Irish Coffee Cake

Coffee cake with a slice on a plate, served with coffee.
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5 from 1 review

This tender and buttery Irish Coffee Cake has a moist crumb, rich brown sugar streusel, and Irish cream icing. Hints of espresso powder, vanilla, cinnamon, and almond come together to add just the right balance of flavors, for a delicious cake that any coffee lover will enjoy!

  • Author: alexandra
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes (up to 55 minutes)
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes (up to 20 minutes)
  • Yield: one 9" coffee cake 1x
  • Category: cakes and cupcakes
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: American




  • 1 1/4 cups, spoon and level (150 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup, packed (106 grams) brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons (85 grams) salted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons Irish cream liqueur


  • 2 cups, spoon and level (240 grams) all-purpose flour, plus extra for pan
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons espresso powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (170 grams) salted butter, room temperature, plus extra for pan
  • 3/8 cup, packed (80 grams) brown sugar
  • 3/8 cup (74 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons (42 grams) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) Irish cream liqueur, room temperature

Irish Cream Icing

  • 1 ounce (28 grams) cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons (38 grams) Irish cream liqueur 
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • pinch of salt 
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons (19 grams) confectioners' sugar, sifted



  1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, espresso powder, vanilla powder, cinnamon, and salt. Mix in the melted butter, and then mix in the Irish cream, until everything comes together into a damp, crumbly mixture.


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter a 9” round springform pan (or any similar pan with a removable bottom) and dust the bottom and sides with flour.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, espresso powder, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the wire whip attachment (or using a handheld electric mixer) beat together softened butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until creamy and fluffy. Beat in the two room temperature eggs one at a time until fully incorporated, scraping down the bowl and beater with a rubber spatula as needed. If the mixture looks curdled, just continue to beat until it smooths out again.
  4. Add vanilla and almond extract to the mixer. With mixer on low speed, add ⅓ of the flour mixture, followed by the buttermilk. Once partially combined, add another ⅓ of the flour mixture, followed by the Irish cream.Finally, add the remaining flour mixture and continue to mix just until everything is evenly combined - don’t overmix. Scrape down the bowl and beater with a spatula to ensure all ingredients are incorporated. The batter will be fairly thick.
  5. Transfer half of cake batter to prepared pan, smoothing it out in an even layer with an offset spatula. Spread about half of the streusel mixture over the batter, pressing into large crumbs as you go. Use your palm to gently press the streusel layer into the batter. Then, spread the remaining batter on top of the cake. Finally, top this layer with the remaining streusel.
  6. Bake Irish coffee cake in preheated oven for 45-55 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs. Cool completely on a wire rack before carefully removing cake from pan and adding icing.

Irish Cream Icing

  1. In a small, microwave-safe mixing bowl, microwave cream cheese for about 30 seconds, or just long enough to soften. Whisk in confectioners' sugar and salt. Add Irish cream, vanilla extract, and almond extract and whisk until smooth.
  2. Transfer icing to a pastry bag fitted with a small round piping tip. Pipe icing onto cooled cake.


Ingredients and Substitutions:

  • Regular or gluten-free all-purpose flour can be used. If using gluten-free flour, always make sure it includes a binder (such as xanthan or guar gum) in the ingredients list.
  • Vanilla powder or vanilla bean powder can be used for the streusel.
  • If using unsalted butter, increase the salt in the cake to a full teaspoon.
  • Using a block of cream cheese (rather than a spread) is best for this recipe.


  • Cake is best stored in an airtight container at room temperature, and should stay fresh for up to 5 days. Cover any exposed areas of the inside of the cake with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.

To Make Without Alcohol:

  • Substitute the Irish cream in the streusel and icing with an equivalent amount of Irish cream coffee creamer. For the cake, increase the buttermilk to ⅔ cup.