Tart, crisp apples suspended in tender vanilla spice cake with a crunchy sugar topping and creamy vanilla custard sauce.
FOR THE CAKE:
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 4 large Granny Smith apples, or similar variety of tart, crisp apples
- 1 stick (4 oz) butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
- 2 whole large egg, separated, at room temperature
- 2 large egg whites (reserve the yolks for the custard sauce), at room temperature
- 3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar + 1/4 tsp nutmeg, for the sugar topping
FOR THE CUSTARD SAUCE:
- 1¾ cup whole milk
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
MAKE THE IRISH APPLE CAKE:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 10-inch spring form pan and fit the bottom with a round of parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper and then shake flour around in the pan to coat the inside of the pan completely. Shake out the excess flour and set aside.
- Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg to a large bowl and stir with a wire whisk to combine.
- Peel and core the apples, and then chop into chunky bite-size pieces, about the size you’d want if adding them to a fruit salad. Add the chopped apples to the flour mixture and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, oil and 3/4 cup sugar on medium-high speed for 1 minute. Add the 2 egg yolks, buttermilk, and vanilla and beat for 1 minute longer.
- In a separate bowl, beat the 4 egg whites until foamy. Sprinkle in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula just until all the ingredients are combined and all the dry ingredients are moistened. Gently fold in the egg whites, just until combined. Be careful to not over mix. It’s ok to have a few streaks of egg white in the batter.
- Scrape the batter into your prepared pan. Combine the 2 tbsp sugar with 1/4 tsp nutmeg and sprinkle evenly across the top of the batter.
- Bake the cake for 50-60 minutes. To test for doneness, poke a toothpick into a few different places on the cake and look for evidence of cake batter.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack before removing the side of the pan to unmold the cake.
MAKE THE CUSTARD SAUCE:
- Pour the milk into a heavy bottomed medium size saucepan and cook over medium heat until bubbles appear along the edges of the pan.
- While the milk is heating, add the sugar and egg yolks to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture is thickened slightly and pale yellow. Beat in the cornstarch.
- With the mixer running, gradually pour the heated milk into the egg yolks in a thin steady stream. Stop the mixer halfway through pouring in the milk to quickly scrape down the sides of the bowl. Resume beating at medium speed to slowly add the remaining milk.
- Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or spatula, until the sauce thickens enough to coat the spoon with a light, creamy layer. Do not let the mixture come close to boiling. The maximum temperature it reaches should be 170 degrees.
- Strain the sauce into a bowl through a fine mesh strainer and stir in the vanilla. Cover and refrigerate. Custard sauce can be served over Irish Apple Cake either warm or cold and will keep for 2 weeks, covered in the refrigerator.
- Category: Cake
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Irish
Keywords: Irish apple cake, apple cake, cake, custard sauce, St. Patrick's day, simple cake recipe, best cake recipe