Although I'd happily drink Baileys all year round, it always comes out at Christmas and I think people do see it as a Christmas drink. I absolutely love baking with it as it has such a yummy creamy flavour. This Baileys Chocolate Traybake Cake (also known as a sheet cake) features an easy chocolate sponge that's infused with Baileys, plus some chocolate chips for extra chocolate flavour! I've smothered it in Baileys buttercream, which is so good I could just eat it with a spoon!! I've used Baileys truffles to decorate the traybake, which are pretty easy to get hold of in the UK. I also added some glitzy sprinkles to give it that festive look!
Ingredient Tips & Equipment Information
- Make sure all your ingredients (particularly the butter and eggs) are at room temperature before you start baking.
- I used a baking spread for the cake and unsalted butter for the buttercream.
- You can use the original Baileys branded irish cream liqueur, or another version like Aldi's for example. You could also use Amarula.
- I used dark chocolate chips in the sponge, but white or milk chocolate chips would also be super yummy!
- I really recommend using light brown soft sugar if you can for the cake, but if you can't get hold of it, caster sugar will work well too.
- The Baileys Truffles are usually available from shops like B&M Bargains, Quality Save or Home Bargain. They always seem to have them around Christmas time!
- Although I provide cup measurements, I highly recommend weighing your ingredients out using digital kitchen scales*. It is the most accurate way to measure ingredients and will ensure the best results. Digital scales are very low cost and can be purchased for around £12 ($16.50) .
- For teaspoon (tsp) and tablespoon (tbsp) measurements, please use measuring spoons* and not the type of spoons you eat with. Again this will ensure accuracy and provide the best results.
For the full recipe with measurements, head to the recipe card at the end of this post.
How to make Baileys Chocolate Traybake Cake
To make the sponge, mix light brown sugar and butter together, then add eggs and Baileys.
Mix in cocoa powder, self raising flour and baking powder. Fold in chocolate chips, then pour the cake batter into a lined tin.
Bake the cake for 30-35 minutes, then leave to cool fully. Make the buttercream using butter, icing sugar and Baileys, mix until smooth then spread over the cake. Decorate with Baileys truffles and sprinkles.
How long does the cake last for and can you freeze it?
The cake will last for 3-4 days in an airtight container in a cool place. You can freeze both the cake and the buttercream (but do not freeze the truffles). To freeze them separately, wrap the cake well in cling film or put it in an airtight container. The buttercream can be frozen in a sealed tub. To freeze the cake decorated, freeze on a plate until frozen solid, then carefully wrap in cling film. Remove the clingfilm when you take the cake out of the freezer to defrost, as if it defrosts with it still on it could damage the buttercream. Or freeze in slices.
Can you make this cake with plain/all purpose flour?
Self raising flour, which is very commonly used in the UK where I am based, already contains a raising agent and a little salt too. Therefore if you want to swap it for plain or all purpose flour, you will need to add some additional baking powder and also a little salt if you like. Some people like to add salt to cake recipes and some don't, so I'll leave that up to you as it won't affect the bake. The general advice is to add 2 teaspoons baking powder (a measuring teaspoon, not the kind you stir your coffee with) per every 200g plain or all purpose flour. So for this recipe you'd need to add an additional 1 + ½ teaspoons baking powder. Please note, I have not tested this recipe using plain or all purpose flour.
What size tin do you need for this cake?
This recipe is best made in a 12" x 9" (36.5cm x 26cm) traybake tin with deep sides (4cm or 1.5"). However, if you'd prefer to make it in a smaller 9" square tin, check the recipe card notes section for details on how to change the measurements and baking time.
How many people does this cake serve?
It completely depends how you slice it up, which is great because it makes this such a versatile cake for parties and gatherings. I love a big chunk of cake so I cut it into 12 slices, but for a party you may prefer to cut it into smaller slices so it feeds more people. You can cut into 16 slices, or even 24 slices. If you are doing smaller slices, cut it up before you add the Baileys truffles on top so you don't have to try and cut through them.
Can this cake be made gluten or dairy free?
Yes! For gluten free you can replace the self raising flour with a gluten free self raising flour blend. If you only have a gluten free plain flour blend, you will need to add additonal baking powder. The general advice is to add 2 tsp baking powder per 200g flour, so for this recipe you'd need to add 1 + ½ teaspoons baking powder. You may also like to add ¼ tsp Xantham Gum for better texture. For a dairy free version, use a dairy free baking spread and dairy free Baileys irish cream for both the cake and buttercream (Baileys Almande is dairy free).
Can this cake be made into cupcakes?
Yes, to make this recipe into cupcakes check out my Baileys Chocolate Cupcakes recipe for details.
Can this recipe be made alcohol free?
Yes, if you want to make these for children, a pregnant person or anyone that doesn't consume alcohol then replace the Baileys in the sponge with milk and the Baileys in the buttercream with double cream. Add 1 tsp vanilla extract to the buttercream as well for extra flavour. They of course won't taste of Baileys, but they will still be delicious, chocolatey and creamy!
More tips for making the Baileys Chocolate Traybake Cake:
- You could try making this with some of the other Baileys flavours, like coffee or orange. Both would be delicious with the chocolate sponge.
- I cut the traybake into squares before adding the truffles so I could make sure each serving got an equal amount of truffle.
- I spread the buttercream onto the cake, but you could pipe it on if you prefer.
If you have any questions about this recipe, or if something went wrong and you need help, please use the comment form below and I will get back to you. You can also get in touch with me on my Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. I'd love to hear from you!
Recommended equipment & ingredients*
- Traybake tin
- Mixing bowls
- Cooling rack
- Kitchen scales
- Electric hand mixer
- Piping bags
- Baileys Irish Cream
- Baileys Truffles
*I earn a small amount of money if you buy the products after clicking on the links. You will not be charged anything extra for this. Thank you for supporting The Baking Explorer!
More Baileys recipes...
Baileys Chocolate Traybake Cake
For the sponge
- 225 g Butter or baking spread
- 225 g Light brown soft sugar
- 4 Eggs large
- 125 ml Baileys
- 165 g Self raising flour
- 60 g Cocoa powder
- ¼ tsp Baking powder
- 100 g Dark chocolate chips
For the buttercream
- 200 g Butter unsalted, softened
- 400 g Icing sugar
- 3-4 tbsp Baileys
- 12 Baileys truffles chopped up
- Sprinkles optional
- Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4, and grease and line a 12" x 9" traybake tin
- Make the sponge by mixing the butter and light brown sugar in a large bowl, ideally using an electric mixer
- Add the eggs and Baileys, and whisk until fully incorporated
- Add the self raising flour, cocoa powder and baking powder and whisk in gently until you can't see any flour anymore
- Fold in the chocolate chips with a spoon or spatula
- Pour the batter into the lined traybake tin and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a thin skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool fully
- To make the buttercream mix the butter and icing sugar together. Once it starts to come together add the Baileys and mix until smooth. Use an electric hand mixer for the best results
- Smooth the buttercream onto the sponge using a palette knife, then add the truffles and sprinkles to decorate
- Cut into squares to serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container in a cool place and eat within 3 days
If you like this, check out more of my Cake recipes!
NB. this post is NOT sponsored by Baileys - I just love their product!
It looks delicious! I am not a huge fan of buttercream but I know I'd love this one with the Bailey's in!
I have just tried this recipe this evening, adapted slightly as mine is round and i had no truffles but really excited to taste it later!!
Bailey's baking is one of my favourite things about this time of year! This looks yummy 🙂
Rebecca - Glutarama
Oh good heavens, just had to pick myself up off the floor. This looks amazing, got to love a traybake and with oodles of Bailey's too....divine!
What a fun festive bake. I love the chopped truffles touch. Great for a coffee morning get together with friends or afternoon treat. It sounds crazily delicious and it looks all fudgy and gorgeous. Thank you so much for sharing with #BakingCrumbs
Oh yes please, it looks soo good. For me Baileys is definitely a Christmas tipple and your chocolate traybake sounds super festive. Baileys buttercream sounds dangerously yummy too! Thank you for sharing with #BakingCrumbs 🙂
Ever since I saw this on Instagram, I've wanted a slice. We always go through a bottle of Bailey's at Christmas, but I might just have to save some of it.
How long do you leave it to cool down before you put buttercream on ,please
Hi Michelle, until it is fully cool and has no warmth to it. Otherwise the buttercream will melt. I hope you enjoy the cake!
After seeing this on Instagram, I just knew it would be the perfect cake for my husband's birthday because Baileys is one of his favourite tipples. It didn't disappoint. The cake is delicious ( I used milk chocolate chips) and the buttercream is to die for. My husband loved it and it tasted even better the next day so the perfect cake to bake the day before you need it!!
Thanks so much Polly!
Fiona O Mahony
I LOVE this cake and have made it several times. Just wanted to check if you have ever made a gluten free version, and if so, what swaps did you make to the ingredients? I’d love to make a version of this for my friend who is coeliac.
Fiona O Mahony
Apologies - I should have read all of your article before asking!! 🙂 I see you’ve already addressed this question- thank you!!
Hi Fiona, I'm glad you found the answer in the article, and I'm also so pleased you've made this cake several times and enjoyed it! I hope your friend enjoys the GF version too 😀
I made this over Christmas- it’s absolutely scrumptious!!! Friends and family all devoured it.
I'm so glad you all enjoyed it Fiona! Thanks so much for letting me know!
Hi. Love the look of this recipe!! How much ingredients would I need to use to bake in a 20cm cake tin?
Hi Becki, I've never done this so I can't say for sure sorry. I'd suggest halving the recipe and going from there.