Baileys Irish Cream and Coffee Poke Cake from Cleo Coyle

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Baileys Irish Cream and coffee are a natural together. Who wouldn't enjoy a wee spot of Irish whiskey in their morning coffee, blended with real Irish cream from real Irish cows? 

Well, now you can get those flavors beautifully blended in a rich, delicious cake with sophisticated flavor that's easy to make. A fantastic way to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, or holiday, including (of course), St. Patrick's Day!

FYI - On my Facebook Page, readers asked about
the cup in my foodie photos. I call it my "Downton Abbey" cup.
It's not an antique. It's (happily) affordable china made by
The Johnson Brothers (
click here for more info).

Cleo Coyle has a partner in 
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A Note from Cleo

Our Coffeehouse Mystery readers may recall this cake from one of our most popular Coffeehouse Mysteries, Billionaire Blend, in which a young billionaire hires our amateur sleuth (coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi) to create the rarest and most expensive coffee blend on the planet. In the process, she uncovers a murderous plot, which she must solve without getting bumped off along the way.

Click here 
to learn more.
My challenge was a little different from Clare's (and a lot safer). I had to create a super-rich cake that could be served with a coffee as amazing as Billionaire Blend. Honestly, this one comes close. It also makes a wonderful holiday or celebration cake. May you... 

Eat with joy!

~ Cleo

To download this recipe
in a free PDF document
that you can print, save, or
click here.
Click here for the
free recipe PDF.

Cleo Coyle's
Bailey's Irish Cream
and Coffee Poke Cake


For the easy sheet cake 

1 package white cake mix (with or without pudding in the mix)  

4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter (softened) 
½ cup vegetable or canola oil 
1 package vanilla instant pudding (3.4 oz box)
½ cup Baileys Irish Cream 
¾ cups milk (whole or skim) 
4 egg whites 
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 

Step 1 - Make the Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Do not follow cake mix box directions. Using an electric mixer cream the 4 tablespoons of softened butter into the package of white cake mix. Stop the mixer. Add the ½ cup of oil and continue creaming. Now add the rest of the ingredients (instant pudding, Baileys Irish Cream, milk, egg whites, and vanilla). Beat this mixture for at least 90 seconds, scraping down the bowl to create a smooth batter. Pour into a well-buttered and floured 13 x 9-inch pan. Batter will be thick. Use a spatula or back of a spoon to even out the batter and level off the top. Bake in a well-preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out free of wet batter and the top springs back after a light touch. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature (about 20 minutes). 

Step 2 - Poke, Glaze and Frost the Cake: After the cake has cooled, poke it using a chopstick, wooden skewer, or similar tool. Slowly pour my warm Baileys Irish Cream and Coffee Glaze evenly over the cake (recipe below). This glaze will harden as it cools, and you don't want that, so gently rewarm it if necessary. As you pour, let the liquid seep into the holes then tilt the pan one way and the other until the cake top is evenly covered with glaze (see my photos below). Let the glaze cool and set, then finish the cake with simple whipped cream or frost it with my Baileys Irish Buttercream Icing (recipe below)

Cleo's Baileys
Irish Cream & Coffee Glaze

1 teaspoon espresso powder 
2 Tablespoons water
4 Tablespoons (½ stick) butter
½ cup white, granulated sugar
¼ cup Baileys Irish Cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions - First a warning: Do not dump all of the ingredients into the saucepan. The flavor of the Irish cream and vanilla will be ruined if boiled. Instead, do the following: Put a saucepan over medium heat, add the water, espresso powder (or instant coffee granules), butter, and sugar and stir until the butter melts. Increase the heat a bit and bring the mixture to a boil, turn down to a simmer and continue cooking stirring for four or five minutes, watching for the mixture to thicken. Take the pan off the heat, stir in the Irish cream and vanilla extract. Blend well and transfer to a measuring cup with a spout to give you better control as you pour it over the cake. Follow remaining directions in my cake recipe (above).

Baileys Irish Buttercream

(Cleo's version)

Makes about
2 cups of (amazing!)

2 Tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
   to room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar

Directions: Using an electric mixer, cream the softened butter. Stop the mixer and add the Baileys Irish cream, vanilla extract, and 1 cup of the powdered sugar. Beat the mixture until the sugar is dissolved. Scrape down the bowl, add a 2nd cup of powdered sugar, beat until dissolved. Finally add the 3rd cup of sugar and beat until smooth. If frosting is dry, add a bit more Irish Cream until you get the consistency you like. Frost the cake with joy!

Some Fun Facts About Irish Cream

* Irish cream is made with Irish whiskey and real dairy cream. 
Baileys uses cream from a dairy in County Cavan.

* Irish Creams have an alcohol content 
between 17% and 20% by volume (Baileys is 17%)

* There are no preservatives in Baileys yet the cream 
doesn’t spoil because the alcohol content is enough to preserve it. 
Baileys has a shelf life of 30 months, and the manufacturer 
guarantees its taste for two years from the day it was made. 

* Baileys is available in several flavors, including 
hazelnut (the newest), chocolate mint, crème caramel, 
and (of course) coffee!

Click here for the
free recipe PDF.

Eat (and read) with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
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