Irish apple cake is loaded with tart, crisp apples, resulting in a super moist cake. with a crisp streusel topping and a warm custard sauce. That is the perfect dessert for St. Patrick’s Day.

This recipe is great because it will come together so quickly and be done sooner than an apple pie. This is one of my favorite St. Patrick’s Day dessert recipes. Irish apple cake is known throughout many parts of Ireland and is sometimes called “Kerry apple cake.”

Ingredients for Apple Cake and Vanilla Custard

This recipe only uses a few ingredients, most of which are already pantry staples. The only thing you might need to get are the apples, but those are easy to find at a grocery store or local farmers market.


  • Flour I like to use all-purpose flour, but you can use your favorite flour, like cake flour.
  • Apples Traditionally, crab apples would be used in this recipe, but I like to use a granny smith apple or a combination with a golden delicious for a little more sweetness.
  • Sugar granulated sugar is perfect for this recipe
  • Eggs I use a large egg for this recipe, and they are best at room temperature but not important to be
  • Milk Any type of milk can be used for this recipe. I like to use a dairy-free option like almond milk or regular milk and anything from 2% to full-fat milk.
  • Butter a full-fat unsalted but that is what is needed here, you can use salted but it might adjust the saltiness a bit in the recipe.
  • Spices Cinnamon is the traditional flavor for this recipe, but you can play around with the spices a bit and add a little ground nutmeg, cloves, or cardamon to spice things up, or even put in a teaspoon of apple spice or pumpkin spice.
  • Baking powder This is the leavening agent in this agent, and you need its help to have your cake rise and be nice and fluffy.
  • Vanilla the vanilla is optional but add most nice additional hints of flavor
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liced apples in dough. Baking an apple pie. Step-by-step recipe for apple pie. Step 5.

Vanilla Custard

  • Milk whole milk or almond milk works best
  • Large Egg Yolks You want your yolks to reach room temperature.
  • Sugar granulated sugar
  • Vanilla Using pure vanilla will give you the nice hint of vanilla you want in your custard sauce.

How to make Irish Apple Cake

  • Preheat To start, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Prepare to prevent sticking using butter and flour
  • Dry Ingredients Use a large bowl and whisk in flour, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, and all the spices until combined.
  • Butter and sugar Mix the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles fine crumbs, then add 1 cup of sugar.
  • Peel, and cut After peeling the apples, cut them into 1/4-inch slices before cutting them into smaller chunks.
  • Coat Apples After you have cut your apples into chunks, coat them in the flour mixture and make sure they are not stuck together but spread out evenly.
  • Wet Whisk together the wet ingredients, milk, eggs, and vanilla, until well combined. Pour the combined mixture over the flour and apples. Toss them until they are just combined; you want the mixture to be lumpy, so do not overmix.
  • Cake mixture Spread one mixed batter evenly into the prepared cake pan.
  • Streusel topping Combine flour, cinnamon, rolled oats, sugar, and butter; sprinkle on top of the baking before placing it in the oven.
  • Bake The cake should be baked for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Cook immediately, let the cake cook on a wire rack for five minutes, and then allow it to cool all the way.
  • Serve warm and with a nice drizzle of warm or cooled custard sauce.
apple cake batter
Apple cake batter

How to make Vanilla Custard

  • Milk heat up the milk in a medium-sized saucepan until it comes to a boil
  • Mix the yolks while your milk is heating up, mix together sugar and yolks until they are pale and fluffy, you can also use a hand mixer to save some time.
  • Temper the mixture Remove some of the mixtures and stir in the egg yolk mixture. Once the egg mixture is combined, whisk it into the rest of the mixture so that the egg yolks don’t scramble. Once it’s combined, it should be thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon when it’s done.
  • Cool immediately pour the hot mixture into a separate bowl and add vanilla whisk for a few seconds until combined then place a layer of plastic wrap so that it is touching the custard this will prevent it from making a custard skin on top.
  • Serve this is delicious on its own or served over warm or cooled-down cake.
vanilla custard
vanilla custard

Tips and Suggestions

  • Room temperature If you have your cake batter ingredients at room temperature, they will combine more smoothly.
  • Use Brown Sugar For the streusel topping, brown sugar is a great substitute because it gives a much deeper flavor and helps you get the nice pieces to be crumbly and stay formed.
  • Add in’s nothing is better to accommodate spiced apples than chopped nuts like pecans or walnuts

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best apples to use for this recipe?

The best apples are granny smiths because they hold their crispness while being baked and don’t turn soft. I do like to have a combination of a crispy

Where did apple cake originate

Some people say it was first baked in England in 1381, but it had pears, raisins, and figs as well. Others say it originated in Poland, and some say it’s a Jewish cake because it was served on Jewish holidays.

Why is my streusel not crumbly?

I’ve discovered that if the butter is over-mixed or too warm, or if you mix it with your hands, the warmth of your hands will begin to melt the butter, which is why I try to use a fork or pastry cutter to avoid having to handle it.

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The Best Irish Apple Cake

Irishapple cake is loaded with tart, crisp apples, resulting in a super moist cake with a crisp streusel topping and a warm custard sauce. That is the perfect desert for St. Patrick's Day.
4.80 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
cooling time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine irish
Servings 10 slices
Calories 452 kcal


  • 1 spring form pan
  • 1 stand mixer or hand mixer
  • 1 medium saucepan
  • 1 kitchen scale optional


Streusel topping

  • 6 (85 g) tbsp butter
  • ¾ (94 g) cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ (20 g) cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ 100 g) cup granulated sugar

Cake Batter

  • 1-1/4 (156 g) cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ (113 g) cup unsalted butter
  • ½ (100 g) cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 3 apples peeled, cored, and chopped

Custard Sauce

  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 6 (75 g) tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 1-1/2 tsp pure vanilla


  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper round and grease with nonstick spray. Set aside.

Streusel Topping

  • Whisk together the flour, oats, and sugar. Add butter and use a pastry cutter (or two forks) to cut it into the dry ingredients until a sand-like mixture forms. Keep streusel in the refrigerator while preparing the cake batter.

Cake Batter

  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  • In a separate large bowl, beat butter and sugar until creamy, about 1 minute. Beat in eggs one at a time, then mix in vanilla and milk. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary. Add flour mixture and mix just until combined. The batter will be thicker than you might expect.
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Arrange apple slices on top in one layer. Sprinkle streusel on top.
  • Bake at 350° F for 55 to 60 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 15 minutes before running a knife along the edge and removing the sides of the springform pan. As hard as it is you do want to allow this cake to Cool completely.

Vanilla Custard

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla until pale, about 2 minutes. Set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, heat milk until scalding hot (the edges of the pan will just start to simmer).
  • Temper the egg yolks. Slowly pour about ½ cup of the hot milk into the bowl of the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan, again whisking constantly.
  • Continue cooking the custard over medium heat until the custard thickens, about 4 minutes. Remember to stir constantly so the mixture doesn’t burn. Custard is done when it coats the back of a spoon. If you are going to wait for this cool you will want to put plastic wrap on top of the custard in a bowl so that it doesn't create a custard skin. when ready to us place it in the serving bowl of the custard serving boat.
  • Slice the cake and serve with a drizzle of custard sauce.
Keyword apple, Cake
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