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Irish Coffee Chocolate Cake

Irish Coffee Chocolate Cake is like a cup of hot, creamy Bailey’s and coffee, but better. Rich and moist chocolate cake sits between layers of a fluffy, Irish coffee mousse filling and whipped cream frosting. Each bite is a sweet indulgence you’ll savor to the fullest!

Chocolate cake layer, mousse layer, cake layer and a thick layer of whip cream

This Irish chocolate cake is like our Intense Chocolate Cake and our Irish Coffee Mousse in one dreamy dessert! It has a deep, chocolatey flavor (with subtle coffee notes).

But the creamy Irish coffee mousse and whipped cream topping combines with the chocolate to create that smooth, Irish coffee taste that’s just irresistible!

Even better, it’s an easy cake to whip up and it works for any occasion.

Why We Love This Recipe

Our Irish coffee chocolate cake recipe is the ultimate sweet treat for chocolate lovers, especially those who like a slightly boozy dessert (if that’s you, check out this chocolate Bailey’s cheesecake, and Guinness chocolate cake as well)

Here’s why this recipe works:

  • It has an intense flavor of chocolate and coffee made extra smooth by the mousse and whipped cream.
  • The fluffy whipped topping is reminiscent of the cream layer on a cup of Irish coffee.
  • The textures pair beautifully together and it is simple to prepare.
  • Our Irish coffee chocolate cake makes a beautiful, special occasion dessert.
Irish coffee chocolate cake covered with stabilized whip cream

About the Ingredients

For this Irish coffee chocolate cake, you have your basic pantry staples plus a few other items that will turn this cake into a memorable treat.

You’ll find the entire ingredient list in the recipe card at the bottom of the page but here are few ingredient notes.

  • Make sure you’re using unsweetened cocoa powder that is not Dutch-processed.
  • Use unflavored gelatin powder to help set the Irish coffee mousse.
  • We use Irish whiskey in the mousse but you can make a non-alcoholic version of this cake, too! (See recipe notes for details).
  • Sour cream adds a delicious, tangy flavor to the whipped cream frosting and keeps it stable.

How to Make Irish Coffee Chocolate Cake

Bake the cakes, make the mousse, assemble and top with whipped cream frosting! The process isn’t complicated and even better, it can be broken down into three main steps:

  1. Make the chocolate cake. Sift together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Mix in the wet ingredients and pour the batter into two cake pans. Bake, let the cakes cool.

A bowl of mousse with whip cream being folded in

  1. Prepare the Irish coffee mousse. Melt the chocolate with the butter. Soften the gelatin in water. Combine the coffee and espresso powder, then add the gelatin and set aside to cool.

    Beat the egg yolks, then beat in the gelatin mixture and Irish whiskey. Add the chocolate and beat well. In a separate bowl, beat the meringue then fold it into the chocolate. Next, beat the cream and fold it into the chocolate and meringue mixture.

Mousse being spread on a cake layer

  1. Assemble and frost the cake. Spread a thick layer of mousse between the two layers of cake and place it in the fridge to set. After the mousse sets, make the whipped frosting and cover the cake.
Irish Coffee Chocolate Cake

Tips for the Best Irish Coffee Chocolate Cake

  • Cool the cake completely before assembling it and spreading the frosting.
  • In 1 packet of gelatin powder, there are 2-1/2 teaspoons of gelatin.
  • To make this Irish Coffee Mousse Cake without alcohol, eliminate the Irish coffee. Instead, increase the coffee to 1/2 cup and add 1 tablespoon of bourbon extract flavoring.
  • When making the whipped cream frosting, make sure the bowl and whisk are chilled well. The cream must be very cold to whip properly and this will give you the best results.

Overhead view of a serving of Irish Coffee Chocolate Cake

Frequently Asked Questions

How does Irish coffee cake taste?

Our Irish coffee chocolate cake is like a slice of Irish coffee in cake form! Each bite is fluffy, chocolatey, and smooth with a subtle coffee flavor and a faint whisper of whiskey. In one word, scrumptious.

What does adding coffee to chocolate cake do?

Coffee and chocolate make a wonderful pair in many chocolate cake recipes. Just a small amount of coffee will enhance the intensity of the chocolate and really make the flavor stand out.

Helpful Tools

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Some Other Recipes We Are Sure You Will Love:

Our easy vanilla cake filling is an all-purpose filling that only calls for a few ingredients. It tastes like the filling in a Costco cake.

The Best Chocolate Cakes Roundup: Our roundup of dozens of chocolate cake recipes is for the most devoted chocolate lover. From a rich and silky flourless chocolate cake to a gluten-free chocolate cake and even a mocha chocolate icebox cake, there truly is a cake recipe for anyone.

Our 6-inch white cake is perfect for a small gathering. The white cake gets topped with a fluffy ermine frosting that is perfectly sweetened.

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A slice of cake on a plate.

Chocolate Irish Coffee Cake

Yield: 12 Servings
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

This Chocolate Irish Coffee Mousse Cake is the ultimate dessert!  The rich, creamy mousse is the perfect contrast to the dark chocolate cake base while the subtle Irish whiskey in the mousse gives it a delicious boost of flavor. 

Ingredients

For the Chocolate Cake:

  • 1 cup (80g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1 cup hot coffee (240 ml)
  • 2 cups sugar (400g)
  • 1 ¾ cup (210g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk (240 ml)
  • ½ cup vegetable oil (120 ml)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

For the Irish Coffee Mousse:

  • 10 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 packet unflavored gelatine powder*
  • 1/4 cup hot coffee
  • 2 tablespoons espresso powdered coffee
  • 5 extra-large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup Irish whiskey (see notes for no alcohol)
  • 3 extra-large egg whites, room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1-1/2 cups well chilled heavy cream

For the Whip Cream Frosting:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

For the Chocolate Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line the bottom of two 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper, grease, and flour the sides. (The parchment paper will make the cake come out much easier than just grease and flour).
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the hot coffee and cocoa together until smooth. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, add the sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using a whisk, blend and sift the ingredients together.
  4. Add the eggs, milk, oil, vanilla, and the cocoa mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds until the dry ingredients are moist. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and beat for another minute. The batter will be thin.
  5. Pour the batter into the two prepared pans and place in the center of the preheated oven. Bake for 33 to 37 minutes (a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes should come out clean).
  6. Let cool in the cake pans for 5 to 10 minutes then run a knife around the edge of the pans to loosen the cake from the pans. Invert the cakes onto a cooling rack and remove the parchment paper.

For the Irish Coffee Mousse:

  1. Add the chocolate and butter to the top of a double boiler which is set over barely simmering water and allow to melt undisturbed.
  2. While the chocolate is melting, sprinkle the gelatin into 1/4 cup of cold water and set aside for 1-2 minutes to bloom.
  3. Pour the hot coffee into a small dish and add the espresso powder, stirring to dissolve.  Add the softened gelatin, stir to combine with the espresso and set aside to cool. 
  4. In a large mixing bowl beat the egg yolks until they are thick and pale. Beat in the cooled espresso mixture and the Irish whiskey, if using.  Add the melted chocolate by spoonfuls, beating until the mixture is combined well.
  5. In another bowl beat the egg whites until they just hold soft peaks. Beat in ¼ cup of the sugar a little at a time and continue to beat the meringue until it holds stiff peaks. Beat in the vanilla.
  6. Stir one-third of the meringue into the chocolate mixture then fold in the remaining meringue.
  7. In a chilled bowl beat the heavy cream until it holds soft peaks, beat in the remaining ¼ cup of sugar, and beat the cream until it holds stiff peaks.
  8. Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture, gently incorporating it completely.

Assemble the Cake:

  1. Place one cake layer on a plate and spread the mousse in a thick layer, add the second cake layer then refrigerate the cake for 6 hours or overnight allowing the mousse to set.  Then proceed with the whip cream frosting.

For the Whipped Cream Frosting:

  1. In a large chilled bowl stir the cream and the confectioners’ sugar together.  Attach a whisk to the mixer and adjust the speed to low. 
  2. Whip on low until the cream begins to thicken and doesn’t spatter.  Increase the speed to medium-high and whip until the cream holds soft peaks. 
  3. Stop the motor and add the sour cream, then begin whipping on low speed while gradually increasing the speed to medium-high.  Whip on medium-high until the cream holds stiff peaks.  

Notes

  • Be sure the cake is completely cool before assembling and frosting.
  • For a very smooth textured mousse, pass the chocolate mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, scraping the outside of the sieve, then proceed with the egg whites and whip cream.
  • There are 2-1/2 teaspoons of gelatin in 1 packet of gelatin powder.
  • If you want to make this Irish Coffee Mouse Cake without alcohol, eliminate the Irish coffee, increase the coffee to 1/2 cup and add 1 tablespoon of bourbon extract flavoring.
  • The cream must be very cold to whip properly, and it is important to chill the bowl and whisk as well.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 840Total Fat: 53gSaturated Fat: 27gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 306mgSodium: 546mgCarbohydrates: 77gFiber: 1gSugar: 61gProtein: 13g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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angiesrecipes

Wednesday 15th of June 2022

That looks simply amazing with thick layers!

John / Kitchen Riffs

Wednesday 15th of June 2022

Wow! This is one luscious looking cake! Neat idea, and a terrific recipe -- thanks.

Pat Nyswonger

Wednesday 15th of June 2022

Thanks, John...It's delicious!

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