Bailey’s Cheesecake Bars - Handle the Heat

Bailey’s Cheesecake Bars

March 10th, 2020
5 from 3 votes
5 from 3 votes

Bailey’s Cheesecake Bars feature a chocolate graham cracker crust, Irish cream cheesecake filling with a hint of espresso, and a fudgy layer of rich chocolate ganache on top. Perfect St. Patrick's Day treat!

Yield: 9 bars

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook: 55 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Sweet with a punch of Bailey’s, a hint of espresso, and the perfect amount of chocolate.
Texture: My favorite part. A generous crunchy buttery crust is the ideal base for the rich and smooth filling and fudgy ganache topping.
Ease: Much simpler and easier than a full size cheesecake!
Pros: Perfect St. Patrick’s Day entertaining recipe since it’s made ahead of time.
Cons: None!
Would I make this again? Definitely.

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This recipe truly has it all:

Cream cheese.

Does dessert get better than that?

Row of Bailey's Irish Cream Cheesecake Bars cut into squares

This recipe was made specifically for St. Patrick’s Day… but I won’t tell anyone if you make it throughout the year just because it’s so good.

For me, ganache basically belongs on cheesecake. And this ganache is special because it actually uses Bailey’s in addition to regular cream. So you’re getting Irish Cream both in the filling and in the ganache.

Slicing Bailey's Cheesecake into squares

I love cheesecake bars not just because they’re quicker and easier to make, transport, and serve. But also because you get a better crust to filling ratio.

As much as I love cheesecake filling, I particularly adore the contrast of that rich and lucious filling with the buttery crunchy crust. And with slices of classic full sized cheesecake, there’s sometimes too much filling.

I know that’s kind of heresy to say… but it’s just how I feel. I’m ALL about the texture. And that’s the absolute best part of this recipe!

How to Make Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheesecake Bars

How to Make a Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust

Simply use chocolate graham crackers instead of traditional ones! If you can’t find them, you can also use the same amount by weight of chocolate wafer cookies or even chocolate Teddy Grahams.

When I first tested this recipe I used Oreo cookies but really didn’t like the flavor combination with the Irish Cream. It was too sweet and rich and competed with the Bailey’s, so I wouldn’t recommend it.

Bailey's Cheesecake Bars in the baking pan with fresh ganache spread all over the top

How to Make Rich & Creamy Lump Free Cheesecake

Make sure all of your cream cheese is completely softened. If it’s a cold day, then the cream cheese will need to sit on the counter for several hours or you may need to nuke it in the microwave until it’s completely soft.

For a smooth batter, be sure to scrape down your mixing bowl thoroughly after adding pretty much every ingredient. Even if you have a beater attachment that scrapes as it goes (those often make things worse unfortunately). Use a spatula with a pointed angle to get every little nook and cranny including the very bottom of the bowl.

If lumpy cheesecake is a common issue for you, try running your mixing bowl under warm water then dry thoroughly before mixing your cheesecake batter.

Use only high quality bricks of full fat cream cheese for cheesecake. Sometimes even generic cream cheese brands are too watery.

What’s the best baking pan for cheesecake bars?

I’d highly recommend using a quality metal baking pan. Glass and ceramic take much longer to bake and you’re more likely to end up with an undercooked or rubbery cheesecake.

How to Avoid Overbaking Cheesecake

You’re looking for the edges of the cheesecake to be just slightly golden and for the top of the cheesecake to look dry. However, the key is for the center to remain slightly jiggly.

After the cheesecake has baked we turn off the oven but allow the the cheesecake to remain inside with the oven door just cracked open for 30 minutes. This not only helps to finish off the cheesecake baking without over cooking, but the gentle cool down also helps to prevent cracks.

However, if cracks form in this recipe it’s not a huge problem because the ganache will hide any imperfections.

Can I double this recipe?

Yes! Just double all of the ingredients and bake in a 9 by 13-inch baking pan, checking for doneness at about 45 minutes.

How to Make Cheesecake Bars Ahead of Time

Store the cheesecake bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Allow to thaw in the fridge overnight before serving.

Bailey's cheesecake bar on a plate with a bottle of Bailey's Irish Cream

More Cheesecake Bar Recipes:

More St. Patrick’s Day Recipes:

5 from 3 votes

How to make
Bailey’s Cheesecake Bars

Yield: 9 bars
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Chilling time 4 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 45 minutes
Bailey’s Cheesecake Bars feature a chocolate graham cracker crust, Irish cream cheesecake filling with a hint of espresso, and a fudgy layer of rich chocolate ganache on top. Perfect St. Patrick's Day treat!


For the crust:

  • 10 (150 grams) chocolate graham crackers
  • 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

  • 16 ounces (454 grams) cream cheese, completely softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (57 grams) sour cream, at room temperature
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur

For the topping:

  • 1 cup (170 grams) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur


Make the crust:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8 by 8-inch baking pan with parchment, leaving an overhang.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the crackers until finely ground. Add the butter and pulse until moistened. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan using the bottom of a measuring cup or glass. Bake until fragrant, about 10 minutes. Place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
  3. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.

Make the filling:

  1. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese until it’s completely smooth and creamy. Add in the sugar and beat until totally combined, scraping down the sides of bowl as needed. Add the sour cream then the eggs one at a time, blending after each addition. Add in vanilla, espresso powder, and salt and blend on low speed until just combined. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold in the Irish Cream. Don’t over mix.
  2. Spread batter evenly over cooled crust. Bake at 325°F until just set in center and edges are puffed and slightly cracked, about 40 minutes. Turn off the heat and crack the oven door and allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven for 30 minutes. Transfer to rack to let cool completely.

  3. Refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 4 hours.

Make the topping:

  1. Place the chocolate chips in a medium heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan heat the cream just until simmering. Pour over the chocolate chips. Let sit for 3 minutes before stirring until the mixture is melted and smooth. Stir in the Irish Cream. If needed, allow to cool and thicken. Pour over the cheesecake.
  2. Serve or store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Recipe Video

Course : Dessert
Cuisine : American
Keyword : baileys cheesecake bars, St. patrick's day

Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.

Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Paul Carter — March 13, 2023 at 1:30 pm

    Made these in a 9×13 with doubling everything. The Bailey’s is subtle but there. Everything was delicious. The double recipe did take quite a bit longer to cook, but that was expected.

  2. #
    Diana H. — March 7, 2023 at 7:35 pm

    Can this recipe be doubled in a 9×13 pan?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — March 8, 2023 at 2:26 pm

      Hi Diana! Yes, this can be doubled! Check out the pink tip box for more info on this 🙂

  3. #
    Ari — October 3, 2022 at 9:36 pm

    Hi. If I don’t have espresso powder can i add regular coffee powder? Also, do i need to refrigerate after adding the ganache? Thanks

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — October 4, 2022 at 8:41 am

      Hi Ari! Espresso powder is much, much more potent than regular coffee powder or instant coffee – but it shouldn’t matter tooooo much in this recipe; you’ll just lose some of the coffee flavor. You will need to store these in the fridge, with or without the ganache! Let us know what you think once you have given these a try 🙂

      • #
        Ari — October 6, 2022 at 3:25 pm

        Thanks! Also, this does not ask for water bath so that it kinda sinks to put the ganache there? If i use a water bath will the consistency be different?

        • #
          Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — October 7, 2022 at 11:12 am

          Hi Ari! We haven’t tested this recipe using a water bath, as cheesecake bars typically don’t need one. Tessa has included some tips in the pink tip box above the recipe, such as how to cool the bars slowly, which will prevent cracks – and should prevent too much of a sinkage situation in the middle, too! If you want to give this a try in a water bath, you probably could do so – we just haven’t tried it ourselves, so I can’t tell you how exactly that will work out! Let us know what happens if you do try that! Good luck 🙂

  4. #
    Rose D — March 18, 2022 at 3:43 am

    I made these for St. Patrick’s day. You won’t be disappointed. They are fairly easy to make and so delicious!

  5. #
    Jaida — March 17, 2022 at 11:21 pm

    Made this yesterday and left it in the fridge overnight. It was a huge hit in my house! So delicious! Everyone loved it so much! I didn’t have chocolate graham crackers or anything similar, so I subbed the crust for your fudgy brownies recipe. It was basically a baileys brownie cheesecake bar but it was still sooooo good. Thanks for the yummy recipe!

    • #
      Emily — March 18, 2022 at 9:28 am

      Ooo you may have made the recipe even better!! Sounds amazing!

  6. #
    Whitney — March 20, 2021 at 6:15 pm

    Hi Tessa!

    I just put mine in the oven and can’t wait to taste it tomorrow afternoon at my family’s annual St. Patrick’s Day feast. 🙂 I do have a question though, is the sugar 1 cup (which I believe is 200 grams?) or 300 grams? I put 1 true cup, 200 grams and I hope it turns out sweet enough!


    • #
      Tessa — March 22, 2021 at 2:43 pm

      Hi Whitney! Great catch, you are right! I’ve updated the recipe with that correction. Thanks so much for bringing it to my attention!

  7. #
    Sandi Stogdell — March 16, 2021 at 12:07 pm

    We don’t want to use a liqueur in the recipe can I substitute Bailey Liqueur, for Bailey’s Irish Cream coffee creamer?

    • #
      Tessa — March 16, 2021 at 1:52 pm

      I haven’t tried that, but I think it should work! Good luck!

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