It feels like spring has arrived in Toronto. I know it’s a trick. Snow will be dumped on us again at any moment. Not taking any chances, we’re escaping to the Caribbean this week for a little vacation time. But before I jet off, I baked a delicious Irish apple cake – baked apples, a streusel crumb top, and tender cake. So much to love.
Apple orchards are abundant in Ireland’s countryside. And many farmhouses have their own version of an apple cake to make during the harvest season. So technically this is an Autumn cake. But with St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, I thought it would be appropriate.
This kind of cake is often traditionally served with a runny custard sauce. However, depending on the recipe, Irish apple cakes can be quite dense and mild in flavour, and could benefit from the extra ‘zhuzh.’ While I love custard, I found that my version is tasty enough to hold its own.
For this recipe I used Granny Smith apples. They are tart and hold their form well after baking. Other great options would be Honeycrisp or Braeburn apples.
How to make Irish Apple Cake
Start by preheating your oven and greasing an 8″ round springform pan. You could use a 9″ instead for a shorter cake, just remember to keep an eye on it because it will bake slightly faster.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set it aside for now.
Cream the butter and sugars together well until they are fluffy. Then beat in the eggs, one at a time, along with the vanilla. Fold in the dry ingredients and milk intermittently. Make sure that it is completely mixed in, but don’t over-mix.
Spoon the thick batter into the pan and smooth it out, pressing it into the edges.
Peel your apples and cut them into 1/4″ slices. Then cut the slices again for a chopped appearance, like pictured below. Scatter the apple pieces evenly on top of the cake batter. Use your hand to lightly press the apples slightly downwards into the batter.
Prepare the streusel topping in a medium bowl by combining the flour, brown sugar, a cinnamon. Then add the cubed butter and using your hand work it into the dry ingredients until it forms large crumbs. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the apples.
Put the cake in the oven and bake it about fifty to sixty minutes. Poke a toothpick in the batter to check for doneness. Don’t get tricked by accidentally stabbing a juicy apple. Let the cake cool in its pan.
Sprinkle the Irish apple cake with a generous dusting of icing sugar right before serving.
If apple pie and spice cake had a love child, this would be it. Apple bliss in cake form.
St. Patrick’s Day?
Looking for other green desserts for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations? Check out my grape custard tart, or decorate cupcakes with my matcha vanilla bean cream cheese frosting. Any of them would be a big hit.Print
A traditional harvest time treat made in farmhouses across Ireland, this delicious cake features baked apples, a streusel crumb topping, and tender spiced cake. A perfect dessert for celebrating the autumn or St. Patrick’s Day. Or just because it’s delicious and you want to.
1 cup + 2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
pinch of salt
1/2 cup salted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp milk
3 medium granny smith apples
icing sugar, for dusting
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tbsp cold butter, cubed
Preheat oven to 350° and grease 8″ round springform pan.
In medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until nice and fluffy.
Beat in eggs, one at a time, along with vanilla.
Stir in dry ingredients intermittently with milk. Make sure it is well incorporated but don’t over mix.
Spoon the batter into the prepared cake pan. Smooth it out and press it into the edges.
Peel apples and cut into 1/4″ slices. Cut each slice a few more times to give chopped appearance. Evenly scatter apples on top of the batter. Using your hand, gently press the apples just slightly down into the batter.
Prepare the streusel topping. In a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Add in cubed butter. Using your hand, work the butter into the dry ingredients until large crumbs form. Sprinkle the streusel topping on top of the apples.
Bake for about 50-60 minutes. Check doneness by inserting a toothpick into the batter. When it comes out clean the cake is ready. Cool the cake in the pan before removing. Dust with icing sugar immediately before serving.
Keywords: irish apple cake