Skip to main content

St. Patrick’s Day Cake: Bailey’s Chocolate Cake with Bailey’s Irish Cream Frosting

I love holidays. I dress up for every single one, and they are an excuse to make a thematically decorated cake. For St. Patrick’s day, I wear my green, white and orange scarf with my green pencil skirt and my family name crest pins (both of my parents come from Irish stock). My maternal Grandmother always dressed up for holidays. My favorites were her Halloween and Christmas light-up sweaters. Though I may dress more tamely, I always think of her when I dress festively.

Even though I dress relatively tamely on St. Patrick’s Day, I pull no punches with my cake. This cake attacks you will both barrels; taste and sight. This is a rich, moist chocolate cake topped with incredibly smooth buttercream, sinful chocolate ganache dripping seductively down the sides, and singing with Bailey’s Irish Cream’s delightful boozy flavor. A lot of Bailey’s Irish Cream cakes I have eaten don’t pack the full force of Bailey’s Irish Cream I desire; to ensure my cake is moist and boozy, I made a very simple syrup from the liqueur and brushed in over my baked cakes.

The buttercream frosting is also delightful. By dissolving the powdered sugar in boiling Bailey’s Irish Cream, you eliminate the gritty texture that sometimes plagues standard buttercream recipes. Plus, this recipe doubles the amount of liqueur I see in most Bailey’s Irish Cream frostings. It’s St. Patrick’s Day, after all. Your cake should be a boozy delight.

The decorations came to me one sleepless night (and generally, when stressed, I distract myself by planning cakes). I knew what kind of cake I wanted to make, but I wasn’t sure how I wanted to decorate it. For work, we were going to have a “Guess The Number of Chocolate Gold Coins in the Jar” game for St. Patrick’s Day, and thinking of that inspired me. I would make a chocolate cauldron, fill it with golden coins, and make a rainbow out of white chocolate melts. To decorate the side, I decided some fun fondant shamrocks and a leprechaun would be perfect.

I do hope you will give this cake a try; it is definitely multi-step, but it is awfully fun to make. And even more fun to eat! Enjoy!

The Buttercream

1/2 cup boiling Bailey’s Irish Cream
4 cups of powdered sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla bean paste
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
3 sticks of softened butter
4 ounces softened cream cheese

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, pour in your powdered sugar. With the mixer on low, pour in the boiling Bailey Irish Cream in a slow drizzle. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until the sugar completely dissolves and the mixture is cooled to room temperature (about 5 minutes). Add your almond extract and vanilla bean paste and mix well.

Add the butter and cream cheese and beat on low until fully incorporated. Increase the speed to medium high and continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, about 10 minutes.

The Ganache
10 ounces of dark chocolate (I used Ghirardelli)
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons Bailey's Irish Cream

Put the chocolate into a heatproof bowl. In a medium saucepan, heat the heavy cream to a bare simmer. Pour it over the chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes to allow the chocolate to melt. Stir until smooth. Add the Bailey's and whisk to combine. Let cool slightly before using.

The Cake:
2 cups cake flour
1 3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 egg and 1 egg yolk
2/3 cup oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/4 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup strong coffee

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 2 9 inch round pans with baking spray (I use baker’s joy). Line the bottom with parchment paper and spray it as well. Set aside. 

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda. Set aside. 

Beat together the egg, egg yolk, oil, buttermilk, sour cream, Bailey’s Irish Cream and strong coffee. 

Add in the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Divide the batter evenly between your two prepared cake pans. Tap them on the counter to remove any bubbles in the batter. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted to the center comes out clean and the cake springs back to your touch. Allow the cakes to cool for 15 minutes before removing from the pans- run a spatula along the edges to release them. 

For the simple syrup, add the sugar and water to a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Cook, while stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Stop stirring and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add the liqueur and cool to room temperature before using.

Brush the cake generously with the Bailey’s Irish Cream syrup. Cool the cakes completely on a wire rack.

Fondant, in assorted colors
White chocolate melts, in rainbow colors
Dark chocolate melts

Exacto knife
Parchment paper
pastry bags
Shamrock cookie cutters
5 inch silicone cake mold
4 inch silicone cake mold
Golden chocolate coins

Roll out green fondant to a 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out shamrock shapes with the cookie cutters.

Draw a leprechaun with pencil on parchment paper. Turn the paper around so you are working on the non-penciled side. Roll out red fondant, flesh colored fondant, brown fondant, green fondant, etc. Cut out shapes for hair, clothes, shoes, hat, etc with an exact knife using the parchment as a guide. Brush the pieces of fondant with water to attach them together.

Draw a rainbow on parchment paper. Turn it around to work on the non-penciled side. Melt red white chocolate melts in the microwave in a heat proof bowl. Start with 30 seconds, mix, then keep adding 10 second bursts until melted. Put the melted chocolate into a pastry bag and pipe the red line of the rainbow. Repeat with the remaining colors of the rainbow. Finish with white clouds. Allow to cool.

Melt the dark chocolate melts. Pour into the 5 inch chocolate mold. Push the 4 inch mold down into the chocolate, weighing it down with rice or beans or pie weights. Allow to cool completely and carefully remove from the mold.

Frost the chocolate cake with a spatula in a thin layer. Pop the cake into the fridge of freezer to chill the crumb coat. Use the rest of the frosting to completely cover the cake. Pop into the fridge or freezer to chill the frosting again.

Pour the cooled but still liquid ganache over the fully frosted cake, allowing it to drip over the sides. Allow it to cool completely. 

Place the chocolate bowl on the top of the cake, filled with golden coins. Place the fondant cut outs around the sides of the cake, using leftover frosting to attach them.

Use a knife to make 2 slits in the top of the cake, about an 1 deep. Push the clouds of your rainbow about a half inch into the cake where you made the slits. The rainbow should look like it is going over the cauldron of coins.

Present your creation, slice it up and enjoy! To really guild the lily, may I suggest serving it with mocha lattes spiked with some Bailey’s?


Popular posts from this blog

Raspberry Pomegranate Jam

Tis the season to be making homemade gifts! Pomegranates are in season and their juice is a festive deep ruby red color. I knew I had to make them into a jam to give away. Straight pomegranate flavor is a little tart for me; I added raspberries for the texture of their seeds and their sweetness. This is a very simple recipe to make and will yield 6 to 7 8 ounces jars of jam or 12 to 14 4 ounce jars, if you like to give away sample sizes during the holidays. Enjoy! Ingredients: 3 1/2 cups pomegranate juice 1 cup mashed raspberries 7 cups sugar 1 tablespoon butter 1 1/75 ounce package Sure Jell Method: Sterilize your jars and lids. Set aside. In a heavy bottomed large stock pot, add the pomegranate juice, raspberries and butter. Mix well. Add in the sugar. Bring to a full rolling boil then stir in the Sure Jell. Allow to boil hard for 1 minutes. Remove from the heat and skim off any foam. Ladle into the sterile jars, twist on the lids and pr

Peek-a-boo Squares

My grandma, Mimi, taught me this recipe. I used to make this with her and my mother as a child. It is my very favorite dessert. It is incredibly easy to make, and even easier to eat. My favorite part of making this as a child was dusting every bar generously with snowy white powdered sugar.  My favorite version of this dessert uses canned blueberry pie filling; I vastly prefer Libby brand over the store brand. You can make blueberry pie filling from scratch with sugar, cornstarch, bleberries, etc. but using the canned stuff is easy in a pinch and is much for nostalgic for me. Plus, I don’t notice a vast improvement over my homemade blueberry pie filling and the Libby brand; it just takes me longer to put this dessert together.  I have been known to whip up a pan of these Friday night and have them disappear by Saturday afternoon. Be warned, these things are addictive! Ingredients: 3 cups of all-purpose flour 2 cups of granulated sugar 4 eggs 2 sticks of

Samosas with Yogurt Sauce

I love exploring many kinds of cuisine in my kitchen because I can control the spice level, and in the case of this recipe, the use of cilantro. Cilantro lovers out there- sub it info the parsley here. I have the gene that makes cilantro taste like soap, which limits my ability to enjoy some dishes in restaurants, but is easily rectified in my own kitchen. I hope you enjoy! Ingredients:  3 russet potatoes 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped 2 teaspoons curry powder 5 ounces peas Six 8 inch flour tortillas 4 ounces Greek yogurt Oil, salt, pepper, vinegar 4 tablespoons butter Method: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet. Scrub potatoes and cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces. Place in a large saucepan with a generous pinch of salt and enough water to cover by 1 inch. Cover and bring to a boil over high; uncover and cook until tenderDrain potatoes and transfer to a bowl.  Heat 2 tablespoons oil in reserved saucepan over medium. Add chopped garlic and al