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Irish Cream Cake

This simple Irish Cream Cake is wonderfully delicious with a soft, tender crumb. And it’s topped with an equally simple Irish cream frosting. Absolutely delicious!

Irish Cream Cake on a pewter cake plate

Irish Cream Cake

I tend to prefer simple cakes that don’t involve a lot of fuss. And this Irish Cream Cake fits that perfectly. It’s a simple, one-layer cake with amazing flavor. Just perfect for a lovely dessert without the fuss!

The cake itself is light and fluffy with wonderful flavor thanks to Irish cream and vanilla. The frosting is a simple buttercream flavored with more Irish cream. Put the two parts together, and you’ve got a beautiful, delicious dessert that will have you going back for seconds!

A single layer cake like this one is great for a small gathering. It’s not quite what I’d call a small batch recipe, but it’s certainly more suited for a smaller crowd versus a multi-tiered cake.

This cake is a great choice for a special occasion. The amazing flavor makes it something special, and that fluffy frosting on top makes it beautiful. Add a little garnish if you like to make it even prettier!

What You’ll Need

Besides the basics, you’ll just need a couple of other ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:

For the cake:

  • Cake flour – Be sure to measure by weight if possible. Cake flour is designed to produce a lighter, more tender crumb, which is perfect for this cake. If you need a substitute, see my note in the tips section below.
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Unsalted butter – Set out the butter about half an hour before baking to allow it to soften.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Eggs – Set out the eggs as well, as room temperature eggs mix more easily and create a nicer texture.
  • Irish cream liqueur – There are several brands, so just use your favorite.
  • Vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract – I prefer paste for this cake, but you can use an equal amount of vanilla extract.
  • Milk – Grab the milk when you’re getting the butter and eggs so it can come to room temperature.

For the frosting:

  • Unsalted butter – Be sure it’s softened so it will mix more easily.
  • Confectioners’ sugar – Sift it for the smoothest frosting. You’ll notice an amount range in the recipe so you can adjust the sweetness level of the frosting.
  • Irish cream liqueur
  • Vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • Salt
  • Milk – If you find the frosting isn’t quite as smooth and spreadable as you’d like, add a little milk until it’s just how you like it.

Topping ideas:

  • Chocolate sprinkles
  • Toasted nuts
  • Chocolate cookie crumbs
  • Cocoa powder
  • Toasted coconut
  • Chocolate curls or chopped chocolate
overhead view of sliced Irish Cream Cake on a pewter cake plate

How to Make Irish Cream Cake

This no-fuss cake is a cinch to make. You’ll have it mixed and baking in short order! Ready to get started? Let’s go!

Prepare for baking. Heat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9-inch round (or 8-inch square) pan with parchment paper. Grease the paper and any exposed parts of the inside of the pan.

Combine the dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Combine the wet ingredients. Cream the butter and sugar with an electric hand mixer or stand mixer on medium speed. Mix until lightened in color and fluffy in texture. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the Irish cream and the vanilla.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three portions, alternating with two portions of the milk. Don’t over-mix; mix just until combined.

Bake. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, and spread it evenly. Tap the pan lightly on the counter to help get rid of large air pockets. Bake the cake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until it’s golden brown. A pick inserted into the center should come out clean.

Cool the cake. Place the pan on a wire rack and allow the cake to cool completely.

Make the frosting. Beat the butter until creamy, using an electric mixer on medium speed. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, and mix well. Add the Irish cream, vanilla, and salt, and mix at medium-high speed until the frosting is smooth. If needed, add a splash of milk to get the consistency you want.

Frost the cake. Place the cooled cake on a serving plate, removing the parchment paper. Spread the frosting over the cake and add any garnish you want.

Tips for Success

  • Out of cake flour? While cake flour is the best flour to use for this cake, you can make a pretty good stand-in using all-purpose flour. Learn more here: Cake Flour Substitute.
  • Don’t over-mix the batter. Too much mixing means a tough cake with a less than stellar texture.
  • Adjust the sweetness of the frosting. Not everyone likes the same degree of sweetness in their frosting. I usually make mine a bit less sweet, but I’ve provided a range of sugar to add so you can adjust to your tastes.
  • Want a two-layer cake? The recipe should double easily if you want a multi-tiered cake.
slice of Irish Cream Cake on a white plate with more servings in the background

How to Store Irish Cream Cake

Kept in an airtight container, this cake should keep at room temperature for a day or two. That being said, I prefer to keep it refrigerated. Chill the cake for about 20 minutes first to let the frosting harden a bit; then wrap well in plastic wrap and return to the refrigerator. It should keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Keep in mind that cut cake dries out faster than an uncut cake. You can combat that some by placing plastic wrap directly against the cut sides when storing or spreading a little frosting on the cut sides.

Let the cake come to room temperature before serving. That should take about an hour.

Can This Cake Be Frozen?

Yes! Place the uncovered cake in the freezer to allow the frosting to harden. Count on 2 to 3 hours for that. Then wrap the cake well in plastic wrap, and wrap again in aluminum foil or place in an airtight, freezer-safe container or bag.

When you’re ready to serve the cake, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator or for a couple of hours at room temperature.

overhead view of slices of Irish Cream Cake on white plates

Irish Cream Cake

Yield 8 to 10 servings
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

This soft, tender Irish Cream Cake and its frosting are wonderfully delicious and simple to make!

Irish Cream Cake on a pewter cake plate

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 1 & 1/2 cups (180g) cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) Irish cream liqueur
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (118ml) milk

For the frosting:

  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 & 1/2 cups (275g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted (Use up to 3 cups if you like your frosting sweeter.)
  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) Irish cream liqueur
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • chocolate sprinkles, chocolate curls, etc. for garnish

Instructions

To make the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9-inch round (or 8-inch square) cake pan with parchment paper. Grease the paper and any exposed parts of the inside of the pan.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the Irish cream and vanilla.
  4. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture in three portions, alternating with two portions of milk. Mix just until combined.
  5. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread evenly. Tap the pan gently a few times on the counter to get rid of any large air pockets.
  6. Bake the cake 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Place the pan on a wire rack and allow the cake to cool.

To make the frosting:

  1. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter until fluffy.
  2. Gradually add the confectioners' sugar, and mix well.
  3. Add the Irish cream, vanilla, and salt. Mix at medium-high speed until the frosting is smooth and fluffy. If needed, add a little bit of milk to the frosting to get it to a smooth, spreadable consistency.
  4. Spread the frosting on the cooled cake. Add any garnishes you like.

Notes

Frosting recipe adapted from Bake from Scratch.

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    2 Comments on “Irish Cream Cake”

  1. This 1 layer cake was dead simple to get into the oven and eventually frost. By no means is that any reason for me to bake a cake. The result was fantastic, and THAT is the reason for me to put this on my “make again” list. The small amount of Irish Cream Liqueur in the cake batter and frosting stood out and makes this cake seductive and unusual. Plus the tenderness from using cake flour, was so enjoyed. I noted in your picture of the cake, that had you kept cutting slices, you would have achieved the “10 slices” in your description….well, since you did say “8 to 10” servings, I opted for gluttony 🙂 Yes, big slices, and I suppose I will never break this precedent. Thank you Jennifer for this one.

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