Totally From Scratch Irish Cream Cake (100% whole grain)

This Bailey’s Irish cream cake is made completely from scratch and is 100% whole grain (but I promise you can’t taste it). Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day!

Totally From Scratch Irish Cream Cake – there's no pudding or cake mix and it's 100% whole grain! Can use all-purpose, if desired.

I bought a bottle of Irish cream on Saturday night and it’s almost gone. I think most of it went into this Irish cream cake! It’s pretty boozy. I took this totally from scratch rum cake and halved it, which involved some funky calculations, and exchanged the rum for Irish cream.

I used Carolans Irish cream here, which is smoother than Baileys. That means it’s great for drinking, at least in my opinion, but when you bake with it, the alcohol isn’t that apparent. And when I bake with booze, I want my goodies to actually taste boozy. So use Baileys!

I wanted my Irish cream cake to be drenched in syrup so only make half of the syrup if you just want a little. Mr. Texanerin actually complained that, “It’s dripping!” when he picked it up. But then he took a bite and stopped complaining. :D

Totally From Scratch Irish Cream Cake – no cake mix and no pudding mix! Can be made 100% whole grain or with all-purpose flour.

It’s kind of hard to make a Bailey’s cake healthy but I did what I could. No cake mix, no pudding mix, and it’s 100% whole wheat. I used white whole wheat and you absolutely can’t taste it! But it’s important to use white whole wheat here and not regular whole wheat. If you use regular whole wheat, you will be able to tell it’s been made healthier. You could also do a mix of all-purpose and regular whole wheat if you don’t have access to white whole wheat. I’ve also made this with all-purpose and it tastes exactly the same.

And this Irish cream cake is SO moist. I tried it before I drowned it in syrup (see here on my method :D) and it was fluffy, light and not very boozy (hence the syrup!)

Totally From Scratch Irish Cream Cake

I used a 6-cup bundt pan here but you could bake these in cupcake form (I’m just guessing that it’d yield 8-12 cupcakes) or if you want a full-sized bundt cake, go check out my rum cake and use Bailey’s instead of rum. Easy!

So there. A St. Patrick’s Day dessert recipe without food coloring! And I have at least one more dye-free St. Patrick’s Day recipe coming up. But for next time – something with chocolate and peanut butter for my grain-free friends. :)

Totally From Scratch Irish Cream Cake

Rated 4.8 by 4 readers
Totally From Scratch Irish Cream Cake (100% whole grain)
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 8 pieces


    For the cake:

  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (114 grams) white whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (25 grams) non-fat or whole-milk dry milk powder
  • 3 tablespoons (26 grams ) cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup or 56 grams) butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (168 grams) granulated or unrefined sugar
  • 1/3 cup (78ml) canola oil
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (90ml) milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (90ml) Irish cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • For the syrup:

  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup or 56 grams) butter
  • 1/4 + 2 tablespoons (75 grams) granulated or unrefined sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) water
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) Irish cream


  1. Preheat your oven to 325°F (162°C). Spray a 6 cup bundt pan very well and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, dry milk powder, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Set this aside.
  3. In a large bowl with a stand mixer or electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the dry flour mix to this. It will resemble fine crumbs at this point.
  5. In the bowl that just had the flour mix, whisk together the oil, milk, eggs, Irish cream, and vanilla extract. Add this to the crumb mixture and beat until well combined. The batter will be very thin.
  6. Pour the batter into the greased bundt pan and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. When there are about 15 minutes remaining on the timer, start the syrup. In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, sugar, water and salt over medium heat. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup Irish cream.
  8. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes and then invert onto a wire rack. Wash and thoroughly dry the bundt pan and place the cake back into the pan. Poke holes into the cake (I used a meat thermometer) and pour the syrup slowly over the cake. Let it sit in the pan for one hour to properly absorb the liquid. It might seem soggy at first (there's a lot of syrup!) but will eventually be absorbed by the cake.
  9. Serve immediately or cover the cake and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Adapted from Totally from Scratch Rum Cake, which was adapted from Rum Cake from Scratch From Always Order Dessert

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28 comments on “Totally From Scratch Irish Cream Cake (100% whole grain)” — Add one!

  • Amy
    March 16, 2014 @ 3:30 pm

    Yum! I just made this for an Irish-themed get-together that my family is having today. The recipe made 14 cupcakes for me. I also used regular whole wheat flour and it doesn’t taste too healthy – the creaminess of the icing covers it up! Thanks for the recipe. :)

    • Erin replies to Amy
      March 16, 2014 @ 8:37 pm

      I’m so happy that the cupcakes worked out for you! Do you remember how long you baked them? Then I can update the recipe to include that info. :) I hope that your family will enjoy them! Thanks so much for the rating and the feedback. :)

  • Serena | Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch says
    March 13, 2014 @ 8:32 pm

    Oh my goodness Erin this looks delicious! Perfect for St. Patricks Day! Whole Wheat Pastry Flour works for White Whole Wheat too they might even be the same just worded differently, I’ve used both interchangeably.

    • Erin replies to Serena | Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch
      March 13, 2014 @ 8:40 pm

      Thanks, Serena! I love whole wheat pastry flour, too! I often use them interchangeably, but with this recipe, I wouldn’t use it. The crumb is already so very delicate, I don’t know if the lower gluten content of whole wheat pastry flour would work. But I could be wrong! :)

  • Lin says
    March 13, 2014 @ 6:37 am

    So if I wanted to make a full size bundt cake would I just take your “from scratch rum cake” and swap out the rum for the Bailey’s? Oh, how I love Bailey’s!


    • Erin replies to Lin
      March 13, 2014 @ 9:37 am

      That’s right! Everything else stays the same. I hope you’ll love it. :)

  • becca - cookie jar treats says
    March 6, 2014 @ 11:27 pm

    What does Irish cream even taste like? It looks kinda like coffee… or maybe i’m thinking of Irish cream coffee… But anywho this cake looks awesome!

    • Erin replies to becca – cookie jar treats
      March 8, 2014 @ 8:18 pm

      My favorite underage reader. :) To me, it tastes a little bit like chocolate and coffee and vanilla-y. So. How much longer until you’re 21? :)

  • Baby June says
    March 6, 2014 @ 5:23 am

    Now this is interesting. My family has an extra bottle of Bailey’s on hand (Irish pride!), so perhaps that is an excuse to make this. The crumb looks amazing! And if it’s whole wheat, it’s good enough for breakfast, eh? :)

    • Erin replies to Baby June
      March 6, 2014 @ 5:50 pm

      Haha. Of course it’s healthy enough for breakfast! :) Do it! Make it for you and your Irish family and watch them do a little jig out of happiness. ;)

  • Melanie @ Carmel Moments says
    March 5, 2014 @ 10:14 pm

    Would love a bite! Looks soft and delicious!

  • Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) says
    March 4, 2014 @ 10:57 pm

    This cake looks so delish! I can seriously see how moist the crumb is!

  • Christina
    March 4, 2014 @ 10:11 pm

    Oh wow! I love Irish cream and haven’t had it in ages! Another one of your recipes I’ll have to try :)

    • Erin replies to Christina
      March 5, 2014 @ 7:56 am

      I hope you’ll enjoy it, Christina! :)

  • Katrina @ WVS says
    March 4, 2014 @ 9:20 pm

    This cake looks so crumbly and good!! Yum!!

    • Erin replies to Katrina @ WVS
      March 5, 2014 @ 7:56 am

      Crumbly?! Nooo! It’s nice and moist. Not crumbly! ;)

  • Phi @ The Sweetphi Blog says
    March 4, 2014 @ 4:22 pm

    This look so yummy and perfect for St. Patrick’s Day! Love how you made this healthier by not using any cake or pudding mix!

    • Erin replies to Phi @ The Sweetphi Blog
      March 5, 2014 @ 7:54 am

      Thanks, Phi! :) (and psst… part of the reason I made this cake without cake and pudding mix is that I had to! We don’t have the same mixes over here. ;))

  • Erin | The Law Student's Wife says
    March 4, 2014 @ 3:17 pm

    I’m making a bday cake for a friend and was debating which recipe to try. I LOVE love this Erin! Also, a great excuse to pick up some Baily’s (as if I need one)

    • Erin replies to Erin | The Law Student’s Wife
      March 4, 2014 @ 3:49 pm

      Haha. Yeah! You and I with our fake Irish names (as my Irish colleagues say!) should always be well-stocked with Baileys! :)

  • Laura says
    March 4, 2014 @ 2:07 pm

    Hi Erin
    What a great idea, sounds fantastic and look forward to trying it! Just had two questions:
    1. If I want to use plain white flour instead of whole wheat, do I keep the same quantity (114g)?
    2. I have not been able to find Canola oil in my country (CY); can I use sunflower oil instead, and if so, same quantity (78ml)?
    Thanks again :)

    • Erin replies to Laura
      March 4, 2014 @ 3:48 pm

      Hi, Laura! Keep the quantity the same for the flour and oil. And how awesome that you’re from Cyrus! Don’t think I’ve ever had a commenter from there before. Neat. :) I hope you’ll love the cake!

      • Laura
        replies to Erin
        March 10, 2014 @ 11:50 am

        Hi Erin

        Just letting you know the cake was a real success, absolutely fantastic! The sponge was so moist and oozy :)
        I just recently saw your chocolate zucchini recipe, so that will be my next experiment!
        All the recipes I have tried are really good, so thanks for taking the time to share!
        Looking forward to new yummy ideas :)

        • Erin replies to Laura
          March 10, 2014 @ 1:52 pm

          Hi, Laura! I’m so happy that the cake came out for you. :) Are you making the chocolate zucchini cake or brownies? Those brownies are the best! SO gooey and fudgy. But I love them both and hope you will, too. Thank you very much for your feedback, the kind comment and the rating! :)

  • Megan
    March 4, 2014 @ 1:53 pm

    Yum, this looks amazing. And an Irish Cream drenched cake? Wow, this sounds awesome!

    • Erin replies to Megan
      March 4, 2014 @ 3:45 pm

      Thanks, Megan! :)


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