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Irish cream whiskey balls recipe

Irish cream whiskey balls are a no bake boozy treat made with shortbread cookies and pecans, then dipped in chocolate. They are sweetened with honey and powdered sugar, and they have a pinch of cinnamon for a little spice. This quick and easy sweet is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day.

I’ll give you variations and substitutions where I can, plus helpful tips and tricks for success. Read on for this info as well as the recipe. If you’d like to skip straight to the recipe, use the jump to recipe button at the top of the post.

You may also be interested in my peanut butter whiskey balls and my traditional rum ball recipes. For ease of browsing, you can find all of my rum ball and whiskey ball recipes in one place.

Irish cream whiskey balls on small white plate with green napkin underneath.

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Why you should make this recipe

  • Quick & Easy – This recipe is done, from start to finish, in about an hour (including chilling time).
  • Great for gatherings – You’ll get 14 whiskey balls out of this recipe, plenty for a small get together or sharing with friends.
  • Versatile – You can use shortbread cookies or vanilla wafer cookies, you can dip in white chocolate, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or roll in powdered sugar – plenty of options.

Irish cream whiskey balls

No matter how you’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, these Bailey’s Irish cream balls with whiskey would be a welcome sweet. Cover them with shamrock sprinkles, or a fun St. Patrick’s Day sprinkle mix and you’re ready to celebrate!

Irish cream cookie balls with whiskey for St. Patrick's Day.

These boozy cookie balls are an easy, no bake treat for grownups. The flavor gets even better overnight, so making them ahead is a good option.


You’ll only need 8 ingredients to make them, some of which you probably already have in the pantry.

The cinnamon goes really well with the honey, but allspice or nutmeg is also nice here. There are no shortage of ways to change up this recipe to make different variations.

Ingredients for Irish cream whiskey ball recipe.
  • Shortbread cookies – I used a package of store-bought shortbread. You know, the famous one. However, these would be fantastic with homemade shortbread.
  • Powdered sugar – Also called confectioners sugar or icing sugar. This gives the cookie balls a little extra sweetness to balance the whiskey.
  • Irish cream liqueur – Bailey’s is a brand that is widely available.
  • Cinnamon – Adds a bit of warm spice to the mix.
  • Whiskey – Don’t use your most expensive bottle, but choose one that you like, because you will taste it.
  • Pecans – You can substitute walnuts or almonds, if you prefer.
  • Honey – Adds a different kind of sweetness to the mix. You can also use agave or corn syrup.
  • Salt – Salt balances sweet. Even though you won’t taste the salt, you’ll notice a difference if you don’t have it.
Best mix for St. Patrick's Day
St. Patrick's Day Sprinkles
$11.99 ($1.84 / Ounce)

This blend has sparkly and matte decorations, gold, silver, light green and dark green shamrocks. Lots of different shapes and colors, it's my TOP pick for a St. Patrick's Day mix!

Affiliate link, I may earn a commission from your purchase. Your price is unaffected.
03/17/2024 10:25 am GMT

I’m going to show you just how easy this recipe is to make. It comes together in no time and because the flavor develops even more overnight, it’s the perfect make ahead treat.

Boozy cookie balls for St. Patrick's Day.

Step by step instructions

  1. First, grind the cookies and nuts in the bowl of a food processor. It should look like large crumbs with a few small pieces of nuts or cookies.
  2. Next, sift the powdered sugar with the salt and cinnamon. Then stir in the Irish cream liqueur, whiskey and honey.
  3. Finally, add the cookie mixture to the bowl and stir it all together. Cover with plastic wrap and let it chill for about 30 minutes. Do not skip this step – the mixture needs time to absorb the liquid and set up.
  4. After half an hour, the mixture will be firmer and scoopable. Use a small cookie scoop to portion whiskey balls. Chill before dipping in chocolate.
Step by step instructions to make Irish cream cookie balls.

Irish cream whiskey balls FAQ’s

Do whiskey balls need to be refrigerated?

Irish cream whiskey balls do not to be refrigerated, but they should be stored in a cool area. Refrigerating them will extend the life of them.

How do I store them?

I prefer to store them in the refrigerator, because they last longer. I keep them uncovered, and away from strong-smelling foods like garlic.
However, if you have a cool place where you can store them for a day or two, that it also fine. If they are stored outside of the fridge, keep them covered.

How long do Irish cream whiskey balls stay fresh?

If stored properly, in the fridge, they will stay fresh for a couple of weeks.

Can I make rum balls with shortbread cookies?

Absolutely! Swap out the vanilla wafer cookies and carry on with the recipe!

Can I make these without a food processor?

Yep! Add the cookies and nuts to a zip-top freezer bag and break them up with a rolling pin, a meat mallet, or a heavy glass.

Close up of Irish cream whiskey cookie balls.

Variations and substitutions

  • Make an Irish slammer – To make these even boozier, add 2 tbsp. of Irish stout. You’ll need a couple extra cookies to make the mixture firm enough to roll with the addition of extra liquid.
  • Use vanilla wafer cookies instead of shortbread – These are the standard cookie in my rum ball recipes and they are less expensive than shortbread.
  • Roll in powdered sugar instead of dipping in chocolate – If you don’t feel like dipping them in chocolate, toss them in powdered sugar instead – it’s faster and less fuss.

Helpful tools and equipment

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Irish cream whiskey balls recipe

Cheryl Bennett
Irish cream whiskey balls are a no bake boozy treat for St. Patrick's Day.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Chill Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course No bake desserts
Cuisine American
Servings 14 pieces
Calories 145 kcal


  • 5.3 oz. package shortbread cookies // 150g
  • 1/2 cup pecans // 65g
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar // 28g
  • 1/8 tsp. kosher salt I use Diamond Crystal
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. Irish cream liqueur
  • 2 tbsp. whiskey
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • + powdered sugar for rolling or chocolate for dipping See instructions and notes


  • In the bowl of a food processor, grind shortbread cookies and pecans until finely ground. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together powdered sugar, salt and cinnamon.
  • Add Irish cream, whiskey and honey to the powdered sugar mixture and stir to combine.
  • Add cookie and nut mixture to the bowl with the liquids and stir well to fully combine. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Using a small scoop, portion out tablespoon-sized balls of the cookie mixture and roll in your hands to make them round.
  • *If coating in powdered sugar – toss in sugar and set aside for a few minutes to let sugar adhere.
  • *To dip in chocolate, melt chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl for 30 seconds. Stir well, then return chocolate to the microwave for an additional 15 seconds. Depending on your microwave, this may or may not be sufficient time. Chocolate should be mostly melted. If it has a few small pea-sized pieces, stir the chocolate and wait 30 seconds for the remaining pieces to melt. **Chocolate should be barely warm to the touch, not hot.
  • Remove whiskey balls from refrigerator and carefully lower into chocolate. With a fork, gently turn to coat all sides and gently lift out of the chocolate. Wait a few seconds while the chocolate drips off, then lightly scrape the bottom to avoid chocolate pooling and forming a foot under the whiskey ball. (Don't scrape off ALL of the chocolate, you are trying to remove the excess chocolate so it doesn't pool underneath).
  • Place the dipped Irish cream whiskey balls on a parchment-lined sheet pan. If decorating with sprinkles, top immediately. The chocolate will harden quickly, so don't wait long. Let them set at room temperature for about an hour to harden, or place in the refrigerator to speed up the process.
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


  • To roll these Irish cream whiskey balls in powdered sugar, you'll need about 1/2 cup additional powdered sugar.
  • To dip in melted chocolate, I used 1 Lindt 70% chocolate bar. (3.5oz // 100g). I used the same size bar in white chocolate as well. Break the bar into small pieces, then microwave.
When dipping in chocolate, the temperature of the chocolate should be barely warm to the touch. It should not be hot. As it cools, it thickens, and you'll need to give it a 15 second warm up in the microwave. Chocolate burns easily, do not heat for longer than 15 seconds at a time after the initial 30 seconds.
I do not recommend melting chocolate chips. They are made to hold their shape and they don't melt well. I also don't like the candy melts, I find them to be too thick with a waxy feel that is unpleasant.


Serving: 1pieceCalories: 145kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 1gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gSodium: 49mgFiber: 1gSugar: 15g
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Thanks for stopping by! Have a delicious day 🙂

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One Comment

  1. I can’t wait to make these Irish cream whiskey balls for St. Patrick’s Day! The combination of shortbread cookies, pecans, honey, and cinnamon, all dipped in chocolate, sounds absolutely delicious. Plus, I love that this recipe is quick and easy to make, perfect for a last-minute treat.

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