Baileys brownies are a delightful adult dessert to slice up and share. Each serving has a combination of white and dark chocolate with just a hint of alcohol. You’re also going to love the drizzle of Irish cream icing on top.
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Chocolate and Irish cream pair nicely when baked together to make these Baileys brownies. The intense cocoa taste and the sweet liqueur strike just the right balance of flavors. The recipe comes together in a snap, and these treats will disappear just as fast.
To ensure a fudgy texture, the brownie batter is carefully combined and baked to a particular endpoint. A variety of chocolate chips add a burst of cocoa and sweet creaminess. To ensure the liquor taste doesn’t get lost in the batter, I use it to make a simple glaze that I generously drizzle over each piece.
Unsweetened chocolate bars have a strong cocoa flavor, so there’s no need for additional cocoa powder. The chocolate bar pieces melt with butter to create a silky texture that effortlessly combines with the other ingredients. To intensify the taste and add various flavors, I mix semi-sweet and white chocolate chips into the batter.
The brownie batter
My favorite fudgy brownies inspired this recipe, but I added Baileys Irish cream to the batter to kick things up a notch. For the holidays, I make a homemade Irish cream that works nicely in this recipe too. The key to this batter is to add each egg one by one until they fully incorporate.
Gradually stir in the liqueur to prevent the eggs from curdling when they combine with acid in the alcohol. Granulated sugar is combined with the chocolate mixture, giving better control over the sweetness level. Fold in a small amount of flour to help the structure while keeping the crumb moist and tender. Gently stir in the chocolate chips right before baking.
To make it easy to remove the brownie bar from the pan, line an 8 by 8-inch pan with foil, then lightly coat with cooking spray. The overhanging edges make it much easier to lift out. The bake time is critical for a fudgy consistency. A minute too long and the crumbs become dry and cakey as the eggs set.
Still tasty, but not as dense. To test, insert a toothpick in the center. There should be a few crumbs clinging, but not wet batter. Cool completely on a wire rack. This process helps set the exterior, creating a thin crispy surface from the batter’s sugar. It’s a beautiful contrast to the fudgy center.
Make a stunning glaze
To elevate the flavor of the Irish cream, make icing to layer on top. All you need is two ingredients; powdered sugar and a few tablespoons of Baileys. Whisk until you reach a smooth and pourable consistency. I place the glaze in a plastic piping bag and cut off the tip to make decorating easier.
You can make any design or pattern you like on the surface. Once the alcohol begins to dry, the glaze will harden pretty quickly, in about 10 minutes. If you want a shinier finish, add a small amount of corn syrup to prevent the sugars from recrystallizing and looking grainy. I use it in my sugar cookie icing for a polished finish.
Serve this with
Keys to a fudgy brownie texture
The melted butter, cacao butter in the chocolate, and the eggs provide enough fat and moisture to develop a fudge-like texture. However, gradually fold in the flour. Stir just enough to hydrate the dry particles. If overmixed, strong gluten bonds form, creating a firmer crumb that’s more springy.
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- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, broken into pieces
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 3 tablespoons Baileys, or homemade Irish cream
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup white chocolate chips, plus more for topping
- 2 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus more for topping
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream
- Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position. Preheat to 350ºF (177ºC).
- Fold two long pieces of foil into 8-inch wide pieces with enough length to overhang the sides of the pan. Lay the sheets in an 8×8-inch pan perpendicular to one another, with extra foil hanging over the edges of the pan. Push the foil into the pan's corners and up the sides, creating a smooth foil flush to the pan. Lightly grease the foil with baking spray or vegetable oil and set aside.
- In a medium microwave-safe bowl, heat the unsweetened chocolate and butter for 1 minute on high power. Stir until the chocolate melts. If needed, heat for an additional 15 seconds.
- Take the chocolate off the heat. Whisk in the granulated sugar until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking after each addition until combined, about 30 seconds per egg. Whisk in the Irish cream, one tablespoon at a time, until combined.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour to the chocolate mixture in 3 additions. Gently fold with a spatula until the batter is just moistened, with flour streaks just disappearing. Do not overmix. Stir in 1/4 cup white chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips.
- Evenly spread the brownie batter in the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle some white and semi-sweet chocolate chips on top. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached, about 25 to 30 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through baking.
- Cool the pan on a wire rack until they reach room temperature, about 1 to 2 hours. Use the foil sling to lift and remove the brownie from the tray. Discard the foil and place brownies on a cutting board.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and Irish cream until smooth. If needed, adjust consistency with more powdered sugar or Irish cream.
- Transfer glaze to a piping bag or small resealable bag. Cut off the tip to create a small round opening. Drizzle icing over the top of the brownies. Allow icing to dry and set before cutting, about 10 minutes. Cut into 16 small or 9 large pieces.
- Non-alcoholic icing: Add whole milk instead of Irish cream and ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract.
- Storing: Store the brownies in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- Shinier Icing: Add 2 teaspoons of corn syrup to the icing mixture. It will dry more glossy.
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