How to make a baileys coffee

For all fans of Baileys and fans of coffee come to that, making a Baileys coffee has to be the ultimate treat.

Whether its for a special Christmas treat, or after a nice dinner, its one of the most luxurious hot drinks around.

Baileys is the best liqueur when it comes to adding to coffee and there are many variations of Baileys coffee around but the basic recipe is incredibly simple to make and can be done at home, with no requirement for any specialist ingredients or equipment.

You can adapt our recipe here according to your taste and whether you prefer black coffee to a latte, or whether you prefer cream and honey to a more bitter coffee flavour, there are endless possibilities.

What do I need to make Baileys coffee?

The basic ingredients for our Baileys coffee can be adjusted and adapted to suit your own tastes and requirements but for our recipe you will need these ingredients to make Baileys coffee for two people:

  • Two cups of black coffee 
  • Two teaspoons of honey
  • Two measures of Baileys
  • Double cream
  • Nutmeg

If you don’t like black coffee you can replace this with your choice of milky coffee or creamy coffee, it’s all about your own particular tastes and likes.

You can of course also add sugar or syrup to sweeten the flavour further.

How to make Baileys coffee

The first step is to make your regular coffee but one thing that you probably don’t normally do, is warm up your mug or glass beforehand by filling it with hot water for a few minutes.

Once the mug is warm you can move to the next stage.

Prepare your coffee however you would normally. We recommend using fresh black coffee but the choice is yours.

You need to let the coffee cool down slightly as if you pour Baileys into boiling hot coffee you will be left with a mess of curdled cream, rather than a delicious drink.

Tip out the hot water from your now warm mugs or glasses and add your teaspoon of honey to the bottom of the glass.

Besides sweetening your coffee, it also helps the cream to stay afloat once added.

Pour in the coffee but don’t completely fill the mugs, you need to leave space to add in the Baileys and the cream as well. Stir the coffee to dissolve the honey into it first.

Now pour a measure of Baileys into your coffee but do this very slowly so that it doesn’t mix, but rather sits at the top of the mug or glass.

Next, stir the double cream and use the back of a spoon to pour it slowly above the Baileys so it creates an additional layer on top of the liqueur. If you serve this in coffee glasses you will be able to see the three layers very clearly.

Finally sprinkle the nutmeg on top of the cream and then you are ready to serve your delicious Baileys coffee to your guests, or just enjoy the indulgent drink yourself.

Questions about making Baileys coffee

As you can see, making a Baileys coffee is really straightforward but there are some common questions that people ask when preparing to make this delectable hot drink so we thought we’d answer them here for you to make life simpler:

1.    How much Baileys should I use?

Baileys isn’t super strong in terms of alcohol so to make sure you get that Baileys flavour coming through in the coffee, we recommend using a double measure of the liqueur which is around 50ml, for each cup you want to make.

2.    When should I make this drink?

You can have it any time of year but it is traditionally a Christmas drink for many people. It also makes a great alternative to dessert if you want something creamy and sweet but are too full for a traditional pudding.

3.    Is it the same as an Irish coffee?

No, an Irish coffee is a combination of warm coffee with a shot of Irish whiskey, topped with whipped cream, which was invented in the fifties in Ireland and is often served as a cocktail in bars now.

4.       Do I need a special type of coffee?

The simple answer is no, you can use whichever coffee you prefer to make your Baileys coffee to your own taste. However, the most traditional coffee used is dark roast coffee. If you want your drink to be lighter, then go for a medium roast instead and you can also use decaf.

5.       Do I have to use double cream?

No, you can use whatever type of cream you want to as long as it is light enough to sit on top of the drink rather than sink. You can even make up your own whipped cream with added sugar for extra sweetness.

6.       Do I need special coffee mugs

No, but if you opt for coffee glasses rather than mugs, you can see all the different layers of the drink and it makes it look much nicer. If you order this drink in a bar or restaurant its likely to be served in a tall glass coffee mug.

7.       Is there a vegan version of this drink?

Yes, there is a version of Baileys made with almond milk meaning vegans don’t have to miss out. Simply replace the cream in the recipe with a vegan alternative.

8.       What is Baileys Irish Cream? 

It’s a liqueur made with Irish whiskey, cream, and cocoa that comes from Ireland and is only about 17% alcohol.


Making Baileys coffee is very easy to do at home, with minimal fuss and equipment, making it the perfect treat for a special occasion. You can vary the recipe according to your own tastes, adding sugar, syrup or honey to sweeten it, or using milky coffee for a lighter taste. It’s also a great drink to use to create your own warming cocktails.

Do you have friends or family who can’t get enough coffee? Why not treat them to a coffee hamper from Virginia Hayward, containing coffee and an assortment of other special treats.

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