How to Make Homemade Irish Cream

After nearly four years of working on this website, we’ve developed a bit of a reputation with our friends. Any time one of them eats a particularly tasty sandwich, or runs across some sort of bacon-related internet ephemera, we hear about it, via Facebook photos and text messages. It’s a great way to share the small, day-to-day moments of our lives with the people we care about, no matter how far away we are, and I love it.

Even better, though, are the incredible gift baskets of homemade sweets and snacks that our friends seem to have taken on the tradition of making each Christmas. Each year, we return from our annual whirlwind trip to Connecticut with several assortments of not just incredible cookies (some crinkly, some chocolatey, some meringuey, and some filled with jam), but nuts (both candied and spicy), and imported boozy chocolates. Fine homemade craft IPAs, salted caramel rods, and peanut brittle. Vodka infusions, hand-dipped pretzel rods, and homemade limoncello. One of my favorite DIY Christmas gifts, though, is made by our friends Lauren and Ilaria: A homemade Irish Cream that they’ve gotten in the habit of making every year, and that I’ve usually finished by Boxing Day.

It’s a boozy concoction that sneaks up on you, a heady mixture of whiskey, heavy cream, instant coffee, and chocolate. We like it so much, we wrestled the recipe away from Ilaria, who got the recipe from her mother in Italy. Ilaria’s mother insists that she puts way too much alcohol in her adaptation of the family recipe, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Enjoy.

Homemade Irish Cream


Homemade Irish Cream

  • Yield: About 4 Cups 1x


  • 2/3 cup light cream
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 12/3 cups Irish whiskey
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee
  • 2 tablespoons Toroni chocolate syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract


  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend on “high” for about 30 seconds. Serve chilled. Keeps in the refrigerator for up to 8 weeks; shake well before serving.


Malcolm Bedell is co-author of the critically acclaimed "Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road." He currently owns and operates the Ancho Honey restaurant in Maine.


  1. This recipe is strikingly similar to one that I clipped from the Rocky Mountain News at least 25 years ago and have been making around the holidays ever since. Thanks for sharing it!

  2. The prices for a similar product (Baileys) are getting insane in the Netherlands so after some sourcing around for the ingredients I made this concoction this afternoon. I think this is even better than the real thing! (Instead of mixing the light and heavy cream, something unavailable in the Netherlands, I opted that cream with 35{3d9e2dd3ff4a6ad7c579f6992fba32c39af0ae46cb1a0bfdb9adec03cc9df88f} fat would suffice so I used what is called here “slagroom” [whipping cream]. This works like a charm!)

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