Irish Car Bomb Brownies

Irish Car Bomb Brownies

There’s a silly old saying, “The Irish ignore anything they can’t drink or punch.” Well Irish Car Bomb Brownies pack the punch of a favorite Irish-inspired cocktail and are certainly hard to ignore.

I admit, I’m not much of a drinker. My friends would tell you, there’s a particular margarita at a restaurant we go to, where one-quarter of it will put me under the table. They like to tease that I’m the best person to go to dinner with because they order one cocktail and get to drink two!

That’s not to say I don’t like a really boozed-up dessert here and there. Something about a boozy cake or liquor-laden creamy desserts makes my heart leap with excitement.

Irish Car Bomb Brownies

These “Special Brownies” aren’t the old college variety, but they are POWERFUL, laced with not one, but three alcoholic beverages like a traditional Irish Car Bomb cocktail. The brownie base offers a hefty dose of Guinness Stout Beer with a Baileys Irish Cream swirl through the middle. As if that weren’t enough, these babies are topped with a rich Chocolate Irish Whiskey Ganache. They are ultra rich, dense and creamy–almost like fudge.

Irish Car Bomb Brownies are sinful on so many levels.

Irish Car Bomb Brownies

Yet if there was ever a time to have such a treat, I’d say Saint Patrick’s Day is the day. What better to go with your Bangers and Mash than an Irish Car Bomb Brownie? It sure beats a green beer and plastic shamrock necklace.

Work is the curse of the drinking class. ~ Oscar Wilde


Brownie batter normally has very little liquid, leaning on butter and eggs to provide the moisture. Adding Guinness to the batter does change the texture a bit. These brownies have a dense-cake quality, but the Baileys swirl and the ganache transform them into fudge brownie lover’s dream.

To swirl the brownies, pour half the batter into the pan, followed by the baileys mixture, then the remaining batter.  Use a spatula to stir swirls throughout the pan.

Baileys Swirl Brownies


Yield: 12-18 brownies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Irish Car Bomb Brownies


For the Brownies:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted (1 stick)
  • 12 ounces chopped chocolate
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 10 ounces Guinness Beer

For the Bailey Irish Cream Swirl:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup Baileys Irish Cream

For the Whiskey Ganache:

  • 16 ounces chopped chocolate
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2-3 teaspoons Irish Whiskey


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 9X13 inch baking dish with foil, fitting it around the sides. Cream the cream cheese and 1/3 cup sugar together until completely smooth. Add 1 egg and 1/4 cup Baileys Irish Cream and beat until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Mix the flour, cocoa powder and salt in a small bowl. Then melt the butter and 12 ounces of chocolate together in the microwave, in 30 second increments. Stirring each time.
  3. Beat 1 cup of sugar and 4 eggs together until light and fluffy. Then slowly add the melted chocolate to the egg mixture while the mixer is running. Slowly add the flour mixture. Scrape the bowl and mix in the beer.
  4. Pour half of the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Top with the Bailey Cream Cheese mixture, then add the rest of the brownies batter. Use a spatula to swirl the two mixtures together. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until a tooth pick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow the brownies to cool completely in the pan.
  5. Then Pour the heavy cream, Irish Whiskey, and 1 lb. of chopped chocolate in a bowl. Microwave for 1 minutes, the stir until smooth. Microwave another 30 seconds if needed. Pour over the top of the brownies and smooth with a spatula. Place in the fridge for the ganache to set.
  6. Using the foil edges, carefully lift the brownies out of the pan. Cut and serve. (The brownies cut much better while they are cold, but taste better at room temperature.)

More Irish Inspired Recipes:

Hearty Beef and Lentil Stew

Whiskey Walnut Ice Cream

Dubliner Fondue and Guinness Floats

Sweet Irish Soda Bread

Shamrock Shortbread Cookies ~ Namely Marly

Whiskey Cake in a Jar ~ Sprinkle Bakes

Corned Beef ~ Good Life Eats

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86 Responses to “Irish Car Bomb Brownies”

  1. #
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — March 5, 2012 @ 6:05 am

    What a fabulous idea! This sounds like an amazing treat, I can’t wait to try!

  2. #
    Katarina — March 5, 2012 @ 6:39 am

    Looks so yummy!

  3. #
    Susan in the Boonies — March 5, 2012 @ 6:51 am

    They look good to me!

  4. #
    Jessica @ portuguese girl cooks — March 5, 2012 @ 7:29 am

    These look SO good!

  5. #
    Michelle — March 5, 2012 @ 7:45 am

    These look UNREAL.

  6. #
    Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. — March 5, 2012 @ 7:59 am

    These are so fabulous! Just pinned them

  7. #
    Sandi — March 5, 2012 @ 8:07 am

    The name of these brownies alone is enough to try them.
    And love, love Oscar Wilde’s work and sense of humor :)

  8. #
    Erin — March 5, 2012 @ 8:17 am

    Ooo yum. I’ve made Irish car bomb brownies before but you took them up a notch by adding a ganache with whiskey in it too!

  9. #
    Gina @ Running to the Kitchen — March 5, 2012 @ 8:27 am

    Wow. That’s pretty much all I have to say about these! They look unreal.

  10. #
    Jessica | Oh Cake — March 5, 2012 @ 8:41 am

    Yeah… so I need a new laptop now… drooled all over this one. :) I’m not much for whiskey (although I imagine it’s pretty light mixed with the ganache) but the Baileys swirl? OMG YES!

  11. #
    Jamie — March 5, 2012 @ 9:26 am

    Wow! Yum!

  12. #
    janetha @ meals & moves — March 5, 2012 @ 9:40 am

    ohmygoodness these look amazing! i love irish car bombs–even better in brownie form.

  13. #
    Cassie — March 5, 2012 @ 10:00 am

    Sinful maybe but sinfully AMAZING! Love this combination and cannot wait to make a pan of these!

  14. #
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — March 5, 2012 @ 10:40 am

    Perfect chocolatey boozy treat for St Patty’s Day!

  15. #
    The Smart Cookie Cook — March 5, 2012 @ 10:40 am

    Whoa, talk about sinful, fudgy goodness! This is the perfect way to celebrate St. Patty’s Day.

  16. #
    RavieNomNoms — March 5, 2012 @ 10:52 am

    Seriously?!? I am in love with these brownies….they look so good!

  17. #
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — March 5, 2012 @ 11:03 am

    What a delicious treat for St. Patrick’s Day – these look so delicious and decadent! Love the boozy kick, too. Thanks for sharing, Sommer!

  18. #
    claire @ the realistic nutritionist — March 5, 2012 @ 11:45 am

    Sommer, I freakin’ LOVE these!!!!

  19. #
    Belinda @zomppa — March 5, 2012 @ 12:11 pm

    Dang these are powerful for sure!! I need a couple squares…

  20. #
    Bonnie K — March 5, 2012 @ 12:52 pm

    Wow! What a treat. Beautiful!

  21. #
    Maria — March 5, 2012 @ 1:21 pm

    These look awesome!

  22. #
    shelly@kayesyrah — March 5, 2012 @ 1:50 pm

    Wow! Just, wow!

  23. #
    Jasper — March 5, 2012 @ 2:23 pm

    This might be just a brownie. But how insensitive can one be?

    The name attached to this is totally uncalled for.

    Think about it people!

    • Sommer — March 5th, 2012 @ 3:03 pm

      Hi Jasper, I apologize that the title is offensive to you.

      I just want to point out the the Irish Car Bomb has been a top-20 cocktail for over 30 years and, if anything, was meant to commemorate, not poke-fun at the Irish.

      The term “Irish” in the Car Bomb Cocktail, focuses on the ingredients only …Seen in other “car bomb” cocktails such as, the Canadian Car Bomb with Molson and Maple Syrup, the Dixie Car Bomb with PBR and Crown, or the Hawaiian Car Bomb with Kahlua and Coffee Stout Beer.

      • Anne — March 8th, 2012 @ 1:27 am

        Sommer, what a gracious response. I myself am Irish & I see no problem with the title. It is clear that it is in reference the the style of cocktail. Can’t wait to try the brownies!

  24. #
    Steve @ HPD — March 5, 2012 @ 2:33 pm

    Eleven days until St Patrick’s!!

  25. #
    Jen at The Three Little Piglets — March 5, 2012 @ 2:34 pm

    Those look positively sinful! LOVE it!

  26. #
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — March 5, 2012 @ 3:10 pm

    Oh man, this is a sinful brownie and it’s perfect! Love the name!!!

  27. #
    Aldy @ Al Dente Gourmet — March 5, 2012 @ 4:34 pm

    WOW! That looks absolutely Scrumptious :) Have a great week ahead!

    Hugs <3

  28. #
    Diane {Created by Diane} — March 5, 2012 @ 4:37 pm

    I’ve never had the drink, but I wouldn’t miss having these!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. #
    Russell at Chasing Delicious — March 5, 2012 @ 5:32 pm

    I’m loving this recipe! These are my kind of brownies!

  30. #
    Tina@flourtrader — March 5, 2012 @ 7:06 pm

    This is one delicious irish indulgence here. I have been sick so not that much into the spirit of things, but after seeing this I am closer to enjoying St Patricks day. However, I think it would be a dis-service to designate these only to be eaten on St Paddy’s day. Very creative, glad I did not miss this one. Have a great evening.

  31. #
    Deanna — March 5, 2012 @ 7:27 pm

    I want to like Irish Car Bombs again but I just can’t. I drank way too many on my 21st and now the smell of Bailey’s makes me gag. : ( I’m optimistic that someday I will like them again.

  32. #
    Kiri W. — March 5, 2012 @ 7:31 pm

    Ooooh, I think I would want to commit every single sin this brownie contains. Deliiicious!

  33. #
    carolinaheartstrings — March 5, 2012 @ 8:13 pm

    That brownie looks fantastic! Cannot wait to try this out.

  34. #
    Julie M. — March 5, 2012 @ 8:39 pm

    Wow Sommer. Just wow. I could seriously dive into that dish and swim around. It just looks that good.

  35. #
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts — March 5, 2012 @ 8:54 pm

    Oh my! I have never had an Irish Car Bomb, but I want these brownies now!!

  36. #
    Jenny (VintageSugarcube) — March 5, 2012 @ 11:13 pm

    The picture had me! Girllll.. You need to do things this year; come to San Diego and write a cook book.

  37. #
    Terra — March 5, 2012 @ 11:29 pm

    OH MY WORD!!! These sound, look, and I am sure taste AMAZING!!!! I love Guinness and Bailey’s, so this is a must to make for me…..oh maybe I could make them for Hubby’s birthday:-) Beautiful! Take care, Terra

  38. #
    Angie@Angie's Recipes — March 6, 2012 @ 12:14 am

    An unique brownie recipe. Love it!

  39. #
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen — March 6, 2012 @ 4:23 am

    Such a fun way to play off a cocktail in an edible form!

  40. #
    spiceblogger — March 6, 2012 @ 7:02 am

    I laughed at the name!
    These look delicious! Wish I had one with my coffee right now!

  41. #
    vianney — March 6, 2012 @ 8:01 am

    they look amazing, seriously drooling at they boozy goodness…

  42. #
    Bakeaholic — March 6, 2012 @ 8:16 am

    My mom’s cooking club is doing an Irish theme this month. I’ll have to suggest these wonderful looking brownies.

  43. #
    Abby — March 6, 2012 @ 8:32 am

    These wouldn’t last long in our house! What a fun recipe. Can’t wait to try them.

  44. #
    Rikki — March 6, 2012 @ 1:47 pm

    These look really yummy!

  45. #
    Amy @ Gastronome Tart — March 6, 2012 @ 2:54 pm

    I absolutely LOVE Bailey’s! LOVE IT! So, yes… this has been pinned and now in my recipe arsenal awaiting to be made for sure.

  46. #
    Jessica @ How Sweet — March 6, 2012 @ 5:54 pm

    I think I’m dreaming.

  47. #
    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — March 6, 2012 @ 7:04 pm

    Um, I think these are the most wonderful and perfect brownies that ever were! I love all the booze! LOL

  48. #
    brighteyedbaker — March 6, 2012 @ 8:22 pm

    For some reason, I don’t often make brownies. But these… look like something words cannot describe. I can only imagine how wonderful they taste! I hope I get an excuse to make them someday :) By the way, I love your Irish jokes!

  49. #
    Lacy @ NYCityEats — March 6, 2012 @ 8:56 pm

    This looks incredible!! I’m not a huge drinker either but I can totally get down with a boozy dessert! The guys at work would absolutely love these! Might have to surprise them with a little St Patty’s treat. Awesome recipe!

  50. #
    Cookin' Canuck — March 7, 2012 @ 1:46 pm

    My alcohol tolerance is not what it used to be. In college – watch out! Now I’m just a cheap date. ;) These brownies sound so decadent – the perfect thing to help celebrate St. Paddy’s Day.

  51. #
    April — March 8, 2012 @ 4:14 am

    These look amazing Sommer and I will definitely be making these for St.Patrick’s Day.
    I will have to change the name though, being over here in England….and just down the road from Manchester who’s city centre was pretty much destroyed by an IRA Bomb not too long ago :)
    I dread to think of the response if I said “hey! try these Irish car bomb brownies!!!” lol

  52. #
    Kristen — March 9, 2012 @ 9:44 am

    OMG, can’t wait to try these! One question…should it be sweetened or unsweetened chopped chocolate? Thanks!

    • Sommer — March 13th, 2012 @ 6:35 am

      Either is fine!

  53. #
    RisaG — March 9, 2012 @ 11:33 pm

    Boy these sound really good. I am the opposite. I used to drink quite a bit. Now I don’t drink that often or that much. I do like a good Bloody Mary, a glass of Beaujolais, a foreign beer or micro-brew, or a Jack Daniels. These sound really good.

  54. #
    Magic of Spice — March 10, 2012 @ 5:05 pm

    These are a sheer delight! Love boozed up desserts :)

  55. #
    David — March 11, 2012 @ 1:32 am

    They look really great but the name is thoroughly offensive. Why celebrate the maiming and killing of people in Ireland (my country)? We had many car bombs during the 1970s and 1980s and the cocktail was named in America in honour of the terrorists responsible. It’s disgusting, and distressing to entire nation.

    • Sommer — March 11th, 2012 @ 6:18 am

      Hi David, I apologize that the title is offensive to you.

      I just want to point out the the Irish Car Bomb has been a top-20 cocktail for over 30 years and, if anything, was meant to commemorate, not poke-fun at the Irish. I guarantee, we (Americans) would not EVER intend to honor any act of terror!

      The term “Irish” in the Car Bomb Cocktail, focuses on the ingredients only …Seen in other “car bomb” cocktails such as, the Canadian Car Bomb with Molson and Maple Syrup, the Dixie Car Bomb with PBR and Crown, or the Hawaiian Car Bomb with Kahlua and Coffee Stout Beer.

  56. #
    Elizabeth @ The Bare Midriff — March 11, 2012 @ 8:59 am

    YUM! I’m hosting a women’s group this week, and I was trying to think of ways to tie in the St. Patrick’s Day theme to the food – thanks for the inspiration!

  57. #
    Terra — March 13, 2012 @ 8:46 pm

    I remember sharing these on my Facebook page, I love love them!!! I am so happy I finally stopped by to tell you how fantastic they are:-) Beautiful, Hugs, Terra

  58. #
    Catherine — March 14, 2012 @ 2:16 pm

    These look delicious! Think chocolate chips would do instead of chopped chocolate?

    • Sara — March 18th, 2012 @ 7:03 am

      I made this yesterday and used semi-sweet chips instead of chopped chocolate – came out fantastic!

      • Kim — March 27th, 2012 @ 11:21 am

        Hi Sara,

        I made these this morning for a potluck today – excited to try them! I have a question – what was the consistency of your brownie batter like? Mine was very thick until I added the Guinness, then it thinned out to more of a cake-like batter. I’m a bit worried about how that will effect the finished product, it just seemed too runny for a brownie batter. I can’t spot anywhere on the recipe that I made an error, so hopefully all turns out. The “swirling” photo on this recipe page definitely looks thicker than mine – we’ll see! :)

  59. #
    Kita — March 19, 2012 @ 7:24 pm

    I was in, but it was the whiskey ganache that sealed the deal. I do fancy myself a drink, but I can’t handle more than one.My very Irish ancestors are probably disappointed ;)

  60. #
    Kim — March 27, 2012 @ 11:16 am

    I made these for a (belated) St. Patty’s Day potluck today. Fingers crossed that they turned out okay! I quadruple checked the recipe and can’t find any error that I made, but my brownie batter turned out more on the thin side, like a cake batter. I noticed in your swirling photo that yours appears much thicker, like a standard brownie batter. Mine was very thick until I added the Guinness. Maybe 10 oz was too much? I thought about adding more flour at that point, but decided to just go with it and hope for the best. I will see in a couple of hours! :)

  61. #
    Vickyb — May 7, 2012 @ 5:19 am

    I really have to say that I agree with the comments saying that the name is insensitive. After all the car bombs that related to the Troubles and the IRA and the situation in Northern Ireland for so long, it is an insensitive name. It may have been invented over 30yrs ago, and it may be relating just to the ingredients used, but it is still insensitive. It would be naive to think that this name doesn’t have the capacity to offend. You may not agree, but you have to acknowledge that a drink or brownie that has the words Irish, Car and Bomb in it, after Irish Car Bombs affected the lives of so many so recently, will upset some people. Me included.

  62. #
    Judy Brownstein — March 14, 2013 @ 6:13 am

    Do I use powdered sugar in the cream cheese or granulated

  63. #
    Shiloh Barkley — March 17, 2013 @ 11:33 am

    Made these today! Can’t wait to try them!

  64. #
    Shiloh Barkley — March 24, 2013 @ 7:44 pm

    Such a great recipe, I had to make it and blog about it! Love your blog!


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