Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Today I am bringing you a recipe for Irish Apple Cake. This cake features Granny Smith apples (something green!), a brown sugar streusel, and a vanilla bean custard sauce. The vanilla bean custard sauce with this cake reminds me of apple pie a la mode. I hope you enjoy this recipe at anytime in the year but especially today!
Why you will love this
- Breakfast or dessert! I love cakes that can also be served for a breakfast and this fits the bill because it pairs perfectly with a cup of coffee. If you are serving it for dessert, I would definitely recommend using the custard sauce.
- Not too sweet. A more European style cake that does not have much sugar.
- A streusel topping. The streusel has brown sugar and oats making it hearty and the perfect texture.
- Standard pantry items. You likely already have all the ingredients except the Granny Smith apples.
- A great way to end a traditional Irish meal on St. Patty’s Day!
Step by step instructions
Step 1: Make the custard sauce. I recommend making this the day before you plan on serving it so it can chill in the refrigerator. It can stay in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Step 2: Prep the streusel. After mixing, you want the butter to stay cold so keep it in the refrierator as you are making the batter.
Step 3: Peel and slice the apples and prep your batter.
Step 4: Assemble, bake, and enjoy!
Irish Apple Cake
- 9 inch springform pan
Vanilla Bean Custard Sauce
- 6 large egg yolks
- 6 Tbsp granulated sugar (76 grams)
- 1 and 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 1 cup all purpose flour (120 grams)
- 1/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats (25 grams)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (100 grams)
- 6 Tbsps butter, melted
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar (100 grams)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups all purpose flour (240 grams)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 pinch clove
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 4 small Granny Smith apples (This was about 14 oz for me.)
- Powdered sugar for serving
Prep the Vanilla Bean Custard
- In a medium heavy bottomed saucepan, add the milk and bring to a simmer over medium heat. As that is warming up, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar in a separate bowl until smooth and evenly combined.
- Take a small ladleful of the hot milk and pour it into the bowl with the egg mixture. Make sure to whisk continuously as you pour. Add another ladleful of the hot milk and keep whisking. This is called tempering the eggs and it prevents them from curdling.
- Slowly pour the egg mixture into the saucepan with the rest of the hot milk. Continue cooking the mixture over medium heat. Stir continuously to ensure that the custard cooks evenly and prevent burning. It will start to thicken. Remove the pot from the heat as soon as the custard can coat the back of a spoon (about 5 minutes).
- Pour the custard through a sieve over a heat-proof bowl. This will catch any lumps and ensure that you have a smooth custard. Stir in the vanilla bean paste and put a layer of plastic wrap touching the surface of the custard to prevent it from forming a skin. Transfer to the refrigerator to cool completely. It will thicken as it cools.
Prep the Streusel Topping
- In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, oats, and brown sugar. Pour the melted butter into the bowl and use a fork to mix and form into crumbles. Towards the end, you can use your hands to squeeze the mixture into crumbles. Transfer to the fridge to solidify as you prep the cake.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with non-stick spray.
- Peel and core your apples. Slice into pieces about 1/4 inch thick. Take each slice and cut in half (or thirds) to make smaller pieces. This makes it easier to eat! Set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, waiting for the first one to completely disappear into the batter before adding the second one.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Fold half of the dry ingredients into the batter. Add the vanilla and half of the milk, then the rest of the dry ingredients, then the rest of the milk. Mix until barely combined.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared springform pan. Add the apples on top in a single layer, trying not to overlap too much. Add the streusel topping.
- Bake for about 45-50 minutes or until a test toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool in the pan before releasing the springform. You can run a knife along the edges before releasing. Dust with powdered sugar before serving. Serve with the chilled custard poured on top. Enjoy!