Delicious Irish Apple Cake Recipe

Welcome to my Irish Apple Cake recipe! As a chef specializing in British cuisine, I have always been fascinated by the rich flavors and hearty dishes that come from the Emerald Isle. And this apple cake recipe is no exception – it’s a true taste of Ireland.

This recipe has been passed down through generations and has become a staple in Irish households. The tradition of baking apple cakes dates back to the days when open fire ovens were used, but with modern adaptations as well, this cake can be made anywhere at any time.

As we all know, apples are one of the most versatile fruits and they have been used in countless recipes throughout history. But nothing compares to their use in a traditional Irish apple cake. This cake is truly unique and perfect for any occasion – from St Patrick’s Day to Thanksgiving, or even just for a cozy night in.

So join me on this culinary adventure and let’s explore the wonderful world of Irish apple cake together!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Irish Apple Cake
Irish Apple Cake

Are you tired of the same old boring dessert options? Do you crave something new and exciting in your life, but don’t know where to start? Well, look no further than my Irish Apple Cake recipe. Trust me, you’ll love it!

First of all, who doesn’t love apples? They add a tartness and sweetness to any dish, and when paired with spices like ground cinnamon, they become irresistible. This cake is made with 2 cups of cooking apples like Granny Smith apples that are mixed with sugar, ground cinnamon, all-purpose flour, and butter to create a moist and tender cake. The combination of flavors is simply divine.

But what really sets this recipe apart is the Irish touch. Irish Apple Cake has a deep-rooted history that goes back centuries. It was originally made in open fire ovens and became an authentic Irish dish loved by everyone. It’s passed down through generations and perfected into the traditional Irish Apple Cake we know today.

Imagine biting into a homemade Irish Apple Cake that’s light, fluffy, moist and packed with sweet-tart slices of apple! The aroma would take you back to the olden times when such treats were made from scratch using the finest ingredients available. The touch of Calvados apple brandy or vanilla extract only enhances the overall flavor profile giving it a satisfying aftertaste.

Plus, this recipe is versatile! You can switch up the types of apples used or even swap out certain ingredients for dietary restrictions or personal preference. Make it your own while still enjoying the rich, traditional flavors.

In conclusion, my Irish Apple Cake recipe is the perfect dessert to impress your guests or just enjoy on a cozy night in by yourself. With its history, bold flavors, and customization options, this cake will easily become one of your go-to recipes. Trust me; you won’t regret giving it a try!

Ingredient List

 Slices of warm apple cake and hot tea, a perfect way to cozy up on a chilly day
Slices of warm apple cake and hot tea, a perfect way to cozy up on a chilly day

Get ready to make some delicious Irish apple cake! Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Wet Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp. (57g) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


  • 2 cups (240g) cooking apples such as Granny Smith, peeled and chopped into small pieces

Custard Sauce

  • This is an optional extra for serving alongside your cake. You can use store-bought custard or make your own homemade custard using this recipe.

Note: You can also add a tablespoon or two of Calvados apple brandy to the cake batter if you want to give it an extra kick!

The Recipe How-To

 A sweet aroma of cinnamon and apples is guaranteed to fill your kitchen when baking this cake
A sweet aroma of cinnamon and apples is guaranteed to fill your kitchen when baking this cake

Now that you have gathered all the ingredients to make this delicious Irish Apple Cake, let’s get started with the recipe how-to. Follow along for the exact measurements and instructions to make the perfect cake.

Preheat The Oven

Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).

Prepare The Apples

Start by peeling, coring, and slicing 2 Granny Smith apples. You can use any cooking apple that is available if granny smith apples are not available in your area.

Combine Dry Ingredients

In a large bowl, sift together 1 1/4 cups (156g) of all-purpose flour, 2 tsp of baking powder, and a pinch of ground cinnamon.

Cream The Butter and Sugar

In another large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat 4 tablespoons of softened butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add in 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar and continue to beat until well combined. Add in one egg at a time, beating well between each addition.

Mix The Batter

Add your dry ingredients into your sugar-butter mixture in three parts, alternating each addition with a splash of milk until it is well mixed. Fold in the sliced apples gently.

Bake The Cake

Butter a 9-inch cast-iron skillet lightly to prevent sticking or line a cake pan with parchment paper. Pour the batter into the skillet or pan and level it with a spatula. Bake until the top is golden brown around 50 to 60 minutes.

Serve Your Irish Apple Cake

Serve your traditional Irish Apple Cake either warm, chilled or at room temperature accompanied with rich, velvety cold custard sauce on top.

Congratulations! You have made the perfect Irish Apple Cake and experienced one of the best homemade Irish desserts ever.

Substitutions and Variations

 Freshly peeled and sliced apples are the key to this delicious dessert
Freshly peeled and sliced apples are the key to this delicious dessert

One of my favorite things about cooking is experimenting with different ingredients and techniques, and this Irish Apple Cake recipe offers plenty of opportunities for creativity. Here are some ideas for substitutions and variations to try:

– Apples: While cooking apples like Granny Smith are recommended for this recipe, you can also use other varieties like Braeburn, Honeycrisp, or Pink Lady depending on your preference or availability.

– Flour: If you prefer a denser texture or want to make a gluten-free version, you can replace some of the all-purpose flour with almond flour or coconut flour.

– Sugar: Brown sugar, maple syrup, or honey can be used as substitutes for granulated sugar, which will add a different flavor profile to the cake.

– Spices: This recipe calls for ground cinnamon, but you can also add other warm spices like nutmeg or cardamom to complement the apple flavor.

– Liquids: Instead of using milk, you could use buttermilk or sour cream to add a tangy note to the cake batter. Alternatively, you could also add some Calvados (apple brandy) or vanilla extract for extra depth of flavor.

– Toppings: If you want to make the cake more decadent, top it with a dollop of whipped cream or serve it with custard sauce. You could also turn it into an apple crumble cake by adding a crunchy streusel topping made with oats, brown sugar, and butter.

Experimenting with different ingredients and techniques is an important part of making any recipe your own. Don’t be afraid to try out new substitutions and variations to find your perfect version of this classic Irish dessert.

Serving and Pairing

 Don't forget to sprinkle a little powdered sugar on your cake before serving for a touch of sweetness
Don’t forget to sprinkle a little powdered sugar on your cake before serving for a touch of sweetness

Now that you’ve baked a delicious Irish Apple Cake, it’s time to think about how to serve and pair it. The classic pairing for this cake is a drizzling of custard sauce or fresh cream poured on top of the cake. The sweet and creamy flavors go perfectly with the tangy apples in the cake.

Another option is to cut the cake into small squares or wedges and serve it alongside a piping hot cup of tea or coffee. The warmth of the drink complements the warmth of the spiced apple flavor in the cake.

For a fun twist on tradition, try serving your Irish Apple Cake with Calvados apple brandy. This versatile liquor can really bring out the best in the flavors of the cake by adding depth and complexity to each slice.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also use this recipe to make a delightful apple crumble cake. Simply add a sprinkle of ground cinnamon on top of the cake before baking and then serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

No matter how you decide to serve your Irish Apple Cake, one thing is for sure – it will be a delicious treat that your family and friends will love!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 This cake is the epitome of comfort food and perfect for any time of day
This cake is the epitome of comfort food and perfect for any time of day

Once you have made this delicious Irish Apple Cake, you may want to store it for later use. Luckily, this cake is perfect for making ahead and storing.

To make ahead, simply allow the cake to cool completely after baking, then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. You can keep it at room temperature for up to two days, or in the refrigerator for up to a week.

To reheat the cake, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Remove the wrapping and place the cake on a baking sheet. Heat it in the oven for about 10 minutes until warm.

If you prefer to microwave your cake instead, cut a slice and place it on a microwave-safe plate. Heat the slice for about 15-20 seconds on high power until warm. The microwave method may make the cake slightly soggy, so using the oven is recommended.

When serving the Irish Apple Cake, you can add a dollop of whipped cream or a drizzle of custard sauce on top to enhance its flavor. Alternatively, you can serve it with fresh berries or a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

Overall, this recipe is perfect for making ahead and storing for later use. Whether you are preparing it for guests or simply as a treat for yourself, this Irish Apple Cake will taste just as delicious reheated as it did fresh out of the oven.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Apples, cinnamon, and cake - the perfect combination and the perfect
Apples, cinnamon, and cake – the perfect combination and the perfect

Preparing an Irish Apple Cake is no piece of cake! The task might seem daunting at first, but with a few useful tips and tricks, you can make the best Irish Apple Cake in town. In this section, I’ll share some of my favorite tips for perfect results with this recipe.

Firstly, make sure that your butter is softened to the right temperature before mixing it with any other ingredients. Cold butter will result in a dense cake as it does not mix well with other materials. Allow the butter to soften at room temperature for an hour or two before using it.

Next, avoid overmixing the batter. Mixing too much will leave you with a chewy and dense cake that doesn’t rise properly. Mix just enough to combine all the ingredients and achieve a light and fluffy texture.

Another important tip is to use Granny Smith apples as they are perfect for baking due to their tart flavor and firm texture. Their tartness combined with the cinnamon adds a unique flavor to this recipe rather than making it too sweet.

When measuring delicate ingredients like flour, use weight measurements instead of volume measurements to ensure accuracy since slight differences can affect the outcome of your apple cake.

Lastly, don’t hesitate from experimenting with different variations of this recipe using Calvados apple brandy, vanilla extract or also incorporating some oats into the recipe along with raisins or nuts. With these simple tips and tricks, you can easily make your own versions of moist Irish Apple Cake.

Now that you’ve learned about these essential tips, it’s time to get started on your own authentic Irish Apple Cake recipe!


Before we wrap up this article, let’s discuss some frequently asked questions about this Irish Apple Cake Recipe. Many cooks around the world have turned to this traditional Irish dish and come up with their variations over the years. In this section, we have collected a few common queries that people might have while cooking Irish Apple Cake for the first time or tweaking the recipe to suit their taste preferences. So, let’s delve into the FAQ section and get all your doubts cleared!

Why is it called Irish apple cake?

Irish apple cakes have a rich history of being steamed in pots next to open fires before ovens were widely available. Traditionally, these cakes were made using smaller crab apples, which are commonly found in Ireland.

What is the national dessert of Ireland?

It’s impossible to compile a list of Irish desserts without featuring the beloved and decadent Guinness cake. This chocolate cake with a twist has a distinctly Irish flavor and can be adorned with Baileys frosting for an authentic touch.

What is Irish apple cake made of?

For this Irish Apple Cake recipe, we’ll need some key ingredients that add a lovely richness and sweetness to the final product. To create a light and moist cake, we’ll use unsalted butter and granulated sugar, which will help the sweetness blend seamlessly into the overall flavor profile. Plus, we’ll add plenty of fresh apples to really make the dish pop. All measurements can be found in the printable recipe card below.

What can I use instead of Calvados in apple cake?

When preparing this recipe, it is recommended to use Calvados, which is a type of apple brandy from Normandy. However, if you are unable to find Calvados or apple brandy, you may replace it with brandy, Cognac, or dark rum. In the event that you prefer an alcohol-free version, simply omit the brandy and increase the amount of vanilla extract. Keep in mind that the brandy is what gives the tart its name and distinctive taste, so its omission will result in a different flavor.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Irish Apple Cake Recipe is not just any ordinary cake. It is a traditional Irish delicacy that is truly worth trying. With its flavorful combination of ground cinnamon, cooking apple, sugar, and butter, this cake is sure to tantalize your taste buds like never before.

From its moist and tender texture to its delectable aroma, the Irish apple cake made me fall in love with the rich heritage of Irish cuisine. Plus, with its versatile nature and easy-to-follow recipe, you can explore endless variations to suit your taste preferences!

In my opinion, this cake recipe is perfect for any occasion, whether it be a family gathering or a winter evening by an open fire. So why not make it yourself and experience the magic of authentic Irish cuisine? Give it a try today and enjoy a slice of heaven!

Irish Apple Cake

Irish Apple Cake Recipe

This is a traditional recipe - serve warm with whipped cream. I love this type of cake for brunch or tea time, or late at night!
Course Dessert
Cuisine Irish
Keyword < 4 Hours, Brunch, Dessert
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Calories 567.5kcal


  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (plain)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk (approximately )
  • 1 large cooking apple (about 10 ounces in weight, I like granvenstein or granny smith, use your favorite)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C/Gas Mark 4). Butter a 10-inch pie pan.
  • Mix the flour with the baking powder. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the texture resembles bread crumbs. Add the ½ cup sugar, beaten egg, and enough milk to form a soft dough. Pat out half of the dough in the greased pie pan (it is supposed to be very wet).
  • Peel, core, and chop the apple into ¾-inch (2cm) cubes. Arrange the apples on the dough and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar and the cinnamon.
  • Gently spoon out the remaining dough on top of the apples to cover them completely. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar and cut a slit through the middle of the top dough.
  • Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until golden and crunchy on the outside (the apples should be soft on the inside).
  • Serve with softly whipped cream.


Serving: 138g | Calories: 567.5kcal | Carbohydrates: 76.6g | Protein: 8.6g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 15.8g | Cholesterol: 111.8mg | Sodium: 282.6mg | Fiber: 3.2g | Sugar: 31g

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