Legend has it that St. Patrick planted an apple tree in Armagh County – also known today as “Orchard County” – an area recognized for its apple blossom tours and festivals. This cake, made from simple ingredients, is uncomplicated, easy to make, and so honest in its appearance and deliciously satisfying in flavor.

Irish Apple Cake

Serves 8 to 12


For cake:

2 large baking apples

1 ¼ cup self-rising flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus a little extra for greasing the pan

½ cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 tablespoons whole milk

Confectioner’s sugar for dusting, if you’re serving it cold.

For crumb topping:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed

Optional plating garnish:

Sprigs of fresh mint


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Generously grease a 9-inch springform pan with the extra butter reserved for this purpose.

Make the crumb topping first. Sift the flour into a medium sized bowl, and cut in the butter by rubbing the flour and butter together with your fingertips. It will turn into a bread crumb-like texture. Mix in the sugar with your hands. Easy. Set aside.

For the cake:

Peel, core, and thinly slice the apples, to about 1/8 – ¼ inch thickness. Set aside.

Sift together the flour, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and the sugar until light in color and smoothly blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla, and beat on low speed.

With the mixer still on low, gradually add flour mixture to the wet mixture.  Slowly pour in the milk. When fully incorporated, you’re done mixing.

Scoop the batter into the buttered springform pan, smoothing the top to make level. Using a circular pattern, place the apple slices on top of the batter. (It doesn’t have to be perfect, as it gets covered with the crumb mixture. You just want even coverage.) Top with the crumb mixture.

Bake for 1 hour, or until lightly browned and firm to the touch.

Serve warm, unadorned, or if serving as a dessert, try it with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

If serving cooled, give it a dusting of confectioner’s sugar – my fave for to elevating the look of this cake.

No matter how you slice it, this cake is wonderful.


Love, Nora

  • Irvette Smith says:
    March 19, 2016 at 11:00 am Reply

    This sounds “delish”, going to try it as soon as my oven is repaired!!!

  • Nora, can I make this in an 8 jinch spring form pan?

    • Yes, absolutely! Please let me know how you like it! Thanks. Love, Nora

      • Nora, I made the Irish Apple cake in the 8 inch pan and it came out wonderful. So delicious! I’ve also made the Apple Petite Tart. They have both become favorites! I enjoy your posts so much.

  • Just saw this on Better Connecticut and I am looking forward to trying it out

  • Angie Simeone says:
    March 14, 2017 at 9:37 pm Reply

    Can I use a non dairy milk instead of whole milk due to allergies? Looks delicious !

    • While I haven’t had any experience with swapping out the dairy milk for non-dairy milk, I wouldn’t recommend this recipe for you because of it’s high butter content. To satisfy your apple craving, try my French Apple Tart recipe from the blog. The Pepperidge Farms Puff Pastry Sheets that I use in this don’t contain any dairy and are certified vegan. I hope you give the recipe a try! Love, Nora

  • tammy moon says:
    March 16, 2017 at 3:00 pm Reply

    iam so glad i found your blog i love everything you do thank you so much

  • how can I print without having to print 8 pages?????????????????????????????????????????

    • So sorry Barbara that the post w/recipe is printing out so many pages. We are working on a Recipes Page for the blog that makes each recipe downloadable on one piece of paper. We’re shooting to complete this and launch in a few weeks! 🙂 Love, Nora

  • Mary t Moore says:
    March 17, 2017 at 10:53 pm Reply

    Is self rising flour regular flour

    • Self-rising flour has baking powder in it. When I don’t have that on hand, I’ve used my all-purpose flour with pretty much the same results! 🙂 Hope this helps. Love, Nora

  • When using regular flour how much baking powder do you add?

  • Barbara Harrisonburg says:
    March 18, 2017 at 10:20 am Reply

    So looking forward to trying this it sounds delicious Thankyou x

  • Jean Saccuzzo says:
    December 29, 2017 at 7:15 am Reply

    Have you made this using a convection oven?

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