Homemade Baileys Irish Cream
My homemade Baileys Irish Cream is inexpensive, so tasty, and so easy to make right in your own kitchen that you’ll never want to buy it again!
Bonus: It only takes 10 minutes to mix up a batch!
This has been one of the most popular recipes on my blog since the day I shared it! Read through the comments to see all the love it has gotten. You can’t go wrong with it as a stand-alone drink, mixed into coffee, or mixed into a cocktail like a mudslide!
Ingredients and Equipment
Baileys is a cream liqueur made from cocoa, cream, and Irish whiskey along with a secret blend of flavorings. My copycat version uses coffee in addition to the cocoa flavoring found in the original.
Some key ingredients you’ll need are:
- Whiskey: I like to use an Irish whiskey, but you can use any whiskey you have on hand. It really isn’t that important as it’s going to get blended with other ingredients and its flavor will mellow out.
- Chocolate syrup: Using a good chocolate syrup is important! I use an organic chocolate syrup or Hershey’s Simply 5.
- Instant coffee: This recipe also calls for instant coffee. To kick up the coffee flavor, choose an instant espresso.
Tip: I have heard from some of my loyal readers that the 1 2/3 cup (400 ml) of whiskey called for in my recipe is too much. If that’s you, then use less; there is no shame in liking the lighter version of something.
You’ll need a blender to make this homemade liqueur. While any blender will do the job, a Vitamix is magical and useful for so many other kitchen tasks. I love ours – it can blend anything without even having to catch its breath.
How It’s Made
I found the original recipe on a discussion forum on Chowhound. The entire discussion is worth a read as it contains lots of information about the drink.
To make this drink, simply combine all ingredients and put them into your blender.
Blend on low speed for 30 seconds to combine everything, then bottle and refrigerate. Shake just before using!
Tip: Do not blend at high speed – this may introduce foaming and may cause coagulation! Slow and steady is the way to go.
Expert Tips and FAQs
The ingredients in my recipe are meant to recreate the taste of the original liqueur. But, recipes are made to be broken.
First of all, a lot of my readers wrote in to tell me that they use liquors other than Irish whiskey and liked it even more. Some spirits to try are:
- A light, blended Scotch like Chivas or Cutty Sark. People say that it ends up tasting the same as when they used Jameson.
- Sweeter liquors like brandy. People like the mellow edge it gives the final product.
Like everything else in your kitchen, you should use ingredients that taste best to you.
While you’re thinking about different liquors, why not go for a totally different flavor profile altogether? Here are some ideas:
- With all the flavors of chocolate, caramel, and cream already present, adding some mint (either peppermint extract or steeped mint leaves) will give the drink a powerful wake-up call.
- If you want less sharpness and more umami, try adding a pinch of malted milk.
- If you are a fan of cajeta or horchata, throw in a bit of cinnamon for a warm, spicy addition.
The original recipe is made with Irish whiskey, so start there if you want to make a version that’s as close as possible to the classic flavor. I’m not convinced that the brand of Irish whiskey you buy has much of an effect on the overall flavor of the drink.
People pay more for fancier whiskeys because they have a lot of delicate, subtle flavors. But after you’ve dumped in as much sugar, chocolate, and cream as this recipe requires, you aren’t going to taste those expensive flavors anyway.
If your body can’t process the lactose in real cream, or if you are a vegan or for another reason need your drinks to be dairy-free, then make it with something else.
I have heard from many people who use coconut milk, almond milk, or even non-dairy creamer to give their homemade Baileys a nice, creamy texture.
This is so yummy that it doesn’t last long at all in my house. If you’re into savoring it, I recommend keeping your bottle in the refrigerator and using it within a couple of months. Freezing it is unnecessary and might lead to the ingredients separating from each other and clogging the bottle.
I have noticed that after a bottle of homemade Baileys mellows in my refrigerator for a week or so, some of the more pungent liquor-y flavors go away. If you feel like your mixture is too strong, let it sit for a while and see if it’s better.
- Frozen and traditional mudslide cocktails
- Baileys cupcakes
- Homemade Kahlua
- Homemade grenadine
- Homemade clotted cream
Homemade Baileys Irish Cream
- 1 cup light cream I used heavy whipping cream, which made it even richer. If you have problems with clotting, though, you should use light cream.
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- 1 2/3 cup Irish whiskey I used Jameson Irish Whiskey, but I think that a cheaper Irish whiskey wouldn't make a difference in taste.
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee You can also use leftover espresso, but keep in mind that you are adding extra water.
- 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract I skipped this entirely for my version, but if you like almond more than I do, throw it in!
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and set on low speed for 30 seconds. If you blend at too high a speed, you might wind up with coagulation or foaming.
- Bottle in a tightly sealed container and refrigerate. Shake before using.
- Will keep for up to 2 months.
Join my mailing list - and receive a free eBook!