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Baileys Brownies (with 3/4 cup Irish cream!)

These Baileys brownies are rich, fudgy and full of Baileys flavor with 3/4 cup in the batter and the ganache! They can be made with all-purpose or whole wheat flour and also have gluten-free options. This post has been updated with a dairy-free option and new photos, but was originally published in 2016.

Bright green treats are fun for St. Patrick’s Day dessert, but I try to avoid food coloring when I can. So I usually opt for Baileys treats.

I only used 2 tablespoons of Baileys in my older recipe for Irish cream cheesecake brownies, but I wanted something stronger because I don’t like subtle.

I usually use the same brownie base whenever I make brownies, but the problem with adding a bunch of Baileys to my gluten-free brownies is that it’d totally throw off the wet to dry ratio.

So instead of a cocoa powder only based brownie recipe, I came up with a cocoa powder and chocolate-based recipe, thinking that the melted chocolate would require the addition of some more liquid. The result?

There’s 1/2 cup of Baileys in the batter! They definitely have a nice, strong Irish cream flavor to them. Not at all subtle!

Note that if you use buckwheat flour, the Irish cream taste isn’t as strong as when using the other flour options.

If you don’t want to compromise on the Baileys taste, use the other gluten-free options, which I talk about below.

Because I wanted the buckwheat version to also be nice and boozy, I made a ganache topping and replaced half of the whipping cream with Irish cream.

I don’t think there will be any complaints of, “Not boozy enough!” when you bite into these brownies.


  • Flour — you can use all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, white whole wheat flour, light buckwheat flour, or a gluten-free baking blend meant as a 1:1 sub for all-purpose flour.
  • Dutch-process cocoa powder — I always use Dutch-process for the most chocolate flavor possible, but regular cocoa powder should also work.
  • Butter or coconut oil — if using coconut oil, which you need to do for a dairy-free version, make sure to use refined coconut oil! Coconut flavor + Baileys isn’t something I think would be very tasty. I surprisingly couldn’t taste any coconut when using coconut milk in the ganache.
  • Chocolate — you can use chocolate chips or chopped chocolate. Use dairy-free chocolate if you’re dairy-free.
  • Granulated sugar — you could use raw sugar, but I don’t think coconut sugar would be a good idea. I explain why below.
  • Baileys — or any Irish cream you’d like. I link to my homemade dairy-free recipe below! That’s what you need to use if you’re dairy-free.
  • Egg — a chia egg sub didn’t work for me. I doubt other egg replacements would work, so I don’t recommend experimenting.
  • Cream — I used whipping cream, but you could also use heavy cream if that’s what you have on hand. For dairy-free, I used canned coconut milk.
  • Salt + baking powder + vanilla extract

How to make them

I’ll let the photos do the talking!

As you can see, there’s quite a bit of chocolate in them. 😉

As well as Baileys. Like I said, I don’t like subtle.

Also note that the batter is really thick!

Can I use coconut sugar?

The strong flavor of the coconut sugar would detract from the Irish cream taste quite a bit. If you don’t mind that, then you can use coconut sugar.

I don’t think it’d be bad, though. The flavor of the coconut sugar goes well with the other flavors in the brownies.

To me, it’d feel like a waste of Baileys. But maybe you just want a hint of Irish cream? Then you can certainly go for it!

Can I omit the Baileys?

Nope. Please make one of the recipes listed in the section below if you don’t want to use Baileys.

You could try swapping it with another cream-based liqueur. I wouldn’t recommend swapping in hard liquor, like rum.

1/2 cup of rum sounds like a lot for a pan of brownies. But perhaps it’s delicious. I’d also be concerned due to the fact that it’s not cream-based.

It might be a disaster. Or delicious! It’s not something I can say without trying first.

Can I use coconut/almond/oat/whatever flour?

Unfortunately not. You need something that’s a 1:1 replacement for all-purpose flour.

What you could do is make one of these recipes and use the ganache topping below to add some Irish cream flavor. You can’t just add Baileys to any of these recipes without messing up the recipe.

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Gluten-free options

As previously mentioned, you can use buckwheat flour, but it diminishes the Irish cream flavor just a bit. If you want full Baileys flavor, King Arthur Flour Gluten-free Measure for Measure Flour works great as does Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-free Baking Flour. That’s the one in the blue bag.

Also, if you’re gluten-free, you absolutely need to make this
Gluten-free Soda Bread for St. Patrick’s Day. It also uses the BRM baking blend and tastes way, way better than it should for it being gluten-free. 😆 It’s the best soda bread I’ve had – gluten-free or not!

And if you’re new to the gluten-free diet and wondering how buckwheat can be gluten-free, I explain it here ➡️ Is Buckwheat Gluten-free?

I also talk about the difference between light and dark buckwheat flour in that post.

If you’re gluten-free, you also need to make sure that you’re using the right Irish cream. See ➡️ Is Baileys Gluten-free for more info on that. I use Carolans and think it’s just as good as Baileys.

Dairy-free option

You have to use dairy-free Irish cream, like my homemade Vegan Baileys Recipe, and coconut oil or vegan butter instead of butter. You can either omit the ganache or use canned coconut milk instead of whipping cream.

Also, make sure that your chocolate is dairy-free.

I’ve tested this version with my homemade Baileys, and the result is just as tasty as the traditional version! Just make sure you use refined coconut oil so that you don’t get any coconut flavor.

The vegan Baileys recipe yields 3 cups, so after making these Baileys brownies, you’ll still have 2 1/4 cups left – but that’s a good thing! It’s delicious, and it freezes great. If you don’t want so much left over, then just halve the recipe.

Why no vegan option?

After the dairy-free version came out so well, I had some hope that a vegan version would work, too. But it didn’t.

Like in the Matcha Brownies I posted last year, weird stuff happened when using chia eggs instead of eggs.

But the result was much better with this recipe! The brownies just aren’t perfect when using chia eggs, and that’s why I’m not listing a vegan option.

When I used a chia egg, the brownies seemed a bit fried around the edges. They were quite chewy and hard.

The inner part was good, though! They didn’t seem to rise as much as the egg version.

I should say that I only tested the chia egg with gluten-free flour. It could be that egg subs work fine with wheat flour.

Sometimes gluten-free flour plus chia eggs are just too many changes for a recipe to work perfectly.

Other St. Patrick’s Day desserts

If you’d like some natural green coloring, matcha works great! These Vegan Matcha Cookies use applesauce in place of the eggs and taste 100% like regular non-vegan cookies. So don’t hesitate to make those if you’re not vegan.

This Matcha Cheesecake has a vivid green color, and this Matcha Cake is less brightly colored, but still perfectly festive for St. Patrick’s Day.

This Beer Cake uses Guinness for a fun St. Patrick’s treat.

And for some more Baileys treats, check out these:

I hope you’ll enjoy the brownies! I’d love to hear what you think below in the comments if you try them. 🙂

Baileys Brownies (with 3/4 cup Irish cream!)
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 16 brownies

See notes if you’re dairy- or gluten-free!



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C) and line an 8″×8″ (23cmx23cm) pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat while stirring frequently, melt the butter or coconut oil and chocolate.
  4. Add the sugar, Irish cream, and vanilla and mix until well combined. Stir in the egg just until incorporated. Do not over mix.
  5. Fold in the flour mixture just until no more streaks of flour remain. It’ll be thick.
  6. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and use a silicone spatula to even it out.
  7. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the top no longer appears wet. A toothpick inserted into the sides will come out with some moist crumbs on it, but not totally raw batter. The brownies will continue to bake as they sit in the pan. They won’t look baked through like a cake. If you made the buckwheat version, let them sit for about 2 hours before serving as they need some resting time. Otherwise, the brownies only need about 1 hour to cool and set.
  8. While they cool, prepare the ganache.
  9. Place the chocolate and Irish cream in a small bowl. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the cream just until steamy and on the verge of simmering.
  10. Remove from the heat. Pour the cream over the chocolate and Irish cream and stir until all the chocolate is completely melted. Let cool for about 15 minutes before pouring over the cooled brownies.
  11. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 4 days. They also freeze great for up to 3 months.


  1. For the flour, you can use all-purpose, white whole wheat or whole wheat flour. For a gluten-free version, use 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon (102 grams) light buckwheat flour (if you’re gluten-free, make sure your buckwheat flour is labeled as gluten-free – Bob’s Red Mill is NOT) OR 3/4 cup (94 grams) King Arthur Flour Gluten-free Measure for Measure Flour OR 3/4 cup (103 grams) Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free 1-to-1 Baking Flour. Also make sure to use gluten-free Irish cream (see Is Baileys Gluten-free? for more info.)
  2. Make sure to use refined coconut oil unless you want some coconut flavor in your brownies.
  • If you’re dairy-free, make sure to use coconut oil instead of butter, dairy-free chocolate and the homemade dairy-free Baileys. For the ganache, use canned coconut milk instead of whipping cream.

Source: my post on My Baking Addiction – Irish Cream Brownies

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