Crème Brûlée Irish Coffee

March 16, 2023

Give your Irish Coffee the creme brûlée touch! It adds a delicious caramelized flavor to the classic coffee cocktail. And who doesn’t love the satisfying crack of breaking a creme brûlée? But in this case your cracking into a boozy, Crème Brûlée Irish Coffee.

The Irish Coffee comes via way of Ireland, but was popularized right here in San Francisco at the Buena Vista Cafe. It’s an absolute must stop when visiting SF or a pit-stop if you find yourself in Ghirardelli Square. Not only is the original recipe still being served up, but it’s a show sitting at the bar watching them whip out a long line of Irish Coffees in a minute.

recipe image

What’s in a Classic Irish Coffee

  • Irish Whiskey
  • coffee
  • sugar
  • whipped cream

As the name implies, Irish Whiskey is needed here to make this boozy beverage. Although you can use any type of whiskey you have on hand such as bourbon or rye in this coffee cocktail, in fact I think mixing it up is fun to experiment with different coffees and whiskies or even tequila, it would not be considered an “Irish” Whiskey.

Use what coffee you have on hand, but I find a medium roast coffee is the perfect style for an Irish Coffee. Not too roasty or toasty, but still more full bodied than a light roast to hold up alongside the whiskey.

How to Make a Crème Brûlée Irish Coffee

It follows the classic Irish Whiskey recipe closely with the addition of caramelized sugar cream and vanilla.

You’ll want to heavily whip your cream for this Crème Brûlée Irish Coffee . Normally you want a soft whipped cream to gently float on top of your Irish coffee so it incorporates into the coffee easily as your sip. Because you want the sugar to hold on top of the cream here and you will be bruleeing the heck out of it, a heavy whipped cream is needed in this case. The cream will melt some from the heat to be the right consistency.

What If You Don’t Have a Kitchen Torch

No kitchen torch? I got you! You can use your oven to get a caramelized sugar crisps to top your Irish Coffee. They also go great on deserts like cake & ice cream.

Here’s how: Pre-heat your oven to broil. On a parchment sheet add white sugar in circular shape- the circles should be smaller than the circumference of the glass you are using as it will fit on top of the Irish Coffee. 

Add the baking sheet into the oven and broil 5 minutes or so. This will depend on your baking sheet and oven so check often so they don’t burn. Once the circular disks of sugar are caramelized to a dark tan color, remove from the oven. Let cool. Use these caramelized sugar discs to top your Irish Coffee.

So let’s crack into it!

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Crème Brûlée Irish Coffee

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star No reviews
  • Author: Ashley Rose Conway
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: coffee


Give your Irish Coffee the creme brûlée touch with this Crème Brûlée Irish Coffee! True me- it adds a delicious caramelized flavor to the classic coffee cocktail. And who doesn’t love the satisfying crack of breaking a creme brûlée? But in this case you cracking into a boozy beverage!


  • 4 oz hot coffee
  • 1 1/2 oz Irish Whiskey
  • 1 tsp Demerara sugar, you can also use white sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream, whipped- about 1 oz or so per coffee 
  • vanilla extract or seeds from 1/8 of a vanilla bean
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar

brands I used:

  • coffee- Red Bay Coffee Brazilian Cake Lady
  • Irish Whiskey- Tullimore Dew- It’s what they used at the Buena Vista!
  • cream- Because there are only a few ingredients, I like to use a really good quality cream so I used Straus Creamery cream, it’s super rich.


  1. Brew coffee.
  2. Temper glasses by adding hot water to the glass to heat it.
  3. Add 1 cup heavy cream to a container with vanilla extract or vanilla bean seeds. With a milk frother or whisk, while until until heavily whipped. This will make enough whip cream for a few Irish Coffees
  4. Dump glass of hot water. Add coffee to the glass. 
  5. Stir in the Demerara sugar.
  6. Top with a few spoonfuls of whipped cream, about 1 oz
  7. Sprinkle white sugar into the center of the whipped cream.
  8. Working quickly, torch the sugar until it caramelizes. 
  9. Enjoy. Cheers!


  • Be cautious with the kitchen torch. Be sure not to touch the glass edge with the torch flame, it can make the glass very hot to sip. 
  • Demerara sugar adds a great flavor to an Irish Coffee, but you can also use tubinado, brown sugar or white sugar.

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.