Irish Apple Cake

Irish Apple Cake - Delish
Emily Hlavac Green

This tender cake is jam-packed with apples, which is why we think it's perfectly appropriate to eat a slice for breakfast. 😉 The custard sauce isn't totally necessary, but it is traditional, and delicious to boot.

Looking for more ways to bake with apples? Give this cinnamon apple cake a try!

Made this? Let us know how it went in the comment section below! 

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Yields: 6 - 8 servings
Prep Time: 0 hours 15 mins
Total Time: 2 hours 0 mins
For the cake:
3 c.

plus 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour, divided 

1 tbsp.

baking powder

3/4 tsp.

Kosher salt

1/2 tsp.


1 tsp.

ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp.

ground allspice

1/4 tsp.

freshly ground nutmeg

1 c.

granulated sugar

1/2 c.

(1 stick) cold butter, cut into small cubes 


large eggs

3/4 c.

heavy cream

2 tsp.

pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 lb.

(3 large) granny smith apples, thinly sliced into 1/4-inch pieces

3 tbsp.

demerara sugar, for topping

For the custard sauce:
1/3 c.

granulated sugar


large egg yolks

1 1/4 c.

heavy cream 


vanilla bean, halved (or 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract)

Make the cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Butter a 9” spring form pan and line the sides and bottom with parchment.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together 3 cups flour, baking powder, salt, spices, and sugar. Add cubed butter and incorporate with your hands until you have no large pieces left and mixture resembles sand. Whisk in eggs, heavy cream, and vanilla.
  3. Toss sliced apples with remaining 3 tablespoons flour until evenly coated, then fold into batter. Transfer cake batter to prepared pan and sprinkle evenly all over with demerara sugar. Bake until apples are very tender and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan before removing.
Make the custard sauce:
  1. In a heatproof bowl, whisk sugar and yolks until lightened in color, about 6 minutes. In a medium, heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium-low heat, add vanilla bean seeds and pod and heavy cream. (If using vanilla extract, add once custard is removed from heat.) Cook mixture, watching carefully, until just boiling. Remove from heat, and whisk a few tablespoons of hot cream into sugar-yolk mixture. Gradually add in remaining cream, whisking constantly.
  2. Return custard to pot and continue to cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until just thickened (do not boil!) — check consistency by dipping a wooden spoon in, then running a finger along back; the streak should stay intact.
  3. Immediately remove from heat and pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. Let cool.
  4. Once cool, serve over slices of apple cake.

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