Irish apple cake with whiskey caramel sauce




Prep Time


Cook Time

Serve this spicy apple cake warm with lashing of whipped cream or ice cream and the decadent caramel sauce.



For the Irish apple cake

  • 6 apples — peeled, cored and cut into 1cm cubes
  • 2½ cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1½ teaspoons mixed spice
  • 2¾ cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup Irish whiskey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 4 eggs
  • ⅔ cup chopped walnuts

For the whiskey caramel sauce

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ⅓ cup Irish whiskey
  • ½ cup cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter


For the Irish apple cake with whiskey caramel sauce

  • Preheat the oven to 175°C (160°C fan bake). Line a 23cm-diameter, 9cm-deep round cake tin with baking paper.
  • Mix the diced apples with the cinnamon, mixed spice and ½ cup of the sugar. Set aside.
  • Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in an electric mixer or large bowl. Set aside.
  • Combine the remaining 2 cups of sugar, with the oil, whiskey, vanilla and orange zest and juice in another bowl.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat to combine. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions.
  • Pour half the batter into the prepared tin. Top with half the apples. Add the remaining batter, then top with the remaining apples, including their juice. Top with the walnuts.
  • Bake for 1¼–1½ hours or until a skewer comes out mostly clean. Do not overbake. Cool in the pan for 20 minutes then transfer to a serving platter.
  • To make the Whiskey Caramel Sauce, heat the sugar and water in a pan over a medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally so the sugar melts evenly and becomes a dark amber. The mixture may seize, but then comes back.
  • Add the whiskey and carefully ignite with a match to burn off the alcohol. When the flame dies out, stir in the cream and bring to the boil. Boil, whisking continuously, until reduced by a third. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter. Pour over the apple cake to serve.