Baileys Brownies (gluten-free option)

These Baileys brownies are rich, fudgy and full of Baileys flavor with 3/4 cup in the batter and the ganache! They can be made with all-purpose or whole wheat flour and also have well-tested gluten-free options.

I’m not a huge fan of food coloring, so I usually opt for Irish cream treats for St. Patrick’s Day (as well as this Gluten-free Soda Bread). My only issue with alcohol-containing desserts is that they’re usually not boozy enough.

I only used 2 tablespoons of Baileys in my older recipe for Irish cream cheesecake brownies, but I wanted something stronger. I don’t like subtle!

I usually use the same brownie base whenever I make brownies, but the problem with adding a bunch of Baileys to my gluten-free brownies recipe is that it’d totally throw off the wet to dry proportions in the recipe.

So instead of a cocoa powder-only based brownie recipe, like my favorite brownie recipe, I came up with a cocoa powder and chocolate-based recipe, thinking that the melted chocolate would require the addition of some more liquid. The result?

There’s 1/2 cup of Baileys in the batter! They definitely have a nice, strong Irish cream taste to them. Not at all subtle!

Note that if you use buckwheat flour, the Irish cream taste isn’t as strong as when using the other flour options.

If you don’t want to compromise on the Baileys taste, use the other gluten-free options, which I talk about below.

Because I wanted the buckwheat version to also be nice and boozy, I made a ganache topping and replaced half of the whipping cream with Irish cream.

I don’t think there will be any complaints of, “Not boozy enough!” when you bite into these brownies.


  • Flour — you can use all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, buckwheat flour, or a gluten-free baking blend meant as a 1:1 sub for all-purpose flour.

  • Dutch-process cocoa powder — I always use Dutch-process for the most chocolate flavor possible, but Hershey’s Special Dark should also work.

  • Butter or coconut oil — make sure to use refined coconut oil! Coconut flavor + Baileys is not something I think would be very tasty.

  • Chocolate — you can use chocolate chips or chopped chocolate.

  • Granulated sugar — you could use raw sugar, but I don’t think coconut sugar would be a good idea (I explain why below).

  • Baileys — or any Irish cream you’d like. I link to my homemade recipe below!

  • Egg — chia eggs did not work for me. I doubt other egg replacements would work so much better.

  • Cream — I used whipping cream, but you could also use heavy cream if that’s what you have on hand. For dairy-free, I used coconut milk.

  • Salt + baking powder + vanilla extract

Gluten-free options

As previously mentioned, you can use buckwheat flour, but it diminishes the Irish cream flavor just a bit. If you want full Baileys flavor, King Arthur Flour Gluten-free Measure for Measure Flour works great as does Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free 1-to-1 Baking Flour.

Dairy-free option

You have to use dairy-free Irish cream, like my homemade Vegan Baileys Recipe, and coconut oil or vegan butter instead of butter. You can either omit the ganache or use canned coconut milk instead of whipping cream.

Also, make sure that your chocolate is dairy-free.

I’ve tested this version with my homemade Baileys, and the result is just as tasty as the traditional version! Just make sure you use refined coconut oil so that you don’t get any coconut flavor.

The vegan Baileys recipe yields 3 cups, so after making these Baileys brownies, you’ll still have 2 1/4 cups left – but that’s a good thing! It’s delicious, and it freezes great. If you don’t want so much left over, then just halve the recipe.

Why no vegan option?

After the dairy-free version came out so well, I had a little hope that a vegan version would work, too. But it didn’t.

Like in the Matcha Brownies I posted last week, weird stuff happened when using chia eggs instead of eggs.

But the result was much better with this recipe! The brownies just aren’t perfect when using chia eggs, and that’s why I’m not listing a vegan option.

When using chia eggs (I used 2 tablespoons ground chia seeds + 5 tablespoons of water), the brownies seemed a bit fried around the edges. They were quite chewy and hard.

The inner part was good, though! They didn’t seem to rise as much as the egg version.

I should say that I only tested the chia eggs with gluten-free flour. It could be that egg subs work fine with wheat flour.

Sometimes gluten-free flour plus chia eggs are just too many changes for a recipe to work perfectly.

Can I use coconut sugar?

The strong flavor of the coconut sugar would detract from the Irish cream taste a bit. If you don’t mind less Irish cream flavor, then you can use coconut sugar.

I don’t think it’d be bad, though. The flavor of the coconut sugar goes well with the other flavors in the brownies.

Can I omit the Baileys?

Nope. Please make one of the recipes listed in the section below if you don’t want to use Baileys.

You could try swapping it with another cream-based liqueur. I probably wouldn’t recommend swapping in hard liquor, like rum.

1/2 cup of rum sounds like a lot for a pan of brownies. But perhaps it’s delicious. I’d also be concerned due to the fact that it’s not cream-based.

It might be a disaster. Or delicious! It’s not something I can say without trying first.

Can I use almond or coconut flour?

Unfortunately not. You need something that’s a 1:1 replacement for all-purpose flour.

What you could do is make one of these recipes and use the ganache topping below to add some Irish cream taste. You can’t just add Baileys to any of these recipes without messing up the recipe.

Step-by-step photos

I know that many people like step-by-step photos. I find them useful for things like croissants and other pastries, but not so much for brownies.

And I have to admit that I’m annoyed when I read the directions for the recipe in blog posts. It just makes the posts unnecessarily long.

So here you go. Just the photos. ;) The directions are below.

I guess they are useful to show that the batter is quite thick.

Other St. Patrick’s Day desserts

I hope you’ll enjoy the brownies! Have a nice St. Patrick’s Day if you celebrate.

Baileys Brownies (gluten-free option)

  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 16 brownies

See notes if you're dairy- or gluten-free!


    For the brownies:

  • 3/4 cup (94 grams) whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour or for gluten-free, see notes1
  • 2/3 cup (77 grams) Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup (56 grams) unsalted butter or 3 1/2 tablespoon (49 grams) refined2 coconut oil
  • 1 cup (170 grams) semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) Baileys
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large (50 grams, out of shell) egg
  • For the ganache:

  • 1 cup (170 grams) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) Baileys
  • 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) whipping cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C) and line an 8"×8" pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat while stirring frequently, melt the butter and chocolate chips.
  4. Add the sugar, Irish cream, and vanilla and mix until well combined. Stir in the egg just until incorporated. Do not over mix.
  5. Fold in the flour mixture just until no more streaks of flour remain. It will be very thick.
  6. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and use a silicone spatula to even it out.
  7. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the top no longer appears wet. A toothpick inserted into the sides will come out with some moist crumbs on it, but not totally raw batter. The brownies will continue to bake as they sit in the pan. If you made the buckwheat version, let them sit for about 2 hours before serving as they need some resting time.
  8. Once the brownies have cooled, prepare the ganache.
  9. Place the chocolate chips and Irish cream in a small bowl. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the cream just until steamy and on the verge of simmering.
  10. Remove from the heat. Pour the cream over the chocolate chips and Irish cream and stir until all the chocolate chips are completely melted. Let cool for about 15 minutes before pouring over the brownies.
  11. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 4 days. For fudgier brownies, refrigerate. They also freeze great!


  1. For a gluten-free version, make sure you're using gluten-free Irish cream. For the flour, you can use 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon (102 grams) buckwheat flour OR 3/4 cup (94 grams) King Arthur Flour Gluten-free Measure for Measure Flour OR 3/4 cup (103 grams) Bob's Red Mill Gluten-free 1-to-1 Baking Flour.
  2. Make sure to use refined coconut oil unless you want some coconut flavor in your brownies.
  • If you're dairy-free, make sure to use coconut oil instead of butter, dairy-free chocolate chips and my Vegan Baileys Recipe instead of store-bought Baileys. Either omit the ganache or use canned coconut milk instead of whipping cream.

Source: My post on My Baking Addiction – Irish Cream Brownies

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26 comments on “Baileys Brownies (gluten-free option)” — Add one!

  • Michelle Bader says
    March 14, 2018 @ 4:13 pm

    Could you use any gluten free flour? I have a flax and whole grain all purpose gluten free flour which does contain some buckwheat flour and some other ingredients. I know from experience that the wrong flour can change the texture of the recipe.

    • Erin replies to Michelle Bader
      March 18, 2018 @ 1:49 pm

      Hi there! Sorry for the slow reply. You unfortunately can’t use any GF flour as they’re not interchangeable with each other. If you have a GF flour mix that’s meant as a 1 to 1 sub for wheat flour, that’d probably work (though I haven’t tried it). Hope you’ll enjoy the brownies and sorry again for the slow reply!

  • JJ says
    August 22, 2016 @ 10:18 pm

    Can you substitute coffee with the irish cream? Not really a fan of alcohol but I’ve been looking for whole wheat desserts and this looks good!

    • Erin replies to JJ
      August 22, 2016 @ 10:35 pm

      That’s a good question! I think 1/2 cup of coffee would be too strong. Bailey’s has cream in it so how about a mixture of cream and coffee? It’s also got quite a bit of sugar. Maybe 1/4 cup coffee, 1/4 cup cream, and 1 or 2 tbsp sugar? It’s just a guess, though. :)

  • Abby (@ No Fail recipes) says
    March 5, 2016 @ 3:28 pm

    These are awesome and I love the little shamrocks. Great idea for Saint Paddy’s day. Thanks for the idea!

  • Renee - Kudos Kitchen says
    February 29, 2016 @ 5:48 pm

    I always love how you give options for your recipes so folks can tailor them to their dietary restrictions or preferences. These brownies look amazing, and it’s funny how they can really be dressed up for St. Patty’s day with just a few added sprinkles. Cute!

    • Erin replies to Renee – Kudos Kitchen
      March 1, 2016 @ 9:44 pm

      Thanks, Renee! I try with the options. I just want as many people as possible to be able to make my recipes. :) Thanks a bunch for your nice comment!

  • Cathy Trochelman says
    February 29, 2016 @ 2:17 am

    These brownies are calling my name! Absolute perfection!!

  • Kim Beaulieu says
    February 28, 2016 @ 5:23 am

    I love brownies, particularly boozy brownies. I could eat ten batches of these.

    • Erin replies to Kim Beaulieu
      March 1, 2016 @ 9:49 pm

      Hahaha. Ten batches. That’s dedication. :D

  • Kirsten/ComfortablyDomestic says
    February 28, 2016 @ 4:01 am

    Thank you for not being subtle with the Bailey’s in the brownies and the ganache! You’re a girl after my own heart. These look fantastic!

  • Cyndi - My Kitchen Craze says
    February 28, 2016 @ 1:01 am

    Now these are my kind of brownies. I love all the chocolate going on too. Yum!

  • Andi @ The Weary Chef says
    February 28, 2016 @ 12:01 am

    I LOVE these brownies! Looks so rich and creamy! Definitely trying this!

  • Alexa [] says
    February 27, 2016 @ 4:07 am

    Wow, Erin! These sound heavenly! Perfect for St. Paddy’s!

  • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet says
    February 27, 2016 @ 2:42 am

    I’m swooning over the texture of that cake and ganache, WOW!

  • Patricia @ Grab a Plate says
    February 27, 2016 @ 2:31 am

    Oh, yeah! Super rich, just the way I love dessert! And double the Baileys?! This is genius and glorious! YUM!

  • Kacey @ The Cookie Writer says
    February 26, 2016 @ 9:37 pm

    OMG, move over green desserts, because these brownies are mine!! And here I thought I would skip St. Patrick’s Day :)


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