Authentic Irish Apple Cake

spooning custard sauce on an Irish Apple Cake

This is an authentic old fashioned Irish apple cake, the kind that would be made throughout the apple harvest season all over Ireland, where every farmhouse has its own prized version of the recipe. It’s delicious with or without the traditional custard sauce!

spooning custard sauce on a slice of Irish Apple Cake

a classic apple cake filled with juicy apples and warm spices

This easy apple cake recipe speaks to another era and another continent. But nothing beats a kitchen filled with the warm scent of apples and cinnamon, no matter what your particular spot in the baking universe. The cake is mildly spiced, with an inner core of thinly sliced tart apples, topped with a crumbly oat streusel. Tradition dictates serving it with some thick cream, or a luscious custard sauce. Choose to respect or flaunt tradition: you’re in charge.

Granny Smith apples

best apples for an apple cake

I used Granny Smith apples for this apple cake ~ they’re nice and tart and don’t get mushy in the oven.

Another good choice would be Honeycrisp apples. You can always experiment with other types, if you want, you can’t go too wrong here. (Pickyourown.org has a pretty comprehensive guide to apple varieties.)  You’ll need about 3 good sized apples for this recipe, that’s the bottom line. Peel them, and slice them thinly. If you’re making them more than a few minutes ahead, be sure to toss them with a little lemon juice to prevent browning.

Irish Apple Cake just out of the pan and on a cooling rack

the crumble topping makes this cake especially appropriate for breakfast, brunch, or afternoon tea

This is a not-too-sweet kind of cake in the European tradition. It’s pretty perfect with a cup of coffee or tea in the morning or mid afternoon, though still definitely special enough to serve as dessert, especially with the custard. The custard sauce keeps well in the fridge, and can be served either warm or cold. The cake, however, is especially fabulous and fragrant warm from the oven.

a slice of Irish Apple Cake with custard sauce

love cooking with apples? (we do too.)


Reader Rave ~

“This was absolutely delicious and very easy and straightforward to make. This was my first time ever making an Apple Cake and now I’ve make it twice in 2 days!!!”     ~ Janice


Irish Apple Cake with Custard Sauce
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3.78 from 826 votes

Irish Apple Cake

An authentic Irish Farmhouse Apple Cake ~ delicious with or without the traditional custard sauce!
Course Dessert
Cuisine Irish
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Yield 10 servings
Calories 372.87kcal
Author Sue Moran

Equipment

  • 9 inch spring form pan

Ingredients

cake

  • 1/2 cup (or 113 grams) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (or 100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 Tbsp (or 45 ml) whole milk or cream
  • 1 1/4 cups (or 150 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • about 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and thinly sliced. Mine weighed a little over a pound after slicing.
  • confectioner's sugar for dusting

streusel topping

  • 3/4 cup (or 96 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (or 25 grams) old fashioned rolled oats
  • 6 Tbsp (or 85 grams) unsalted cold butter cut in small pieces
  • 1/2 cup (or 100 grams) granulated sugar

custard sauce

  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 6 Tbsp (or 76 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (or 375 ml) whole milk ~ you can also use half and half or cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  • Set the oven to 350F Grease a 9 inch springform pan.
  • Make the custard sauce ahead of time. Bring the milk to a simmer over medium heat. Meanwhile whisk the yolks and sugar until well combined. Drizzle a little of the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking all the time. Drizzle a little more, then transfer that back into the pan of hot milk and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Do this slowly, over medium heat, and I like to use a silicone spoon or spatula to scrape the bottom and sides of the pan as it heats. The mixture will become velvety and thickend, but it will not be as thick as pudding. It will continue to thicken as it cools, so don't overcook or it can curdle. Stir in the vanilla.
  • Pour the custard through a sieve (to catch any stray lumps) into a heat proof jar or bowl and place a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface so it won't form a skin as it cools. Put in the refrigerator until completely chilled.
  • To make the streusel topping, blend the bits of butter into the flour, sugar, and oats until the butter is incorporated and the mixture has a coarse crumbly texture. Put in the refrigerator.
  • Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Fold the dry ingredients into the butter/sugar mixture, along with the milk or cream.
  • Spoon the batter into your prepared pan, and smooth out evenly. Top with the sliced apples, and then the streusel topping. Note: no need to arrange the apples perfectly, but try to get them in an even layer.
  • Bake for about 50 minutes to an hour, until the top is lightly browned and a toothpick comes out without wet batter clinging to it.
  • Let cool a bit in the pan before removing. Dust with confectioner's sugar before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 372.87kcal | Carbohydrates: 49.8g | Protein: 4.66g | Fat: 17.7g | Saturated Fat: 10.67g | Sodium: 85.04mg | Fiber: 2.47g | Sugar: 26.94g
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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175 Comments

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  • Reply
    Cherry Clark
    June 19, 2021 at 2:30 pm

    5 stars
    Oh my! I made this cake for friends moving to their retirement home and they say they demolished. Just made another for ourselves and the smells are heavenly as it cools on the rack. Definitely a fave from now on!
    When I made the first cake I had only two apples so grated them to ensure and even distribution, and I have grated them again this time. Just seems to me that the textures would meld into each other.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      June 19, 2021 at 8:09 pm

      I like that idea Cherry, I’ll try it.

  • Reply
    Dee
    May 9, 2021 at 6:22 pm

    5 stars
    I made this for Mother’s day yesterday (in Australia) and it was the best. A big hit with everyone and none left over. I ran out of time so bought custard instead of making the custard, but cake was DELICIOUS!!! I often worry about making a new recipe for a function, when I haven’t made it before……but no need to worry…..it was yummmmmy!!!! Many thanks for the recipe. Dee

  • Reply
    Kristie Ross
    April 15, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    An I make the cake and sauce and pack it well and take it to Arizona from Colorado

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      April 15, 2021 at 1:39 pm

      The cake should travel fine Kristie, but the sauce would have to be refrigerated. Have a nice trip!

  • Reply
    Shawn McInnes
    March 20, 2021 at 4:34 pm

    4 stars
    I made this for a belated St. Patrick’s Day celebration (3/19/21). I messed up on the custard sauce and overcooked it — had to throw it (the sauce) away. Thankfully we had some vanilla ice cream in the freezer, so we just had the cake with a little scoop of vanilla ice cream on the top. Yum! Will attempt to make this again and will be VERY careful not to overcook the custard sauce again. I know it would have been PERFECT with the custard sauce so that’s why I want to try making it again. I’m wondering if, in the directions for the sauce, you could maybe include what temperature you should cook it to (like on an instant read thermometer)? That would be easier to understand than saying that it should “coat the back of a spoon”. I couldn’t figure that part out and that’s why I messed it up when I was trying to make it.

  • Reply
    Diane
    March 18, 2021 at 11:21 am

    5 stars
    This was outstanding recipe. I made this for St. Patrick’s Day and it was a hit. I did not make the sauce this time, ran out of time but will make this again soon with the sauce. A definite keeper!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    March 18, 2021 at 10:52 am

    5 stars
    Making this tonight for my family. So excited! My son (7) is studying Ireland for class and this is a easy recipe for him to help make. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  • Reply
    Doris
    March 17, 2021 at 3:55 pm

    5 stars
    I can’t have dairy so I used almond milk and for the butter I substituted Country Crock Plant Butter. I had to use Gala apples also, all I had on hand. It is delish! Made it today for St. Patrick’s day. I lined my springform pan with merchandiser for easy removal.

    • Reply
      Doris
      March 17, 2021 at 3:58 pm

      Should say parchment parchment paper.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      March 17, 2021 at 4:09 pm

      I’m so glad it worked for you Doris, Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

  • Reply
    Kendra
    March 16, 2021 at 7:48 pm

    5 stars
    I was warry about how this would turn out given the texture of the batter, but, it pulled away from the pan beautifully! I had never made custard either, and that turned out velvety perfect! I’m so excited about this recipe and can’t wait to serve it to the family on st patrick’s day! Thank you!

  • Reply
    Barry Hickethier
    March 14, 2021 at 11:13 am

    5 stars
    Made this for a dinner with a few friends and it was a huge hit! Since 1 person has celiac, I substituted Bob’s Red Mill 1-for-1 gluten free flour. Worked just fine. I also did not have gluten free oats, so used only butter flour and sugar for the streussel topping. Ratio wasn’t quite right (not enough flour) so ended up with brule’ effect, which actually worked well.

    After straining, I added some Five Farms Irish Cream to the custard. The warm boozy caramel notes of the Irish Cream were a perfect compliment to the apples. This does thin the custard, so you may want to let the custard get a little thicker than you normally would for this desert.

    This desert is so versatile. Equally great for after dinner, afternoon tea or brunch.

    This was my first recipe from your blog. I’m excited to try more.

  • Reply
    Ellen Easton
    March 13, 2021 at 7:02 am

    5 stars
    Looks delicious. Your photography is beautiful.

  • Reply
    Janice Olson
    February 14, 2021 at 9:00 am

    5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious and very easy and straightforward to make. This was my first time ever making an Apple Cake and now I’ve make it twice in 2 days!!! I skipped the custard and instead used some homemade salted caramel that I had on hand. Rave reviews from friends and family whom I’ve served this to this weekend!!! This is now my go-to dessert – every day, all year long 🙂

  • Reply
    Dawn
    February 6, 2021 at 9:39 am

    you never say what to do with custard

    • Reply
      Michelle
      February 13, 2021 at 10:24 am

      Simply pour a little of it over each slice of cake; it is sort of like putting ice cream on pie.

  • Reply
    Colleen Simec
    February 5, 2021 at 6:32 am

    5 stars
    I love that you gave both versions of the measurements, metric and imperial .So thoughtful of you.

  • Reply
    alison
    February 2, 2021 at 10:15 am

    Hi sue!
    what kind of sugar did you use in this recipe? thanks.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      February 2, 2021 at 10:32 am

      I used granulated sugar.

  • Reply
    Julie in the Berkshires
    January 10, 2021 at 3:02 pm

    5 stars
    Oh my goodness! I knew I was going to make this as soon as I saw your post, Sue! My husband and I just devoured our first pieces and I can’t guarantee it will last beyond tomorrow ?
    I did make one substitution because I love almond flour and I always have it on hand. I replaced all of the AP flour with almond flour and it was delicious! And since I’m a Weight Watcher and finally hit my goal last year and have kept all 45 lbs. of it off (yay!!) I didn’t make the Custard Sauce… but I might weaken tomorrow and make it!!! And, yes, I’ll count all the points! ? It’s so worth it!
    One other note is that I only have an 8″ springform pan so I used that and didn’t reduce the recipe at all. It took 1 hr. 10 min. to bake and it was the perfect size for the 2 large Honeycrisp apples I had.
    Thanks again for another 5 ? gem, Sue!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      March 20, 2021 at 9:47 am

      I’ll definitely have to try the almond flour version, I’d love to be able to offer this as a gf cake.

  • Reply
    Michelle V.
    January 10, 2021 at 8:20 am

    5 stars
    This recipe sounded so good, I made it yesterday after I read the post. It did not disappoint. It was delicious. I did not make the sauce. It was perfect on it’s own. Only difference was mine took longer to bake, but perhaps it was my old oven. Anyway, thank you. It is a keeper for sure!

  • Reply
    Sharni
    January 9, 2021 at 5:11 pm

    Dear Sue, love all your recipes and will be trying this one this afternoon. However just wanted to THANK YOU for adding “grams” to your recipes. I am from Australia and our cup and tablespoon measurements are a little different and butter is not sold in “sticks”. The conversions are not difficult but your addition of the gram measurements to your recipes just makes things a tad easier. (I am still figuring out “half and half” – not sold here.) Love the photographs by the way.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      January 10, 2021 at 7:30 am

      Hi Sharni ~ half and half is just equal parts whole milk and cream, if that helps!

  • Reply
    Kate
    January 9, 2021 at 12:27 pm

    5 stars
    Whoa, this looks totally delicious! I’m an apple cake fan and this one looks so good – thanks for the recipe!

  • Reply
    Julie
    January 9, 2021 at 9:59 am

    5 stars
    This looks and sounds fabulous! I really love that it is acceptable to eat for breakfast too!

  • Reply
    Dannii
    January 9, 2021 at 8:25 am

    5 stars
    I love any kind of apple dessert, and this looks incredible. So much flavour!

  • Reply
    Lyve
    January 9, 2021 at 8:02 am

    5 stars
    Don’t skimp on the apples and absolutely make the custard sauce!!

  • Reply
    Jesse
    January 9, 2021 at 7:17 am

    5 stars
    This was SO tasty. My wife and I loved it. Glad we decided on your recipe when looking for an apple cake.

  • Reply
    Jen
    January 9, 2021 at 7:05 am

    5 stars
    This was a hit with my family! So delicious that they’re already asking me when I plan on making it again.

  • Reply
    Vicki
    November 14, 2020 at 1:16 pm

    5 stars
    Made this today with some cooking apples I was given ( not sure on the type ). Turned out amazingly. I used 1/2 Demerara sugar and 1/2 caster sugar for the topping and added a bit of cinnamon into it as well. Didn’t make the sauce as already had some shop brought custard. Will definitely be making again.

  • Reply
    Jen
    October 3, 2020 at 6:10 am

    5 stars
    This is heavenly. Just the right amount of sweet, perfect for dessert or with a cup of coffee in the morning. Highly recommend.

  • Reply
    Ricky
    September 26, 2020 at 9:15 am

    Hi Sue, a few questions: First, how do you know when to take the custard mix off the heat before it curdles? Do you stir in the vanilla before or after taking it off the heat? Also, does anything need to be changed or adjusted if I’m using a 10” spring form pan? I’m a pretty inexperienced baker and I’ve never really made anything this “advanced” before, but when I saw this recipe I wanted so badly to try it! Any help or advice is super appreciated 🙂

  • Reply
    Libby
    September 12, 2020 at 8:15 am

    Do you drizzle all of the hot milk into the egg mixture or just some? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 12, 2020 at 8:21 am

      I just use about half of it to temper the eggs, but you can add all, slowly, it doesn’t really matter. You’ll put it back into the pan to thicken up in either case.

  • Reply
    Shiley
    August 27, 2020 at 9:00 am

    Can oil or crisco be used in place of butter?

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 27, 2020 at 9:03 am

      I haven’t tried, but I would suggest that the butter flavored crisco might work because it’s in solid form.

  • Reply
    JULIE PETERSON
    August 9, 2020 at 1:10 pm

    5 stars
    This is truly a wonderful cake. Not too sweet and the cream sauce is nice and light.

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 9, 2020 at 1:25 pm

      Glad you loved it Julie 🙂

  • Reply
    Sonia
    June 28, 2020 at 10:27 am

    5 stars
    Made this last night and the family really enjoyed it! Not over sweet, very good! Thank you fro posting this recipe.

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 28, 2020 at 11:22 am

      It’s a recipe you can go back to again and again, it’s such a season spanner.

  • Reply
    Sandra
    June 27, 2020 at 6:38 pm

    Is there an important reason to use unsalted butter? Does it make a big difference? I only have salted.

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 28, 2020 at 4:34 am

      You can use the salted in baking, just remember to omit any other added salt in your recipes.

  • Reply
    Judy
    June 23, 2020 at 12:58 pm

    5 stars
    I’ve been reading books by Jean Grainger who is Irish and all her stories are set in Ireland. Seems like Irish cake with cream is THE cake for every special occasion so I’m thrilled to see your recipe.

  • Reply
    Karen L
    May 9, 2020 at 8:32 am

    Just put this cake in the oven and am impatiently waiting to see how it turns out. I have a feeling that I didn’t do such a great job on the streusel topping. The butter didn’t seem to be incorporated into the other ingredients enough but I went ahead and put in on the apples. Guess we will see what happens. If the cake is still as good as it sounds, I will have to make it again doing a better job on the streusel.

  • Reply
    CJ
    May 8, 2020 at 8:55 am

    Hi! I want to try this recipe this weekend but I don’t have a spring form pan. Any suggestions or experience making with a different pan? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 8, 2020 at 8:58 am

      Use something with the same dimensions, like a 9 inch round cake pan, or even a 9 inch square baker. In those cases you’ll have to cut and serve the cake from the pan, because you won’t be able to turn it out.

      • Reply
        CJ
        May 8, 2020 at 9:14 am

        Thank you! Will try!

  • Reply
    patricia fitzgerald
    May 7, 2020 at 8:48 am

    looks and sounds divine! will definitely try it. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Louise
      January 9, 2021 at 7:12 am

      You could line the pan with tin foil leaving some to overhang the pan. When cool, gently lift the cake out by the overhanging tim foil. Also makes clean up easy!

  • Reply
    Jen
    April 29, 2020 at 11:11 am

    5 stars
    This was so good. I substituted gluten free flour for regular flour, plus coconut milk for the crean. My whole family raved! Thanks

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 29, 2020 at 11:41 am

      Thanks, Jen, glad you liked it!

    • Reply
      Alene
      January 9, 2021 at 8:40 am

      Wonderful! What kind did you use?

  • Reply
    Leissa
    April 21, 2020 at 3:39 pm

    5 stars
    Delicious and moist. I added vanilla to cake and used brown sugar, instead of white in crumble. I will definitely make again!

  • Reply
    Maggie B
    April 11, 2020 at 7:19 pm

    Do I need to refrigerate this once cooled? Obviously, without the custard.

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 11, 2020 at 7:25 pm

      No, you can leave it on the counter, covered with foil.

  • Reply
    Alice
    March 29, 2020 at 8:54 pm

    5 stars
    I was skeptical at first but made this and spoiled my family for good. My hubby loves this so much he wants it for birthday cake!

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 29, 2020 at 9:04 pm

      Yay!! Just what I love to hear.

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 30, 2020 at 7:07 am

      That’s the highest compliment 🙂

  • Reply
    Florence Diehl
    March 27, 2020 at 9:56 am

    5 stars
    Easy to make. And taste delicious beyond your imagination.

  • Reply
    Dorothy Bernard
    March 11, 2020 at 1:29 pm

    5 stars
    Made two cakes for our monthly UMW church meeting. Came out wonderful.

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 11, 2020 at 1:45 pm

      Great, I’m so glad Dorothy!

  • Reply
    Linda ONeill
    March 8, 2020 at 3:34 pm

    Exclusive of the custard sauce, does this apple cake freeze well?

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 8, 2020 at 3:49 pm

      It should freeze fine Linda.

  • Reply
    Lolly
    March 7, 2020 at 10:14 am

    I would love it if you could post a picture where the texture of sliced cake is at the best angle to see it and without toppings. I think that gives you the best way to judge if you would enjoy it second to how it looks coming out of the oven in the pan. It does look very good from the angle shown in the pan.

  • Reply
    Jaimie
    March 5, 2020 at 8:08 am

    I probably should skip this recipe since I’ve just been diagnosed with T2D and am trying to control it with diet and exercise but this looks so good. Could you break down the nutrition info by each part? ( maybe if I skip the custard…). Thanks in advance!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      January 9, 2021 at 6:22 am

      I’ve added the nutritional info.

  • Reply
    Diane Cruciata
    March 2, 2020 at 8:50 am

    Could you just eat the cake alone without the custard sauce

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 2, 2020 at 9:02 am

      Yes, for sure!

  • Reply
    Megan
    February 26, 2020 at 8:34 am

    I have a family gathering where I stay the night for a week and would like to take this, they are 1.5 hours from me and I can’t make it in their kitchen. Is it okay to make the cake and crisp then freeze it until I need it?

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 21, 2020 at 4:45 am

      Yes, that should be fine.

  • Reply
    Lynne Gangl
    February 26, 2020 at 5:43 am

    When discussing how little juice there is with only grannies, maybe switch out one of them for another type that has that extra quickness you might crave

    • Reply
      Ann Martin
      January 9, 2021 at 7:01 am

      5 stars
      Good suggestion – I will try that! Thanks to Sue for this wonderful recipe.

  • Reply
    Rachael
    February 25, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    4 stars
    This cake was delicious! Not too sweet with a wonderful texture. My family loved it with the custard on top, which is surprising because I I am usually the only one that likes custard. The next time I make it, I am going to chop the apples and fold them into the batter to get a good bit of apple in every bite.

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 25, 2020 at 1:34 pm

      Glad you loved this Rachel, I think chopping the apples would work great too 🙂

  • Reply
    Patty
    February 25, 2020 at 3:40 am

    This recipe sounds delightful. Being gluten free, could almond flour, cassava flour or coconut flour substitute for the wheat flour?
    I like the use if walnuts or pecans in place of oatmeal in the streusel topping.

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 25, 2020 at 7:28 am

      I always tend to recommend a good gf baking mix, or a baking mix combined with one of those flours, for best results in cakes and muffins etc.

  • Reply
    Jamie
    February 24, 2020 at 8:58 am

    This sounds delish!!! Do you think I could leave out the oats in the topping?

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 24, 2020 at 9:00 am

      Yes, just add a bit more flour, or you could add walnuts if that appeals to you.

  • Reply
    nikii
    February 20, 2020 at 7:57 am

    Can you make this the day before? Do you need to reheat the custard sauce?

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 20, 2020 at 9:46 am

      Yes, and you use the sauce cold, so it’s perfect for the next day.

  • Reply
    Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry
    February 15, 2020 at 12:02 pm

    5 stars
    I’d love a slice of this with some custard sauce – it looks absolutely delicious and it’d be difficult to stop myself from eating it all!

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 22, 2020 at 8:07 am

      I love a slice the next day for breakfast 🙂

  • Reply
    Jayne
    February 15, 2020 at 11:31 am

    5 stars
    I have been looking for the perfect St Patty’s Day dessert and I just found it. This Irish Apple Cake looks amazing.

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 22, 2020 at 8:08 am

      I just made it again yesterday ~ so good!

  • Reply
    Anita
    February 15, 2020 at 11:14 am

    5 stars
    We love a good apple cake in our house, and this one is definitely one of the tastiest we have tried. The streusel topping is lovely, and so is the custard sauce.

  • Reply
    Jen
    February 15, 2020 at 11:11 am

    5 stars
    Not only is this cake delicious but it makes the whole house smell amazing!

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 15, 2020 at 11:12 am

      I know, that’s such a nice bonus 🙂

  • Reply
    Elaine
    February 15, 2020 at 10:47 am

    5 stars
    Two thumbs up for this recipe! I made it for a dinner party and it got rave reviews. Saving this one for St. Patrick’s Day, too.

  • Reply
    Mkmc
    January 28, 2020 at 7:24 pm

    Do you have pictures of the apple layer or can you describe how you did that layer? I am thinking about using a mandolin to slice the apples but don’t know if they should be in a single layer, 1/2″ tall or scattered and sparse. Since that apples are a layer and not in the batter, how would their juiciness be a factor? Do they cook into the cake?

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 28, 2020 at 7:29 pm

      I piled the apple slices into the cake in a haphazard way, no need to stack neatly. They don’t cook into the cake, they maintain their shape.

  • Reply
    Brittney
    November 15, 2019 at 8:56 am

    5 stars
    This recipe was amazing! I didn’t have any apples on hand so I used bartlett pears that were still a little hard and they turned out perfect! I also used a tall 9″ cake pan and it worked great. The tall sides made it nice for holding the streusel topping once I cut it! I will definitely be making this again with pears for Thanksgiving. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 15, 2019 at 9:17 am

      Now you’ve got me wanting to try pears!

  • Reply
    Beckett
    September 30, 2019 at 7:03 pm

    5 stars
    I love your recipe! I was curious if you ever made them as bite size cakes or mini muffins. In the off chance you have I am catering an event for 200 and would love to hear your advice.

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 30, 2019 at 7:14 pm

      I haven’t tried this as muffins, I would think it would be worth an experiment, though. For something as small as a bite sized muffin you’d want to get the apple into a tiny dice without turning it into mush ~ let me know if you attempt it!

  • Reply
    Maria Elena
    May 20, 2019 at 4:51 am

    5 stars
    Hi Sue… I had traveled to Ireland and brought back good whisky!… I wanted to have some friends over for an Irish dinner so we could all try the whiskey together… I picked this cake for dessert and I was very pleased!!!… It is easy, delicious and not too sweet!!… My favorite kind 🙂

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 20, 2019 at 6:49 am

      I take that as high praise since you’ve just been to Ireland!

  • Reply
    Falon
    March 22, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    For the blending of the oatmeal, can this be done by hand or is a blender needed.

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 22, 2019 at 1:29 pm

      You can do it by hand, for sure, using forks or a pastry cutter.

  • Reply
    Darlene Chambers
    March 17, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    Would u think the 3 apples are too much??

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 4, 2019 at 3:19 pm

      3 worked just right for me.

  • Reply
    Arlene K.
    February 20, 2019 at 4:04 pm

    Could I use an 8 or 9″ cake pan instead of the spring form pan?

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 20, 2019 at 4:24 pm

      Yes, absolutely, just watch your cooking time if you use a smaller diameter pan.

  • Reply
    Leslie Kupfer
    January 9, 2019 at 10:11 am

    Hi – Can this cake be made with pears? Have several which are not soft yet, and thought they would go well in this recipe. Thanks1

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 9, 2019 at 11:00 am

      I would think that would be nice Leslie.

  • Reply
    Debra
    January 1, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    5 stars
    Just made this with my sister and nephew. We give it two thumbs up!

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 4, 2019 at 3:19 pm

      Thanks Debra 🙂

  • Reply
    Eileen
    December 23, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    5 stars
    A novice to this, I was a bit alarmed at how dry the dough seemed, but the end result was lovely!

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 23, 2018 at 5:42 pm

      I’m so glad it worked out for you 🙂

  • Reply
    Carol Weaver
    October 15, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    Some stores in eastern PA (Wegman’s for example) carry Bird’s custard mix. We used that when living in the UK and it makes it so much easier to serve custard whenever we want it.

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 15, 2018 at 1:23 pm

      I remember that mix from when I lived in Britain, it’s so convenient. Wonder if you can get it on Amazon.

  • Reply
    Madi
    April 25, 2018 at 7:14 pm

    5 stars
    When I was making it, I was a bit concerned because the batter amount was quite small, and I barely had enough to create an even layer on my small round springform pan.
    HOWEVER it turned out quite nice, and rose well (I use self-raising flour instead of baking powder and regular flour).
    My only concern was that the sides and bottom were a slight edge of burnt even under the cooking time.
    I’ll be trying this again in a couple of days to perfect it 🙂 It is a lovely cake. As I didn’t have the time to make custard, I’ve just warmed slices of the cake and served with ice cream <3

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 25, 2018 at 7:31 pm

      Thanks Madi ~ and I would check your oven temp with a thermometer because it’s possible it runs a few degrees hot. This is a small cake, and I think that’s partly because it is authentically Irish, and the rest of the world seems to enjoy much more modest desserts than we Americans do 🙂

  • Reply
    Georgia A Ipsen
    March 25, 2018 at 5:35 am

    Can I use old fashioned oats instead of old fashioned rolled oats?

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 25, 2018 at 7:24 am

      Yes, Georgia, that’s fine.

  • Reply
    Angel
    March 18, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    Made this for St. Patrick’s Day dessert. The cake turned out great. My husband doesn’t eat a lot of sweets so I know if he likes it we have a winner. I tried twice to make the custard sauce but after the second batch curdled I gave up and ate the cake with a scoop of French vanilla ice cream. I might try the sauce again some time but it’s fine without it. Thanks for this recipe it will be part of the rotation now.

    • Reply
      Anne-Marie
      March 4, 2020 at 12:58 pm

      Hi, regarding the custard… I have always made my custard with cornflour and fewer eggs, I was dubious about this way anyways I did as per the recipe and saw the custard start to separate and curdle so I quickly took it off the heat and mixed some of the almost curdled custard with some regular flour and whisked it into the mix and back on low heat. Saved in the nick of time. Yum.

      • Reply
        Sue
        March 4, 2020 at 1:17 pm

        Good to know, Anne-Marie. Custard made like this is very sensitive to heat, for sure. Glad you could save it!

  • Reply
    Maria Kanis
    March 18, 2018 at 10:28 am

    Hi there Sue, I’m Irish & hail from Dublin & for the last 18 years have lived with my English Husband in the Limousin region of France. Limoges, our capital city is renowned worldwide for it’s beautiful Pottery, our region is also famous for it’s Limousine Apples, hence the reason I’m always on the lookout for a nice apple cake, in fact, have a folder full of them & have worked my way through most of them. I’m looking forward to trying your recipe but was wondering if it’s at all possible to list in metric or imperial measurements for those of us this side of the Pond. I can convert, but it’s doesn’t always work out.
    Being St Patrick’s weekend my Husband is shouting for Irish Apple Cake so I would love to try yours.
    I’m not too sure if you will get this message or not but would love to hear from you.
    Meantime, I hope you are having a good St Pat’s weekend. Slainte, Maria

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 18, 2018 at 7:06 pm

      Hey Maria ~ I will try to get to that conversion this week, I’m traveling in Florida right now visiting my Dad and his wife, but I’m working remotely 😉 I wish I could find a reliable and easy converter, it’s such tricky business, as you note. I may have to get back to the kitchen and actually make this cake again to do an accurate job. Thanks for following along from such a distance ~ I would love to get to Limoges someday!

  • Reply
    Lily
    March 16, 2018 at 10:59 pm

    I am sad I did everything and looks like is not rising what did I do wrong? I used the right pan was I suppose to put the pan on cookies sheet cause that’s what I did maybe that’s it ?

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 17, 2018 at 6:20 am

      This isn’t a tall fluffy cake, Lily, but rather dense, almost like a tart, so it’s possible you did everything right.

      • Reply
        Teri
        March 17, 2018 at 1:03 pm

        Sue can you use a 8” cake pan instead of 9”?

        • Reply
          Sue
          March 17, 2018 at 2:31 pm

          Sure!

      • Reply
        Lily
        March 17, 2018 at 2:43 pm

        Thank you for letting me know that But it was Delicious ! So I know I did it right now thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Amanda
    January 21, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    Is the custard sauce supposed to be thick?

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 21, 2018 at 4:07 pm

      Not super thick, Amanda.

  • Reply
    Brenda
    December 12, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    If I am serving this at a dinner party, can I make it the night before?

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 12, 2017 at 4:42 pm

      Yes, that won’t be a problem, enjoy!

  • Reply
    Katie HG
    October 17, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    5 stars
    I’ve had a couple of apples knocking about in my fridge for a while and couldn’t decide what to make! I settled on this cake and boy am I glad! Delicious, soft, not too sweet and a wonderful crumble topping. Thank you!

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 17, 2017 at 2:00 pm

      Thanks for letting us know, Katie!

  • Reply
    joan
    May 16, 2017 at 10:05 am

    5 stars
    I made this cake for Saturday nite dinner, what a success. I did not peel the apples and I used almond flour, it came out perfect. thank you for your wonderful recipes..

    • Reply
      Julia Raudenbush
      March 22, 2019 at 9:25 am

      I know this comment is 2 years old, but I am intrigued by your use of almond flour. Was that completely in place of the all purpose flour? I am gluten free and always looking for good ways to alter traditional recipes. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Kelli Ann Wilson
    March 17, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    5 stars
    I just made this for our family’s St. Patrick’s Day dinner – it was amazing! I didn’t actually make the custard (time constraints) but the cake was incredibly delicious all on its own. I used Kerrygold Butter made in Ireland for that extra special touch. On an unrelated note: I live in New Hampshire but I had never heard of Great Island until I found your blog. Now I’m intrigued!

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 17, 2017 at 5:02 pm

      Oh I’m so glad you found me Kelli ~ I miss New Hampshire SO much, I’m determined to get back there to live someday 🙂 I’m really glad you enjoyed the apple cake!

      • Reply
        Nancy Marzilli
        April 7, 2017 at 3:04 am

        Sue where is the recipe for this Irish apple cake? I would love to give this a try .

  • Reply
    Steph
    March 14, 2017 at 7:57 am

    Has anyone added raisins to this? I’m thinking of soaking them in Amaretto first.

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 14, 2017 at 8:07 am

      I don’t see why you couldn’t, Steph, and the Amaretto soaking sounds pretty amazing 🙂

    • Reply
      Carrie
      March 29, 2017 at 3:06 pm

      I soaked my raisins in brandy first and it was amazing I also used 2 Granny Smith’s and a Rome Apple because down here in Va the Mac apples are very mealy not like back home in Mass but came out very good

      • Reply
        Sue
        March 29, 2017 at 5:21 pm

        Love the idea of soaking the raisins, how could that be bad? And don’t get me started on Macs, I miss my New Hampshire Mcintosh apples SO badly!!

  • Reply
    Cathie Kozachenko
    February 2, 2017 at 7:50 am

    Do you serve the custard cold? Can it be served warm? How would you warm it? Love the cake. The custard I’d eat every day for the rest of my days 😉

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 2, 2017 at 8:03 am

      I think it’s usually served cold, but you could warm it briefly in the microwave and that would be amazing.

      • Reply
        Victoria
        February 5, 2017 at 6:54 am

        When I lived in the United Kingdom custard was served warm over desserts such as this. Super yummy! Can’t wait to make this for Saint Davids day ( I married a welsh man) haha

        • Reply
          Jack
          February 10, 2017 at 9:11 am

          As a child I always had Birds Eye custard served warm over this kind of dessert, made, of course with full cream milk. Absolutely delicious.

  • Reply
    Jovana
    January 30, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    Hi, I was just wondering how many layers of Apple should it be? One,two? I’m using a different type of apples and sure how much 3 Granny Smith apples would yuel. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 31, 2017 at 7:37 am

      I think if you use 3 good sized apples you’ll have a good amount, Jovana, I can’t recall how many layers, the slices just get piled in.

      • Reply
        Jovana
        February 7, 2017 at 5:59 am

        Thank you!

  • Reply
    Andrea
    January 18, 2017 at 7:11 am

    Do too have to use the custard? Does it taste okay without it?

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 18, 2017 at 7:16 am

      No you don’t need the custard, Andrea, although it does add a nice extra element to it.

  • Reply
    Kayleigh | Whisks & Wooden Spoons
    November 23, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    This sounds amazing! Custard all the way – on anything/in everything.

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 23, 2016 at 5:36 pm

      Haha!! I have to agree 🙂

  • Reply
    Andi
    October 6, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    The ingredients for the custard call for 6 tbsp of butter; yet, the directions don’t include the butter when making the custard.

    • Reply
      Andi
      October 6, 2016 at 3:12 pm

      oops that is sugar not butter my bad!!!

  • Reply
    Eden Passante
    March 15, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    This looks amazing! Love apple cake so much!

  • Reply
    Dee
    March 11, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    Just a note that I almost forgot the cinnamon, bp, and salt because it isn’t mentioned in the instructions. Luckily, I double checked. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 11, 2016 at 5:36 pm

      I reworked the recipe instructions to be more clear, thanks Dee!

  • Reply
    michelle
    February 28, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    Hi. Is it absolutely necessary to use a springform pan? can we use a regular 9″ baking pan?

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 29, 2016 at 7:05 am

      No I’m sure it’s not essential Michelle, but as I recall it’s a lot of batter, and comes pretty high up in the spring form pan, so just be sure your pan can accommodate it, and watch the baking time.

      • Reply
        michelle
        March 2, 2016 at 10:34 pm

        Thank you. 🙂

  • Reply
    mary kathryn
    October 14, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    One thought about apples that I got from an American Test Kitchen recipe (for apple pandowdy). They recommend using a mix of apples, some for flavor and some for texture. So you might want to choose 2 granny smiths, for flavor, and one other that would give more juice. Just an idea.

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 14, 2014 at 2:14 pm

      Great info!

  • Reply
    Laura+(Tutti+Dolci)
    October 1, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    I adore that streusel topping, what a perfect apple cake for the fall!

  • Reply
    Susan
    September 28, 2014 at 7:15 am

    I am all over anything apple these days even though we’ve been having a warm and gorgeous Indian Summer here in the Midwest. The leaves are turning and the crickets are chirping at night and it just smell like fall.

    What a gorgeous dessert and that custard sauce just pushes it to a whole new delicious level.

  • Reply
    sippitysup
    September 24, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    I like Rome for that very reason. They show up late in the season here, and that’s a drawback. GREG

  • Reply
    Chris @ The Café Sucré Farine
    September 24, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Wowsers! This is spectacular! I love that every country has it’s own version of apple cake. I’ve made French, German and Danish but Irish is new to me. The custard sauce is a fabulous and unique twist.

  • Reply
    Luci {Luci's Morsels}
    September 23, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    5 stars
    This CA weather is killing my fall vibe too, but I know I’ll be thankful we live here in about two months – like I always am! This apple cake looks divine! I’ll need to find a cool corner to wear a sweater and eat some!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    September 23, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    You are absolutely right the smell of apples and cinnamon is something one never tires of. The summer is about to hit here I will have to get my skates on and get this baking before it gets too hot. I can just imagine this being cooked in a little Irish cottage, how good would this be to come home to.

  • Reply
    Katrina+Hall
    September 23, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    OMG – this is gorgeous !

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 24, 2014 at 6:51 am

      Thanks Katrina — it smells good too 🙂

  • Reply
    Amanda
    September 23, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    You are rockin’ my world with this cake! Amazing!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    September 23, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    Bless you for sharing this! Cannot wait to make this wonderful cake.

  • Reply
    [email protected]+Floating+Kitchen
    September 23, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    This looks like the perfect way to celebrate the start of fall!

  • Reply
    Kitchen+Belleicious
    September 23, 2014 at 10:47 am

    delicious! It looks amazing and so moist. Would go perfect with a pumpkin latte:)

  • Reply
    Dom
    September 23, 2014 at 10:34 am

    its the same here in the UK, we’re having unseasonably warm weather and I want my Autumn now!… this cake is a great way to move things on and get a taste of the autumn… it looks so beautiful x

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