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Irish Apple Cake – A Fragrant Autumn Bake

Irish Apple Cake

Autumn, Bundt | 12th November 2019 | By

An unusual apple cake with a layer of cinnamon flavoured apples baked in the centre of a fairly plain cake. This Irish apple cake is just perfect served warm as pudding with custard or cream. But it’s also good at room temperature for afternoon tea.

At this time of year when apples are abundant, I’m always on the look out for new ways of cooking with them. Last week I made these cheese and apple muffins. This recipe is inspired by Rachel Allen’s Irish apple cake. Thanks to @fussfreefoodie on Twitter for suggesting it. As usual, my recipe bears little resemblance to the original, except for the core concept. Instead of scattering the apples throughout the cake batter or laying them on top of the cake, this one has a layer of cinnamon coated apples in the middle.

Irish Apple Cake

This Irish apple cake is a really simple autumnal bake. Simple and delicious gets my vote every time and this ticks both boxes. Apple and cinnamon are the only flavours in the cake and they form the middle layer. But the cake is both comforting and tasty. It’s especially good served warm with either custard or cream.

Irish Apple Cake

You make the cake mix by creaming the butter and sugar together, then adding the other ingredients one by one. In other words, in the usual way. The difference is, that initially you add only half the batter to the bundt. You then layer the apples sugar and cinnamon over this and then spoon the remaining cake mix on top.

You can get sixteen modest slices from this Irish apple cake if it’s destined for a crowd. For pudding you might want to serve larger slices. Because, quite frankly, why wouldn’t you?

If you have a bundt mould or tin, it turns a relatively plain cake into something that looks really good. Bundts are just brilliant for this. If you bake it in an ordinary cake tin, then sprinkle a tablespoonful of sugar over the top of the cake prior to baking. This will give a nice crunch to the top.

Can I Swap Ingredients?


I used cardamom sugar rather than plain golden caster sugar. But that’s just because I have a jar of it sitting permanently on the shelf. It adds subtle citrus notes that you wouldn’t be able to identify, but you’d notice if it wasn’t there. If you use ordinary sugar, however, it will still be delicious.

Spelt Flour & Kefir

Needless to say I made the cake with my favourite wholemeal spelt flour. Follow the link which will give you other options if you want to use a different flour. I also used kefir as the wet ingredient. This definitely adds something good to the overall flavour, but also helps the cake to rise. If you don’t have any kefir, swap it for buttermilk or sour milk. To make sour milk, just add a spoonful of lemon juice to milk and leave it to thicken for five minutes before using.

Irish Apple Cake

What Sort of Apples Should I Use?

Cooking apples or Bramleys are the best apples to use in this Irish apple cake. You want them to be soft when you bite into the cake. These type of apples are also quite sour, so they generally give a good flavour. If you use crisp eating apples, they may not soften up enough whilst the cake bakes. I used windfalls from our garden, which, sadly, aren’t cooking apples. They were firmer than I’d have liked.

Other Apple Cakes You Might Like

If you’re looking for ways to use apples other than cake, try this apples tag. Alternatively, head over to my Apple Day board on Pinterest where you’ll find tons of inspiration.

Keep in Touch

Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make my version of Irish apple cake, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.

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Irish Apple Cake. PIN IT.

Irish Apple Cake

Irish Apple Cake – The Recipe

Irish Apple Cake
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5 from 15 votes

Irish Apple Cake

An unusual apple cake with a layer of cinnamon flavoured apples baked in the centre of a fairly plain cake. Perfect served warm as pudding with custard or cream. But also good served cold for afternoon tea.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Afternoon Tea, Dessert
Cuisine: Irish
Keyword: apples, autumn, bundt, cake, cinnamon
Servings: 16 modest slices
Calories: 203kcal


  • 180 g unsalted butter
  • 180 g golden caster sugar (I used cardamom sugar)
  • 3 eggs
  • 225 wholemeal spelt flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 100 ml kefir, buttermilk or sour milk

Apple Filling

  • 2 large cooking apples or windfalls (about 300g)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp golden granulated or caster sugar
  • icing sugar for dusting


  • Turn on the oven to 180℃ (350℉, Gas 4).
  • Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs, one by one, adding a little of the flour if the mixture looks as though it’s splitting.
  • Sieve in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and stir until just combined.
  • Add the kefir, buttermilk or sour milk and stir lightly until just combined.
  • Spoon half the batter into the bottom of an oiled silicone bundt mould or tin.
  • Peel, core and finely slice the apples. Lay them on top of the cake mix.
  • Mix the tbsp of sugar together with the cinnamon, then sprinkle over the top of the apples.
  • Cover with the remaining cake mix.
  • Bake in the centre of the oven for about 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean (ish).
  • Allow to cool in the tin for ten minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely - unless serving warm for pudding.
  • Dust with a little icing sugar when completely cool.


Loosely adapted from Rachel Allan’s Irish apple cake
You can use a large loaf or round tin if you don’t have a bundt mould. If you do this sprinkle 1 tbsp of sugar over the top of the cake prior to baking.
Please note: calories and other nutritional information are per serving. They’re approximate and will depend on exact serving size and ingredients used.


Calories: 203kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 60mg | Potassium: 129mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 348IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg


I’m sharing this autumnal Irish apple cake with Jo’s Kitchen Larder and Apply to Face Blog for #BakingCrumbs. It also goes to Lost in Food for #CookBlogShare.


  1. Mandy

    12th November 2019 at 5:56 pm

    This is such a great recipe – I made apple cake at the cafe last week and it was really popular. Thanks for linking to my recipe

    • Choclette

      12th November 2019 at 6:02 pm

      Apple cake always goes down well I’ve found. Especially at this time of year.

  2. angiesrecipes

    12th November 2019 at 7:13 pm

    I love to bake with whole spelt and kefir too. The bundt cake looks splendid!

    • Choclette

      13th November 2019 at 6:52 am

      You’re well ahead of me on the ancient grain front Angie. I really need to try einkorn.

  3. Christina Conte

    12th November 2019 at 10:22 pm

    Absolutely my cup of tea, or should I say, perfect with a cup of tea! It simply screams autumn.

    • Choclette

      13th November 2019 at 6:53 am

      Agree Christina, cups of tea are very much in order when cake is in the offing.

  4. Sylvie

    13th November 2019 at 12:30 am

    I just love a good apple cake and this one looks so fragrant and delicious! Love the idea of cardamom sugar, I can only imagine the flavours it must bring to the cake. Yum!!

    • Choclette

      13th November 2019 at 6:54 am

      Thanks Sylvie. I keep a jar of golden caster sugar with a handful of cardamom pods in it. As soon as I use the sugar, I top it up with some more. The cardamoms seem to last forever.

  5. GUNJAN C Dudani

    13th November 2019 at 3:37 pm

    oh my gosh! I am drooling over this cake. I am not a great baker but once i while i like to bake with my daughter. This would be at the top of my to do list.

    • Choclette

      13th November 2019 at 3:40 pm

      Thanks Gunjan. Glad to hear you bake with your daughter once in a while. Getting kids used to the kitchen is soooooo important.

  6. Pavani

    13th November 2019 at 6:08 pm

    That is a beautiful apple cake. Love the idea of adding a layer of cardamom applies in the middle. Such a aromatic and flavorful cake – perfect for the season.

    • Choclette

      14th November 2019 at 7:01 pm

      Thanks Pavani apple cakes are at their best at this time of year and everyone seems to love them.

  7. Lou | Crumbs & Corkscrews

    13th November 2019 at 10:56 pm

    I love Bundt cakes, and the simplicity of baking them. They look so good when turned out! The layer of cinnamon apples sounds amazing. I can see myself curled up with a slice of this and a hot mug of tea.

    • Choclette

      14th November 2019 at 6:59 pm

      Ooh yes I like the idea of that and a warm fire too. Since I got my bundt mould, they are now my favourite cake to bake.

  8. Danielle

    14th November 2019 at 11:44 pm

    If you say it is an unusual apple cake, then I’ve GOT to make it and try myself. I love experimenting, especially when it comes to delicious cakes like this. It is certainly a great holiday recipe!

    • Choclette

      15th November 2019 at 7:59 am

      Really, I don’t think you can go wrong with an apple cake. Everyone loves them it seems. But it’s always nice to ring the changes and this one is a good one.

  9. Sisley White

    15th November 2019 at 8:48 am

    This is calling to me. I love apple cake. I haven’t tried a version like this but I am going to have to!

    • Choclette

      15th November 2019 at 7:47 pm

      Apple cake always seems to be a winner and this one is up with the best of them.

  10. Kat (The Baking Explorer)

    15th November 2019 at 10:34 am

    Such a perfect Autumn bake!

    • Choclette

      15th November 2019 at 7:48 pm

      Thanks Kat. Autumn just isn’t autumn without at least one apple cake.

  11. Jill @MadAboutMacarons

    16th November 2019 at 3:06 pm

    Definitely a must-bake for Autumn, Choclette. I’m adoring so much baking and desserts with apples just now and also love your apple and hazelnut cake. This looks absolutely fabulous. I should really try baking with spelt flour.

    • Choclette

      16th November 2019 at 5:10 pm

      Thank you Jill. Apples and hazelnuts go so well together, especially at this time of year. Spelt flour is sadly more expensive than ordinary flour, but I really like it.

  12. Michelle Rolfe

    17th November 2019 at 3:09 pm

    Delicious sounding and looking cake Choclette! I do love an apple cake and must make another again soon. I keep meaning to try using kefir as the wet ingredient as my go to is usually yogurt or buttermilk. I really like to see the apples and cinnamon in the middle to give the added surprise cutting into it. Thanks for sharing with #CookBlogShare. Michelle x

    • Choclette

      17th November 2019 at 5:05 pm

      Thanks Michelle. Kefir is wonderful for baking, but because I make my own, I usually have some going spare. Not sure I’d want to buy it as it’s quite expensive.

  13. Rebecca - Glutarama

    18th November 2019 at 10:10 pm

    Apple and cinnamon, a match made in heaven. I have a dutch apple cake that’s layered, never thought to make in a bundt…hmmm wonder if that’s good enough excuse to shop for a Nordic???

    • Choclette

      19th November 2019 at 9:54 am

      Ah well, I have no experience of Nordic. I like my silicone bundt as sticking has never been an issue. Cinnamon and most things get my vote, but it does go particularly well with apple.

  14. Jo Allison

    26th November 2019 at 6:32 pm

    You say apples and cinnamon and I’m there! I love that distinctly visible layer of apples going right through the middle of each slice, it looks really pretty! Forget 16 slices though, more like 8! 🙂 Thank you for sharing your recipe with #BakingCrumbs 🙂

    • Choclette

      26th November 2019 at 7:34 pm

      Hahaha, 8 slices it is then. Yes it’s quite nice to have a separate layer of apples for a change. You can’t miss them that way.

  15. Jenny Walters

    28th November 2019 at 8:05 pm

    This is just my kind of cake Choclette. Big, beautiful and full of apples. What a perfect bake and I would love it just as much as a pudding drowned in cream. I love the centralised apples too. An Apple surprise, delicious. Thank you so much for sharing with #BakingCrumbs

    • Choclette

      29th November 2019 at 7:29 pm

      Thanks Jenny, I’ll take the big and beautiful. Although I have to say, the cake would be lovely drowned in cream too.

  16. Janice Pattie

    29th November 2019 at 4:01 pm

    Oh wow, this looks lovely. I’m always looking for recipes to make with apples and this one is now on the list.

    • Choclette

      29th November 2019 at 7:28 pm

      It’s getting increasingly difficult to come up with new ways for apples. I probably have more apple recipes than anything else. Well apart from chocolate, obviously.


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