kerryapplecakeWhen I saw the picture that went with this recipe, I had an immediate desire to eat the thing.  When you look at the recipe itself you might well guess, as I did, that this is less like a “sponge” and more like a quickbread.  If you like scones, you’ll love the consistency of this cake.  It’s not overly sweet and perfect with tea.

The cake itself is from Irish American Mom, and the adaptation with the addition of the custard sauce and lovely staged photos came from The Kitchen McCabe.  If you read the recipe from Irish American Mom, there’s some interesting background information about how these cakes used to be cooked over a fire.

Now, I hope they don’t revoke my UK citizenship for this, but I have never been a fan of custard.  I don’t think the cake is improved by the addition of custard, but I still think you need to try it and decide for yourself.  Everyone else who ate the cake with custard loved it.  I’m just weird.  Maybe I’d like it with a Chantilly cream?

Kerry Apple Cake



  • 3 cups cake flour (if you don’t have cake flour, remove 2 tbsp from each cup of all purpose flour and replace with 2 tbsp corn starch and sift several times to blend)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 oz butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 or 4 large apples
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp sugar for sprinkling on top

Custard sauce:

  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.  Grease (I also lined with parchment for easy removal, but I don’t think this is the kind of cake that would need it) a 9-inch round pan.
  2. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, salt, and spices into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Cut the butter into the flour until it resembles fine crumbs.
  4. Toss in the sugar and combine it with the flour mixture.
  5. Peel and slice the apples into similar 1-2” sized pieces.  Add to the flour mixture and mix thoroughly.
  6. Beat the eggs with a dash of milk.  Add to the apples and flour mixture and combine well with a spoon.  Add more milk as needed to fully moisten the flour.  The result is a pretty sticky mixture.
  7. Transfer the dough into the prepared cake pan and flatten the top with the back of the spoon.  Sprinkle 2 tbsp of sugar on top of the cake.
  8. Bake the cake for 45 to 50 minutes.  (I made sure a toothpick came out clean before removing from the oven.)  Cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Custard Sauce

  1. For the custard sauce, separate yolks from whites and whisk yolks with sugar until pale yellow, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Heat the milk in a saucepan just to a boil.  Slowly whisk the hot milk into the egg/sugar mixture.
  3. Transfer the mixture back into the saucepan an stir over medium heat until custard thickens (not to a standard pudding-like texture but just until it coats the back of a spoon) about 4 mins.  (NOTE: This is where I always have trouble; the mixture heats too quickly and I get sweet scrambled eggs instead of thickened sauce.  After several tries I was worried about running out of eggs so I took out the Bird’s custard powder, which is just not the same colour, flavour, or consistency.  I would recommend using a double boiler if you’re going to make it from scratch like this, or place the saucepan in a larger saucepan of water to heat it more evenly and gradually.  Or just skip the custard.  It’s custard.  ;-P  )
  4. Mix in the vanilla and transfer to a bowl or creamer for serving.


Comments welcome!  I know some of you must love food as much as I do, so if you liked it, didn’t like it, made changes, or have your own version of the recipe, please share!