Baileys Cheesecake – the Ultimate Irish Cream Dessert

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This Baileys cheesecake is velvety smooth with a delicious Irish cream flavor, Oreo cookie crust, and chocolate ganache infused with even more Baileys! It’s the  perfect grown-up, boozy dessert for Christmas, New Year’s or St. Patrick’s Day! Slice of Baileys cheesecake with an Oreo crust and glass of Baileys

The ULTIMATE Baileys Cheesecake

This Baileys cheesecake is the ultimate boozy dessert for over the holidays. It has a luxuriously smooth texture with a hint of tanginess that you’d expect from cheesecake. The Irish cream flavor is prominent without being too strong, and while the cheesecake is obviously rich, it’s not overly sweet. The chocolate cookie crust and chocolate ganache on top really round out the flavor.

I find guests are always impressed with this recipe. It’s decadent, looks impressive, and feels very luxe.

9-inch round Irish cream cheesecake with chocolate on top

Tips for the Perfect Cheesecake

  • Make sure the cream cheese, sour cream and eggs are at room temperature before getting started.  This ensures that everything mixes together evenly. Take them out of the fridge about 30 minutes prior to making the crust.
  • For the crust, you’ll use the wafers and filling of your Oreo cookies (or any version of chocolate sandwich cookies).
  • This cheesecake is baked in a water bath. This keeps moisture in, reduces the risk of cracking, and makes the cheesecake velvety smooth. For the water bath, you’ll:
    • Wrap the outside of the springform pan with aluminum foil. Wrap the pan at least 3-4 times so that all seems are covered at least once. You’ll do this before baking the crust.
    • Before baking the cheesecake, place the springform pan (still wrapped in foil) in the middle of a large roasting pan. (Note – you’ll bake the crust on its own first, not in the water bath).
    • Pour about 1 inch (2.5 cm) of hot water into the roasting pan.
    • The whole contraption goes in the oven to bake.
  • The cheesecake will need to chill for at least 6 hours before serving. I always make the cheesecake the day before I plan to serve it. Let it cool fully, then cover the springform pan and place in the fridge to chill overnight. You can make the ganache at any time the next day, top the cheesecake, and then place in the fridge to chill until you’re ready to serve.
  • If you don’t want the Baileys flavor to be quite as strong, feel free to substitute the Baileys with more cream in the chocolate ganache topping.

Want a Non-Alcoholic version of this Baileys Cheesecake? Feel free to substitute the Baileys with an Irish Cream flavored coffee creamer. I recommend reducing the sugar and only using 1 cup (instead of 1 1/4 cup) if using a coffee creamer, as I find them to be quite a bit sweeter than Baileys.

Slice of Baileys cheesecake with Oreo crust and chocolate ganache

Creamy, decadent, delicious – this Baileys cheesecake is the perfect indulgent dessert. And if you’re looking for more grown-up options, then be sure to try:

Piece of cheesecake with chocolate on top

Baileys Cheesecake

This Baileys cheesecake is velvety smooth with a delicious Irish cream flavor, Oreo cookie crust, and chocolate ganache infused with even more Baileys! It's the  perfect grown-up, boozy dessert for Christmas, New Year's or St. Patrick's Day!
Prep: 1 hour
Cook: 50 minutes
Cooling & Chilling: 7 hours
Total: 8 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 14 pieces
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Equipment

  • 9-inch springform pan
  • large roasting pan (big enough for the springform pan to fit inside)

Ingredients 

Oreo Crust

  • 24 Oreo cookies, wafers and filling
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (56 grams) , melted

Baileys Cheesecake Filling

  • 24 ounces full-fat cream cheese (680 grams) , room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar (250 grams)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (60 grams) , full-fat, from a tub
  • 1/2 cup Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur (120 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder, I used a Starbucks version
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • hot water, for the waterbath

Chocolate Ganache*

  • 6 ounces dark chocolate (170 grams) , I used 50%, semi-sweet works too
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream (60 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons Baileys (30 ml) , can be substituted with whipping cream

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350F (180C or 160C fan-forced).
  • Wrap the outside of a 9-inch (23-cm) springform pan with aluminum foil. Wrap the pan at least 3-4 times so that the bottom and sides are covered, and that all seems are covered too.

Oreo Crust

  • Crush the cookies (wafers and filling) in a food processor. Or place in a freezer bag and crush with a rolling pin. You want the cookies to be fine crumbs.
  • Mix the crushed cookies with the melted butter.
  • Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan, creating a slight lip around the edges.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave it turned on.

Cheesecake Filling

  • In a very large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and creamy (about 2 minutes).
  • Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Then mix in the sour cream.
  • With the mixer still on a low speed, beat in the eggs 1 at a time until incorporated. Stop mixing when you no longer see pieces of eggs.
  • Add the instant coffee to the Baileys and stir (it will partially dissolve). With the mixer on a low speed, slowly mix in the Baileys. Make sure the mixer is on a low speed - or the Baileys will splash up.

Baking & Cooling

  • Place the springform pan in the middle of a large roasting pan (still wrapped in foil).
  • Pour the cheesecake batter over the crust and smooth the top.
  • Pour hot water into the roasting pan so that there's about 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water.
  • Place the roasting pan in the oven (still at 350F from when you baked the crust). Bake for 50-65 minutes, or until the top looks set and when you gently nudge the pan it wobbles like jello or pudding. If it wiggles like a glass of milk, it's not done baking yet.
  • Remove the roasting pan (with cheesecake inside) from the oven. Cool the cheesecake in the roasting pan until the water is room temperature.
  • Remove the springform pan from the roasting pan and place on a wire rack. Continue cooling until it's room temperature.
  • Cover the pan with aluminum foil and place in the fridge to chill for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Chocolate Topping & Serving

  • Chop the chocolate into very fine pieces and place in a heatproof bowl.
  • Heat the cream and Baileys (I poured them into 1 liquid measuring cup) until almost boiling. You can do this in the microwave or in a small saucepan over low heat while gently stirring.
  • Pour the hot cream and Baileys over the chocolate. Let sit for 2-3 minutes, then whisk until smooth. If the chocolate hasn't quite melted, microwave on medium power (not high, which is default on many models) for 30-second intervals, whisking in between until smooth.
  • Take the cheesecake out of the fridge. Trace around the edge with a thin, sharp knife. Then unclamp the outer ring of the springform pan.
  • If there's condensation on top of the cheesecake, blot it off with a paper towel.
  • Pour the ganache over the cheesecake, letting it drip over the edges. Return to the fridge until you're ready to serve.
  • Slice the cheesecake with a sharp, thin knife (not a table knife). Be sure to slice all the way through the crust.

Notes

  1. Cream Cheese: Use full-fat, brick-style cream cheese. Do not use anything labeled whipped, spreadable or low-fat/low-calorie. These options are too thin and do not work when making cheesecake
  2. Room Temperature Ingredients: The cream cheese, sour cream and eggs should all be at room temperature before getting started. Take them out of the fridge and their packaging at least 30 minutes before getting started. 
  3. Non-Alcoholic Version: For a non-alcoholic version, feel free to substitute Baileys with Irish Cream coffee creamer. I recommend reducing the sugar by 1/4 cup (so you'll only use 1 cup in total), as coffee creamers are quite sweet. There is not enough Baileys in the cheesecake to get you drunk, as 1/2 cup divided by an entire cheesecake is very little alcohol per person. 
  4. Chocolate Ganache: The ganache topping can be made any time before serving, as long as the cheesecake is fully cooled. Optionally, you can make the topping right before serving and let each person pour it over their slice (like chocolate sauce).
  5. Storage: Store cheesecake covered in the fridge for up to 5 days. Always store cheesecake in the fridge. Cheesecake can also be wrapped tightly and frozen for up to 2 months. Then thaw in the fridge. 
  6. Nutrition: Information provided is an estimate only and based on 1 slice with chocolate ganache, assuming that the cheesecake is sliced into 14 equal pieces. You only need a small piece, as it is very rich. 

Nutrition

Calories: 534kcal, Carbohydrates: 45g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 36g, Saturated Fat: 19g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 110mg, Sodium: 275mg, Potassium: 255mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 34g, Vitamin A: 907IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 79mg, Iron: 4mg
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