Guinness & Baileys Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

Brownies are one of the few things I almost never make from scratch. Costco sells 6-packs of Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate Brownie Mix which is what I nearly always use. Super chocolately, even more super easy, and the perfect fudgy texture that I love. Honestly, most homemade brownies are not as consistently good as this mix.

However I have been known to doctor up the mix a bit, swirling in peanut butter or folding in additional mix-ins. Brownies are one of my go-to desserts for potlucks because we always have them on hand and they are always well received; the fact that they only require five minutes of active cooking time is also a huge bonus.

A few weeks ago I decided to try out a cheesecake swirl, blending up the standard cream cheese and sugar combination that is beloved by many. It was, expectedly, a huge hit. Given the upcoming holiday, this gave me the idea to blend in typical St. Patrick’s Day flavors as another option to add to my repertoire.

Admittedly, this makes the recipe a tad more time consuming as reducing the Guinness is not a quick process. Fortunately you can do this ahead of time and just store it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. This makes the day-of process much quicker and allows you to do the reduction while you’re already minding something on the stove. It’s relatively low-maintenance so plopping it on a back burner while you make dinner would work just swell.

Despite having an entire bottle of Guinness, the change is subtle. Rather than smacking you in the face with beer, it simply enhances the chocolate and adds a nice robustness to the flavor profile. If you didn’t know it was in there, it might be challenging to put your finger on the mystery addition. It blends perfectly with the Baileys cream cheese for a supremely decadent but not extravagant dessert experience. And honestly, if you want to skip the Guinness part and just swirl in the Baileys cream cheese to regular ‘ole brownies, I would not judge you one bit. You could also skip the reduction step and just measure out standard beer, but I expect the flavor would be even less pronounced. (I also had the idea that Kahlúa in lieu of Guinness would be an excellent flavor pairing, and this may be my next brownie adventure.)

If you need an easy but delicious St. Paddy’s Day dessert, this could be the recipe for you. And if you’re looking for a crazier and more kapowy Guinness experience, then Irish Car Bomb Sundaes might be right up your alley.

Guinness & Baileys Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

Makes one 8×8 pan


1 bottle Guinness beer

1 box Ghirardelli brownie mix (I use Triple Chocolate)
1/3 cup vegetable oil¹
1 egg

8oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup Baileys liqueur


  1. In a small saucepan, simmer Guinness until reduced to 1/3 cup¹. Pour into a medium bowl and let cool about 10 minutes or until ready to use (this is a great step to do ahead of time while you’re cooking something else on the stove).
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a square pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. Add oil and egg and mix until well combined. Stir in brownie mix until just combined.
  4. Reserve about 1/2 cup of brownie mix, and spread remainder into prepared pan.
  5. In a small bowl and using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until fluffy.
  6. Beat in egg and sugar until well combined, then beat in Baileys until just combined.
  7. Spread evenly atop brownie mix.
  8. With reserved mix, add spoonfuls on to the cream cheese mixture, then use a table knife to swirl in a pattern.
  9. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until brownies are still slightly wiggly but not watery.
  10. Allow to cool in pan for at least 30 minutes, then lift parchment paper to remove and cool completely.
  11. Use a sharp knife to cut into squares, wiping knife between each cut for clean slices.


¹ Or however much water/oil your brownie specific mix calls for.


Chocolate Irish Car Bomb Sundae

Oh yeah, you read that title right. Irish Car Bomb Sundae. Mixing alcohol and ice cream like a pro. If you’ve been reading awhile, you know that alcoholic ice cream isn’t a new thing here (Baileys and chocolate ‎Kahlúa have both made appearances) but this, this takes it to a whole new level. Note: if you don’t want the whole back story, skip the next four paragraphs.

Whilst planning my baking adventures Sunday morning, I realized we were getting quite close to St. Patrick’s Day. And due to this planning fail, I also realized yesterday was my last usual posting day before the holiday. The mint brownies I had planned would work, true, but I wanted something a bit more festive, a bit less overdone. In my head, Guinness is the most quintessential St. Patty’s Day beverage, making the Irish Car Bomb the most quintessential (although not very politically correct) cocktail of the day. Personally I’m not a fan of Guinness, and anything that curdles while you’re drinking just sounds like a terrible idea, but I’d seen ICB-inspired desserts before that sounded awesome, like cake and donuts. That’s when it hit me: ice cream!

Guinness Chocolate Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

Two years ago a delightful coworker and friend made the team Guinness chocolate milkshakes. (At work. Before 11am. It was awesome.) Even as someone who doesn’t care for Guinness, I found them delicious. And so, the chocolate ICB sundae began to take shape. Guinness chocolate ice cream, of course, Baileys whipped cream, of course, but how to work in the whiskey? It was a terrible dilemma to be sure. Coincidentally, an entirely different friend posted recently about making whiskey dulce de leche. Whiskey caramel it is!

Whiskey Caramel Sauce {{Baking Bytes}}

Unfortunately, it was after 11am on Sunday when I had this revelation and so there was not enough time to create this concoction before my usual Monday post schedule. Be that as it may, I made the brownies, walked to the store for Guinness (twice, due to forgetting my ID the first time), and began the journey towards bliss.

Modifying my chocolate ice cream recipe was easy enough, so I got that into the freezer between brownie layers and cleaning and searching for whiskey caramel recipes. Having never actually made caramel before I was a bit nervous, but figured now was as good a time as any to give it a try. After finding a recipe and checking my cupboards for the ingredients (we only had Scottish whisky but…shhh. I’m sorry Colby.), I filed it away to make the next day. Normally I rarely do blog things after work, because I’m tired and hungry and just generally more of a mid-afternoon baker. However, my sheer excitement about this recipe resulted not only in making the remaining layers, but photographing everything and writing this post all in the same evening. Phew. But it’s worth it, oh so worth it.

Chocolate Irish Car Bomb Sundae {{Baking Bytes}}

Smooth and creamy chocolate ice cream accented by the unmistakable flavor of Guinness beer, topped with a relatively light Baileys whipped cream, and drizzled with a caramel brilliantly highlighted with whiskey. None of the flavors are individually overwhelming and they all combine together in sundae perfection. Not a dessert for the fainthearted, a small portion goes a long way. I wouldn’t personally eat the amount shown in my photos, for what it’s worth.

All three recipes are easy-peasy and come together quickly, minus chilling time. Very beginner friendly but fun for an experienced cook as well, and also extremely delicious. Which, let’s face it, that’s really the important aspect here. They are also easy to adjust to taste. Feel free to adjust the cocoa powder or Guinness a bit, and use more or less Baileys in the whipped cream. I can’t vouch for how adjusting the whiskey in the caramel would work, but I expect it would be just fine to add a little more or less. It is not super pronounced, which I felt was perfect. I made only a half batch of the original caramel recipe, so double mine if you want lots of leftovers or you’re feeding a crowd.

Chocolate Irish Car Bomb Sundae {{Baking Bytes}}

Need I say more? Really, the photos speak for themselves. I’m not even sure why you’re still reading instead of out shopping for ingredients.

Chocolate Irish Car Bomb Sundae {{Baking Bytes}}

If you’re looking to impress yourself (or I guess some other people) for a St. Patrick’s Day party this year, look no further. Below, find the recipes for Guinness chocolate ice cream, Baileys whipped cream, whiskey caramel sauce, and instructions for the Irish Car Bomb sundae. Make one, make them all. Anything here is a great addition to any evening, but the trifecta is sure to wow.

And if you’re curious, the mint brownies will be up here next Monday, March 16th.

Guinness Chocolate Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

Guinness Chocolate Ice Cream

Makes about 5 cups


1 cup heavy cream
1 cup Guinness beer
1/2 cup half & half
1 cup sugar
1/4 – 1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla


  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until well combined and smooth.
  2. Place mixture in the fridge until completely chilled (temp should be less than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.)
  3. Chill a glass or other freezer-safe, lidded bowl in the freezer while you churn the ice cream according to your ice cream maker’s directions.
  4. Transfer ice cream to bowl and return to the freezer for at least 4 hours before serving. (Freezer time is not optional with this recipe.)

Baileys Whipped Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

Baileys Whipped Cream

Adapted from The Cupcake Project
Makes about 3 cups


1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp Baileys Irish cream liqueur


  1. Using an electric mixer (whisk attachment for a stand mixer) beat the cream and sugar until very soft peaks form.
  2. Gently stir in the Baileys until just incorporated.
  3. Continue beating the cream until soft-medium peaks form (or whatever consistency you like).
  4. Serve immediately, storing leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge.

Whiskey Caramel Sauce {{Baking Bytes}}

Whiskey Caramel Sauce

Borrowed from Epicurious
Makes about 1/2 cup


1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp water

3 Tbsp Irish whiskey
2 Tbsp heavy cream
1/8 tsp salt


  1. In a small or medium heavy saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.
  2. Boil without stirring until syrup begins to look golden, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Continue to boil, stirring occasionally, until color deepens to a rich caramel color. (It make crystallize somewhat during steps 2-3, that’s normal.)
  4. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients. Mixture will splatter so be careful! If the caramel has hardened, return to heat briefly.
  5. Stir caramel until it is smooth and of even color, allowing to cool for a few minutes before serving. Store any leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge and reheat in the microwave in very small time increments – it is quick to boil over.

Chocolate Irish Car Bomb Sundae {{Baking Bytes}}

Chocolate Irish Car Bomb Sundae


Guinness Chocolate Ice Cream
Baileys Whipped Cream
Whiskey Caramel Sauce


  1. Swirl caramel sauce on the inside of a glass or bowl. (optional)
  2. Scoop in desired amount of ice cream, top with whipped cream, and swirl additional caramel sauce over the whole shebang.
  3. Enjoy immediately and try not to enter a sugar coma.