If you're looking for a delicious, plant-based twist on the classic Irish Cream liqueur, look no further! This vegan version of Ireland's famous tipple is a tasty treat and ideal for any special occasion or get-together. Combining creamy coconut milk with vegan sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract, and cacao powder gives this Vegan Irish Cream an indulgently smooth texture that even your non-vegan friends will love!
And it's so simple to create at home – mix up all the ingredients in a blender until you have a thick but pourable consistency. So grab the ingredients from your cupboard, get blending, and have glasses ready when you finish; everyone will want a taste of this delicious vegan drink!
I wanted to make a beverage for St. Patrick's Day, and naturally, Irish Cream with whiskey came to mind. I hadn't had an Irish cream since I've gone vegan, so I set out to make my own. Most cream liqueurs are not dairy-free, so be sure to check the label. I've heard there is a vegan almond Baileys, but I haven't tried it.
This indulgent homemade vegan Irish cream recipe combines coconut milk with sweetened condensed coconut milk, Irish whiskey, cocoa powder, coffee extract, and vanilla. It is deliciously creamy with hints of cocoa and vanilla, and you can make it in less than 5 minutes!
You're going to love the taste and creaminess of this Irish Cream, not to mention how easy it is to make! I like mine with extra cocoa, so the color is a tad darker than Baileys Irish Cream.
You'll need a few natural ingredients to make this dairy-free liqueur which are listed below.
- Canned full-fat coconut milk - for creaminess. There will be a coconut taste, naturally! You only need one cup, so save the rest for another use.
- Vegan sweetened condensed milk - no sugar is needed since this is already sweetened. I used approximately half a can of sweetened condensed coconut milk from Nature's Charm (not sponsored).
- Cacao powder - I use organic cacao powder. I like Irish cream to be a little chocolatey, like an Irish Mocha Cream. Adjust the amount to your preferences; maybe you want just a touch of cocoa.
- Coffee extract - I happen to have some in the pantry for concentrated coffee flavor. If you don't have coffee extract, I have substitutions below.
- Vanilla extract - for flavor.
- Irish whiskey - I used Jameson Irish whiskey which is vegan-friendly. The main ingredients are unmalted and malted barley, maize, and Irish water from the Dungourney River local to the distillery.
- can opener
- fine metal sieve - to remove the coconut milk solids from the canned coconut milk and the sweetened condensed coconut milk. If you skip this step, your Irish cream might be much thicker and almost solid the next day, like pudding.
How to make Vegan Irish Cream
This dairy-free Irish cream is deliciously creamy with hints of cocoa and vanilla, and you can make it in the blender in less than 5 minutes. How easy is that?
Here are the simple steps to make it:
Place the coconut milk, sweetened condensed coconut milk, cocoa powder, coffee extract, and vanilla extract in a blender.
Mix at low to medium speed for 30 to 60 seconds. Add the whiskey and mix at low to medium speed for another 30 to 60 seconds.
Depending on how many solids are in your coconut milk and sweetened condensed coconut milk, it may take just a few moments longer. Don't worry, all is not lost if it curdles.
This homemade vegan Baileys recipe makes approximately 2 cups. If you are entertaining or plan to give this homemade festive vegan liqueur away as gifts, you can double the recipe.
Whether the mixture curdles or not, I recommend using a fine sieve to collect any coconut milk solids. I've tried it with and without, and I prefer the filtered version.
If you skip this step, your vegan Irish cream will be much thicker and almost solid the next day. Using a sieve will make your Irish cream smoother. It will be creamy without being overly creamy.
Otherwise, your homemade vegan Baileys will be much thicker the next day, like pudding. If this happens, you can dilute it with water, coffee, or almond milk which is thinner. Mix it up well and strain it with a sieve to remove any coconut solids.
Here are some substitutions you can try. The possibilities are endless!
- Full-fat canned coconut milk: Use homemade cashew milk which is neutral yet richer than other types of plant-based milk. Light coconut milk would work but it will be less creamy; it wasn't creamy enough for me. You can use coconut cream; dilute it with coffee or water.
- Coffee extract: Instead, you can use espresso powder or instant coffee mixed with a small amount of hot water or espresso; place it in the fridge to cool it down before adding it to the rest of the ingredients. You can also use cooled-down strong coffee. Not a fan? Omit it or add one of the liquors below instead. If you don't have coffee and cacao powder handy, try adding a coffee liqueur or homemade coffee liqueur.
- Vanilla extract: Instead, try orange extract or almond extract, or almond essence.
You can customize this vegan Baileys recipe according to your preferences. Here are a few suggestions:
- Chocolate: Maybe you don't want as much chocolate - put in less cocoa powder or leave it out.
- Other liquor: I like the soul-soothing warmth of Irish whiskey in this alcoholic drink. However, you can add another liquor such as Drambuie, bourbon, rum, Grand Marnier, or raspberry liqueur.
- Stronger: Add more whiskey. Start with a tablespoon of whiskey and adjust from there.
- Sweeter - I find this recipe sweet enough, but if you want more sweetness, add maple syrup, date syrup, or agave syrup to taste.
- Mocktail - leave out the whiskey for an alcohol-free Irish cream.
How to serve
- Refrigerate and shake well before serving.
- Enjoy this Irish cream right out of the fridge (my favorite) or over ice. You can enjoy it at room temperature if you prefer, but I think this delicious drink tastes better cold.
- You can pour it over vegan ice cream along with strong coffee for a delicious dessert. Or just add it to a cup of coffee or hot chocolate!
- Add it to baked goods and frosting, such as this recipe for my decadent Vegan Chocolate Fig Cupcakes with Irish Cream Frosting.
- Make it for the holiday season and special occasions, whether it's March or December. It's a lovely after-dinner drink.
This homemade vegan Irish cream keeps in the fridge in an airtight container (preferably glass) for up to four or five days.
Even with whiskey brands that are triple distilled, people with high gluten sensitivity have been known to have a reaction to whiskey. It's easy enough to make your own version of Baileys at home and use a whiskey you know you can tolerate. You can find more information here.
No, traditionally, Irish cream liqueur is not vegan since it is made with dairy (milk from Irish cows). Traditionally, Irish Cream is a blend of Irish whiskey and spirits with Irish dairy milk, chocolate, and vanilla flavors.
If you make this recipe, please take a moment to ★★★★★ star-rate it and leave a comment below. Follow me on Instagram and Facebook, and share your creation with me! Tag me @resplendentkitchen and hashtag #resplendentkitchenrecipes.
Vegan Irish Cream
- can opener
- 1 cup full-fat canned coconut milk
- 6 oz sweetened condensed coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon coffee extract or 1 tablespoon instant coffee or 1 teaspoon instant espresso mixed with small amount of hot water and let cool, or espresso
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 200 ml Irish whiskey
- Place the coconut milk, sweetened condensed coconut milk, cocoa powder, coffee extract, vanilla extract in a blender. Mix at low to medium speed for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Add whiskey. Blend for another 30 seconds at low to medium speed. Strain the mixture with a fine metal strainer, whether it curdles or not.
- Transfer into a container and refrigerate.
Resplendent Kitchen offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site as a courtesy. Although resplendentkitchen.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information from online calculators, these figures are estimates.
Wow, this Irish Cream tasted amazing. I've never tried a vegan condensed milk before and it was such a game changer!
Thank you for your review, Anaiah! I'm so glad to hear that this vegan condensed milk is a game changer!
What a fabulous idea to use condensed coconut milk here! So delicious!
Thank you for your review of this recipe, Daniela! I'm so glad you enjoyed it.
I love Baileys and this vegan version looks so silky smooth and creamy!
Thank you, Beth!
Love the use of coconut milk here! Adds a nice little something extra.
Thanks for the great review, Dana!
This is the perfect vegan version of Irish cream, so creamy and delicious!
Thank you Caitlin! I am so happy that you enjoyed the recipe and found it to be a perfect vegan Irish Cream.
Wow, what a creamy and flavorful vegan recipe for Irish cream. Love that you used coconut milk along with sweetened condensed coconut milk.
I love the vegan version of Irish cream. The coconut milk adds richness to it.
These are incredibly delicious! A must-try recipe.
-Mr Resplendent Kitchen
Thank you, Brian, for the glowing review and kind words!