Irish Apple Cake Recipe: From Common Apple to Delicious Irish Expression!

If you are looking for a classic Irish Apple Cake recipe, this one should fit the bill. It is simple, hearty, and can be made several ways, all of which yield the same delicious flavor of baked apples.

Irish apple cake recipe.  A slice of apple cake.

Irish Apple Cake is a dish made from flour, butter, sugar, apples, eggs, and spices. It can be made several ways, with the simplest called “Kerry” Apple Cake.

The majority of versions of this cake call for a tart apple. Granny Smith, or the traditional Irish Baking apple, both are delightful in it, although any apple that suits personal fancy can work.

 Irish Apple Cake Recipe: Ingredients

An exciting way to make this dessert is over cast iron dutch oven hung over an open fire. I have made it this way while out camping or living over the summer using a wood burning stove.

For those who prefer the kitchen, baking it in an 8 or 9 inch pan works just as well.

  • 3 cups cake flour (all-purpose will work for a heavier cake)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 to 6 oz butter
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 or 4 large Granny Smith apples (should be 2-4 cups cut up)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (to sprinkle on top of cake)

Irish Apple Cake Recipe:  Preparation

  1. For this Irish apple cake recipe, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray an 8 to 9 inch pan with oil or coat with butter (round and square both work)
  2. Using a larger bowl than you normally use, sift the cake flour, baking powder, salt, cloves and nutmeg.
  3. Cut the butter into the flour and rub it in using your fingers or a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs (note use 6 ounces of butter if you use all-purpose flour).
  4. Toss in the sugar and mix it through the flour.
  5. Peel and slice the apples into similar sized pieces (if you are moving slowly you can sprinkle your apples with lemon juice to keep them from browning).
  6. Add the apples into the flour mixture and combine them thoroughly.
  7. Beat the eggs and add a dash of milk. Add to the apples and flour and combine well with a large spoon.
  8. Add more milk as needed to fully moisten the flour. The result is a pretty sticky dough.
  9. Transfer the dough into the prepared cake pan and flatten the top surface using the back of a large spoon.
  10. Sprinkle two tablespoons of sugar over the top of the cake.
  11. Bake the cake in the preheated 375 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes. A toothpick or knife will come out clean when it is cooked and the top will be a lovely golden brown.
  12. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire wrack to finish cooling.


You can add cinnamon or vanilla although this is not really an Irish way of seasoning. Some folks add walnuts, which make the cake more British.

In a pinch you can use 1 ¾ to 3 cups of applesauce instead of whole apples. Some bakers layer half the dough on the bottom, top with apples and nuts and spices, and cover with the other half of the dough.


This Irish apple cake recipe is great for a breakfast treat, wonderful for Saint Patrick's day gatherings with a little nip of Irish Coffee at the end of the day, or really any time at all.

This delightfully hearty dish has great appeal as both a sweet bread and as cake served with whipped cream, ice cream, butter, or lemon topping.

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