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
Print
3.87 from 891 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.

e book sign up

 

 

You Might Also Like

208 Comments

    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!




  • 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

1 2 3 12

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!

I'M SPILLING ALL MY SECRETS!

Get my tips, tricks & recipes for easy

foolproof baking

WANT TO BE A BETTER BAKER?

logo png