Irish Coffee Brownies with Whiskey Ganache

These Irish coffee brownies are rich, fudgy, and topped with boozy whiskey ganache. They’re one-bowl, simple to throw together, and perfect for chocolate and coffee-lovers alike!

An overhead image of rows of brownies on a dark green background, with a bite taken out of the middle brownie.
A side picture of an Irish coffee brownie with a bite taken out of it on a dark green background surrounded by more brownies.

Wow, Reno really got the best of me this week! I had my sundresses picked out for the next few months, we decided which seeds we’ll plant in our garden this year, and I even started cleaning off my patio furniture. Right before it started surprise snowing. Some real typical March BS, I swear!

In other news, I am in full-blown Irish whiskey mode, because tis the season. Here’s how my whiskey schedule typically goes:

April-February: bourbon.

March: Irish whiskey.

And rye I guess I just forget about? How do I use rye? Someone help me out!

Anyways, I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to put whiskey in brownies, since, along with cardamom, I’ve essentially put it in just about everything else. Lately, I’ve been going through a big Irish coffee phase, partly because what else is there to do (?) but also because I think they’re v underrated! Mimosas and bloody Marys, ok, but what happened to drinking coffee at brunch? I’m a coffee girl through and through, and I need my caffeine, ya feel?

Also, when you brownie-fy Irish coffee omg!! Truly life changing stuff here, I’m telling you. We have chocolate and coffee because it’s a classic combo. Irish whiskey ganache because you must! And the white chocolate drizzle just adds a little glam.

Bundle up and make these brownies at least once this year. Looks like we have a few more weeks of winter. 🤷

An overhead photo of brownie ingredients on a dark green background.

Some ingredients you’ll need

Most of the ingredients you’ll need for these brownies are basics like flour, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract. But, you’ll need a couple of things to really make these Irish coffee brownies stellar:

  • Good cocoa powder – A high-quality cocoa powder makes such a big difference! I like a dark cocoa powder which adds so much flavor to these brownies.
  • Instant coffee – Wow, I really did not want to use this ingredient tbh! I am a self proclaimed coffee snob and instant coffee scares me. But, turns out that instant coffee adds a nice, concentrated coffee flavor to the brownies without messing up the texture. So I guess we’ll make an exception!
  • Dark and white chocolate – We’ll use both for the ganache, although the white chocolate swirl isn’t required if you’re not feeling it.
  • Irish whiskey – This is essentially what makes these coffee brownies “Irish”. And it adds a nice boozy, warming effect to the ganache. I used Jameson.

How to make Irish coffee brownies from scratch

This recipe is based on my one-bowl brownies, so they’re pretty much the easiest ever. They come together in just a few minutes even with the whiskey ganache addition!

Two images; on the left, a white bowl on a dark green table with wet baking ingredients, surrounded by more baking ingredients. On the right, the bowl is filled with chocolate batter and topped with flour.
  • Prep – Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease an 8×8” pan and line it with parchment paper. I like to cut an 8×14” strip of parchment paper so it fits the pan perfectly. (This will help make removing the brownies super easy!)
  • Mix – Whisk together the melted butter, cocoa powder, sugars, vanilla extract, and eggs. Then, stir in the flour, salt, and instant cocoa powder. The batter will be pretty thick!
Two overhead images; on the left, a square white pan with chocolate batter on a green table. On the right, a white bowl with chocolate ganache.
  • Bake – Pour the batter into the pan and spread it as evenly as possible. Bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Ganache – While the brownies are baking, make the ganache. Heat the heavy cream over medium high heat just until it starts to boil. Then pour it over the chocolate and stir. Add the Irish whiskey, vanilla, and salt, and whisk until smooth.
  • Decorate – Pour the Irish whiskey ganache over the coffee brownies and decorate as desired. Let cool until completely set, remove the brownies from the pan, and then cut into 16 squares. Enjoy!

How to swirl the ganache

The white chocolate swirl looks fancy, but it’s actually suuuuper easy to do yourself. Here’s how!

Two images; on the left, a white pan with Irish coffee brownies on a green table. On the right, a closeup image of ganache swirled with white chocolate.
  • Melt – Melt the white chocolate in a microwave for 20-30 seconds at a time, stirring in-between intervals, until just melted. Don’t overheat, or the chocolate will seize.
  • Pipe – Pour the chocolate into a squeeze bottle or piping bag with a small, circular tip. Alternatively, you can pour the chocolate into a zipper plastic bag, and cut a very small end off the tip. Pipe the white chocolate horizontally across the top of the ganache.
  • Drag – Use a toothpick or skewer to drag lines vertically across the ganache. You can add as many lines as you want to get a simple or more intricate design.

Other Decorating ideas & Substitutions

If you don’t want to go through the effort of adding the white chocolate swirl, it’s totally optional! You could also decorate with toasted nuts, sprinkles, or chocolate chips.

If whiskey isn’t your thing, you could always top the coffee brownies with Irish cream cheese frosting. Or, go booze free and leave the whiskey out entirely. They won’t necessarily be “Irish” but nothing’s wrong with regular coffee brownies topped with ganache!

A bird's eye image of a woman with a bird tattoo holding a circular cooling rack topped with brownies on a green counter.

Cutting pretty brownies

We’ve all had bad experiences cutting bars with clean edges. This is a trick I learned in pastry school to cut pretty brownies and bars. This is especially useful with the ganache, because it can get super messy. However, it’s totally not necessary. If you like more of a “rustic” look, that works too!

  • Hot water – Fill a large jar or pitcher with hot water. Dip a chef’s knife into the water for about 5 seconds. Wipe off the water with a clean towel that you don’t mind getting a little chocolatey.
  • Cut – Make your first cut, working slowly to avoid dragging the ganache and any crumbs your knife picks up.
  • Repeat – Do this for every single cut. If you cut the Irish coffee brownies with a dirty knife, the edges will look messy.

Tips & Tricks

  • I found that 1 full Tablespoon of instant coffee powder was perfect for these brownies. However, I have a pretty high tolerance to anything coffee. If you’re a bit sensitive, start with 2 teaspoons, taste the batter, and add another teaspoon if necessary!
  • Let the ganache and brownies cool at room-temperature for an hour or two to keep the ganache shiny. If you put them in the fridge, the cold air will make the tops of the brownies dull but the ganache will be a bit thicker. They will look pretty either way!
  • You can easily double this recipe and bake in a 9×13 pan if you need all the Irish coffee brownies.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes for fudgy brownies. For cakier brownies with crisper edges, bake closer to 30 minutes. However, if you go the fudgy route, just check the brownies with a toothpick to ensure they aren’t undercooked!
A side image of a circular cooling rack topped with Irish coffee brownies on a green table next to an emerald linen and cups of coffee.

More Brownie & Bar recipes you’ll love

Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats with Dark Chocolate & Pretzels
Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars [Vegan, Healthy, + No-Bake!]
Chamomile Lemon Bars
Perfect 15-Minute Brownies

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A closeup overhead photo of Irish coffee brownies on a green table with a bite taken out of the middle brownie.

Irish Coffee Brownies

Rich and fudgy Irish coffee brownies are topped with boozy whiskey ganache for a decadent dessert. The instant coffee adds the perfect amount of coffee flavor!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Irish
Servings 16 brownies

Ingredients
  

Coffee Brownies

  • 1/2 c unsalted butter, melted
  • 6 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 c flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbs instant coffee powder

Irish Whiskey Ganache

  • 1 c dark chocolate chunks
  • 1/2 c heavy cream
  • 2 Tbs Irish whiskey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 c white chocolate chunks, melted

Instructions
 

Coffee Brownies

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8×8” pan and line with parchment paper leaving 1” hanging over the sides of the pan.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, cocoa powder, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract. Whisk in the eggs one at a time until incorporated. Then, stir in the flour, salt, and instant coffee powder until just combined. The batter will be thick.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake 25-30 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes.

Irish Whiskey Ganache & Assembly

  • Place the dark chocolate in a small heat proof bowl. Heat the heavy cream over medium high heat, stirring frequently, just until it starts to boil.
  • Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes. Whisk until smooth, and then add the Irish whiskey, vanilla, and salt. Let sit for 5 minutes and then pour over the baked brownies.
  • Next, pour the melted white chocolate into a piping bag with a small tip. Pipe stripes in a horizontal pattern across the chocolate. Then, use a toothpick to draw lines vertically across the pan to create a marbled look.
  • Let cool until completely set, about 1-2 hours. Use the parchment paper wings to remove the brownies from the pan, and slice into 16 bars. Enjoy!

Notes

I found that 1 full Tablespoon of instant coffee powder was perfect for these brownies. If you’re sensitive to coffee, start with 2 teaspoons, taste the batter, and add another teaspoon if necessary!
Bake the brownies for about 25 minutes for fudgy brownies. For cakier brownies with crisper edges, bake closer to 30 minutes.
If you don’t have a piping bag, you can use a squeeze bottle or a zipper plastic bag with the tip cut off.

Nutrition

Serving: 1brownieCalories: 190kcalCarbohydrates: 22.1gProtein: 2.3gFat: 10.9gSaturated Fat: 6.6gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 49mgPotassium: 63mgFiber: 0.8gSugar: 16.9gCalcium: 19mgIron: 1mg
Keyword bars, chocolate, irish, whiskey
Did you make this recipe?Tag @serendipitybysaralynn on Instagram!

xo Sara Lynn

*Song of the day: Cooking Up Something Good by Mac DeMarco

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