These Bailey’s Brownies are dense and moist with a subtle hint of Baileys Irish Cream and rich chocolate flavor. The layers of fudgy brownie, buttercream, and chocolate ganache make these brownies decadent and addictive!
While the Baileys Irish cream is somewhat cooked off in the brownie batter and chocolate ganache, it still offers subtle hints of flavor without being too overpowering, just like in Bailey’s Fudge and Bailey’s Chocolate Cheesecake Trifle! I’ve also added some Irish cream into the buttercream layer of these brownies for that “wow factor” but this can be omitted when serving these to children or those who don’t want alcohol.
While brownies are somewhat staples in the baking world, they’re anything but average or boring. There are so many ways to turn plain brownies into gourmet treats. Check out these Caramel Brownies, Brownie Bottom Cheesecake, and classic Homemade Brownies to get you started!
Why You’ll Love Bailey’s Brownies
- This recipe turns a classic chocolate brownie into a gourmet layered dessert.
- Baileys Brownies with Bailey’s Irish Cream is perfect as a sophisticated sweet treat to enjoy when celebrating St Patrick’s Day.
- You can easily customize these brownies by using a different flavored creamy liqueur to suit a different holiday or theme.
- Brownie mix – You’ll need 1 box of brownie mix for this recipe as well as all the typical ingredients listed on the box such as eggs, oil, and water. The water can be replaced with Bailey’s Irish Cream as a like-for-like substitution. Alternately, you can use your favorite homemade brownie recipe and substitute some Irish Cream for the milk or water in the recipe.
- Butter – I’ve used salted and softened butter for the buttercream layer. If you use unsalted butter then you may want to add a pinch of salt.
- Powdered sugar – Sift the sugar for a smooth consistency.
- Vanilla extract – Use a high-quality extract.
- Bailey’s Irish Cream – Used in both the buttercream and ganache but you could also add it to the brownie batter instead of the water.
- Heavy whipping cream – Used in the buttercream and ganache layers.
- Chocolate chips – Semi-sweet chocolate chips have been used but you could use dark chocolate chips, milk chocolate, or even white chocolate chips for a white chocolate ganache.
- If you’re on a tight budget then consider using something like St Brendans Irish Cream instead of Baileys Irish Cream. It offers the same amount of creamy body as Baileys Irish Cream with chocolate undertones and at a fraction of the price of Baileys Irish Cream. While not as rich as Baileys Irish Cream, St Brendans is certainly the next best option for these boozy brownies.
- To intensify the chocolate flavor in these brownies, add 1 teaspoon of espresso powder.
- For a less rich version of these brownies, consider omitting the ganache and just frosting your brownies with the Baileys Buttercream frosting.
- If you’re making Baileys Brownies for St Patrick’s, a fun idea is to add a drop or two of green food coloring to the buttercream frosting!
- To intensify the Baileys Irish Cream flavor in these brownies, make use of the option to substitute an equal amount of Baileys Irish Cream for the amount of water listed on the brownie box mix instructions.
- I used an 8×8 inch baking dish for these brownies which creates thicker brownies than what you’d expect from standard-size brownies. Should you want thinner brownies, then opt for a larger baking dish such as 9×13 inch.
BROWNIE BASE: Mix the brownie mix with additional ingredients called for by the packaged mix and add some Bailey’s Irish cream to the brownie batter as an optional extra. Bailey’s Irish cream can replace the water in full. Add the brownie batter to a parchment-lined baking tin and bake. Allow the baked brownies to cool completely.
BUTTERCREAM: Add butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract to a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until combined. While the mixer is running on low speed, slowly pour in the Bailey’s Irish cream, followed by the heavy whipping cream.
Continue to beat the mixture until it is fluffy and smooth. Spread the buttercream evenly over the baked brownie base with an offset spatula. Place the brownies in the freezer while preparing the chocolate ganache.
CHOCOLATE GANACHE: Mix the heavy whipping cream and Bailey’s Irish cream in a mixing bowl and heat in the microwave for 45-60 seconds until the mixture comes to a simmer. Add the chocolate chips to the hot cream and allow the chocolate chips to sit for 3-4 minutes. (I typically place a plate over the top of the bowl to act as a “lid” to trap the heat.)
PRO TIP: Place the buttercream-frosted brownies in the freezer while preparing the chocolate ganache. It’s a great way to firm up the frosting so that the ganache can be added smoothly without mixing into the buttercream. This way, you’ll ensure clean layers in your brownies.
Stir to melt the chocolate chips until a smooth ganache forms. Spread the chocolate ganache over the chilled brownies and allow the ganache to set (either for 45-60 minutes on the countertop or 15 minutes in the fridge).
CUT AND SERVE: Lift the brownies from the baking tin and place it on a flat surface to slice into individual brownies. Serve immediately!
- While I’ve included Baileys Irish Cream in all three layers of this dessert, you can opt to only include it in one layer or two. If you choose to use it in one layer only then I suggest adding it to the buttercream so that you can still get a good amount of flavor impact from the creamy liqueur.
- While the alcohol from the Baileys Irish Cream is cooked off through the baking process in the brownie batter, it isn’t cooked off in the buttercream layer which means that there will still be a small amount of alcohol content once the brownies are fully assembled. This shouldn’t be a concern since it’s minimal but good to be aware of in any case.
- Make sure that you only apply the buttercream frosting once the brownies have completely cooled otherwise you risk the frosting melting into a mess.
- Easily test whether your brownies are done by inserting a toothpick into them. It needs to be clean when removed from your brownie otherwise it’s an indication that they require further baking time. Be careful not to overbake your brownies otherwise, they will dry out instead of being chewy and dense as intended to be.
- Serve your brownies as is or with some ice cream or whipped cream!
These brownies are called “Bailey’s Brownies” due to the Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur that’s added to the different layers of this dessert. It’s an easy and delicious way to modify brownies, especially if you’re looking for a boozy dessert around St Patrick’s Day!
Baileys Brownies can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 4-5 days in an airtight container.
Yes! Store these brownies in the freezer in an airtight container or Ziploc bag for up to 3 months. I prefer to flash-freeze my brownies in a single layer and then store them with parchment paper between the stacked layers in an airtight container.
Defrost frozen Bailey’s Brownies by allowing them to sit at room temperature.
I’ve used salted butter but if you want to have better control over the sodium levels in your brownies then I suggest using unsalted butter, adding small amounts of salt yourself, if desired.
- 1 box of brownie mix (plus ingredients needed to prepare the brownies)
- ½ cup salted butter softened
- 2 ½ cups powdered sugar sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream
- 3-4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ⅓ cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream
- Preheat oven as indicated on brownie box. Line an 8×8 square baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- Prepare and bake brownies in an 8×8 square baking dish according to the package instructions. (We substituted the indicated ¼ cup water for ¼ cup Baileys Irish Cream in the brownie recipe.
- Cool brownies completely.
- Prepare the buttercream layer by beating together butter, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl until combined.
- With the mixer running on low speed, pour two tablespoons of Baileys into the buttercream mixture and continue beating.
- Add whipping cream 1 tablespoon at a time while continuously beating until a fluffy, smooth frosting forms.
- Use an offset spatula to spread the buttercream in an even layer over the top of the cooled brownies.
- Place brownies in the freezer while you prepare the ganache.
- Combine ⅓ cup heavy cream and 2 tablespoons Baileys in a heatproof bowl. Microwave for 45-60 seconds until cream mixture is just coming to a simmer.
- Pour hot cream over 1 cup of chocolate chips. Let sit for 3-4 minutes.
- Stir the chocolate mixture until a smooth ganache forms.
- Spread ganache over the chilled, frosted brownies.
- Allow ganache to set (either on the countertop for 45-60 minutes or in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes).
- Lift brownies from tray by the flaps of parchment paper. Cut into even squares and serve immediately.