Irish Buttercream (Irish Cream Frosting)
Irish Cream Frosting features classic Irish Cream flavors like Irish whiskey and a touch of cocoa. Try this buttercream on mocha cupcakes for an Irish Cream Cold Brew-inspired treat, or spice up vanilla cake, decorate brownies, or sandwich between cookies.
I created this Irish Cream Buttercream with the Starbucks Irish Cream Cold Brew in mind. Irish Cream makes a delicious coffee, but the flavors work well for dessert, too!
Try this tasty, whiskey-infused frosting on any chocolate, vanilla, or whiskey cake (or cupcakes)!
Unsalted butter – 2 sticks, softened. Let them sit at room temperature for 45 minutes to a an hour beforehand.
Powdered Sugar – have 4 cups on hand, but you may use less, depending on the consistency you want. Spreading frosting can be thinner, but piping frosting needs to be a little thicker to hold up.
Cocoa Powder – unsweetened is best. 1 teaspoon adds just enough flavor and a little color, but this not a chocolate buttercream.
Irish Whiskey – 1 ounce provides flavor and some of the liquid for the frosting. We like Jameson, but Bushmills or Tullamore are also good options.
Heavy Cream – add to desired consistency (1 to 3 tablespoons, typically). Half and half is a good substitute.
Vanilla Extract – just a little vanilla flavor to enhance the whiskey’s floral, fruity, and vanilla notes.
Salt – add to taste. Using unsalted butter lets you control the level of salt, but adding a pinch can help counteract the sweetness of frosting.
What Type of Whiskey Should I Use in this Frosting?
I use Jameson for this recipe (and for baking) but any Irish whiskey that you would drink on its own will give good results.
This will only be Irish Buttercream if Irish whiskey is used, but bourbon (or American whiskey) works well as a substitute.
Adding alcohol to frosting will make it alcoholic, since the spirits will not be removed by cooking or heating. Please enjoy responsibly.
Whiskey can be added at any point in this recipe and the flavor does not change (it’s not a ‘building’ flavor).
Bailey’s can be used in place of the liquid ingredients (whiskey, heavy cream, and vanilla) to make a Bailey’s Buttercream as a convenient option. Use 3 to 5 tablespoons, adding in increments.
Storing Leftover Frosting:
Keep frosting in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Let it soften at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes then beat again to use as desired.
Irish Cream Buttercream
- hand mixer or stand mixer
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened = 2 sticks or 8 ounces
- 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted = approximately 16 ounces
- 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 Tablespoons Irish whiskey Jameson, Tullamore, Bushmills, etc.
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- salt, to taste
- Set out the butter at room temperature approximately 1 hour before making the frosting.
- In a large bowl with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the softened butter on medium speed until light and smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.
- On very low speed, stir in 1 cup of the powdered sugar and the cocoa powder to combine. This is just to get the frosting started.
- Add in the whiskey, heavy cream, vanilla, 2 to 3 cups more powdered sugar*, and a little salt. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape down sides and beat again for 30 seconds.
- *Adjust powdered sugar level and/or heavy cream as needed for desired spreading or piping consistency.
- Store unused frosting in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes and beat again before using.Iced desserts can be kept at room temperature up to 3 days. Refrigerate for longer storage.