Irish Apple Cake Recipe

Many people have a soft spot for cake as a dessert, and we must admit that we do, too! This Irish apple cake is pretty much a mix between a cake and a pie, thanks to the fun addition of apples. If you're looking for a spectacular dessert with a serving of fruit, this one may be right up your alley.

Recipe developer Jessica Morone of Jess Loves Baking is the brains behind this dish, and she gives us a quick run-down on what exactly an Irish cake really is. "An Irish apple cake is a traditional dessert in Ireland and is usually a lightly spiced cake with a streusel topping. It's similar to a coffee cake," Morone explains. And what she loves the most? "My favorite part of this recipe is the apples in it. They are slightly tart, which goes wonderfully with the sweet cake and buttery topping," Morone shares.

Keep reading to find out how to make this wonderful dish!

Gather the ingredients for Irish apple cake

The first step in this recipe (or any other for that matter) is to gather the necessary ingredients. Start by getting sugar and butter. Then, pick up some vanilla extract and large eggs. When you head to the baking aisle, you'll also need to grab all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Be sure to check your pantry for items you may have at home already. 

To add a little more flavor, pick up cinnamon. Last but not least, you will need milk, Granny Smith apples, and rolled oats.

Preheat the oven and cream the butter and sugars

Let's get to the prep work! Turn your oven dial to 350 F. This allows the oven to get nice and hot while you tend to the rest of the prep. Next, select a 9-inch round baking pan and lightly grease it. Once you finish, set it to the side since you won't need it right away.

In a large bowl, add eight tablespoons butter and ½ cup sugar. As a reminder, you should have left the butter out at room temperature, so it's easier to work with. Cream together the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Add the dry ingredients and mix the batter

Take out a separate bowl and start adding your dry ingredients. First, toss in the flour and baking powder. Next, add the salt and cinnamon. Use a whisk to mix the ingredients together so they're well-combined. 

Then, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. You can also add the milk at this time. Mix well until a sticky batter forms. The last thing you need to add are the diced apples. When everything's evenly combined, spread the batter into the prepared baking pan.

Make the topping and bake

Grab a food processor to make the cake topping. Add in ¼ cup sugar, 4 tablespoons butter, ½ cup of flour, ¼ teaspoon salt, and the rolled oats. Pulse everything together until coarse crumbs form. "The topping is a crunchy, buttery streusel topping, and it really adds a nice texture to the cake," Morone explains. Then, spoon the topping over the cake batter in an even layer.

Pop the cake into the oven and bake for 55-60 minutes. Allow it to cook until the top is golden brown. You can check for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center and seeing if it comes out clean.

Serve and enjoy

Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool completely. Once cool, take it out of the pan and serve. Obviously, this cake is good on its own, but Morone also provides a few great serving suggestions to take it up a notch. "Traditionally, Irish apple cake is served with a custard sauce, which you could make if you want, but an easier option is to top the cake with vanilla ice cream," she shares. "You could also add whipped cream or powdered sugar on top."

If you have extras, be sure to keep them. "Leftovers are good for up to 4 days if you store [them] tightly covered at room temperature," Morone says.

We hope you love this recipe.

Irish Apple Cake Recipe
5 from 33 ratings
When you're hard-pressed to choose between making a pie or making a cake, try this easy and delicious traditional Irish apple cake recipe.
Prep Time
Cook Time
slicing irish apple cake
Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • ¾ cup sugar, divided
  • 12 tablespoons butter, room temperature, divided
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 4 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 2 tablespoons rolled oats
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F, then lightly grease a 9-inch round baking pan. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together 8 tablespoons butter and ½ cup sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add in the vanilla extract and eggs and mix until well combined.
  4. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together 1 ½ cup flour, baking powder, ¼ teaspoon salt, and cinnamon.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, then add in the milk and mix until a sticky batter forms. Fold in the diced apples. Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan.
  6. In the bowl of a food processor add the remaining ¼ cup sugar, 4 tablespoons butter, ½ cup flour, ¼ teaspoon salt, and rolled oats. Pulse the mixture together until coarse crumbs form. Spoon the topping over the cake batter in an even layer.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 55-60 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely, then remove it from the pan and serve.
Calories per Serving 279
Total Fat 12.8 g
Saturated Fat 7.7 g
Trans Fat 0.5 g
Cholesterol 62.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 37.3 g
Dietary Fiber 2.3 g
Total Sugars 18.3 g
Sodium 174.2 mg
Protein 3.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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