Irish Coffee Trifle

Irish Coffee Trifle! Chocolate ladyfinger cookies are soaked with a coffee/whiskey syrup and layered with coffee pastry cream. A dollop of lightly sweetened cream and a few chocolate shavings are the perfect finish.

Irish coffee trifle

Traditionally, Irish Coffee is made with hot coffee laced with Jameson’s Irish Whiskey and a layer of lightly whipped cream floating on top. I took the flavors of Irish Coffee and turned them into a tasty trifle.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Eggs 
  • Confectioner’s sugar 
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cake flour
  • Cocoa powder
  • Corn starch 
  • Coffee
  • Milk 
  • Granulated sugar
  • Unsalted butter 
  • Irish whiskey (I recommend Jameson’s)
  • Heavy cream

Pastry Chef tips for making Irish Coffee Trifle

  • The type of cake used in trifle recipes can vary. Spongy ladyfingers are perfect for soaking up the flavorful syrup.
  • If you don’t have a piping tip for the ladyfingers you can cut the tip from a disposable piping bag and pipe without a tip. You can even carefully spoon the cookies onto the baking sheet. As long as you get the basic shape onto the sheet-pan it will be fine.
  • The ladyfingers can be made several days ahead of time stored in a covered container.
  • The syrup can be made several days ahead and stored in the refrigerator.
  • You can use a traditional footed trifle bowl or glass coffee mugs to play on the theme.


irish coffee trifle 2

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Irish coffee trifle
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4.56 from 9 reviews

Irish Coffee Trifle

A delicious layered trifle dessert with the flavors of a classic Irish Coffee.
Prep Time1 hour
Bake Time30 minutes
Chill Time1 hour
Total Time2 hours 30 minutes
12 servings
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Cocoa Ladyfingers: Makes about 30 cookies

Coffee Pastry Cream:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ ounce corn starch (¼ cup)
  • 8 ounces coffee (1 cup)
  • 8 ounces whole milk (1 cup)
  • 6 ounces granulated sugar (¾ cup)
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter (cut into 1″ pieces)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons Irish whiskey


  • 6 ounces coffee (¾ cup)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 ounces Irish Whiskey (¼ cup)
  • 8 ounces heavy cream (1 cup)
  • 1 ounce confectioner’s sugar (¼ cup)
  • chocolate shavings for garnish (See Note)


To make the Ladyfingers:

  • Preheat oven to 300F. Cover a 1/2 sheet pan with parchment paper. Do not grease the paper.
  • Set aside 2 of the egg yolks for making the pastry cream. Whip the 4 egg whites until soft peaks are formed. Slowly add confectioner sugar and whip to full peak. Set aside. Lightly whisk the other 2 egg yolks with the vanilla and fold into the egg whites until combined.
    4 eggs, 2 ounces confectioner’s sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Mix together the flour and the cocoa. Sift the flour/cocoa mixture over the egg whites and fold in gently just until fully incorporated.
    3 tablespoons cake flour, 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • Put the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a plain round tip. Pipe the batter into 4″ long “fingers”.
  • Bake about 10 minutes until the surface springs back when lightly touched.

For the Pastry Cream:

  • Whisk the 2 eggs, reserved yolks and corn starch together in a medium bowl.
    2 eggs, 1 ½ ounce corn starch
  • Combine the coffee and milk with the sugar in a medium sauce pan. Cook over medium heat until the mixture gets very hot, but is not boiling. Take the pot off the heat and, whisking constantly, pour the milk mixture in a steady stream into the egg mixture. Return the mixture to the pot over low heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula, making sure to scrape the entire bottom and corners of the pan so the custard doesn’t burn. Just before the mixture boils you’ll find that it begins to thicken. Cook until the mixture is barely boiling and the custard has thickened to the consistency of a soft paste.
    8 ounces coffee, 8 ounces whole milk, 6 ounces granulated sugar
  • Return the cooked custard to the bowl that the eggs were in and add the butter, vanilla and whiskey immediately. Whisk gently until the butter is melted and the custard is smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until fully cooled.
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons Irish whiskey, 2 ounces unsalted butter


  • Combine the coffee and 3 tablespoons of sugar in a small saucepan and cook over medium high heat just until the sugar is melted. Remove from heat, cool to room temperature and add the whiskey. Whip the cream with the confectioner's sugar.
    6 ounces coffee, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, 2 ounces Irish Whiskey, 8 ounces heavy cream, 1 ounce confectioner’s sugar
  • Dip each ladyfinger into the syrup and line the bottom and sides of a trifle bowl with a layer of cookies. If you're using a cup you can break up the ladyfingers to fit the shape of the cup. When using a trifle bowl I like to arrange the cookies standing up around the bowl for a pretty presentation.
  • Add a layer of pastry cream. Add another layer of ladyfingers with syrup. Add another layer of pastry cream. Top with whipped cream and decorate with chocolate shavings.
    chocolate shavings for garnish
  • Refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving.

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I use Jameson’s Irish Whiskey for this recipe.
To Make Chocolate Shavings: Take a bar of semi-sweet chocolate and, using a potato peeler, shave chocolate off the short end of the bar onto a plate.


Serving: 12serving | Calories: 250kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 116mg | Sodium: 46mg | Potassium: 116mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 545IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 1mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!

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