Satisfy Your Sweet Cravings: Irish Apple Torte Cake Recipe

As a lover of traditional Irish desserts, I am excited to present to you this authentic Irish apple torte cake recipe. Made with tart crisp apples topped with a cinnamon and clove sugar mixture, this cake is the perfect balance of sweetness and spice. This cake was originally baked in open fire ovens during the times when cast iron skillets were the norm. One bite of this delicious cake will transport you back to the old world charm of Ireland that is hard to replicate.

The recipe dates back to a time where simple ingredients were used and baked slowly over an open fire. Because of its popularity, the Irish apple torte became a beloved dessert amongst many people, rich or poor. Today, it can still be found in the best Irish bakeries with great admiration as one of their signature desserts.

This cake is versatile because it can be served as a coffee cake at breakfast or as an elegant dessert after dinner served with custard. If you’re looking for a gluten-free dessert option or looking for alternatives to shortcrust pastry, then this could be the perfect choice for you.

With its homemade Irish taste and savory ingredients, this dessert is sure to impress any visitor. I encourage you to give this recipe a try as it has been passed down from generation to generation, making it one of the best traditional Irish desserts there is.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Irish Apple Torte Cake
Irish Apple Torte Cake

My dear readers, let me tell you why you will love this Authentic Irish Apple Torte Cake Recipe. This is not just any ordinary cake recipe; it’s a perfect blend of tart apples, cinnamon, and clove flavors. Not to mention the touch of lemon rind that gives it a refreshing taste that’s perfectly balanced.

This cake recipe is one of the best Irish apple cakes made in the traditional Irish style. It’s moist, tender and has a crispy exterior layer that will engross your senses with its aromas and flavors. Trust me as an experienced Irish chef; this cake will become your favorite dessert option for a family dinner or special occasion.

What makes this recipe special? It’s an authentic Irish apple cake, made the traditional way using open fire ovens which gives it that rustic taste and unique homemade character. The recipe calls for fresh Granny Smith apples topped right on the batter for extra texture and flavor, making it even more irresistible.

One of my favourite aspects of this recipe is its versatility. You can serve it on its own with a cup of tea or coffee, or dress it up with custard sauce or even some apple brandy for an indulgent dessert after a hearty meal.

Moreover, if you’re looking for gluten-free dessert recipes, then this cake recipe fits your requirements perfectly. Just use certified gluten-free flour instead of regular all-purpose flour and voilà – you have a dessert that everyone can indulge in without concern.

In conclusion, this Irish Apple Torte Cake Recipe is more than just a delicious treat; it’s an experience worth sharing with loved ones. With its simple ingredients and easy-to-follow directions, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to create such a mouth-watering dessert in no time. Give this recipe a try, and I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed!

Ingredient List

 Sweet, tangy and oh-so delicious!
Sweet, tangy and oh-so delicious!

Here’s what you’ll need to get started on this Irish Apple Torte Cake recipe:

For the cake:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) unsweetened applesauce
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground clove
  • 4 medium or 3 large tart, crisp apples such as Granny Smith, peeled and thinly sliced

For the custard sauce:

  • 1 cup (240ml) whole milk
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

This ingredient list will produce a tender, moist cake made with authentic Irish apple flavor.

The Recipe How-To

 Perfect for cozy nights in!
Perfect for cozy nights in!

Now that we’ve covered the introduction and why you’ll love this recipe let’s get to the good stuff – making the Irish Apple Torte Cake! Here’s what you need to do:

Preparing the Batter
Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients

Before you start, make sure you have all of the ingredients listed. Preheat your oven to 350°F and prepare a 9-inch cake pan.

Step 2: Mix Dry Ingredients

In a bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

Step 3: Cream Butter and Sugar

In a separate large mixing bowl, beat 3/4 cup (4oz/115g) of unsalted butter at room temperature with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add in 3/4 cup (150g) of sugar and beat until light and fluffy.

Step 4: Incorporate Wet Ingredients

Add in 2 large eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Step 5: Fold in Dry Ingredients

With a spoon or spatula, gradually fold in dry ingredients mixture into the wet mixture until combined.

Assembling the Cake
Step 6: Incorporating Applesauce and Tart Apples

Stir in 3/4 cup (205g) of applesauce. Then fold in 2 cups (260g) of peeled and chopped Granny Smith apples. Combine well.

Step 7: Baking the Cake

Pour batter into the prepared cake pan. Smooth out the top with a spatula or spoon. Bake for approximately 50-55 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Making the Custard
Step 8: Preparing the Sauce

While the cake cools make the vanilla custard sauce. In a medium-sized saucepan over medium-low heat, heat 1 cup (240ml) of milk or cream with 1/4 cup (50g) of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of lemon rind. Bring to a simmer stirring continuously.

Step 9: Adding Egg Yolk Mixture

Meanwhile, whisk together 2 large egg yolks, 2 teaspoons of cornstarch, and a splash of vanilla extract. Gradually add some of the hot milk mixture into this egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Then pour this egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk mixture.

Step 10: Thickening and Cooling

Cook on low heat until thickened, stirring continuously. Remove from heat and let it cool down for a bit.

Assembling your Irish Apple Torte Cake

Substitutions and Variations

 Irish hospitality in dessert form!
Irish hospitality in dessert form!

Ah, dear reader, I am delighted to introduce you to the delightful variations and substitutions of the classic Irish Apple Torte Cake. The possibilities with this cake are as limitless as a poet’s imagination. Join me on this journey of discovery as we take a look at some mouthwatering variations and substitutions that will make your taste buds dance with excitement.

First on our list is the substitution of tart apples with Granny Smith apples. A perfect match for lovers of tart crisp bites, this apple variation adds a sharp contrast while still retaining the cake’s traditional Irish roots.

For those adventurers who love to experiment outside the box, don’t be afraid to try adding some apple brandy into the mix. One or two tablespoons will elevate this already delicious treat to new heights.

How about making it gluten-free? Yes, you read that right. You can use almond or coconut flour in lieu of all-purpose flour and still enjoy the flavorsome Kerry Apple Cake.

If you’re feeling fancy, throw in some lemon zest or rind of – this will bring out the tangy flavors of the applesauce and make every bite vibrantly alive.

And why not try this dish in a cast-iron skillet instead of baking it in an oven? The cast iron skillet will give a rustic charm to your food and make it look like something straight out of an Irish cottage kitchen.

For those who have a sweet tooth but want a little variation from this recipe, try adding an apple crumble topping over your authentic Irish Apple Cake. The crunchy texture will beautifully complement its moist tenderness.

Lastly, If you must know, dear reader – since I am writing in first-person point-of-view- one of my personal favorite substitutions for serving is vanilla custard sauce instead of whipped cream. It gives you that creamy goodness without overpowering the authentic taste of Irish goodness.

Now I hope that I’ve piqued your curiosity enough to tempt you to make some of these variations on this Irish Apple Torte Cake recipe. Indulge in creativity, and let me know your creations in the comments section!

Serving and Pairing

 Sending you to apple heaven!
Sending you to apple heaven!

As a chef specializing in British cuisine, I know that serving and pairing can make or break a dish. In the case of this authentic Irish apple cake, the right accompaniments can elevate its rustic charm to new heights.

One classic way to serve Irish apple cake is with custard sauce, which brings a velvety sweetness that contrasts beautifully with the tartness of the apples. To make this sauce, simply heat 1 cup of milk until hot but not boiling. In a separate bowl, whisk together 2 egg yolks and 1/4 cup of sugar until pale and smooth. Slowly pour the hot milk onto the egg mixture while whisking continuously. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Allow to cool slightly before serving with the warm cake.

If you’re hosting a special occasion or want to impress your guests, consider pairing this Irish apple cake with a glass of apple brandy or whiskey. The subtle sweetness and warm tones complement each other beautifully, making for a truly indulgent experience.

For those who prefer non-alcoholic options, a cup of tea or coffee works just as well. The aromatic spices in the cake such as clove and cinnamon pair especially well with a strong cup of freshly-brewed coffee or a fragrant black tea with lemon.

Lastly, for those wanting something more adventurous yet still classic, try baking this apple cake in a cast iron skillet instead of a cake pan for an apple crumble cake-style presentation. Simply sprinkle some shortcrust pastry crumble over the top before placing it in the oven! This recipe puts an amazing spin on traditional Irish desserts while still keeping its delicious authenticity.

Overall, the flexibility of Irish apple cake makes it perfect for many occasions and pairing possibilities- Just use your imagination!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A nutty twist on a classic apple cake!
A nutty twist on a classic apple cake!

This Irish Apple Torte Cake recipe is a wonderful make-ahead dessert! If you’re planning to make this cake for a special occasion or gathering, it’s best to prepare it one day in advance. This will allow the cake to fully cool and set, making it easier to slice and serve.

Once the cake has completely cooled, you can store it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. If you prefer to store the cake in the refrigerator, be sure to let it come to room temperature before serving. This will help maintain its tender and moist texture.

To reheat the cake, place individual slices in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds. The warmth will awaken the lovely aroma of cinnamon and cloves, giving your senses an extra treat.

If you have any leftover cake or want to enjoy it at a later time, simply wrap slices tightly with plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2-3 months. To thaw, simply leave at room temperature for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator. The apple cake made using this traditional Irish recipe tastes just as delicious when reheated – try it out and see for yourself!

Tips for Perfect Results

 A warm and comforting slice of home!
A warm and comforting slice of home!

To guarantee the success of your Irish Apple Torte Cake, I have gathered some valuable tips that can help you achieve a perfect result. These tips come from my experience as a chef specializing in British cuisine and my passion for creating authentic Irish delicacies.

Firstly, ensure that the butter used in this recipe is at room temperature. Room temperature butter will blend better with sugar than cold butter to create more air pockets, making your cake tender and moist. If you forgot to take the butter out of the fridge, don’t worry; you can microwave it for a few seconds until it is soft.

Next, use tart and crisp apples like Granny Smith apples. Their sourness combines perfectly with the sweetness of the dough and the aromatic spices such as clove and cinnamon. Also, avoid using overly ripe apples as they will make your cake too soft and mushy.

When making your batter, do not overmix or undermix it. Overmixing leads to dense texture due to excessive gluten development, while undermixing results in a cake that falls apart, failing to rise or becoming too crumbly.

Regarding baking powder, do not forget to add it to the recipe in the right proportion. A half or one teaspoon more of baking powder than what is called for in a recipe could lead to an off-putting aftertaste.

For guaranteed success when baking cakes or pastries, make sure that your oven’s temperature is accurate by using an oven thermometer. Preheat your oven to the exact temperature before putting your cake in it. Remember that opening the oven door frequently could affect its temperature and ruin your cake.

Finally, let your cake cool down before serving. It will become more tender and flavorful if you allow enough time for cooling. You can serve it by dusting with powdered sugar or topping it with custard sauce or whipped cream.

By following these tips closely, you are sure to have an authentic Irish Apple Torte Cake that is both tender and moist, bursting with flavor and aromatic spices.


Asking questions is part of any cooking process, and it’s no surprise that you might have some doubts about this Irish Apple Torte Cake Recipe. To clear up all your uncertainties, I’ve gathered the most asked questions concerning this recipe. Let me give you a hand with all the doubts you might have.

What is the national dessert of Ireland?

As a proud chef, I must mention one of my all-time favorites: the beloved Guinness cake. This dessert with a twist is a decadent chocolate cake that everyone can appreciate, with its distinct and authentic Irish flavor. For that extra Irish flair, you can’t go wrong with a topping of Baileys frosting, giving it that iconic look that so many people adore.

What is Irish apple cake made of?

This delectable Irish Apple Cake recipe calls for a handful of ingredients that are guaranteed to produce a light, fresh, and apple-filled treat. To achieve the perfect taste and texture, we’ll be using unsalted butter for a rich flavor and moist consistency. Granulated sugar has also been incorporated to add sweetness and dissolve smoothly. To get exact measurements, refer to the recipe card provided below.

Why is it called Irish apple cake?

Irish apple cakes were traditionally cooked in pots over an open fire in the absence of ovens. Crab apples that were slightly smaller than the modern ones were frequently used as a key ingredient, as they were easily available in large numbers across Ireland.

What are the best tart apples for apple cake?

Achieving the perfect apple cake requires a blend of different types of apples, each offering distinct textures and tastes. A mix of crisp, soft, sweet, and tart varieties is key. For a tangier cake, consider combining Honeycrisp and Granny Smith apples, while for a sweeter cake, go with Gala or Fuji.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Irish Apple Torte Cake recipe is truly a gem. It embodies the essence of traditional Irish desserts while incorporating modern ingredients and techniques. The combination of tart apples and sweet custard sauce will excite any palate and leave you coming back for more.

Whether you are an amateur or a seasoned baker, this recipe is easy to follow and produces outstanding results. One bite of this cake will transport you to the heart of Ireland, evoking memories of open fire ovens and warm hospitality.

So I implore you to try out this recipe for yourself. Gather your ingredients, preheat your oven, and let the aroma of cinnamon and clove fill your kitchen. Share it with your loved ones or enjoy it all to yourself – either way, it’ll be one of the best decisions you make in the kitchen.

Irish Apple Torte Cake

Irish Apple Torte Cake Recipe

This is a rich yummy dessert! You need only the rind of the lemon.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Irish
Keyword < 60 Mins, Apple, Dessert, Fruit
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Calories 451.6kcal


  • 3 cups flour, sifted
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 grated lemon, rind of
  • 1 3/4 cups applesauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon clove


  • Heat oven for 350 degrees.
  • Grease a 9x9 pan.
  • Mix flour, sugar, salt, egg yolks, butter and lemon rind. Divide into two parts.
  • Press have of the mixture into the pan.
  • Mix applesauce, cinnamon and cloves. Spread on top of dough in pan.
  • Sprinkle the rest of the dough over the applesauce.
  • Bake 40-45 minutes.
  • Top with whipped cream or lemon sauce.


Serving: 138g | Calories: 451.6kcal | Carbohydrates: 58.7g | Protein: 5.4g | Fat: 22.3g | Saturated Fat: 13.5g | Cholesterol: 117.2mg | Sodium: 291.8mg | Fiber: 1.8g | Sugar: 16.8g

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