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Food & Recipes

Homemade Irish Cream Recipe Is So Easy to Make in Just 5 Minutes

Plus, 2 delicious recipes that use the creamy liqueur

Whether you’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day or just want to enjoy bit of indulgence, nothing beats sweet, smooth Irish cream! This versatile liqueur is a favorite in Ireland and beyond, and it’s so easy to mix into drinks or even add to baked goods. But forget get about the store-bought version — making your own version is easier than you might think and oh so satisfying. We’re sharing the best homemade Irish cream recipe using just six ingredients and five minutes of prep time that’s sure to bring you good luck. Even better: We’ve got two recipes using the liqueur so you have more ways to enjoy.

What is Irish cream?

homemade Irish cream

Irish cream is a cream liqueur (typically sweeter than liquor and used to flavor cocktails) known for its smooth texture and indulgent flavor. It combines Irish whiskey, cream, sugar and often additional flavorings such as cocoa, vanilla and coffee. Many drink Irish cream straight, over ice or mixed into cocktails or desserts.

You may be surprised to learn Irish cream didn’t originate in Ireland. In fact, Baileys, the original Irish cream brand, was invented in 1973 by Englishman Tom Jago in London. Nevertheless, Irish cream remains a protected geographical indicator product, meaning it must be produced in Ireland.

What about Irish Whiskey?

Irish whiskey, the boozy component of Irish cream, is a popular spirit with a long history in Ireland. And fun fact, the word ‘whiskey’ comes from the Irish uisce beatha, meaning ‘water of life.’ By the 17th century, Irish whiskey had gained widespread popularity both at home and abroad, with distilleries flourishing across the island.

Distinct from its Scotch and American counterparts, Irish whiskey is typically triple-distilled for smoothness and aged in oak barrels, giving a mellow and well-rounded flavor. Known for its light and approachable taste, this liquor boasts notes of barley, fruit and vanilla.

For more festive St. Patrick’s Day recipes, click through for Irish Nachos, 7 Irish Drinks and Irish Stew.

Expert tips for making Irish cream

Making homemade Irish cream may seem complicated, but it’s surprisingly easy with a few expert tips. We spoke to Erin Clarke at Well Plated who shares some helpful tips to get you started.

1. Don’t overwhip

Making Irish cream requires blending multiple ingredients, including cream. “Be careful not to overdo it, or you’ll whip the cream,” says Clarke. When mixing cream, small air bubbles become trapped while the fat content begin to break up and stick together, forming whipped cream. You can avoid this by mixing your ingredients until just combined.

2. Store it properly

In general, store-bought Irish cream lasts for 2 years. However, you can still make homemade Irish cream last a while with the proper steps. Storing in an airtight container is key. “It can last several weeks in your refrigerator, but I doubt you’ll have it around for long!” adds Clarke.

3. Make it a gift

Pouring homemade Irish cream in a decorated jar makes the perfect house warming or holiday gift, according to Clarke. And who doesn’t love something homemade? Wrap bottles with rope, handwritten notes or bows for a truly heartwarming surprise.

6-Ingredient Irish cream recipe

Fresh ingredients take the classic flavors of Irish cream to a whole new level. With just six ingredients you might already have, this homemade liqueur tastes just like the store-bought bottle. Try this recipe from The View From Great Island that takes just five minutes to make. And make sure to store your Irish cream in an airtight container in the refrigerator and give it a good shake before serving.

Homemade Irish Cream

homemade Irish cream


  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. instant coffee or instant espresso
  • ½ tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup Irish whiskey, Jameson or preferred
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk


  • Active Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings
  1. Put 1 Tbs. of heavy cream in a mixing bowl and add the espresso and cocoa powder. Mix these together until both powders are completely dissolved and there are no lumps.
  2. Add the rest of the heavy cream while stirring or gently whisking.
  3. Add the whiskey, vanilla and condensed milk and blend everything well. 
  4. Pour the mixture into a bottle with a top, then refrigerate until needed.

Note: Alternatively, you can put everything in a blender and blend briefly to combine. Don’t blend too long or you can risk whipping the cream.

2 fun recipes using Irish cream

Now that you’ve made your Irish cream, you can use it for a variety of recipes you probably haven’t thought of. From pastries to boozy drinks, Irish cream offers endless possibilities for adding a touch of luxury and rich flavor. Here are two recipes using homemade Irish cream that you have to try.

Irish Cream Coffee

homemade Irish cream

Lisa Hatfield from Delicious Table shares her favorite Irish Coffee Recipe that’s ready in 10 minutes. “It can be made with a kick of Jameson Irish whiskey or a dash of Bailey’s Irish Cream or homemade Irish cream,” says Hatfield. For a festive presentation, she suggests garnishing with “beautiful edible gold, shamrock sprinkles or shaved chocolate.”


  • ¼ cup heavy cream, for topping
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2-3 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup brewed hot coffee
  • 3 Tbs. Irish whiskey
  • 3 Tbs. homemade Irish cream
  • Chocolate shavings, edible gold leaf, green shamrock sprinkles, for garnish


  • Active Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink
  1. Brew a pot of coffee. Meanwhile, whip the heavy cream in a mixing bowl, with an electric mixer or by hand. Whisk cream until soft peaks form; it should be thick but still pourable.
  2. Fill a mug with hot water and let sit for 1 minute. Pour out hot water and add brown sugar. Then, pour in hot coffee until ¾ full and stir to dissolve sugar, and pour in whiskey.
  3. Top with whipped heavy cream by gently pouring over the back of a warm spoon to form a thick layer on top. Then add homemade Irish cream. Finally, garnish with chocolate shavings, edible gold leaf or sprinkles.

And be sure to check out this Irish Coffee with Whiskey Whipped Cream recipe created by the First for Women test kitchen!

Related: Keep The Good Times Rolling With One of These Delicious Dessert Cocktails

Irish Cream Brownies

This decadent brownie recipe from Kitchen Time with Neha combines Irish cream with chopped dark chocolate for a rich, fudge-y bite. Even better, they’re topped with an Irish cream-infused velvety frosting! Watch the video recipe below.

Personalizing your cup

With just a few tweaks, you can customize your homemade Irish cream to suit your tastes and enhance the flavor profile. Take some inspiration with these fun ideas.

1. Use flavored extracts

Extracts let you enjoy a wide variety of flavors without having to buy syrups or adding too much sugar. Try mixing in mint, almond or coconut extracts!

2. Sprinkle in spices

Bring some warmth to your cup with spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg or cardamom. Or be adventurous with mixed spices like apple pie or pumpkin pie spice.

3. Experiment with sweeteners

Go extra indulgent with more sweetener! A swirl of caramel sauce, maple syrup or honey can do just the trick.

4. Zest some citrus

Infuse your cream with a bright note of citrus by adding freshly grated orange, lemon, grapefruit or lime zest.

For more easy homemade drinks, click through these recipes below:

Homemade Coffee Creamer Is Healthier, Tastier + So Easy to Make With 3 Ingredients

This Blender Eggnog Recipe Whips Up to Creamy Perfection — So Easy + Delicious!

Korean Banana Milk Is the Ultimate Sweet and Creamy Sip — Here’s How To Make It

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