Irish Coffee Chocolate Cake

A deliciously moist chocolate cake is layered with Bailey’s coffee buttercream to make this Irish Coffee Chocolate Cake and seriously delicious cake!


Hello! I’m Cristina from I Say Nomato. I love to experiment and create recipes that are nightshade free. Living with a weird allergy in the house means that I make most things from scratch, using fresh ingredients, so even if you aren’t allergic to tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and eggplant there’s something for everyone! I love to play with cakes and cookies, coming up with different flavours and decorations.

I’m so excited to be here today to help Alli celebrate her birthday! When she asked me to whip up something special, I knew exactly what I was going to make. I made this recipe for a client and I was so sad to see it leave … and then I promptly ate all the scraps myself. They didn’t even make it to the cake pop stage. Clearly I had to find an excuse to make it again, so thanks Alli, for giving me one!

The trick for this recipe is really the Irish coffee buttercream. I mean, the chocolate cake recipe is the best, and it’s important to have a good base, but the buttercream is where the magic happens!

Pour your Bailey’s in a mug or microwave safe bowl, and add in the instant coffee. Microwave it, stir it, and set it aside so that it is room temperature when you add it. That is very important. Too hot and it will melt your buttercream! I actually do this step before I make the chocolate cake so it has more than an hour to get to the non-melty disaster stage.

Make your chocolate cake. As I said, I use the recipe below (because it’s the freaking best, so fudgy and delicious! It’s adapted from our stained and much loved Betty Crocker cookbook), but if you’re strapped for time you can use a box cake or if you have a favourite chocolate cake recipe, use that.

Whip together your icing sugar, butter, cream and vanilla, and then slowly add in your Irish coffee mixture, while stirring.


To get the really neat two-tone effect, I pulled out about a cup of the frosting and tossed 2 Tbsp of cocoa powder in it to get the darker colour. Either use a pastry bag with a large circle tip or a ziplock bag with the corner cut off (doesn’t have to be fancy!), and go around the bottom of the cake twice.


Then do the exact same with the lighter icing, going in circles all the way up to the top. Then smooth it out with a spatula.If you have three colours this is a really neat way to do an ombre effect!

I’m cheating here because if you really want it to look smooth and nice, you’ll need a turntable and (my favourite smooth buttercream trick), a large, flat metal spatula as tall as your cake that you run under hot water after every go round. The heat from the metal spatula will melt your buttercream juuuust enough to get a very smooth look! This will take some practice. If you don’t have a turntable or a large metal spatula, you can still do this though, it just won’t be as smooth.


I don’t know if I can exactly put in words how delicious this cake is. I’m sure I could say something about how the chocolate cake is moister than a Saturday afternoon in July…

Irish Coffee Chocolate Cake

The buttercream so magically addictive your family might stage an intervention…

Irish Coffee Chocolate Cake2

That you’ve gained 5 pounds by just looking at it (sorry!)…


But honestly, even my eloquent words will not do it justice. (Ha!) You’re seriously just going to have to make it for yourself and see!

Irish Coffee Chocolate Cake
Yields 2
Moist and rich chocolate cake lathered and filled with delicious irish coffee buttercream.
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Prep Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Cocoa Fudge Cake
  1. 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour or 2 cups cake flour
  2. 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  3. 2/3 cups cocoa
  4. 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  5. 1 1/2 cups buttermilk (OR 2 Tbsp vinegar in 1 1/2 cups milk)
  6. 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  7. 1 tsp salt
  8. 1 tsp vanilla
  9. 2 eggs
Irish Coffee Buttercream
  1. 1/2 cup Baileys (or other Irish Cream Liqueur)
  2. 2 packets (~2 tsp) instant coffee
  3. 1 cup unsalted butter
  4. 3-4 cups sifted powdered sugar
  5. 1/4 tsp salt
  6. 1 tbsp vanilla extract
Irish Coffee Prep
  1. Pour your Baileys into a microwave safe cup or bowl, and add the instant coffee. Microwave for about 20 seconds, and then stir. Repeat if necessary. The instant coffee should be completely dissolved. Set aside. IT MUST BE ROOM TEMPERATURE OR COLD BEFORE YOU ADD IT TO YOUR BUTTERCREAM.
For the Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350°, and grease and flour two 8 inch round pans
  2. Mix all of the cake ingredients together in the order they're listed on medium speed first, scraping the sides occasionally. Then turn it up to high and let it go for 3 minutes, scraping occasionally.
  3. Pour into your pans, and pop in the oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes before putting them on a cooling rack.
  4. For the Buttercream
  5. Mix the butter, powdered sugar, salt and vanilla together, scraping the sides occasionally. Slowly add in the Irish Coffee mixture, continuing to mix and scrape and it should come to a very smooth, easy to spread frosting. The amounts to bring it to the correct consistency will be different for everyone depending on many factors, so if it's too stiff, add a tablespoon of cream, milk, or more Baileys, whichever you have on hand. If it's too runny, add a little more icing sugar.
  1. Level your cakes. There are many tutorials online, but you want to make sure they are FLAT.
  2. Using a spatula, distribute about 1/2 cup of frosting between each layer of cake. Make sure it's level before adding the next level directly on top.
  3. Frost the outside of your cake with a very thin layer of buttercream to lock all those crumbs in!
  4. Pop it in the fridge or freezer for about 30 minutes to harden the crumb coat and seal those in. We don't want any crumbs on our final product!
  5. Bring it out of the fridge or freezer and frost the rest with a nice thick layer of buttercream. Check the pictorial above for how to get the two-toned look!
Tornadough Alli

Irish Coffee Chocolate Cake

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