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    Homemade Irish Apple Cake Recipe with Custard Sauce

    Published March 11, 2022. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    This delicious homemade apple cake recipe is easy to prepare is topped off with an amazing vanilla custard sauce. You will absolutely love the flavors in this easy-to-make cake.  

    Is there anything better than finishing off a delicious meal with a sweet treat? If you agree and are looking to try out a few cool new recipes then definitely try my Angel Food Cake or Banana Pudding.  

    slice of apple Irish cake with custard sauce

    Apple cake is a classic dessert and is done in a variety of ways depending on what country you are in. Some are prepared in a skillet and have few ingredients, while others are a bit more extensive.

    The Irish Apple Cake would traditionally use crab apples because of their abundance, but I think those are way too sour.   Irish apple cake is almost like a sweet tender bread than it is a cake. It’s incredibly dense and heavy and jam-packed with big chunks of apples. Regardless, you will love this easy-to-make apple cake recipe.  

    Ingredients for Apple Cake  

    ingredients to make an apple Irish cake
    • Flour – You will need all-purpose flour for my recipe.
    • Apples – Classically crab apples would be used but we’ll go with granny smith apples. However, I love the combination of granny smith and golden delicious.
    • Sugar – Plain granulated sugar is perfect for this.
    • Eggs – Large eggs are what needs to be used and they can be cold or room temperature, does not matter.
    • Milk – I prefer whole milk as it gives a little more fat to the recipe.
    • Salt – This will help season the cake for a balance of flavors.
    • Butter – A full-fat unsalted butter is what you will need.
    • Spices – Classically cinnamon is just used, but you can add in a little ground nutmeg and cloves if you want to spice things up.
    • Baking Powder – This is the leavening agent you will need to help assist your cake in rising.
    • Vanilla – This is optional but will add some nice flavors to the cake.

    How to Make Apple Cake from Scratch  

    Use these easy-to-follow instructions and images to make this tasty homemade apple cake from scratch:  

    In a large bowl with a pastry knife cream together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and butter until the butter is the size of rice. You may need to break up with your fingers.  

    cutting butter into flour

    Fold in the apples and mix until combined. Briefly set aside.  

    mixing apples with flour

    In a separate bowl whisk together eggs, vanilla, and milk until combined.  

    whisking together eggs and flour

    Pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients bowl and mix using a solid wooden spoon until completely mixed.  

    mixing together wet and dry ingredients

    Transfer to a 9” springform pan, sprinkle on additional sugar, and bake at 375° for 80-90 minutes. The top should be golden brown and firm in the center.  

    apple cake batter in a pan

    Cool on a rack to room temperature.  

    Irish apple cake cooling on a rack

    Apple Cake Custard Sauce  

    When it comes to an Irish-style Apple Cake, I usually see two optional sauces, a caramel sauce, and a custard sauce. The custard sauce is a bit more traditional and very easy to make. Follow along with these simple step by step procedures:  

    • Heat the milk and sugar in a medium size pan over medium heat just until lightly boiling.
    whisking egg yolks, sugar, and milk
    • Slowly pour the mixture into the bowl with the eggs while continually stirring.
    adding hot milk to egg yolks
    • Pour the mixture back to the pan over low heat and stir until it becomes very thick, think alfredo sauce.
    making a thick sauce in a pot
    • Finish by whisking in the vanilla and then pour a small amount over a cooled slice of cake.
    pouring vanilla custard on a slice of Irish apple cake

    Make-Ahead and Storage  

    Make-Ahead: You can make this cake up to 2 days ahead of time. See storage instructions below.  

    How to Store: You can cover and keep at room temperature for 3-4 days. Cover and keep it in the refrigerator for 5-6 days and freeze it covered for up to 3 months. Be sure to thaw it in the refrigerator for 1 day before serving.

    Chef Notes + Tips  

    • If you want to prep everything up to make for another day, the apples will hold well in pineapple juice for up to 3 days.
    • To cream the dry ingredients together with the butter, feel free to put all of it in a food processor and pulse until the butter is incorporated.
    • If the top of the cake starts to brown too quickly, place a piece of parchment paper on top by just laying it on there or tent it with a piece of foil.
    Irish apple cake with a slice and custard sauce

    More Dessert Recipes  

    Let's Cook - Chef Billy Parisi

    Video

    Homemade Irish Apple Cake Recipe with Custard Sauce

    5 from 1 vote
    This delicious homemade apple cake recipe is easy to prepare is topped off with an amazing vanilla custard sauce.
    Servings: 12
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

    Ingredients 

    For the Cake:

    • 4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup sugar + 3 tablespoons
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon sea salt
    • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
    • 8 ounces cold unsalted butter
    • 2 peeled cored and large diced granny smith apples
    • 2 peeled cored and large diced golden delicious apples
    • 4 large eggs
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 cup whole milk

    For the Custard:

    • 4 egg yolks
    • 1 cup whole milk
    • ½ cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon good vanilla extract

    Instructions

    • Preheat the oven to 375°.
    • Cake: Cream the flour, 1 cup of sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and butter in a large bowl using a pastry knife until the butter is the size of rice.
    • Fold in the apples using a spoon until they are completely coated.
    • In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, vanilla and milk and then combine it into the flour-butter mixture until combined. It should resemble a thick dough.
    • Transfer the mixture to a 9” greased spring form pan and bake in the oven at 375° for 80 to 90 minutes or until golden brown on top and firm in the center.
    • Cool completely on a rack to room temperature before slicing and serving.
    • Custard: Whisk together the egg yolks in a medium size bowl. Set aside.
    • Heat the milk and sugar in a medium size pot over medium heat just until lightly boiling.
    • Slowly pour the mixture into the bowl with the eggs while continually stirring and then pour the mixture back to the pan over low heat and stir until it becomes very thick, think alfredo sauce.
    • Finish by whisking in the vanilla and then pour a small amount over a cooled slice of cake.

    Notes

    Make-Ahead: You can make this cake up to 2 days ahead of time. See storage instructions below.
    How to Store: You can cover and keep at room temperature for 3-4 days. Cover and keep it in the refrigerator for 5-6 days and freeze it covered for up to 3 months. Be sure to thaw it in the refrigerator for 1 day before serving.
    If you want to prep everything up to make for another day, the apples will hold well in pineapple juice for up to 3 days.
    To cream the dry ingredients together with the butter, feel free to put all of it in a food processor and pulse until the butter is incorporated.
    If the top of the cake starts to brown too quickly, place a piece of parchment paper on top by just laying it on there or tent it with a piece of foil.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 485kcalCarbohydrates: 68gProtein: 9gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 164mgSodium: 143mgPotassium: 299mgFiber: 3gSugar: 34gVitamin A: 737IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 123mgIron: 3mg
    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: irish