‘Irish Coffee’ Cake and a Great Cause for Children – St. Baldrick’s Foundation

I first published this post a couple of years ago and thinks it’s worth sharing again. Yes, this is now something that hits closer to home but it also hits family’s everywhere and I’ve long had such great respect for what St. Baldrick’s does in the fight against cancer; I did a fundraiser for them then, now I’m asking that everyone give a little (or a lot!).

St Patrick’s Day will be here soon and I’ve got enough Irish in me to start thinking about a celebration. Not a big party but an opportunity to pay homage to a part of my ancestry (My Dad’s parents were German and Swiss; my Mom’s English and Irish). I’ll usually make corned beef for dinner, have an Irish dessert and occasionally meet some friends for a pint of Guinness but the last few years I’ve made an annual effort to spend my time and money in support of a local event and it’s all for a worthy cause.

Fadó Irish Pub & Restaurant in Denver (1735 19th St. downtown) celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with a full week of festivities. In addition to the annual celebration on the day of the Denver Parade and on St. Patrick’s Day, Fadó’s hosts an annual charity event organized by St. Baldrick’s Foundation; this year being held on March 13, 2015.

St. Baldrick’s Foundation is the world’s largest volunteer-driven fundraising event for childhood cancer research. Their mission is to raise awareness and funds to cure kids’ cancer by supporting cancer research and fellowships. Those getting their heads shaved will be enthusiastically cheered on by crowds of friends, family, doctors, nurses, children and others who have been touched by cancer in hopes to further awareness that pediatric cancer, the number one disease killer of children, is terribly under-funded.

So I’m calling on you to get involved. Either shave your head, volunteer, eat or donate, but give hope to infants, children, teens and young adults fighting childhood cancers. Visit St. Baldrick’s website to learn how to be a shavee, support a team or donate in general. If you’re not local and want to help,  find a local event or donate online; kids deserve the very best from us to kick this deadly disease!

I admit, I am not getting my head shaved but I can help to spread the word and you can too. My hope is that everyone will read this article, feel compelled as well and go make a donation! Help give kids a chance to live a cancer free life at the very least.

And so that you can celebrate in style…here’s my recipe for Irish Coffee Cake. To be certain of what you’re getting into, this is not Irish ‘Coffee Cake’ – nope it’s ‘Irish Coffee’ Cake. A cake made with coffee and Irish Whiskey and Irish Whiskey whipped cream on top to mimic an Irish Coffee!

Irish Coffee itself, in its original form, is quite wonderful. But I understand the need to incorporate something so wonderful into desserts of all kinds. One of the most successful of these is Irish Coffee Cake, which first started turning up in Irish cookbooks in the 1960’s and ’70’s.

The cake itself is simple: a delicate one-layer sponge with an intense coffee flavor. But the real kick in this cake comes with the syrup that saturates the cake — more coffee, naturally with whiskey in it — and then topped with whipping cream flavored with…yes, more whiskey! To finish sprinkle with that best-loved of Irish native nuts, the hazelnut. I toasted the hazelnuts and can’t imagine it without…and be forewarned; this cake is amazing.

‘Irish Coffee’ Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A rich cake made with traditional Irish Coffee ingredients including Coffee, Irish Whiskey and Whipped Cream.
Serves: Serves 8-10
For the Cake:
  • ⅔ cup butter - I used Kerrygold Irish Butter of course!
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 teaspoons instant espresso
  • 2 Tbsp hot water
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
For the Coffee Syrup:
  • 2 Tbsp hot water
  • ¾ cup strong coffee (I made mine with instant espresso)
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Irish whiskey
For the Whipped Topping:
  • 4 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Irish whiskey
  • ½ pint heavy cream, whipped
  • 4 Tbsp chopped, toasted hazelnuts for garnish
Prepare the Cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter an 8-inch cake pan, cut a piece of waxed paper or parchment paper to fit the bottom and butter the paper.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar well until light and fluffy: then add the eggs one at a time and continue beating after each until the whole mixture becomes very light.
  3. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt; then at low speed with the mixer, or by hand if you prefer, fold two thirds of the dry mixture into the creamed butter, sugar and eggs.
  4. Dissolve the instant coffee in the water and add it to the batter; then fold in the remaining ⅓ of the flour.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared cake pan, and smooth the top of the batter, leveling it out.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the cake is just starting to pull away from the sides of the cake pan. Carefully turn the pan out onto a rack; remove the paper from the bottom and allow to cool. While it's out, wash the cake pan or springform pan and dry carefully. You'll need it again shortly.
For the syrup:
  1. Heat the strong coffee and sugar together gently until the sugar has dissolved then boil rapidly for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the Irish whiskey.
  2. Return the cooled cake to the pan and pour the syrup over it; leave it to soak for 2-3 hours.
For the topping:
  1. Whip the heavy cream til soft peaks form. Add the sugar and continue beating until peaks are stiff.
  2. Add the Irish whiskey and gently combine.
  3. Turn the cooled cake out onto a serving plate, decorate with the whipped cream and sprinkle with the chopped/toasted hazelnuts. Chill well before serving.


  1. Diane Vandermast says

    This is the first mention of St Baldrick’s that I’ve ever seen online. My son learned about it from a grad school friend whose nephew has a rare cancer and has been in and out of remission. Lots of barbers in NYC donate their time, and my son makes the 1-1/2 trip from southern NJ to get “scalped”, and has lots of sponsors, so that raises a bit. I’ve been wearing my Kelly green bracelet for years, and take every opportunity to let others know about the good work that this cause does. Maybe you could mention St Baldricks every few months or so. I’ll be happy to mail you a soapbox :).

  2. says

    What a wonderful tradition and excellent cause. I admire you!

    Now about this irish coffee cake – It looks wonderful and I’m going to make this in your honor and now I’m off to click on those links!

    • Creative Culinary says

      I love baking with a bit of booze; never enough to taste strong and overpowering but whiskey, sugar and butter are my mira pois. :)

  3. says

    Pinning! Love this recipe!

    I had to shave my head for brain surgery and alas even my husband refused to shave his in solidarity. So you are not alone in that. :) Thanks for bringing attention to a great cause.

  4. says

    What a worthy cause, Barb! I hope they raise tons and tons of money to provide research to stop all types of cancer. I’d love to support this effort though I can’t say I’d shave my head, either.

    Love this ‘Irish Coffee’ Cake. How can you go wrong soaking something in Irish whiskey?
    Lana @ Never Enough Thyme Most Recent Post: Fried Tomatoes with Cream Gravy

  5. says

    I want to thank everyone who participated and helped me realize a goal. This post didn’t just raise money for this wonderful organization but has increased awareness of the job they do to serve our greatest national treasure…our children.

    I know that people felt moved enough to donate, I’ll be donating $115 dollars to St. Baldrick’s Foundation today and I feel blessed that Sharon Miro (@nickelmoon on Twitter) generously offered to match my contribution so I know that my overall goal of $250 was exceeded with all of this support. Thanks to all of you!

  6. says


    Absolutely love this post!!! What a wonderful organization and what a wonderful way to celebrate St. Patrick’s day! It’s because of people like you that so much progress has been made in the fight against childhood cancer.

    This cake sounds divine and just the kind of cake that I love. Have bookmarked the recipe for our “belated” St. Patrick’s day feast – I will be, of course, on the la Crosse field – LOL!!!

  7. says

    Very well written post, Barb. You should get into fundraising. You’d clean up!

    And if I had the patience for baking, I would certainly make this cake. I’m a sucker for coffee cake and lattes.

  8. says

    What a wonderful thing you are doing here Barb. I would have left a comment regardless (your coffee cake looks amazing) but the fact that you’ll donate $1 because I’m doing so is even sweeter than your cake. I really think you should get your head shaved too, but I guess this will have to do :)

  9. says

    That’s such a noble cause and what great day and way to spread the awareness! I’m 100% behind you on this one Barb! U are doing a wonderful job! Will help u spread the word and plz let me know if I can help in some way, ‘cos I’d love to!
    BTW, that cake is as gorgeous as you and your heart :-)

  10. says

    I’ve been thinking a lot about coffee, dessert and booze, and BAM! you answer my thoughts. This is scary in a good good way. Love to you on St Patrick’s Day and love you for support such a great cause.

  11. says

    What a beautiful cake! I have been on a bake and share spree so this will be a great cake to bake and share. Of course even better with this post it supports a good cause!

  12. says

    What a beautiful cake/I will make mine for St. Paddy’s but it won’t be as pretty, but just as delicious. Good luck with this great cause!

  13. Michelle says

    This looks so good. And St. Patrick’s day is just around the corner. What a way to spend the day. And such a good cause too.

  14. says

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day! What a wonderful way to celebrate! And that Irish Coffee Cake looks like the perfect addition to the day. Thanks for sharing such a good cause w/ us.

  15. Tracy says

    I didn’t see this until Ash Wednesday. Drat! But if you’re still counting comments, here’s another. So generous of you.

  16. says

    That cake sounds scrumptious. Definitely think I’m going to have to try making it. And on top of it, what an awesome way to tie it into charity. Nice one Barb!

  17. Lisa says

    Thank you for sharing and donating! It is a truly great cause. It’s all bad, but when kids have to suffer, it is just desvastating. God Bless you.

  18. says

    Cheers to a great looking cake recipe!
    However, I’d like to raise my glass highest to your cause!
    A toast to those children who deserve our very best!

    I’m considering shaving my head.
    If I don’t get up the guts to do it, I’ll definitely be making a donation.

    Thanks for sharing this, Barbara!


  19. says

    I’ve shaved my head- for surgery- and I must confess I’m never going back if I can avoid it. :) But leaving a comment is a no brainer. You are super generous to be doing this- and the photos you shared of the kids are gorgeous.

    Love the cake, love Irish coffee.

  20. says

    Saw your twitter. Was curious. Came to site. Glad I did. Great idea and charity and the cake looks like I will give it a go. (I live near Dublin, GA so I am always looking for St.Pat’s recipes. Hope this helps you get to $250:)

  21. says

    The cake looks wonderful and sounds like it would taste wonderful, too. My family usually meets at my brother’s Irish-themed restaurant on St. Patrick’s Day, where I almost always have the Guinness Irish stew.

    This is a great cause and you’re running a very generous fundraiser.

  22. says

    Anything that involves coffee, I’ll eat. And anything that involves donating to a good cause, I’ll help spread the word.

    Your kindness, generosity, and sweet spirit make me proud to know you and call you a friend. Great work, Barb!

  23. Debbie @TheHipHostess says

    Very generous gesture on your part. Such a kind way to celebrate the spirit of St Patrick’s Day. The Irish Coffee Cake looks dreamy~

  24. says

    I love everything about your cake – if I decide to indulge in sweets, this would be the dessert of choice: coffee, chocolate, and booze:)
    I get to experience the Irish only through about 1/8th of my husband’s ancestry, but we’ll probably do something to mark the day.
    I admire you so much for doing this and I hope that you reach 250 comments, and the foundation reaches their goal:)
    Those kids are precious (our youngest was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when she was 6, and I consider us lucky, even though we have to battle her disease every single day).

  25. says

    What a lovely post and tribute to all those fighting, surviving, lost and contributing!
    And since my name is *Patti* I do believe I know a good St. Patty’s Day post when I read one! :)

    Thank you for contributing to the fight against cancer.

  26. says

    Congratulations on working for such a great cause. I’m happy to comment here to help out. I love your Irish Coffee Cake and you’re right, how could you not use Kerry Gold Irish Butter;-)

  27. Anne says

    I am printing this off now and will try it this weekend! Great cause, thanks for bringing attention to it!

  28. says

    Sounds like a fun way to raise money for a great cause. When I worked for Make A Wish I was always amazed at the strength of these kids and their families. Good luck!

  29. says

    You are so wonderful to do this. What a great write-up of a fantastic cause not to mention a delicious recipe. Hope you reach your $250 goal for all the kids’ and their family’s sake.

  30. says

    Barb, this is such a fantastic idea, and for a wonderful cause. I’m involved in a similar charitable fund-raising event. I may have to “borrow” your idea! Cheers to you. Will RT this. xo

  31. Trish says

    Thank you for posting up a link for donations so those of us who are not local can help too. Hope you make your comment quota. That cake looks AMAZING! Can’t wait to make it. :)

  32. Diane Suter says

    Nope, not gonna shave my head either but hope you make your comment quota. Myself – I’m gonna make the cake! :)

  33. says

    While I’m not an Irish Coffee fan because there’s usually too much whiskey in it, I can get behind any dessert with alcohol in it. And Whiskey Whipped Cream? I’m in. This is a wonderful cause and I’m so happy to help you donate to it.

  34. says

    you, my dear sweet friend, are a total rock star!! i hope you make your goal of 250 comments – i’m not going to shave my head either but i AM going to be cheering you on AND i’ll be tweeting the hell out of this post! big, BIG hugs, Barb! xo

  35. says

    That is way better than my idea of knocking back the whiskey and licking a cake. And your kindness is heartwarming. Will share as soon as I stop wishing I were eating that NOW. :)

  36. says

    This is wonderful, Barb. I love it when bloggers use their powers for good. I’m bookmarking the recipe, too. Love Irish coffee, and in a cake it must be lovely!

  37. Veda says

    That looks absolutely yummy. Although I am not a fan of commercially flavored Irish Coffee per se, I love to try new recipes and like to use coffee in cooking as it adds a real depth to the flavor of things. This is a fantastic cause and such a great idea to do this!!

  38. says

    How could I pass up a great cause like this? What a wonderful thing to do, Barbara! I’ll continue to RT, too. The cake? Icing on the cake. ;)

  39. Lora @cakeduchess says

    I always thought you were a special lady…this just confirms how cool you are. Such a sweet and generous idea. You know my thoughts on cancer. God bless those children and I pray they all get better:)

  40. Teresa says

    Wow! That looks so good – I can’t wait to try it this year. Love coffee and love the extra “adult” drink added to it – who wouldn’t love it?! It’s wonderful that you are making this post a way to make donations to St. Baldrick’s. Good luck reaching 250 comments!

  41. Stephen Adams says

    My company is having a huge event around St. Baldrick’s on this Friday.

    I’m going to make this for my team on Friday morning and sell slices with proceeds going to St. Baldrick’s!

    Thanks for posting this.


  42. Sharon Miro says

    Years ago–so long I hesitate to say–I would go, at least 3 times a week to the in Cliff House San Francsico to watch the seals and drink Irish Coffee. I miss that time, and the Irish Coffee, so I loved the idea of this cake…and I love the fact that you have associated this delectable cake with such a worthy cause. Thanks for the alert!

  43. says

    Good for you! I’m more than happy to comment for such a fantastic cause. If you’d be ok with it, I’d also love to feature that stunning Irish Coffee Cake as party of St. Patrick’s Day round-up I’m hosting (more info here: http://www.thedailyspud.com/2011/02/27/crisp-sandwich-st-patricks-day/). It’d be great to have even more people read about St. Baldrick’s and maybe get involved in some way (not to mention having them enjoy your fabulous cake).

  44. says

    What a great looking cake you have there, Missy! :) There’re a lot of fund raisers for St. Baldrick’s around here–lots of radio stations sponsor places where you can go in a get a “quick shave.” I will def. share this post–hope you get tons of comments!

  45. says

    This cake looks amazing, and I’d have told you so anyway, but…as it is I have never been happier to leave a comment. What a wonderful and generous idea!

  46. says

    Barb, are you sure you don’t want to shave your hair off? That would be something. No, I understand and wouldn’t do it either. Baking a cake sounds also more like me. Or, eating, I would love to try this cake. Is it only for an evening dessert with all the whiskey in it?
    I will check out their website right now. Thanks for spreading the word, Barb.

  47. says

    What a wonderful thing you’re doing Barb! I won’t shave my head, as to scare off the natives wouldn’t be good, but I will support you and your cause! I’m sure we can make a donation and I can certainly tweet this up to get more people here!

    Let’s hope for 250 comments!

  48. says

    What a great cause, great cake and great idea. I just checked the St. Baldrick’s website and they have now raised just over $95,000 and have 258 “shavees” signed up for Friday’s event.

    I am going to make this cake in honor of you, Barbara Kiebel, and your generosity and pure class.

    Thank you,


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge