Baileys Hot Chocolate Recipe


If you’re searching for the perfect cold-weather drink, you’ve come to the right place. This boozy Baileys hot chocolate has just enough kick to warm up your winter nights in no time. It’s creamy, rich, and has inviting hints of sweet caramel. 

This recipe will satisfy your sweet tooth without being overbearingly sugary. We’ve kept the recipe pretty classic here because it’s just that good, but feel free to add more brown sugar if that’s your jam. You can also add ¼ cup of chocolate chips if you want it to be extra chocolatey and sweet. 

In a pinch for time? A pack of hot chocolate mix will do just fine here. Prepare the hot chocolate per your mix’s instructions (use milk, not water) and simply stir in the Baileys. Topping it off with some whipped cream or cinnamon will make it look like you put in just as much effort. Presentation is key!

baileys hot chocolate

How to Make Baileys Hot Chocolate at Home 

Luckily this drink only takes a few minutes to prepare. As soon as it’s warm and mixed, it’s pretty much done. The best part about it (besides drinking it, of course) is that you probably already have most of the ingredients.

In short, you’re going to whisk together the ingredients, add the Baileys, and serve. Keep your heat on medium, but don’t let it boil. Boiling the milk will thicken it up or even cause it to curdle; then, you’ll have to start over!


  • Whole fat milk – Any milk will do, but whole fat milk brings the most flavor. 
  • Cocoa powder – We’re using unsweetened cocoa powder here because the Baileys and brown sugar are sweet enough by themselves. I’m a fan of Ghirardelli because it’s super chocolatey, but this drink is fantastic with any type of cocoa powder.
  • Baileys – Baileys is an Irish liqueur consisting of cream, Irish whiskey, and cocoa. It’s thick, creamy, and pretty sweet. They also make unique flavors like salted caramel and espresso cream that would taste great in your hot chocolate. 
  • Brown Sugar – Brown sugar adds a caramel-like flavor to things. You could substitute with white sugar or even maple syrup, though. 
  • Whipped Cream – Whipped cream is optional, but it makes for a more pleasing presentation and is absolutely delicious when the flavors combine with each sip. Plop a dollop on top or spritz some from a can. Either work!

You won’t need a shaker or strainer for this cocktail. We’re keeping it simple with basic kitchen supplies that most people own. Whether you’re a certified mixologist or a newbie to the bar, you’ll be able to make this velvety cocoa in no time. 

What You’ll Need

  • A saucepan
  • A whisk
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Mugs for serving

Baileys Hot Chocolate Recipe

5 from 2 votes
Recipe by Laura Ritterman Course: DrinksCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time





Learn how to make a positively delicious Baileys hot chocolate here! This drink will warm up any cold winter night.


  • 2 cups 2 whole fat milk

  • 3 tablespoons 3 cocoa powder

  • 2 ounces 2 Baileys

  • 3 tablespoons 3 brown sugar

  • Whipped cream


  • Pour milk, cocoa powder, and brown sugar into a saucepan over medium heat, whisking regularly. Don’t let the mixture boil.
  • Once thoroughly mixed and heated, stir in the Baileys and remove from heat.
  • Immediately ladle into mugs for serving and top with whipped cream.

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Tips & Tricks 

  • Whether you want to impress guests or treat yourself to something special, adding a bit of style can go a long way. Top your finished product with cocoa powder, cinnamon, marshmallows, sprinkles, crumbled peppermint, or chocolate shavings!
  • Use a shot glass instead if you don’t have a jigger to measure your Baileys. One shot will be roughly one ounce. You can adjust the amount of Baileys in your recipe however you like. 
  • If you’re indoors, you can serve in coffee mugs. If you’ll be outside, keep your hot chocolate warm in a thermos and enjoy!
  • Remember to keep it warm up to the point that you’re serving it. Keep the lid on that pot; this is hot chocolate, remember!
  • Not into dairy? Baileys makes an almond milk version, their Almande flavor. Swap the milk for something plant-based, and viola! If you’re feeling bold, a dash on Amaretto to play up the almond flavor.
  • For my coffee lovers, try adding an espresso shot and some Kahlua for an espresso hot chocolate. Sprinkle crushed coffee beans on top to tie it all together. 
  • Going to a holiday party? Splash some peppermint schnapps in and hook a mini candy cane on each mug. 
  • For family occasions, leave out the Baileys until serving each mug. This way, the kids can enjoy the creamy goodness too! 

See Also: Frozen Hot Chocolate Recipe


Does Baileys expire?

Unlike other alcohols, Baileys can go bad after a while. It contains dairy, which can only stay good for so long. Refrigerate your baileys to extend the shelf life to about 2 years. 

Is Baileys healthy?

Baileys is pretty high in fats and sugars and contains about 130 calories per ounce. It’s composed primarily of Irish cream, which isn’t considered healthy by any means. Hot chocolate is a dessert drink, though, so we’re not shooting for health this time!

Can you make hot chocolate with water?

For this recipe, it’s a no from me. The water will make your base way too thin. You can make regular hot chocolate with water, but the outcome won’t be as rich as if you had used milk. 

Does Baileys contain caffeine?

Not to be confused with Kahlua, another excellent liqueur, Baileys does not contain coffee. However, it’s made with a small amount of cocoa, and so it has a small amount of caffeine. 

Can you make hot chocolate in the microwave?

Yes. Stir together the milk, cocoa powder, and brown sugar in a mug and microwave for about a minute. Stir, check the temperature and heat some more if necessary. Pour in the Baileys afterwards. 

Other Drink Recipes

Starbucks Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Homemade Starbucks Violet Drink

Dunkin Donuts Iced Coffee


Warm up your cold winter nights with our Baileys hot chocolate recipe. It’s easy to make and positively delicious. It’s so good you’ll want to help yourself to more and more, but drink responsibly, friends!

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