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Baileys Hot Chocolate

Baileys Hot Chocolate is creamy, sweet and super easy to make! These rich, hot chocolate drinks are a fun and tasty way to warm up when the weather is chilly!

Two mugs of Baileys hot chocolate with bottle of baileys irish cream in the background.
A boozy, “grown-ups only” version of hot chocolate.

Why you’ll love this recipe

Baileys Irish Cream is a delicious cream liqueur based on Irish whiskey and cream with flavors of chocolate and vanilla. Easily available in liquor stores and many supermarkets around the world, this liqueur is super popular during the festive season and around St Patrick’s Day. However it’s also delicious and refreshing served neat over ice during summer. It’s a liqueur I like to keep on hand year round!

A decadent way to enjoy Bailey Irish Cream is combined with an excellent hot chocolate. It’s ideal for winter warming, grown-up festive drinks and a luxurious treat on a night in. Plus this recipe is super easy to make!

This recipe for Baileys Hot Chocolate uses real chocolate and a little cocoa powder so that you enjoy the full chocolate taste experience plus a little kick from the booze. Yes, you could use instant hot chocolate powder but it’s never quite as good as the real thing.

I like to follow a simple dessert like vanilla cake with a fruit topping (cherry sauce or blueberry compote) with a decadent after dinner drink. And Baileys Hot Chocolate is my absolute go to!

Actually, you could completely skip dessert and instead curl up on the couch with a mugful of this amazing Baileys Hot Chocolate and a homemade sponge finger or Italian Butter cookie to dip in. Now there’s an idea not to pass up!

For complete ingredient quantities and full instructions, please scroll to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page.

Ingredients

Ingredients required to make the recipe prepared on the kitchen counter.
  • Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur – Easily available at all liquor stores and keeps well for two years from the production date. That means many mugs of Baileys Hot Chocolate plus other recipes like this baileys coffee recipe!
  • Milk – I like to use full cream milk or 2% or whatever I’ve got. But if you prefer non-dairy milk it will work just as well.
  • Dark chocolate – For extra chocolate intensity, use good quality dark chocolate with 70% cocoa. Alternatively 40% cocoa will also give great results. Use either block or chocolate chips.
  • Cocoa – Just a little cocoa powder ensures a full chocolate flavor. My preference is for  dutch processed cocoa but use whatever you have in the pantry.
  • Sugar – Use white or brown sugar as you like. If you prefer less sweet Baileys hot chocolate, reduce the amount of sugar.

Plus optional toppings like:-

  • Marshmallows – Use large, small or mini store bought marshmallows. Toasted marshmallows would also be wonderful! This is the classic hot chocolate topping and would be wonderful even if you just stopped at a topping of marshmallows!
  • Whipped Cream – Use homemade whipped cream or a squirt from a can is perfectly acceptable. Floating a dollop on top of your mug of Baileys hot chocolate is a delicious indulgence!
  • Chocolate Sauce – Any store bought chocolate sauce or chocolate syrup will work. A drizzle over whipped cream and marshmallows is the icing on the cake but this is entirely optional.

Variations

This recipe for is easily adapted to your taste. Here’s a few variations and additions you might like to try.

  • Add a good pinch of cinnamon per mug to warm hot chocolate.
  • Stir through a teaspoon of vanilla extract to this recipe
  • Dissolve a tiny pinch of salt which will bring out all the flavors.
  • Use honey instead of sugar.
  • Add just 1 teaspoon of instant coffee powder for a mocha flavor.
  • Substitute milk for half and half (half milk/half cream) for an extra creamy Baileys hot chocolate – be sure not to simmer or it could curdle.

Instructions

A 3 step photo collage showing how to make this recipe.

Baileys Hot Chocolate is quite simple. Actually there are only three basic steps. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for more complete instructions.

  1. Finely chop the chocolate or use chocolate chips so that the chocolate melts evenly and quickly.
  2. Combine the milk, chopped chocolate, cocoa powder and sugar in a saucepan over low heat until the chocolate has melted and the milk is hot. Stir regularly so that the chocolate doesn’t stick and burn.
  3. Add the Baileys Irish Cream, stir to combine and then turn off the heat. Pour into mugs and add your favorite toppings!

Tips for success and FAQ’s

A top down view of mugs of hot chocolate served with cream and marshmallows.

This recipe for Baileys Hot Chocolate is really quite simple but there are a couple of tips that I can share with you to ensure you have the best results.

  • Chop the chocolate finely or use chocolate chips so that it melts thoroughly. 
  • When warm and the chocolate is melted, whisk gently but thoroughly to completely blend the chocolate and cocoa into the milk. Concentrate on the cocoa as the powder can clump and not blend properly.
  • Before pouring into the mugs, stir well so that the chocolate is evenly distributed. Provide spoons so everyone can stir their hot chocolate and scoop the toppings to their heart’s content!
Should you refrigerate Irish Cream after it is opened?

Actually, no. Even though it contains dairy products, it has a shelf life of 2 years from the date it was made. The manufacturer guarantees the taste for this length of time regardless of whether the bottle is opened or unopened, refrigerated or not. I like to keep mine in the fridge because Baileys Irish Cream is best served chilled – unless you’re having it in hot chocolate, of course!

Can this recipe be doubled or tripled?

Absolutely! You can even quadruple it or more. If you are making large quantities for a party, it’s a good idea to use a slow cooker then it will gently keep warm and guests can help themselves. To do this, proceed as per the recipe using the “high” setting on the slow cooker. Once the chocolate is melted and all the ingredients are blended, turn the setting down to “low” and add the Baileys Irish Cream. Provide a ladle, mugs and toppings so that guests can help themselves.

Can this be made in advance?

If you want to make this in advance, simply measure and place all the ingredients for the Baileys Hot Chocolate into a saucepan.

Serving suggestions

A clear glass mug filled with hot chocolate topped with marshmallows and cream. A second mug sits behind the first.

There’s not a lot that beats a delicious slice of cake with a mugful of Baileys Hot Chocolate. Double up on the chocolate with either a slice of Chocolate Cake with Caramel or flourless Torta Caprese. But if it’s something lighter that you’re after then Italian Cannoli Cake or a one of these small batch Chocolate Chip Cookies just might do the trick!

More recipes like this

Italian Hot Chocolate – A thick, smooth hot chocolate that’s luscious and rich.

Chocolate Covered Pecans – The perfect, crunchy chocolate snack.

two mugs of hot chocolate with bottle of baileys irish cream in the background.

Baileys Hot Chocolate Recipe

This recipe uses real chocolate and a little cocoa powder for a well rounded chocolate flavor plus the delicious kick of Baileys Irish Cream.
5 from 74 votes
Print Pin Review
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings:2 people
Author: Marcellina

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups milk whole, 2% or non dairy
  • cup Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur
  • 2 ½ oz (70 grams) dark chocolate or dark chocolate chips
  • 4 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar adjust to taste
  • toppings such as marshmallows, whipped cream and chocolate sauce optional

Instructions

  • Chop the chocolate finely unless you’re using chocolate chips.
  • Heat the milk, chocolate, cocoa and sugar in a medium saucepan over low heat until hot and the chocolate has melted. Stir occasionally so that the chocolate doesn’t burn.
  • If necessary, whisk gently to dissolve the cocoa and completely blend the ingredients.
  • Add Baileys Irish Cream, stir to combine then turn off the heat.
  • Pour into heated mugs and add toppings as you wish.

Notes

Tips for Success
  • Chop the chocolate finely or use chocolate chips so that it melts thoroughly. 
  • Whisk gently if necessary to completely blend the chocolate and cocoa into the milk. 
  • Stir well before pouring into mugs so that the chocolate is evenly distributed. 
Read the “Tips for Success and FAQ’s” for more information.
Please Note: Nutrition information doesn’t include toppings.
Tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and leave a comment below!

Nutritional Estimate Per Serving

Calories: 509kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 89mg | Potassium: 526mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 48g | Vitamin A: 310IU | Calcium: 235mg | Iron: 5mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. For accurate results, it is recommended that the nutritional information be calculated based on the ingredients and brands you use.

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Recipe Rating




5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Love this! Particularly appreciate the dark chocolate because I feel like often bailey’s hot chocolate is way too sweet!

  2. 5 stars
    The real chocolate flavor is so much better than the powdered mix. This is our new favorite drink to sip on a cool evening!

  3. 5 stars
    Baileys and chocolate are the perfect match. This would be great on St. Patrick’s Day…or any night. Perfect for the holidays.