Bailey’s Caramel Irish Cream Cake – Recipe
He is our IT Specialist, so of course, he goes online to search for an appealing looking cake, and forwards me this link, (where all the credits are also given to the original sources of this recipe).
It sounded somewhat involved, but I love baking challenges, so I went for it. The challenge was to shop for Bailey’s Caramel Irish Cream liquor (I’m not exactly an expert on this), but I did just fine. Now I have practically the whole bottle of the liquor remaining for future baking, or to use it for my “night cap”, as one of my friends suggested. Hmmm…that sounds like a good advise, don’t you agree?
OK, back to the cake. This cake was not as challenging to complete as it sounded, but you have to be very precise with the cooking of the sugar for the butter cream frosting (you need a candy thermometer). Please pay attention to my instructions, as these include my own experience with this process.
This cake requires several steps to complete it, but the final result is totally worth the effort.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt (the original recipe called for 3/4 tsp)
- 11 Tbs unsalted butter, softened (I used 3/4 cup)
- 1 cup granulated sugar (I decreased the original amount by 1/2 cup)
- 2/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder (I used Hershey Unsweetened Cocoa powder)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract (I also added 1 tsp Bailey's Irish Cream)
- 1 1/3 cups warm water
- 1/2 cup of warm water mixed with 1 Tbs. of Bailey's Caramel Irish Cream Liquor to use as a cake punch, to add moisture to the cake before frosting.
- 3 whole eggs, large
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 cups butter (1 1/2 lbs = 6 sticks), at room temperature
- 1/3 tsp salt
- 4 Tbs Bailey's Caramel Irish Cream
- 6 oz of semi-sweet chocolate
- 4 oz of unsweetened chocolate
- 1 cup heavy cream for whipping
- 12 caramel candies, unwrapped (I also cut them up to smaller pieces)
- Preheat oven to 325F.
- Line two 9 inch round cake pans with parchment paper cut out to match the pan's bottom. Grease well bottom and sides. (see TIP below).
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt.
- Mix with a whisk, to incorporate.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy, add sugar, and beat on high speed for 3 minutes
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
- Beat in the vanilla.
- Mixing at low speed, gradually add in the flour mixture, in 3 portions, alternating it with the warm water, in two portions.
- Scrape down the sides, mix for 30 seconds.
- Pour batter into prepared pans.
- Bake cakes for 45 minutes, on the middle oven rack.
- Remove cake from the oven, and cool in pans, rested on a trivet or wire rack, for 20 minutes.
- Remove cake from pans, peel off the parchment paper, set cakes on wire racks to cool completely.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk at high speed, the egg yolks and whole eggs, for 5 minutes, until thick and creamy.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the water and sugar.
- Bring it to boil, and simmer until your candy thermometer reaches 234 -240F. DO NOT go over 240F, because your "liquid" sugar will turn into a sugar "ROCK". I would suggest to stop cooking at 235F. ( I cooked my first batch to 245 F, waiting for the "soft ball stage" mentioned in the original recipe, which never happened, but rather it kept on being a saucepan of foamy mixture, then before I could start adding it into the egg mixture it totally crystallized into a sugar rock, so I had to start all over again)
- Immediately transfer the syrup to a large heatproof liquid measuring cup, and start adding slowly in a thin stream, into the creamy egg mixture, while continuing mixing on a low speed.
- Once all the sugar syrup has been incorporated into the eggs mixture, beat on medium speed for another 7 minutes, or until the mixture has cooled.
- In a separate bowl, mix the butter to a creamy mixture (it is easier this way, so that the butter blend better into the frosting, without leaving small butter lumps).
- Gradually add the soft butter, by couple of tablespoon at a time, into the egg mixture, beating at medium speed after each addition.
- Once all the butter has been added in, beat at medium speed until the frosting thickens slightly, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in the salt, and the Bailey's Caramel Irish Cream, to incorporate evenly.
- Place the chocolate in food processor and pulsate to small chips. Set aside.
- Heat the cream and caramels over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the caramels have melted completely.
- Pour the hot caramel cream over the chopped chocolate, and stir until all the chocolate melts into a smooth paste, forming a creamy ganache . Cover and set aside for now.
- I prepared this cake with 3 layers of filling, as you can see in the above picture, with the ganache in the middle and the Irish cream in the lower and upper layer.
- Cut each cake horizontally in half, into two even rounds, thus a total of 4 cake rounds.
- Place the bottom round on a cake plate (I place two pieces of wax paper, on the cake plate, so they meet in the middle of the plate, and can be pulled out from both sides from under the completed cake, so your cake plate stays nice and clean after frosting. Using a pastry brush, generously brush each cake layer with the prepared cake punch, before adding filling.
- Spread a nice, thick layer of Bailey's Caramel Irish Cream frosting on top of the first cake round.
- Cover with second cake layer. Moisturize with cake punch.
- Spread the ganache over this layer. (I saved 1/4 cup of the chocolate-caramel ganache for decorating the top of my cake If you like you can use only 1/2 of the ganache for this layer, and leave 1/2 for the top, rather than the cream icing).
- Top with another cake layer, and repeat the brushing with the cake punch.
- Spread another layer of the Baily's Caramel Irish Cream filling.
- Top off with the last round of the cake. Place the cut part down, and the nice even cake bottom to the top, for easy frosting. Brush the top with the cake punch.
- Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining Bailey's Caramel Irish Cream frosting (unless you are using the second half of the ganache for the top, then only decorate the top with some white frosting, then frost the sides.
- Decorate per your own imagination. (I drizzled store bought caramel ice cream syrup over the plates before serving).
- Keep the cake refrigerated until about 15 minutes before serving, to gently soften the frosting for easier slicing.
I always grease and four dust my cake pans before pouring in the cake batter, to prevent the cake from sticking to the pan, hence easier cake removal after baking. If you use parchment paper, then you only grease it, and no need to dust it with flour.
To dust your cake pan, grease your pan, sprinkle about 1 Tbs of flour over the bottom of the pan, lift the pan with two hands, and move it around in a way that the flour spreads evenly over the bottom and sides of the whole pan. Gently shake out any remaining flour.