Baileys Chocolate Poke Cake

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This Baileys Chocolate Poke Cake uses my best chocolate cake recipe as a base and is topped with  Baileys whipped cream! The chocolate cake is soaked in even more chocolate and Baileys Irish Cream. You won’t be able to stop eating this one!

Baileys Chocolate Poke Cake - FULL of Baileys flavor! serving of cake with bite taken

Baileys Chocolate Poke Cake

This is a cake that I will definitely need to make again. As with everything else you are seeing pop up on the blog since the twins were born, this recipe was created while I was pregnant. While I did take a little taste (naturally, I have to know just how good it is), because of the alcohol I wasn’t able to indulge as I would’ve liked. And believe me, I really wanted to indulge!

Not only is this cake full of chocolate, it’s full of one of my other favorite things – Baileys! You may have noticed that I’ve shared quite a few Baileys desserts over the years like this Baileys chocolate mousse cake, caramel Baileys pound cake, Baileys chocolate cupcakes, Baileys fudge brownies, cake and mini Baileys chocolate cheesecakes. It’s a love affair, I must say. So to not be able to eat even one full piece was a bummer because it’s SO SO good! Not only is there Baileys baked into the cake, it’s also soaked with more Baileys and then topped with it. Go big or go home, right? 😉

Baileys Chocolate Poke Cake in pan with serving removedclose up of Baileys Chocolate Poke Cake serving

How to Make Chocolate Poke Cake

So to make this cake, you start with a chocolate cake from scratch. I used my very favorite chocolate cake, modified to include Baileys. If you’ve ever had that chocolate cake, you know how amazing and moist it is. If you haven’t made it, don’t be alarmed by the thin batter and lower baking temperature. It’s all normal and makes one amazing cake.

Once the cake is baked, it’s poked with holes (hence a “poke” cake) and covered with a mixture of melted chocolate, Baileys and sweetened condensed milk. Are you drooling yet?!

The mixture should soak into the holes of the cake, but be sure that the cake is still warm and that the Baileys and chocolate mixture is still warm. The mixture will thicken as it cools, making it harder to soak into the holes. I also would recommend Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk in this cake. I’ve tried a few others and some are thicker than others. Eagle Brand is thinner, which is ideal for soaking into the cake. If you use another brand or have trouble, just add some additional milk (or Baileys) to thin it out a bit. You may still have a thin layer of the mixture on top of the cake, but that’s fine.

The final step is the delicious Baileys chocolate whipped cream. With such a rich cake, the light whipped cream topping is the perfect way to finish it off! The whole combination is pure heaven and a cake I’ll definitely be making again and again – when I can drink alcohol again. 🙂

Baileys Chocolate Poke Cake recipe

Read transcript

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close up image of Baileys Chocolate Poke Cake

Baileys Chocolate Poke Cake

  • Author: Life, Love and Sugar
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 12-15 Slices 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


This Baileys Chocolate Poke Cake uses my best chocolate cake recipe as a base and is topped with  Baileys whipped cream! The chocolate cake is soaked in even more chocolate and Baileys Irish Cream. You won’t be able to stop eating this one!




  • 2 cups (260g) all purpose flour
  • 2 cups (414g) sugar
  • 3/4 cup (85g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) milk
  • 1 cup (240ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (240ml) Baileys Irish Cream, divided
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) boiling water
  • 1 cup (240ml) sweetened condensed milk
  • 3/4 cup (127g) semi sweet chocolate chips


  • 2 cups (480) heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 3/4 cup (86g) powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup (29g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp (30ml) Baileys Irish Cream, optional
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Chocolate sauce


1. Prepare a 9×13 inch cake pan by greasing the sides. Preheat oven to 300°F (148°C).
2. Add all dry ingredients to a large bowl and combine.
3. Add eggs, milk, vegetable oil, 1/2 cup of Irish cream and vanilla to the dry ingredients and mix well.
4. Slowly pour the water into the batter, mixing well and being careful of splashing.
5. Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
6. Remove the cake from the oven and poke holes all over. I use a knife sharpening rod, but you could also use a straw.
7. While the cake is still warm, add the chocolate chips to a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
8. Add the sweetened condensed milk and remaining 1/2 cup of Irish cream to a microwave safe measuring cup. Heat heat the milk and cream until they begin to boil, then pour over the chocolate chips.
9. Whisk the chocolate until smooth, then immediately pour over the cake, spreading it into the holes. Don’t let the mixture sit before pouring it over the cake or it’ll start to thicken and not soak in the holes as well.
10. Set the cake in the fridge to cool and soak.
11. When the cake has cooled, add the ingredients for the whipped cream topping to a large mixer bowl. Whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
12. Spread the whipped cream evenly over the cake. Top the cake with mini chocolate chips and a drizzle of chocolate sauce, if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Keywords: baileys poke cake, chocolate poke cake, easy poke cake recipe, homemade chocolate cake, best chocolate cake



Baileys Chocolate Poke Cake - FULL of Baileys flavor!

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Recipe rating

  1. tibbs

    I totally understood the Bailey’s ingredient amount, One cup devided, half cup each used at two different steps in the recipe procedures. Extremely easy to understand.

  2. Elena

    Step 4… Is that the Bailey’s we’re adding? It says water, but there is no water on the ingredients list.

    Also to the sugar shy above – many artificial sweeteners have a 1:1 ratio when substituting for sugar.

    1. Lindsay

      It does – you’re in luck! There’s a teal button labeled “print” in the pink recipe card. Just hit that button and it brings up the printable version of the recipe.

    1. Adena R fisher

      I made this October 29th and we ate the last two pieces tonight 11/10 so that was 2 weeks in the fridge and just as moist and delicious as day 1

  3. Jacob

    What an incredibly delicious sounding cake!

    Now, if only I didn’t have to rely on making my cakes with a cake mix, this would be a ‘go’. I don’t suppose there’d be a way to modify your tantlizing recipe for those of us less….um…..’baking enabled’? lol

    1. Lindsay

      I haven’t tried making a box mix with Baileys, but you certainly could try it. Or you could just bake the chocolate cake and use the rest of the recipe – there’s quite a bit of Baileys and it should still have good flavor.

      1. Lori

        Made this both ways followed the recipe and next time used a boxed mix just put in a half cup of baileys for half the water called for on the box…it’s much better from scratch but the mix was petty good too! Everyone loved this cake it’s a keeper! Thank you Lindsay for the great recipe!

      2. Lynn Lueck

        I made it with a box cake mix substituting 1/2 c. Bailey’s for 1/2 c. water. I used cool whip mixed with chocolate instant pudding folded in for the frosting. (Use only 1 c. milk + 2 TVs. Bailey’s in the pudding) I made it ahead of time, froze it and it was wonderful! Super easy and lots of requests for the recipe! Thank you!

    2. K Black

      You can do a chocolate cake mix with a can of Guinness    Bake as usual.    Cool. And then Pour baileys onto the cake.  Chill and make topping as recipe calls. 

    3. Lynn

      If you use a box mix remember to use the Baileys as half of the liquid in the cake mix or the cake won’t set and will be runny. So if the box calls for 1 cup of water then use 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of the Baileys to equal 1 cup.

      1. Kristi Martin

        Actually, if you really want yummy cake, don’t use water at all. Replace water  with milk. 

    4. Christy Chittick

      I’ve dont this with a box cake. I use 3/4 cup hot coffee and 1/2 c baileys. I omit the water and it turns out great.

    5. Jane Benson

      I just made this today using a devil’s food cake mix. It called for one cup of water. I used the 1/2 cup of Bailey’s and a slight bit more than 1/2 cup water. I followed directions for the rest. It was AMAZING.

    6. Lori Allen

      You can use a dark chocolate or chocolate fudge cake mix. Use Bailey’s instead of water, use your oil and eggs as directed. Then poke cake after it is baked and finish as directed. Might not be as dense and moust, but I have made other poke cakes from scratch, so I am sure this would still be wonderful anyways!

      1. Tracy

        Very easily done too.  1 cup cream, 14 oz  sweetened condensed milk, 3 tsp chocolate syrup, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp instant coffee (no Irish Whiskey).

         Considering the effort that went into making this cake from scratch, I would be reluctant to introduce a processed coffee creamer into the mix. Much better to make your own Irish cream .

    1. Denise

      I used the Baileys Irish cream coffee creamer, it’s non alcoholic and it has the same taste. Obviously makes it kid friendly and more of a family dessert.

      1. Brad Kent

        I’ve made this recipe as written except that I used KerryGold Irish cream (because that’s what I had)once before and again just now with Bailey’s. It is delicious and a hit with everyone. It is becoming a holiday tradition apparently. Last year I made it for Christmas and family members were asking me about it before Thanksgiving so I have made it for Thanksgiving dinner. I always taste throughout and I have to say that even though I normally prefer the taste of KerryGold Irish cream this recipe is better with the Bailey’s. Definitely a keeper.

  4. Maria

    I would like to try this cake BUT I’m not wanting to put in 2 cups of sugar!!!! 
    What do u suggest as an alternative.

    1. Lindsay

      I honestly don’t have a suggestion. You could try reducing it, if you like. I’ve not done it though, so I can’t say what the result would be.

      1. Vic

        I used about 2/3 the amount of sugar, in both the cake and the topping, and it was a hit! I usually do it with most cakes, and it seldom fails.
        (fructose is not a good idea – it’s worse than normal sugar.)

      2. Penny

        To decrease the cals, fats, carbs, here are some suggestions:
        1. Use Splenda blend for baking (instead of sugar),.
        2. Use 2% milk, not whole milk.
        3. Use unsweetened or Fat-Free condensed milk.
        Hope this helps!

      3. Shari Sieg

        OMG seriously??? If this doesn’t have the ingredients you are happy with then please move on to the next recipe!! I came to this recipe because I love Bailey’s and most recipes (desserts) it is included in. Don’t do alcohol? Move on. Too much sugar? Move on. I cannot wait to make this!! This is the only time I have EVER replied to a recipe. THANK YOU for something that sounds perfect!

      4. Lindsay

        It goes in the cake in step four. The water adds moisture to the cake and the heat helps the cocoa bloom for a more intense chocolate flavor.

    2. Fran

      You might try half Splenda and half sugar. Or all Splenda, it measures the same. I’ve made cheese cakes with it and they turn out great. 

      1. Wendy Pilkington

        Not a good idea to use Splenda in baking, take it from my past experiences ! What can I use in place of the Bailey’s ?

      2. Lindsay

        There are lots of suggestions for replacements throughout the comments, including making your own Irish cream and coffee creamer.

      3. Penny

        For baking purposes, use the Splenda blend. (!/2 Splenda and 1/2 sugar), as the sugar is needed to make the item rise.
        For non-baked items, just use the Splenda.
        Hope this helps.

    3. Kimberly Thomas

      You can use applesauce in place of sugar. The ratio can be googled. I’ve done it before and it is okay, but I’d rather use cane sugar and enjoy it as is…just eat a smaller piece. I rated it five stars because it looks scrumptious and I can’t wait to make it for my nephews birthday!

    1. Lindsay

      I can see where it’d be confusing. I’ve written it a little differently to make it more clear. The recipes uses a full cup – 1/2 in the cake and 1/2 in the mixture poured over the cake after being baked.

About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12