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Irish Apple Cake

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This moist and tender Irish Apple Cake is filled with sliced granny smith apples and covered in a crunchy, streusel topping. This simple dessert is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day and during fall apple-picking season!

Check out this Irish Pub Food page for even more delicious Irish recipes.

A slice of Irish Apple Cake on a blue plate.

This traditional Irish Apple Cake recipe is delicious dusted with powdered sugar, topped with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

It is a dense cake, almost like cornbread, that is not overly sweet and has just a hint of spice.

more apple dessert recipes

Ingredients needed

Irish Apple Cake ingredients.

Streusel Topping

  • All-purpose flour mixed with Irish butter and granulated sugar creates a delicious, crunchy topping.

Apple Cake

  • All-purpose flour, baking powder to make it rise, ground cinnamon and sea salt.
  • Irish butter is best but any high-quality butter will work.
  • Granulated sugar for a bit of sweetness.
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Pure vanilla extract was not used in the original recipe in Ireland, but it rounds out the flavor of the cake nicely in modern times.
  • 2 large, 3 medium or 4 small Granny Smith apples. Any tart, cooking apple can be substituted.
  • Powdered/Confectioner’s sugar for dusting.

Be sure to check out the detailed printable recipe card below

A slice of Irish Apple Cake on a serving spatula.

How to make Irish Apple cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round cake or springform pan. Set aside.

To make the streusel topping: sift the flour into a medium-sized bowl and cut in the butter until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.

Flour mixture and butter cubes in a large bowl with pastry cutter.
Streusel topping mixed in a bowl.

Set aside.

To make the cake: sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt into a large bowl.

Flour, sugar and cinnamon sifted into a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, beat the sugar and butter together until creamy.

Creamed butter in a large bowl.

Gradually beat in the eggs, adding half of the flour mixture with the second egg.

Flour mixture and egg added to the creamed butter.

Gently fold in the remaining flour mixture along with the milk and vanilla.

Cake mixture mixed together in a large bowl.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

Cake batter spread in round cake pan.

Peel, core, and thinly slice the apples. Arrange the apple slices on top of the cake batter.

Sliced apples on top of cake batter in a round cake pan.

Sprinkle the streusel mixture evenly over the top.

Streusel topped apple cake ready to bake.

Bake in the preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, until browned and firm to the touch.

Baked Irish apple cake in a round cake pan.

Allow cake to cool before removing from pan. Dust cake with powdered sugar before serving.

Irish Apple Cake dusted with powdered sugar on a round wire rack.

Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Recipe Notes & Tips

  • I live in the Arizona desert and needed 2 tablespoons of milk to achieve the desired consistency. If you live in a humid climate you may only need one tablespoon. The batter should be thick like a brownie batter.
  • To remove the cake from the pan – flip the cooled cake over onto a large plate. Place a cooking rack on the bottom of the cake and flip it over onto the rack.
  • All ovens bake differently. Baking times are approximate and may vary by 10 minutes.

Tools used to create this recipe

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More traditional Irish recipes

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Enjoy!!

A slice of Irish Apple Cake on a blue plate.

Irish Apple Cake

This simple, moist and tender Irish Apple Cake is filled with sliced granny smith apples and covered in a crunchy, streusel topping.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Irish
Keyword: Irish apple cake
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories: 458kcal
Author: Lisa Johnson

Equipment

  • 8-inch round cake pan

Ingredients

Streusel Topping

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter I used Kerrygold
  • 0.5 cup granulated sugar

Apple Cake

  • 1.33 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 0.5 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 0.5 cup unsalted butter 1 stick – at room temperature
  • 0.5 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large Granny Smith apples or 3 medium – 1 pound 2.5 ounces before slicing
  • powdered sugar for dusting

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round cake or springform pan. Set aside. (I used Baker's Joy spray)
  • To make the streusel topping: sift the flour into a medium-sized bowl and cut in the butter until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Set aside.
  • Quick Tip – Rub butter and flour together between your fingers to evenly distribute the butter.
  • To make the cake: sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt into a large bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the sugar and butter together until creamy. Gradually beat in the eggs, adding half of the flour mixture with the second egg. Gently fold in the remaining flour mixture along with the milk and vanilla.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
  • Peel, core, and thinly slice the apples. Arrange the apple slices on top of the cake batter. Sprinkle the streusel mixture evenly over the top.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, until browned and firm to the touch. Allow cake to cool before removing from pan. Dust cake with powdered sugar before serving.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Notes

  • I live in the Arizona desert and needed 2 tablespoons of milk to achieve the desired consistency. If you live in a humid climate you may only need one tablespoon. The batter should be thick like a brownie batter.
  • To remove the cake from the pan – flip the cooled cake over onto a large plate. Place a cooking rack on the bottom of the cake and flip it over onto the rack.
  • All ovens bake differently. Baking times are approximate and may vary by 10 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 458kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 170mg | Potassium: 230mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 721IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 2mg

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