Baby Guinness Irish Coffee Jello Shots

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a round of Baby Guinness Irish Coffee Jello Shots! Sweet and boozy, these two-tone, layered gelatin shots taste just like the classic spiked coffee cocktail. 

a stack of baby guinness jello shots

After I made Champagne Jello Shots at New Year’s, I started realizing all the fun things you can do with gelatin. It’s so interesting to me how you can make just about any drink recipes in jello shot form, from the mojito to the gin & tonic!

Baby Guinness Jello Shots recipe

These little shots look exactly like the jello shot version of Baby Guinness shots and they’re just as fun as Irish car bombs.

I first tried Baby Guinness shots on vacation with my family in Ireland (I promise I was of legal drinking age there!). They taste like an Irish coffee and look like miniature pints of Guinness.

They’re what’s called a “layered shot,” made with a shot of coffee liqueur on the bottom and topped with a float of Irish cream, meaning it is spooned over top.

What could be better?! They’re much sweeter than regular Guinness if you’re not one for a big pint of stout beer! But they look like Guinness beer jello shots.

top view of baby guinness jello shots on a gold serving tray

Baby Guinness vs. Irish coffee

Though they are two different cocktail recipes, the Baby Guinness drink recipe doesn’t taste so different from an Irish coffee. Here’s why:

In a Baby Guinness, you spoon Irish cream like Bailey’s (or better yet, homemade Irish cream!) over top of coffee liqueur like Kahlua to make a shooter.

In an Irish coffee (or iced Irish coffee), you combine coffee and Irish whiskey and top it with whipped cream, often flavored with Irish cream, to make an after-dinner drink.

Either way, they are each a delicious type of alcoholic beverage.

an arrangement of Irish coffee jello shots with green and gold party beads

Ingredients

Here’s what you will need to pick up at the store to make these St. Patrick’s Day jello shots:

  • 3 envelopes (8 1/4 teaspoons) gelatin powder
  • cold coffee (brewed strongly)
  • coffee liqueur such as Kahlua OR Irish whiskey, such as Jameson Irish whiskey
  • half-and-half or heavy cream
  • Irish cream liqueur such as Baileys

For the coffee layer, you can use coffee liqueur to help them taste more like a baby Guinness shot, or you can use Irish whiskey to make them have more of the Irish coffee flavor. Don’t have either? Vanilla vodka would be fine, so would any kind of whiskey. Even rum would work.

For the cream layer, you can use Bailey’s irish cream or something similar like Rumchata, Cape Velvet Cream or Milk Tart liqueur. The top layer can also be poured into cups of its own to make Baileys Irish cream jello shots if you like!

The different taste of each layer comes together so perfectly.

a tray of coffee jello shots in progress

Basic jello shot formula

The Kitchn recommends a basic formula for Jello shots:

(1 cup liquor + 1 cup non-alcoholic liquid + 2 envelopes (5 1/2 teaspoons) gelatin powder) x 4 hours chilling time = 16 1-ounce Jello Shots

Essentially, you can add gelatin to any liquid and any alcohol, as long as you keep the ratios consistent.

Serve your little Guinness beers in cute little plastic shot glasses, and they make a fun party treat. 

How to make baby guinness irish coffee jello shots

Though it seems complex, you’ll find this recipe for cool cocktail shooters rather easy to make.

In short, you’re going to make two kinds of boozy gelatin mixtures: The bottom layer is made with coffee gelatin, made boozier with coffee liqueur or Irish whiskey. (I’m giving you two options for this recipe: You can make Baby Guinness Jello Shots with coffee liqueur OR Irish Coffee Jello Shots with Irish whiskey.)

The second layer is Irish cream gelatin, made boozier with Irish cream liqueur like Bailey’s Irish Cream. Here’s how we’ll do it:

  1. Each of the gelatin mixtures is made on the stove. You’ll “bloom” the gelatin first, then warm up the mixtures to dissolve the gelatin. Don’t let it boil.
  2. You will layer the dark coffee mixture in your shooter cups first, then let that set up a little bit in the fridge before you make and add the cream layer.
  3. Once the bottom layer has set, you’ll add your Irish cream gelatin mixture on top of the dark coffee base of the jello shot. Then let that set up until your jello shots are all ready for enjoyment! 
hands using a funnel to add the top layer to jello shots

Variations & substitutions

You can make your St. Patrick’s Day Jello Shots sweeter like a Baby Guinness or sturdier like an Irish coffee. It will come down to how much you fill your shot glass cups with the coffee gelatin mixture, and how much cream gelatin you add on the top. 

You can make these without alcohol by making up the difference with non-alcoholic items. You can use zero-proof coffee liqueur or simply more coffee. For the Irish cream layer, I’d recommend making your own Irish cream with zero-proof whiskey.

To make them fancier, you can add a dollop of Baileys Whipped Cream on top or add some chocolate sprinkles.

three st. patrick's day jello shots on a white background

St. Patrick’s Day Recipes

There are so many delicious dishes you can make for St. Paddy’s Day. The usual fare is Irish soda bread and corned beef.

For dessert, there’s Guinness Chocolate Cake or, for breakfast, you can enjoy Chocolate Guinness Donuts with Irish Coffee Glaze.

For a warm March day, try a Guinness ice cream float, these layered Irish Coffee Popsicles or a refreshing Irish Mule to help you celebrate!

And if you’re looking for green cocktails, make a drink with this herbal limeade or a green mimosa.

P.S. By the way, I teamed up with a bunch of awesome bloggers to put on a huge St. Patrick’s Day party. Colleen from Lemon Thistle coordinated it all, and she has all the details on her blog. We have lots of tips for styling your own St. Paddy’s party, so be sure to check out the cool DIY projects and delicious eats from our friends!

a stack of baby guinness jello shots

Baby Guinness Irish Coffee Jello Shots

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Set Time: 5 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours

A layered gelatin treat for St. Patrick's Day that tastes of Irish coffee and the popular Baby Guinness shots

Ingredients

For coffee layer (bottom)

  • 1 cup coffee
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup coffee liqueur OR Irish whiskey
  • 2 envelopes (5 1/2 teaspoons) gelatin powder

For cream layer (top)

Instructions

  1. Prepare molds. (I used shot glass-sized plastic cups, but you can also use cupcake wrappers or mini-muffin tins.) Spray them lightly with cooking spray.

Coffee layer (bottom)

  1. Whisk coffee and water together in a small saucepan. Sprinkle gelatin over top and allow to rest for 5 minutes until gelatin is softened and the liquid’s surface appears slightly wrinkled.
  2. Warm the liquid over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring until gelatin is completely dissolved. Do not let boil. Remove from heat.
  3. Whisk in the Kahlua or Irish whiskey.
  4. Next, fill the molds. Distribute the liquid evenly among the molds, leaving enough room for a second layer. Refrigerate until firm, approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Cream layer (top)

  1. Whisk half-and-half and water together in a small saucepan. Sprinkle gelatin over top and allow to rest for 5 minutes until gelatin is softened and the liquid’s surface appears slightly wrinkled.
  2. Warm the liquid over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring until gelatin is completely dissolved. Do not let boil. Remove from heat.
  3. Whisk in the Irish cream.
  4. Fill the molds. Distribute the liquid evenly among the half-filled molds. Refrigerate shots 3 to 4 hours more before serving.
  5. Serve. If using a mold (in lieu of cups), dip the bottom of the pan into hot water for 5 seconds. Run a paring knife around the edge of the Jell-O to loosen. Flip out the molds onto a wax paper-lined surface. Keep chilled until serving. Sprinkle with more sanding sugars before serving.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 jello shot
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 243Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 13mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 0gSugar: 23gProtein: 0g

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Comments

    • Susannah says

      Hi Diane! It should be 1 cup of liquid coffee. I don’t think it matters how you prepare the coffee, but I do think that brewed coffee would taste best! Hope that helps! // susannah

      • Jan says

        I haven’t made these in a couple of years so today I suddenly panicked as the instructions to whisk the 1 cup of coffee with 1/2 cup of water confused me! I thought it was liquid brewed coffee to start with but maybe it would help to clarify that in the instructions, plus include the 1/2 cup water in the ingredients list as well. But thank you for this recipe. I’m hoping they turn out as good as the last time when they were quite the hit!

        • Susannah says

          Hey Jan, thanks so much for your comment and for letting me know that this was confusing. I will update the recipe now! I’m so glad these were a hit before and I hope they hit the spot again!

  1. Donna says

    I just found this an it’s awesome! I am doing a baby event at a show an having pink strawberry champagne jello shots for all unexpected guests in two forms (champagne an non so I’ll ginger ale) but this is great for dads, grandparents,anybody Irish…lol

    Thank you for posting it….my son’s are gonna love this!! (All 4)

    • Susannah says

      Hi Donna! I’m so happy to hear that! These are a super fun recipe, and I agree, they are perfect for dudes. I love that you are serving them at a baby event — how clever! Hope you enjoy and thanks so much for the comment!

  2. Shirlie says

    I’m a Guinness drinker so I was just wondering, can actual Guinness Stout be substituted for the Irish whiskey or use half whiskey & half stout (maybe heat and reduce the Guinness to almost a syrup form)?

  3. Steph says

    I’m so excited to make these – they sound delicious and look amazing! Any thoughts on using 1 full cup of Bailey’s as opposed to 1/2 cup half-and-half or heavy cream? Thank you!

  4. Amber says

    This is excellent! Have you tried making jello-shots with Sure-Jell rather than gelatin? I have sure-jell on hand, but really don’t want to screw these up 🙂 Thank you for the fabulous recipe!

  5. Jayne says

    Made these for St Pats Day and They look really amazing but just didn’t taste great.
    I will make them again but need to add some sweetness and maybe more coffee? Very gelatinous.

    • Susannah says

      Hi Jayne, I’m so sorry these didn’t work out for you. If they set up too much for your taste, try adding more booze as that is what will keep them from reaching their prime jello mold quality. A little more coffee liqueur will help with the sweetness and coffee flavor too, so that’s worth a shot. And make sure you brew super strong coffee, too! Let me know if that helps for next time! //susannah

  6. Criztoval says

    why the water if ratio is 1c liquor to 1c liquid. Just curious cause I would really like to make these.

    • Susannah says

      Hey Criztoval, you can skip the step of adding the water step if you like! I prefer to dilute the coffee just a little bit to stretch the coffee layer mixture to more jello shots, but it doesn’t have a great impact on the flavor or the setting of the gelatin.

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