Irish cream is a delicious blend of whiskey and heavy cream that can easily be made at home.
Do you like the smooth tones and creamy texture of this famous Irish liqueur?
If so, there's no need to spend lots of money on store bought versions of this satisfying treat, when you can make your very own at home.
Here, I'll share my favorite recipe and top tips for making your very own homemade Irish cream from scratch,
Table of Contents
Irish Cream - A Taste of Ireland
Irish cream is savored and enjoyed the world over. It's even replicated in a popular coffee creamer flavor.
Renowned for its richness and warm notes of cocoa and vanilla, most makers keep their exact recipe as a closely guarded secret.
Baileys is the most famous of all brands, and is enjoyed as a drink or as an ingredient in baking. I love to make a Bailey's Crème Brûlée which is decadently rich and creamy with it's distinctive sweet and crunchy sugar layer.
Previously we featured a new Irish cream maker from County Cork, called Five Farms.
New brands and local distillerys are creating their own creamy concoctions of whiskey, cream, sugar and cocoa. Some use honey for sweet notes. Others may even use herbs.
However, I like to use easily found ingredients for a hassle free idea for homemade Christmas gifts.
Ingredients for Homemade Cream Liqueur
Here's a quick list of Irish cream ingredients. You'll find exact quantities required in the recipe card at the end of this post.
- Heavy Whipping Cream: Use a full fat cream - choose the whipping cream with the highest fat content that you can find. In Ireland we call this double cream. Do not substitute half and half since the end product will lack its distinctive smoothness.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk: This is used to add a carmel type sweetness to the mixture. Be sure to choose the sweetened version.
- Instant Coffee Granules: These are dissolved in a small amount of boiling water. It adds a hint of coffee to the final product. You can substitute instant espresso if you prefer a more distinctive coffee flavor in your Irish cream.
- Chocolate Syrup: I use premade chocolate syrup rather than melting chocolate chips to add another layer of flavor to this homemade Bailey's Irish cream recipe.
- Vanilla Extract: Be sure to use pure vanilla extract for this homemade Bailey's recipe. If you prefer, you can scrape the seeds out of a vanilla pod. This will add little flecks of vanilla to the final product. If you prefer milky liqueur, choose pure vanilla extract.
- Irish Whiskey: Is there whiskey in Irish cream? Believe me, there sure is. The star of this ingredient show is definitely the Irish whiskey. Check out my tips below for choosing your favorite liquor for this recipe.
Note there are no raw eggs in this version of Irish cream. I also don't use any honey, but feel free to add a teaspoon if you like extra sweet Irish cream.
You can also choose to use extra cream instead of the condensed milk and add honey to sweeten it. However, I like the caramel tones added by sweetened condensed milk.
I use chocolate syrup rather than cocoa powder. I find it keeps the consistency just right rather than risking a grainy texture from partially dissolved cocoa powder.
You could experiment with flavoring extracts other than vanilla such as almond extract or peppermint extract. However I love the smoothness of vanilla in Irish cream.
Choosing an Irish Whiskey
There are many makes and brands of Irish whiskey or Scotch whisky that you can choose for this recipe. I like to stick with Irish whiskey, to truly make an Irish cream. Here are some of my favorite brands.
- Jameson: This distillery in Dublin has been crafting smooth triple blend whiskey since 1780.
- Bushmills: Crafted in the famous Bushmills distillery in County Antrim, their aged whiskeys are world renowned.
- Paddy: This whiskey from County Cork is aged in oak casts and is light and soft.
- Powers: Powers Gold Label was the first ever brand of Irish whiskey to be bottled and originated in Dublin City.
- Tullamore Dew: is made in County Offaly and is a triple blend Irish whiskey renowned for its smooth and gentle complexity.
- Brogan's Irish Whiskey: This is a new distillery that's producing whiskey that's been aged 3 years in oak caskets.
Directions for Homemade Irish Cream Recipe
Here you'll find step-by-step photographic instructions for making this easy homemade gift. Check out the recipe card at the end of this post for nutritional information.
I like to store this mixture in glass bottles or tall mason jars that can be sealed.
Blend the Ingredients
The first step is to blend the ingredients together.
I use a balloon whisk for this task, rather than an electric mixer or blender.
It's important to only partially thicken the cream, rather than over beating it and creating a thick consistency.
Add the heavy whipping cream, sweetened condensed milk, dissolved coffee granules, chocolate syrup and vanilla extract to a large mixing bowl.
Make sure you mix the coffee granules well in the boiling water to completely dissolve them. Allow it to cool before using it.
Add Irish Whiskey
Next, it's time to create the distinctive whiskey flavor of Irish Cream.
The star ingredient is Irish whiskey.
It's important to add the whiskey gradually, by whisking it in. If beating with an electic mixer, keep it at a low speed to combine everything together.
Once again, you need to avoid over whipping the cream.
Storing Irish Cream
You can store this homemade Irish cream in sterilized glass bottles or mason jars with tight fitting lids.
You can check out my tutorial on how to sterilize glass jars for jams and preserves, even if they will be stored in the fridge.
This Irish cream will keep in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks. But trust me, it's so smooth and delicious it will be lucky to last that long.
You may wonder if Irish cream liqueur goes bad if not refrigerated. It can be kept outside the fridge since the alcohol acts as a preservative. However, with time you'll notice the taste of the liqueur is not as good as it was originally. It's important to keep it cool when storing, since the quality degrades faster at warm temperatures.
I believe that Baileys needs to be refrigerated once it has been opened, and since this is a homemade version of this famous liqueur I definitely recommend fridge storage.
Also, you cannot freeze Irish cream. The ingredients separate in the freezer, creating a slushy mess, with an unpalatable consistency.
Serving Irish Cream
I like to serve this drink chilled, over ice in a nice glass.
But that's the simplest way to serve this taste of Ireland.
If you like cream in your coffee, add a splash of Irish cream instead to your cup of joe. However, don't get started too early on Irish cream coffee since it does contain alcohol. This is a drink that should be enjoyed responsibly.
Irish cream is scrumptious when added to hot chocolate or poured over ice cream.
In Ireland people love to add a few tablespoons to whipped fresh cream, to serve over puddings and tarts.
I hope you enjoy this homemade treat with a true taste of Ireland.
Let me know your favorite way of enjoying Irish cream in the comment section below.
Recipe Card and Video for Irish Cream
Here's a short video showing the steps in making this homemade Irish cream.
Here's the printable recipe card for your kicthen files.
Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules dissolve in 1 tablespoon of boiling water
- 1 teaspoon chocolate syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1⅔ cups Irish whiskey
- Add the heavy whipping cream, sweetened condensed milk, dissolved coffee granules, chocolate syrup and vanilla extract to a large mixing bowl.
- Mix together using a balloon whisk until thoroughly combined. Alternatively, you can use an electric mixer, but set it at the lowest speed to avoid over thickening the cream.
- Gradually add in the whiskey, whisking or mixing at low speed until fully combined.
- Store in sterilized glass bottles with tight fitting lids. Store in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks. Serve chilled over ice.
Nutrition Information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients used.
If you love this recipe or rambling, please share this post with your friends and family on Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram. And please also comment and star rate my recipes - this helps others find our little Irish corner of the internet, and helps me stay in Google's good books.
Thanks for following my recipes and ramblings.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)
Mairéad -Irish American Mom
Pronunciation - slawn ah-gus ban-ock-th
Mairéad - rhymes with parade