This creamy chocolate frosting with a sophisticated and complex flavor - thanks to melted chocolate, espresso powder, and Irish whiskey - is truly divine. Irish coffee chocolate frosting is a crowd-pleaser that's perfect for topping cakes and cupcakes on St. Patrick's Day, or any day of the year!
An upgraded and unique spin on classic chocolate buttercream frosting, this recipe creates a perfectly smooth frosting with fantastic, elevated chocolate flavor. Together with the key components of Irish coffee, Irish whiskey and coffee (or in this case, espresso), the flavors meld together to create a distinctive, mouthwatering chocolate flavor.
If you love chocolate and you love coffee, believe me when I tell you that this frosting is truly sublime!
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
Unsalted Butter - Butter is of course a key element of buttercream frosting. I always opt for unsalted so that I can control the amount of salt that's added to the recipe.
Confectioners' Sugar - Confectioners' sugar (or powdered sugar) is another key frosting ingredient that thickens and sweetens the frosting.
Chopped Chocolate - Chopped chocolate is melted and added to the frosting to give it its chocolate flavor. I used semisweet chocolate baking bars, but you can use bittersweet for a slightly darker and less sweet chocolate flavor. I recommend using a chocolate baking bar - and not chocolate chips - since chips contain stabilizers that keep them from melting as smoothly and could cause some lumps in your frosting.
Irish whiskey - Irish whiskey (I used Jameson) replaces milk in this frosting and adds a hint of boozy flavor.
Espresso powder - Espresso powder allows us to add concentrated coffee flavor without adding any additional liquid to the frosting.
See recipe card at the bottom of this post for full ingredient list and measurements.
In addition to essential baking equipment (like a spatula), I recommend some special tools for making this recipe.
- A double boiler (or a saucepan and heat-safe mixing bowl for making a DIY double boiler), for melting the chocolate. Check out this post that explains the best way to melt chocolate in a double boiler, including how to DIY one using kitchen items you already own.
- A stand mixer (or an electric hand mixer and a large mixing bowl), for mixing the frosting.
Step-By-Step Recipe Instructions
Step 1: Melt chocolate in a double boiler and stir until smooth.
Step 2: Beat butter until smooth. Add confectioners' sugar, salt, and espresso powder and beat until well combined.
Step 3: Add melted chocolate and beat until frosting is light and fluffy.
See recipe card at the bottom of this post for detailed recipe instructions.
Frosting can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Let the frosting come to room temperature and briefly re-whip it with a stand mixer or electric hand mixer so that it's soft and fluffy before using.
Cakes or other desserts that have been decorated with frosting can be stored on a covered cake plate or stand at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the fridge for up to 5 days.
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Irish Coffee Chocolate Frosting
- Double boiler (or saucepan and heat-safe mixing bowl)
- Stand mixer or electric hand mixer
- 8 ounces semisweet chocolate baking bar, chopped
- 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 ½ cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon espresso powder
- 3 ounces Irish whiskey
- Melt chocolate in a double boiler and stir until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer using the whisk attachment (or in a large bowl using an electric hand mixer), beat butter until smooth. Add confectioners' sugar, salt, and espresso powder and beat until well combined.
- Add melted chocolate and beat until frosting is light and fluffy.