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Baileys Cheesecake

Baileys Cheesecake has a delicious chocolate cookie crust topped with Irish cream-spiked cheesecake filling and ganache layers.

Slice of Baileys cheesecake next to a fork on a gray plate

Back in my college days, I managed a small Mediterranean restaurant near campus. It was both a place for the local neighborhood to grab a quick bite to eat and for college kids to hang out and pretend to study while sipping cappuccinos. 

And since I worked a lot, and free food was a perk of the job, I pretty much lived on hummus and pita bread for over 4 years.

There was a super friendly older couple that were weekly regulars. Every week, they’d split a tawook dinner with extra steamed veggies. The husband would finish his meal with a piece of cheesecake, and the wife would order Baileys and coffee with just a smidgen of whipped cream and chocolate sauce (similar to an Irish coffee cocktail). 

It’s funny the things I remember from more than 15 years ago. The names of any of my undergrad professors? Not a chance. But a meal a couple ordered every week? Yep, right down to the extra veggies.

Now, I’ve never been much of a drinker, but I developed quite an affinity for Baileys and coffee with just a smidgen of whipped cream and chocolate sauce. It’s just one of those drinks that reminds me of being in my 20s, and makes me all warm and fuzzy for so many reasons.

A few weeks ago, I picked up a bottle of Baileys Irish Cream to make Simple Homemade Truffles…and perhaps whip up a Baileys and coffee or two. And then on a whim one night, I decided to try making a Baileys Cheesecake. 

Fork with a bite of Baileys cheesecake laying on a plate next to a slice of the cheesecake

WHAT IS BAILEYS CHEESECAKE?

Baileys Cheesecake really isn’t that different from my vanilla cheesecake recipe

But instead of a graham cracker crust, I use an Oreo cookie crust for a nice chocolatey base. I also swapped out the cream in the filling for Baileys Irish Cream and topped the whole thing with a Baileys-spiked chocolate ganache.

The result is a creamy cheesecake with just the right amount of chocolate and Baileys flavor.  

I’d like to think this would have been the perfect cheesecake to finally tempt the wife of that sweet couple into joining her husband in a slice of cheesecake. But then, I happen to think life is not worth living without cheesecake. Are you with me?

Overhead view of Oreo cookies in the bowl of a food processor

TIPS FOR MAKING THIS IRISH CREAM CHEESECAKE

There are three main parts to this Baileys Irish cream cheesecake:

  • Oreo cookie crust
  • Baileys-infused cheesecake filling
  • Baileys-spiked chocolate ganache topping
Oreo cookie crust pressed into the bottom of a springform pan on a marble countertop

I have made many, many cheesecake recipes through the years, so I have a few tips I’ve learned along the way that can help you as you make this recipe:

  1. Use room-temperature cream cheese and eggs. If you forget to set these ingredients out ahead of time, you’re in luck. I have tutorials for how to soften cream cheese and how to bring butter and eggs to room temperature
  2. Bake the cheesecake in a water bath. Don’t be intimidated by this step – it’s easier than you think and will help make sure your cheesecake is absolutely perfect. Check out my post on how to bake cheesecake in a water bath
  3. Give yourself plenty of time. Even though getting the cheesecake in the oven doesn’t take a ton of time, it needs about an hour to bake, a couple of hours to cool, and 8 hours to chill in the refrigerator. Don’t be tempted to take shortcuts here. 
Baileys being poured into cheesecake filling batter in a metal mixing bowl

Could you use a store-bought crust instead of making your own? Yes.

Could you skip the chocolate ganache on top? Sure.

Would the final cheesecake be as good? Well, I know what my opinion is, but I’ll let you decide that on your own.

Baileys cheesecake filling batter being poured onto an Oreo cookie crust in a springform pan

CAN BAILEYS CHEESECAKE BE FROZEN?

This Baileys Cheesecake is the perfect candidate for freezing! Since cheesecake is a bit time intensive to make, it is sometimes nice to make it ahead of time and freeze it.

I recommend freezing this cheesecake without the ganache on top and adding the ganache before serving.

Baileys cheesecake in a water bath, ready to be baked

Once the cheesecake has chilled thoroughly in the refrigerator, place it on a cardboard round and wrap it in plastic wrap, then in foil. If you have a large zip-top freezer bag, you could even store it inside that for an extra layer of protection.

The idea is to have at least 2 layers of protection around the cheesecake to keep it from getting freezer burn. 

Plated slice of Baileys cheesecake topped with ganache facing the camera

Let the Baileys Cheesecake thaw in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for a couple of hours before topping with the ganache and serving.

Let’s all make this Baileys Irish Cream Cheesecake and toast sweet couples who are married for decades, with the sweetest of weekly traditions. What a way to live, right?

Slice of Baileys cheesecake topped with Baileys-spiked ganache on a gray plate
Plated slice of Baileys cheesecake topped with ganache facing the camera

Baileys Cheesecake

Yield: 8-10 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Chill Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 9 hours 20 minutes

Baileys Cheesecake has a delicious chocolate cookie crust topped with Irish cream-spiked cheesecake filling and ganache layers.

Ingredients

For the Crust:

  • 24 whole Oreo cookies, crushed into crumbs
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Cheesecake:

  • 32 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs; room temperature
  • 1/3 cup Baileys Irish Cream

For the Ganache:

  • 6 ounces quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Tightly wrap a 9-inch springform pan in heavy duty foil. This step prevents leaks when using a water bath. I also take the extra step by placing the foil wrapped spring form pan inside an oven bag while baking, but this is optional.
  2. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into the bottom of your pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes and cool completely on a wire rack.
  4. Begin to boil a pot or kettle of water for the water bath.
  5. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with your paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and mix until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add Baileys Irish Cream and mix until smooth.
  6. Pour batter into prepared crust. Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan.
  7. Bake 55-60 minutes, the edges will appear to be set, but the center will still have some jiggle to it. At this point, turn off the oven, but leave the door cracked and allow the cheesecake to rest in the cooling oven for one hour.
  8. After one hour has passed, carefully remove the cheesecake from the water bath and place on a cooling rack to cool completely. Once the cake is completely cooled, place it into the refrigerator for at least 8 hours.
  9. Before serving, prepare the ganache.

For the Ganache

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the heavy cream until very hot, but not boiling.
  2. Place chocolate chips in a heat safe bowl.
  3. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and allow it to sit for about 5 minutes.
  4. Whisk the cream and chocolate until smooth and thoroughly combined.
  5. Stir in Baileys Irish Cream until incorporated allow the ganache to sit for an additional 5 minutes.
  6. Pour ganache over chilled cheesecake and spread into an even layer before cutting, or or spoon over each individual slice.

Notes

The ganache will firm up when the cheesecake is refrigerated.

Nutrition Information
Yield 10 Serving Size 1 slice
Amount Per Serving Calories 769Total Fat 54gSaturated Fat 30gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 16gCholesterol 195mgSodium 428mgCarbohydrates 61gFiber 2gSugar 49gProtein 10g

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Steve

Sunday 28th of March 2021

I make cheesecakes often without cracking occurring and would like to comment on placing your cheesecake in a water-bath. My logic is that commercial bakeries are not placing all their cheesecakes in a water-bath. So what is the solution? Simple, bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes then lower the temperature to 225 degrees and bake for 1-hour and no cracks will occur. In my opinion, the water-bath is a complete waste of time.

Sean

Friday 26th of March 2021

CN you freeze this?

Jamie

Tuesday 30th of March 2021

Sure, but I would freeze without the topping. :)

Shawn Lidstrom

Thursday 18th of March 2021

This sounds so good. Would love to make it but is it safe for someone who is not supposed to have alcohol?

Jamie

Monday 22nd of March 2021

Hi Shawn- Most (not all) of it will cook off in the baking process. Hope this helps. -Jamie

Amy Wittel

Sunday 22nd of November 2020

Can I skip the water bath step ? Thank you ! 

Jamie

Tuesday 24th of November 2020

You can, but the cheesecake might crack and the texture may vary slightly.

Diane

Thursday 30th of July 2020

If you make the cheesecake in a store bought pie shell(graham cracker). Do I still cook it for the time mentioned or decrease it?

Jamie

Sunday 9th of August 2020

Hello! Yes, you would just skip blind-baking the crust and then bake the cheesecake for the listed amount of time. Hope this helps! Jamie

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