Irish Apple Cake with Custard Sauce

October 7, 2014

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I want to keep this Irish apple cake all to myself…it is just that good! It’s everything you’d imagine it to be and more. It’s not overly sweet like many cakes can be, it has just a nice depth of sweetness which pairs well with slight tartness of the granny smith apples leaving them room to shine. I like the density of this cake too, I always like a balance of differently textured cakes and this one has some body to it. This also has to be one of the most moist cakes I’ve ever had, especially once you finish it off with that creamy vanilla custard sauce. And the cinnamon sugar topping is probably my favorite part, the way it bakes and becomes nicely crisp, it’s simply dreamy.

Irish Apple Cake with Custard Sauce | Cooking Classy

I know this is a recipe I will make again! It’s definitely fit for bringing along to a party and it’s simple enough that it’s fit for a weekend treat. One great thing about this cake is that you don’t have to wait for it to cool entirely before serving since you aren’t frosting it (I think it’s best served warm with the warm vanilla custard sauce). There’s just something amazing about a warm piece of lightly spiced apple cake on a cold fall day. I also love that you don’t even need a mixer for this recipe. It’s just one of those good old fashioned recipes like your grandma would make, all done in a bowl by hand. The method is actually very similar to making biscuits which totally intrigued me for a cake.

I’m so pleased to say this cake is everything I’d hoped it to be! Enjoy!

Irish Apple Cake with Custard Sauce | Cooking ClassyIrish Apple Cake with Custard Sauce | Cooking ClassyIrish Apple Cake with Custard Sauce | Cooking ClassyIrish Apple Cake with Custard Sauce | Cooking Classy

5 from 7 votes

Irish Apple Cake with Custard Sauce

A must try fall recipe! Tender cake is dotted with juicy apples and finished with a rich and creamy vanilla custard sauce.
Servings: 12
Prep25 minutes
Cook50 minutes
Ready in: 1 hour 15 minutes



  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp of each ground ginger , nutmeg & allspice
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter , cold, diced into small pieces
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp granulated sugar , divided
  • 1 1/2 lbs granny smith apples (about 5 medium)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Custard Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  • For the cake:
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan, set aside.
  • In a very large mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, nutmeg and allspice for 20 seconds. Add butter pieces and rub into mixture using fingertips until it resembles fine crumbs. Stir in 1 cup sugar.
  • Peel apples, slice in half, core and stem, then laying apples on flat side, slice downward into pieces slightly less than 1/4-inch thick, then dice those pieces into smaller chunks (about 2 or 3 chunks depending on size of apples). Add apples to flour mixture and toss well to evenly coat, while working to separate any apples that may be stuck together.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together milk, eggs and vanilla until well combined. Pour milk mixture over apple/flour mixture and using clean hands, toss just until combined (batter will be slightly lumpy but that's fine, just don't over-mix).
  • Pour batter into prepared baking dish and spread into an even layer. In a small bowl stir together remaining 2 Tbsp sugar plus 1/2 tsp cinnamon, sprinkle evenly over cake. Bake in preheated oven 45 - 50 minutes until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool about 5 minutes on a wire rack then remove ring from springform pan and allow cake to cool to desired temperature. Serve warm drizzled with warm custard sauce (or cool with cold custard sauce, however you prefer).
  • For the custard sauce:
  • Heat milk with a pinch of salt over medium heat, and bring just to a light boil (keep an eye on it and remove from burner if needed before letting it rapidly boil). Meanwhile, add egg yolks and sugar to a medium mixing bowl and whisk vigorously until pale and fluffy, about 2 - 3 minutes (alternately you can do this with an electric hand mixer on high speed for about 30 seconds if you don't want to mix that long by hand). Reduce burner to medium-low heat, then while whisking egg yolk mixture, slowly pour in 1/2 cup hot milk mixture. Then, while whisking milk in saucepan slowly pour egg yolk mixture into saucepan. Cook mixture, whisking constantly, until thickened and mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon, about 3 - 4 minutes (be careful not to over-heat it, if you cook it too long or don't whisk well the eggs will curdle). Immediately pour into a glass container, stir in vanilla and whisk about 20 seconds to cool slightly, then cover with plastic wrap pressing against surface to prevent a skin from forming. Serve warm over cake (or cold). Store in refrigerator in an airtight container.
  • Recipe Source: adapted with some changes from The Kitchen McCabe
Nutrition Facts
Irish Apple Cake with Custard Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 412 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Cholesterol 160mg53%
Sodium 135mg6%
Potassium 278mg8%
Carbohydrates 59g20%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 33g37%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 630IU13%
Vitamin C 2.6mg3%
Calcium 123mg12%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.
Irish Apple Cake with Custard Sauce | Cooking Classy

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  • Barbara Harold

    The photo was so appealing I was very interested and definitely want to try it. The comments are very helpful to me where I could miss a turn. It would be wonderful if there was also a response to the comments by Jaclyn. The bakers comments are most helpful. Thank you. I look forward to baking this cake at some time and browsing thru the other recipes on your website.

  • jennal

    Delicious! Made it for St Patrick’s Day dessert. I used Rum instead of vanilla because I was out. Added cinnamon to the spices in the cake as well. Took a short cut on the custard and used store bought caramel sauce. I’d like to try the custard, but was short on time. Will make it again for sure. Was a big hit!

  • Carol

    This cake baked in a 9 inch springform pan took a lot longer to cook. When a knife was inserted into the middle of the cake it was not done at the 45-50 minutes than indicated in the recipe. I had to bake the cake for another 20 minutes

  • Carolyn Malik

    It was the hit of the party. Got several requests for the recipe. Tried the sauce but got it too hot and it curdled. Cake didn’t need it but the taste was superb before I botched it.

  • Scott g

    Excellent….cooked it to an internal temp of 175*f. About 40minutes in an 8″ spring form pan

  • Dvorah

    I bake his cake and I come out great Last ved the sugar cinnamon topping. Thank you

  • Michelle

    Made this twice. First time egg curdled in the cream but still passable, second time was perfect. At both dinner parties the dessert was a huge success. Put it on my go-to list now.

  • Ann Melleney

    Looks delicious am going to cook it in the week, see if it’s as good as Devon Apple cake, that’s where I live will let you know.