Coffee cake meets apple pie in this Irish Apple Cake with Streusel Topping. Enjoy for dessert, with an afternoon cup of tea or as a breakfast treat.
Apples have been grown in Ireland for centuries and legend has it that Saint Patrick himself
planted an apple tree in an ancient settlement outside Armagh City.
Today, County Armagh, is known as “Orchard County” and is the
the main apple growing region in Northern Ireland.
This Irish Apple Cake is an authentic recipe and one I think is best described
as a marriage of coffee cake and apple pie!
It’s best enjoyed warm from the oven or reheated.
Enjoy a slice as a breakfast treat, with your afternoon cuppa or
for a sweet ending to your St. Patrick’s Day feast!
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I made a version of this Irish Apple Cake in a post 10 years ago. . .
how time flies!
The original recipe came from The Complete Irish Pub Cookbook.
I tweaked the recipe making a few minor changes,
starting with the addition of oats in the streusel topping.
The other changes made were using three apples instead of two in this version,
and substituting salted KerryGold Irish Butter for added flavor.
Tip: To boost the flavor of your cake, use a European-style butter, like KerryGold, which has a richer taste
as a result of a higher butterfat content and less water than an American butter.
Granny Smith is my preferred apple for this cake as their tart flavor
prevents the cake from being overly sweet.
Granny Smith apples are also available year round and ideal for baking,
as they hold their shape without becoming applesauce. :)
Depending on the size of your apples, you’ll need three medium or two large Granny Smith for this cake.
Feel free to use another apple suitable for baking if you’re not a fan of Granny Smith;
Jonathan, Cortland, Braeburn or Honeycrisp would work too.
The top of the cake has a sweet streusel topping of butter, flour, rolled oats and sugar.
The food processor makes quick work of pulsing the cold butter with the flour to make the topping.
If you don’t have a food processor, use a pastry cutter to cut in the butter in the streusel topping.
Make the streusel topping first, then refrigerate to keep the butter cold while making the rest of your cake.
This cake will take anywhere from 60 – 70 minutes to bake.
Factors that affect baking times are the age of your oven, electric vs. gas, humidity,
elevation and ultimately the pan you use.
I used a 9-inch springform pan that makes removing the cake, a piece of cake, pun intended.;)
Feel free to use a round 9-inch cake pan if you don’t have a springform pan and
line it with parchment paper for easy removal of your cake.
In general, when it comes to cakes, a lighter pan promotes more even baking.
When baking cake in a dark pan, reduce your oven temperature 25 degrees.
To be on the safe side, start checking the cake about 10 minutes
before the recipe says it should be done.
When ready to serve, dust the top of the cake with confectioners’ sugar
or serve the cake with a vanilla custard or Crème Anglaise.
Crème Anglaise (Classic Vanilla Custard) is a sweet custard-like sauce
made with cream, sugar, vanilla and 6 egg yolks.
Given the price of eggs lately, I opted to use Ina Garten’s shortcut
and hack to make Crème Anglaise, aka, Melted Vanilla Ice Cream!
Place some premium vanilla ice cream (like Häagen-Dazs)
in the microwave on 50% power for a few seconds to melt;
drizzle over apple cake to serve.
The beauty of this hack (besides being quick and easy!) is you can melt
the quantity of ice cream you need. . . enough for just a single serving or several slices.
You’ll love her Easy Irish Brown Bread with Guinness too!
Shamrock Plate / Grace Teaware, HomeGoods
Cabbage Plate / Bordallo Pinheiro, Tuesday Morning
Teacup, Cottage Teapot / Belleek, eBay
Creamer / Gracie China, Amazon
☘️ ☘️ ☘️
Irish Apple Cake
- 9 inch springform pan
For the Streusel Topping:
- 6 tablespoons cold salted European-style butter, cubed (like KerryGold)
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
For the Cake:
- 1/2 cup salted European-style butter, room temperature (1 stick, like KerryGold)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 3 medium Granny Smith apples peeled and thinly sliced
- Confectioners' sugar or crème anglaise aka, melted vanilla ice cream) for serving
- Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan.
Make the streusel topping:
- In a bowl of food processor, combine the flour, cubed butter, sugar and salt; pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; stir in oats. Place streusel mixture in the fridge to stay chilled while you make the cake.
Make the cake:
- Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, then beat in the eggs one at a time.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
- Fold dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with a spatula along with the milk.
- Spoon batter into prepared pan, smoothing evenly. (Batter will be thick.)
- Top batter with sliced apples, layering evenly as possible; cover apples with streusel topping.
- Bake until the top is golden and crisp, 60 to 70 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before removing sides of pan.
- When cool, store cake in an airtight container at room temperature. When ready to serve, dust the cake with confectioners' sugar or drizzle with crème anglaise, aka, melted vanilla ice cream.
- If you don’t have a food processor, use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut in butter in your streusel topping.
- Boost the flavor of your cake with an Irish or European-style butter, (like KerryGold), which has a richer taste due to a higher butterfat content and less water.
- Granny Smith apples hold up to baking and their tart flavor balances the sweetness of this cake. Substitute an apple suitable for baking like Honeycrisp or Braeburn if you prefer.
- Vanilla ice cream is crème anglaise that’s been frozen. Use Ina Garten’s trick for easy crème anglaise: Place some premium vanilla ice cream (like Häagen-Dazs) in the microwave on 50% power to melt; drizzle over apple cake to serve.
- This cake will last up to 4 days at room temperature. You can also freeze it for up to 1 month. To soften cake or refresh, reheat briefly in the microwave or cover it in foil in a 350°F oven for 15 minutes.
Find 17+ recipes to Eat, Drink and Be Irish
and 3rd St. Patrick’s Annual Giveaway, HERE.
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This is a keeper! I love all the extra details you shared with us. The ice cream on top? Brilliant!! My husband will love this. Can’t wait to get out my Belleek teapot. Once you add oats I think you can even have this for breakfast. Thank you. Inspired to write my St. Patrick’s Day cards now too.
Just added apples ( and vanilla ice cream) to the grocery list and plan to make over the weekend. It looks delicious! Your pictures are so inspiring…thank you. Peace
Good morning, Mary! Your cake and setting are so beautiful, and everything you make, I want to make, too. What a delicious sounding cake for St. Patrick’s Day. 💚☘️💚
Oh my, your cake and photos are drool worthy! Thanks for sharing another delicious recipe that I can’t wait to try! ☘️💚
The cake looks and sounds delicious Mary! I love your hack with melting Vanilla ice cream, that is brilliant! I also didn’t know that KerryGold butter has a higher fat content, I must try that when baking. Your shamrock plates are so cute! Happy March!
I agree with these comments. Will be making this for sure, thanks for the tips and of course, the photos are what makes me want to try this. Those shamrock plates are so beautiful, love them. Your past experiences help to make all these details come to life for us. Thanks, Mary.
That looks tasty Mary! Love the clover plates too! Thanks for sharing. Enjoy your day. Clara❤️
Mary, I love cake for breakfast. Oh how I wish I had a slice of this treat with my tea this morning. The recipe sounds scrumptious! Your entire presentation, as always,is beautiful. The shamrock tea set is so pretty and pairs perfectly with the cabbageware. Wishing you a wonderful Thursday!
I am making this cake today! It looks delicious! Love your recipes Mary.
This cake looks Delicious .
Happy ST. Patrick’S Day
Marilyn,Joan and Marion
I gotta try this one!! I made the Italian Chocolate Ricotta Cake you had posted that recipe and I love Ricotta on Orin anything…it was delicious! It should have been with six eggs in the entire recipe.. thus one looks as good too!! Thanks Mary ❤️
Mary, I’ve pinned the recipe. I want to start baking again, and this recipe looks delicious. I love apples! I’m pulling out my St. Pat’s things tomorrow. I always think of the traveling cloth and eagerly anticipate who might share it this year. It’s always a surprise, and thrills me to think that this cloth has traveled for many years now. do you recall that you sent it to me? Thank you!
Mary, this looks so delicious and is presented so beautifully! I would love a slice now after dinner and then one for breakfast ☘️💚☘️
Looks delicious Mary, especially with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. I was just looking up apple cake recipes. You beat me to it. Love your Irish dishes.
As always, everything you share is mouthwatering!!!
Oh, Mary. You do the best blog posts. Those pictures, just brings me such joy. ♣
Thank you for all these years of inspiration. That would be so good for a breakfast treat, too. YUMMMMM!
This is so good and a beautiful cake out of my underused springform pan! Thank you!
~Hi Mary ~
Me having a March birthday , I may need to bake this for me!! haha
Thanks for sharing, and I can not believe its been 10 years wow !! You are still queen bee with your wonderful postings you share !! Thanks so much !!
Oh Mary, this looks so yummy and sounds wonderful with a cup of hot cinnamon spice tea. I love pecans and would maybe have to add some small pieces too, lol! Thank you for another great recipe!
Thank you for sharing this recipe, Mary. I am going to make this next week. Can’t wait. Love all the table top inspiration. I also have the Belleek Irish Cottage teapot, which I bought in Ireland on a trip that I will always treasure.
I made this for a St Patrick’s supper with three friends yesterday. They all loved it! Thanks for the many wonderful recipes you share!
Hi Donna, I’m so glad it was a hit, thanks for letting me know! ☘️