work with, heat it up in the microwave for 10 second intervals, until it’s easy to spread again.

Or if you like to plan ahead, the chocolate cake layers and buttercream can be made made and frozen ahead of time.

Once all the different components of this cake are ready, begin to assemble the cake! Stack the cake layers on a grease proof, cardboard cake round.

Spread a thin dab of chocolate buttercream on the center of the board, to help your cake layer stay in place. Next, center the first cake layer the cake board.

Photo Of Baileys Chocolate Cake

Spread an even layer of chocolate buttercream onto the cake layer with a large offset spatula. Chill it in the freezer for a few minutes to help it firm up. Then spread half of the chocolate ganache on top of it.

Top with a second cake layer, and repeat. Place the top cake layer upside down. Cover the cake in a thin layer of chocolate buttercream.

Then chill in the freezer for 5 minutes, or until the crumb coat is firm to the touch.

Use the remaining buttercream to add a thicker, second layer of frosting to the cake. Smooth using a bench scraper, and then decorate as desired!

Decorating This Bailey’s Cake

I opted to cover the long chocolate ganache drips, then made a swirled pattern using a palette knife.

It creates an oddly symmetrical and unique design, and is a lot easier to do than you’d think!

Photo of Baileys Chocolate Cake, filled with Baileys chocolate ganache, and frosted with with Baileys chocolate buttercream

If you try this Baileys Chocolate Cake recipe, please tag me @chelsweets, and use the #chelsweets, so I can see your beautiful creations!!

Yield: 24 servings

Baileys Chocolate Cake

Baileys Chocolate Cake

This Baileys chocolate cake recipe is perfect for St. Patrick's Day! It uses Baileys in the cake layers, chocolate ganache filling and in the buttercream!!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes


Moist Chocolate Cake Recipe

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (260 grams)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar(400 grams)
  • 3/4 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa powder (75 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (8 grams)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda (9 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (6 grams)
  • 1 cup very hot water (237 grams)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (120 grams)
  • 1/2 cup Baileys Irish Liqueur (120 grams)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (120 grams)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature (112 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (8 grams)

Baileys Chocolate Ganache Filling

  • 1 bag milk chocolate chips (340 grams)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (57 grams)
  • 1/4 cup Baileys (57 grams)

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • 2 cups (or 4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature (434 grams)
  • 5 cups powdered sugar (625 grams)
  • 1 1/3 cups of melted dark chocolate, cooled (228 grams, 8 oz.)
  • 1 cup sifted, unsweetened baking cocoa (100 grams)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (3 grams)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (120 grams)
  • 2 Tbsp Baileys Liqueur (30 grams)
  • 1 tsp vanilla (4 grams)


Chocolate Cake Layers

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line and grease three, eight-inch cake pans.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and baking powder) in a large bowl. Whisk together until combined.
  3. Pour in the buttermilk, Baileys, oil, vanilla and hot water into the dry ingredients. Mix by hand until fully incorporated.
  4. Stir in the eggs one at a time.
  5. The batter will be on the thin side, but thatโ€™s the consistency you're after!
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans, and bake for about 25 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven, and let the cakes sit for about 5 minutes. Gently run an offset spatula around the rim of the cake pans to loosen them.ย 
  8. Place the cake pans in the freezer to speed up the cooling process, and to trap in additional moisture.

Baileys Chocolate Ganache

  1. Place chocolate into a medium sized bowl.
  2. Pour heavy cream and Baileys in a medium-sized pot, and heat at a medium high heat, until it just begins to boil.
  3. Pour over the chocolate, and allow the mixture to sit for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Slowly stir with a rubber spatula, until the mixture is smooth.
  5. Once the ingredients are fully incorporated, place plastic wrap over the top of the ganache, and set aside. Allow the ganache to cool for 4-6 hours, or overnight at room temperature.

Baileys Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:

  1. Beat the butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth.ย 
  2. Add in the sifted cocoa, and mix on low until the cocoa is fully incorporated, and no clumps remain.
  3. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small splashes of cream and Baileys.
  4. Mix in the cooled, melted chocolate chips.
  5. Once fully mixed, add in the vanilla and salt.
  6. Beat on low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached.

Nutrition Information


24 servings

Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 465 Total Fat 15g Saturated Fat 6g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 7g Cholesterol 29mg Sodium 292mg Carbohydrates 72g Net Carbohydrates 0g Fiber 3g Sugar 58g Sugar Alcohols 0g Protein 4g

38 thoughts on “Baileys Chocolate Cake

  1. This looks so yummy and pretty. Can’t wait to try it. Could I substitute jack Daniel’s for the baileys?


      1. I highly recommend it! It really takes the chocolate frosting to the next level, and enhances the chocolate flavor!

  2. Hi this cake looks beautiful and yummy. I was wondering could i substitute jack daniels for the baileys.


  3. Hi Chelsey,
    I made this today for my Tearoom. Iโ€™m sure my customers are going to love it, they lovey my coffee baileys cake so sure theyโ€™ll love this one too!
    Great recipe !

  4. Please help! I am assembling this cake tonight and made the ganache last night and set it at room temp in a container, but it is rock hard today so iโ€™ll have to reheat all over again. Is this normal? Will it get this hard on the cake??

    1. so sorry for the delayed response! it definitely shouldn’t be rock hard. it should be firm, but you should be able to push it around with a spatula. did you weigh out the chocolate and heavy cream? did you use the same type of chocolate as me?

      1. I did everything according to the recipe, so I’m not sure why it got so hard. I ended up warming it back up until it was peanut butter consistency and it worked perfectly. This was honestly probably the best cake I have ever had in my life… everyone who had it told me I should open a bakery because they loved it so much! Thank you for this recipe I will without a doubt make it again!!

      2. haha well I’m happy you thought quickly on your feet, and made it work!! Also very happy you loved the way it tasted ๐Ÿ™‚ Those types of comments make my day, thank you for sharing!!

  5. We made it last night in a food fight challenge, and this cake is the best cake, but I have a question. Why is it necessary to wait 4-5 hours for,the ganache? That part is not in the time to make, so we did not worry about it.

    1. I’m happy to hear you guys loved this cake recipe! The ganache usually just takes that long to fully cool, and set/thicken up! It can vary based on the size of bowl you’re using, but waiting just makes it easier to add it to the cake ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Hi! I am preparing everything for tomorrow. I am baking the cake at the moment and I finished the Ganash. But it turned out very weird, you can see the oils on top of it and the Ganash itself is not as smooth as I can see in your video. Can you help me? Should I redo it or is it fine? I think maybe the heavy cream was too hot for the chocolate so it overheated.. Please help me!

    1. I’d recommend heating it up for 15 second intervals in the microwave, until its a workable consistency! if you give it a stir, it should come back together! The baileys can sometimes be tempermental with different types of chocolate <3

  7. Hi ? For the Ganache, instead of using Bailey’s can I just use the same amount for heavy cream?
    So 114 grams heavy cream?
    Thank you x

    1. I like the structure it provides for my layer cakes, especially with all the buttermilk in this recipe! You can also use cake flour, but the texture (in my opinion) isn’t quite as good ๐Ÿ˜›

    1. Hi Marlyn! Usually people heat up the cream until it’s just beginning to bubble, then pour it over chocolate in a separate bowl to make ganache

  8. Hi! i love your website and I do enjoy this cake and the flavor combo! I was wondering if you’ll be able to make another cake with vanilla layers and replicate it to be like a tiramisu? I love that dessert and would love to have that as my wedding cake ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hi Dorothy! A tiramisu cake sounds AMAZING!! I definitely am going to add that to my list of cakes to make!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hi Olivia,

      You sure can! in the cake batter you can use extra buttermilk in place of the bailey’s, and for the ganache use heavy cream instead of the baileys. Hope that helps, happy baking!

  9. Hi Chelsey,
    Thank you so much for sharing this delicious recipe. I attempted to bake this cake yesterday but several things didnโ€™t work out as it should.

    Firstly, I baked the cake with a 7 inch silicon cake mold and followed all the steps adding and mixing all ingredients, however the edges of cake layers all turned out to be sloped and surface turned a bit hard like a hard, crispy cover. Not sure if it is due to the material of the mold or the over fan temperature.

    Secondly, the buttercream werenโ€™t as the goldenrod colour as yours. Thirdly, I believe I had similar problem as others mentioned above with the ganache, it turned out to be quite gluey and peanut butter like, which I canโ€™t apply easily on the buttercream frosting surface.

    I hope I can improve in my second attempt. Could you please help? Much appreciated. Thanks!


    1. Hi Didi,

      So sorry to hear that! This recipe makes super soft, fluffy chocolate cake layer, so you really need to use a metal or hard cake pan to bake them! A silicone cake mold isn’t quite sturdy enough :/

      The ganache does turn out to be a bit thick because of the bailey’s, and that’s why I add it on top of a chilled layer of chocolate buttercream frosting. That way, you don’t get any crumbs as you spread it ๐Ÿ™‚ However, if it’s too thick to spread you can always add a bit more heavy cream, or heat it up in the microwave in 10 second intervals, until it’s easier to work with.

      Hope that helps, happy baking!!

  10. Hi Chelsey, I’ve just come across your site this morning and I’m very excited! My friend’s birthday is coming up and she LOVES baileys so I’m planning to make this cake. One thing I’ve noticed is that for your buttercream you state to mix it on low speed; I’ve been used to whipping my butter on high until very light and fluffy. What happens to the texture of the butter cream when mixed on low speed? I did recently have a cream cheese butter cream curdle and wonder now if it’s because I over-beat it….?
    Also, your video tutorials are amazing! I love the idea of piping the butter cream around the sides before smoothing it out. Thank you!!!
    Kelly Hayes

    1. Hi Kelly,

      That is a great question. I try not to incorporate much air into my buttercream and use a paddle attachment, to make it silky smooth! It makes it a lot easier to smooth onto cakes and pipe with. However, if you want a fluffier buttercream you can definitely beat the butter on high with a whisk attachment! It really is more of a matter of preference than anything else ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope that helps, and that your friend loves her bday cake!! Happy baking!

Let me know what you think!