Irish Car Bomb Ice Cream Float

Uh, need I say more? It’s dessert. Made with booze. This thing pretty much sells itself.

If ever there was a testament to my obsessive need to bring food ideas to fruition, this is it. I was having a tough time coming up with a St. Paddy’s Day post after discovering that the Brown Eyed Baker already made Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes last year. (I was totally stealing the idea from the head baker at Johnny’s café anyway, so I guess it serves me right!) Then on Thursday morning, I started thinking about ice cream floats. By 8:00 a.m., the KitchenAid ice cream bowl attachment was headed my way via express shipping, and recipes for Baileys ice cream, whiskey caramel sauce, and whiskey whipped cream had been hunted down and bookmarked.

If you don’t want to bother with making ice cream, I believe Häagen-Dazs also sells a Baileys ice cream. But I will just say that the homemade version is frighteningly delicious. Especially when it contains swirls of whiskey caramel. It’s even great for breakfast. Not that I would know. Just this theory I have.

This is definitely one boozy dessert. I’m not really big on Guinness, but I used it here to stay true to the drink. If you feel the same way I do about Guinness, try using Beamish or Murphy’s in its place. (It’s been a while since I had either of these beers, but I remember being partial to Beamish ages ago.)

(P.S. I realize that the ICB doesn’t exactly have the most politically correct of names. To anyone who might find my decision to retain the title in this post offensive, you have my apologies in advance.)

Baileys Ice Cream

(from Nigella Lawson)

yield: approximately 1 quart

  • 575ml whole milk (just under 2 1/2 cups)
  • 450ml heavy cream (just under 2 cups)
  • 125ml Baileys Irish Cream (1/2 cups)
  • 1 whole vanilla bean
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 225g sugar (1 cup)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Combine the milk and cream in a sauce pan. Split the vanilla bean, scrape out the caviar, then add the caviar and the pod to the mixture.

Bring the mixture to a slow boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then remove from heat. Remove the vanilla bean pod from the mixture and discard.

Combine eggs, sugar, and vanilla extra in a bowl. Beat together at medium speed for about 2 minutes, or until the mixture is thick, smooth, and pale yellow in color.

Measure out 1 cup of the milk/cream mixture. Slowly add it to the egg mixture while beating on low speed. (By doing this you are warming up [or “tempering”] the eggs, so they won’t turn into cooked grossness when you add them to the hot milk/cream.)

Slowly stir egg mixture into milk/cream. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Pour mixture through a sieve into a clean bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, placing plastic wrap directly on the custard (to keep a skin from forming), and refrigerate until chilled completely. (This step in the process tripped me up a bit because I didn’t want the plastic wrap to come in contact with the still-hot custard. I let it cool down a bit, then did my best to skim off the little bit of skin that did form.)

Once the ice cream is completely chilled, process it according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. Let the finished ice cream soften a bit, then swirl in the whiskey caramel sauce (recipe below).

Whiskey Caramel Sauce

(from The Burp! Recipe Collection)

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • just enough water to cover the sugar and bottom of the pan
  • 1 cup of whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup of Irish whiskey

Note: If you’re just using this for the above batch of ice cream, you could definitely cut the recipe in half. I wound up with 1 cup of leftover caramel. (Not that I’m complaining!)

Add sugar to a medium saucepan and shake to evenly distribute. Add just enough water to cover the sugar.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, paying close attention and swirling occasionally. Once the mixture turns a dark amber color (after about 5–7 minutes), remove from heat.

Whisk in cream and whiskey. Let caramel cool a bit before adding it to your ice cream.

Whiskey Whipped Cream

(from The Pioneer Woman)

  • 1 cup of heavy cream (very cold)
  • 3 tbsp of sugar
  • 2 tbsp of Irish whiskey

Combine all ingredients and beat on high until stiff, approximately 4 minutes.

Irish Car Bomb Ice Cream Float

Add a couple scoops of ice cream to a glass, then pour in your Irish stout of choice. (Ignore the skimpy amount of ice cream in the image below. I feared wasting any more after the first attempt at controlled foaminess got very out of hand.)

Fill glass nearly to the top, saving room for the whipped cream.

Top with a hefty dose of whipped cream, then serve. (If you’d like to make a big fun foamy mess, just pour some more stout on top of the whipped cream.)



  1. Juli says

    I feel strange telling a complete stranger this, but I LOVE YOU. I’ve been known to enjoy a stout float from time to time, but this, this just sounds amazing. Totally giving this a go over the weekend! Thanks!!!

  2. monkey says

    thanks for the recipe. ps. you don’t like guinness? thats a sin!!! huge guinness lover here. find that crazy! haha, great photos, HAPPY SAINT PATRICKS DAY!!! :)

    • says

      Thank you! I hadn’t tried Guinness in ages and thought maybe I’d like it this time (especially since there was ice cream in it!). But still, no. Perhaps I’m just not a stout girl. :)

  3. says

    Whiskey caramel sauce? Count me in please!

    Last year my neighbour presented me with whiskey-infused cupcakes on Patty’s day and I was in heaven for a whole week! I think I’m going to email her this link for this year.

  4. says

    fantastic. i made this st. paddy’s day eve to cheers from friends and family. it even works with when you just mix bailey’s into store bought vegan ice cream. :) thanks so much for sharing the recipe!

    • says

      Hehe! I did the photo shoot in the middle of the day, and before pretty much inhaling the end result I told myself, “don’t worry, this is fine—it’s like a mid-day dessert.” :)

  5. says

    Happy belated St. Patty’s Day! :-p This is like seriously, my favorite holiday of the year, second to Halloween, because you get to like drink beer at 7am and it’s totally normal. Not that I need an excuse or anything. It’s funny, I meant to do a post on the traditional Irish car bomb but never got around to it. I may or may not have been hung over. This looks amazing though! And BTW, just discovered your blog and love it!

    • says

      Thank you, Stephanie!! I figure since this is both drink and dessert, it could totally double as a boozy summertime treat too. No need to wait for next year! :)

  6. says

    This dessert looks like pure trouble, in the best way possible! I used to work at a bar and Irish car bombs were our shots of choice. The only problem is that the Irish cream curdles on contact with the Guinness, so if that’s not the case here… I’m done for! So good!

    • says

      The ice cream actually seems to hold its consistency pretty well in the beer! I think this has something to do with the high fat content (thanks to the heavy cream), and adding the ice cream first then pouring the beer over it. (I remember reading somewhere that slowly adding alcohol to dairy can help keep curdling at bay, since this keeps the alcohol from “shocking” the milk. Kind of like tempering eggs!)


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