Ever heard of Irish brick cake? I hadn’t either until I saw it on Strayed from the Table and it looked, well, heavy and “uncakelike.” Then Lizzie invited me for lunch at the farm and she made the cake – or I should have said she made the cake before I got there and baked it while we ate our lunch.
I saw it in the pan and thought, “Weird,” but didn’t say anything. The roast pork was too good to worry about dessert because I knew I wouldn’t have room for it anyway.
The cake gave off a lovely aroma as it was baking — only 35 minutes in the oven — and it came out golden brown on top and resembled an ANZAC biscuit. While we chatted, the cake cooled enough for Lizzie to slide it gracefully out of the tin and we got our cameras and began snapping photos.
I still wasn’t excited about this cake. It does look heavy and to be fair, it does weigh as much as a brick.
Never one to disappoint a friend or turn down something sweet, I took a bite. I figured I could tell her I was too full if I didn’t like it but it was wonderful. The best apple cake ever and it was warm and drizzled with fresh Maleny cream.
Don’t expect a light fluffy cake that makes you think of birthdays because this cake isn’t that at all. The best description I can give is a workingman’s apple cake. Solid, sweet and if it weren’t for all the butter and sugar, good for you. To the food police: it has a hefty amount of butter and sugar.
Lizzie asked what I wanted to do next and I told her I was going to sit on that chair until the last bite of cake was gone. I had no room for it but I was going to make it happen anyway.
Fast forward to getting in the car to head home and she offered some cake to take to John and Rob. John doesn’t do sweets so I took a piece for Rob.
He liked it too and wanted to know if I was going to make that cake for us. Absolutely. I wanted more and I wanted to fill mine with different things just to be well… different. Lizzie filled her cake with sliced apples and minced fruit and I added sliced apples, chopped dates and sultanas.
The cake comes together in minutes. It’s only peel peel, chop, chop chop, melt, mix and stir. Half the batter goes on the bottom of the pan an then the fruity bits and then the rest of the batter goes on top and you pat it down so you don’t have air holes. In the oven for 35 minutes and then it’s cake.
I think you could definitely make this in a square pan and cut it up as fruit bars for school lunch boxes. I will tell you that Rob and I decided the next morning that we could eat some as breakfast oatmeal. John rolled his eyes.
However, every other time that Irish brick cake was offered, John had a slice. I left one small piece in the fridge for myself and when I went to get it, it was gone.
“Did you give my piece of cake to your father?” I asked.
“Uhh, no. Maybe the dog ate it.”
It was in a metal container with a plastic lid. The dog would have had to open the fridge and then get the pan out and then open the lid to eat it. Clever dog? Fibbing husband?
This was the first cake I think I have EVER cooked where we ate the whole thing. I always end up giving away or tossing 1/2 to 2/3 of cakes because how much cake can two people eat when one doesn’t like sweets?
Give this cake a try. I don’t normally beg people to make a cake but this time, yes – make this cake. You won’t regret it and you’ll be like Lizzie and me and will pass it on to your friends, family and blog readers. Served with a bit of cream, this cake’s a winner.
- 250gm butter
- 250 gm sugar
- 2 tbsp of golden syrup
- 250 gm plain flour
- 250gm oats
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tsp of bicarb soda.
- 2 apples, peeled and sliced
- ¼ cup of dates, chopped roughly.
- Preheat your oven to 180’c. Line a 20cm round cake tin with grease proof paper.
- In a small saucepan melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup over a low temperature. You want the sugar to dissolve on the stove.
- Meanwhile in a large mixing bowl place the flour, oats, salt and bicarb soda.
- Peel and chop the apples and chop the dates.
- Once the butter and sugar mixture is melted add it to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Layer half the mixture into the cake tin and press down to the bottom and sides. Layer the apple slices on the cake mixture lightly pressing down once complete sprinkle the dates over the top.
- Add the remaining mixture and cover the apple and date layer.
- Bake in the oven for 35min or until lightly golden. Allow to cool for five minutes before serving.
- NOTE: You can replace the sugar and golden syrup with 250gm of honey though you will need to add an extra 50gm of plain flour to the recipe.
Stephanie - The Dessert Spoon says
Thank you so much for sharing this! I’ve never heard of it before but it looks like my sort of cake!
I didn’t think it was my sort of cake until I took that first bite!
Jan's Sushi Bar says
Oh, good heavens, that looks delicious – I love dense, warm cakes with fruit. I bet I can make this grain-free, too. Oh, yes…
It will be interesting to see if you can, Jan.
We both do eat sweets, but even so a cake lasts a long time. We usually freeze part of it, if we can’t give it away. Sounds like a really interesting cake – definitely something I should try. Thanks.
I don’t freeze mine because I’m always making something new. If it goes in the freezer then it comes out and heads for the trash. I’ve learned my lesson. 🙂
I think this cake looks divine. Love the addition of dates. Inspired.
Oh how I wished I lived closer so I could drop in and enjoy 3 slices….or more… over a cup of tea.
Yes. Winner. Winner. Winner.
This is a substantial cake. 🙂
Lizzy (Good Things) says
LOL great tale at the end… I love old fashioned cakes, Maureen… am I now showing my age?
you never show you age and it’s not fair 🙂
What an interesting recipe (and name)!
I did raise my eyebrows 🙂
Hotly Spiced says
It does look a lot like a giant ANZAC biscuit. I’m so glad you shared this with ‘the dog’. It’s always a good sign when someone says they don’t eat something and then you find they’ve had an about-face. I love how recipes get shared around the blogging community. I’m pinning this! xx
Your kids would look at this and scream 🙂
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
This cake is new to me too but I love apple cakes (especially involving butter and sugar ;)).
I look forward to what you could do with this recipe, Laura!
I have been waiting for this recipe since you mentioned it the other day. It looks just delicious to me! And I love how easily it comes together! Thank you for sharing!
I hope you like it!
Maureen, I just absolutely adore your writing style..so easy and entertaining to read! Ahh now I know what Irish Brick Cake is and can understand why it’s named as such. It sure does look quite heavy…not like any cake I’ve ever had. I am eager to try but the amount of butter and sugar does pose a dilemma. One slice is fine but seeing how you were able to make room even after eating that delicious roast pork, I sense trouble. Don’t you just love how our dogs get blamed for everything? I always tell Kona to cover his ears…daddy is talking nonsense.
Thanks so much for the kind words, Min. I know my recipes can be butter or sugar laden but they’re not for every day. 🙂
Rachel Cotterill says
That looks wonderful. And I was just trying to think what to take to visit friends next week… 🙂
Looks delicious. I like the way you immediately started thinking of variations. Clearly a creative cook as well as orgasmic!
Doesn’t everyone do that?? 🙂
I have never heard of brick cake before! 🙂 It sounds marvelous though – very hearty and filling and a lovely thing to eat with tea or coffee. 🙂
Claire @ Claire K Creations says
So I’m reading this at 7pm on a Saturday night and thinking… I could whip this up while dinner is in the oven and have it ready for dessert. Hmm…
Claire @ Claire K Creations says
and now it’s in the oven
We are coming into apple season here – perfect timing Maureen. My hubby doesn’t usually do sweets either. I’m going to make this and see if it charms him like it did John – lol!
Let me know how it goes?
I don’t know what happened to the first comment I left? So, here it goes again… This is perfect timing since we are just approaching apple season here. My hubby doesn’t usually do sweets either so I’m going to make it and see if it charms him like it did John – lol!
Glamorous Glutton says
This looks wonderful and I’m definitely making it. It looks like a cross between a pie and a cake, perfect for Sunday lunch. By the way, you could make money from a dog as talented as that!?! GG
You got my attention with “Brick” 🙂 I never heard of it before either. Just read the ingredients and it sound scrumptious. Thanks for introducing me to something new today, Maureen. 🙂
V ictoria of Flavors of the Sun says
Ooohhhh…I love being introduced to something new, especially something I want to try. Sounds delicious.
I’m ready to make another one.
This looks extremely good and delicious !
Thanks T. It’s a great cake.
suzanne Perazzini says
I actually love the look of this cake though I would have to substitute the apples and dates with one of my allowed fruits. Maybe it is the cold spell we are having that makes this look so good.
Rachel @ Sweet Ravioli says
Wow, how interesting!
Kim Beaulieu says
Your dog is wicked smart. And your brick cake is the bomb. Love it. I could totally be convinced to become a breakfast person for this.
I was hoping those were apples in the middle when I eyed the first photo! You won’t have to twist my arm too much to make this…I’m pinning to try this fall!
Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul says
How interesting! It does look heavy but who cares?? I’d happily tuck into a slice or two. The food police can go find another cause!
Joanne T Ferguson says
G’day and wow Maureen, I am of Irish decent, never heard of this cake, true!
Looks to be a tad heavy, but isn’t everything lighter with a bit of whip cream too? 🙂
Dear Maureen, What a wonderful review of a cake. I am going to take your advice and give this cake a try.
I am like you. How much cake and goodies can one consume! I too either give it away or wind up tossing and or “sacrificing” and finishing it myself with a cup of tea or coffee and that just isn’t practical.lol
Blessings dear and hugs, Catherine xo
Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen says
I think you should invite the food police over and give them a few slices, Maureen. I think the healthy oats and apple kinda cancel out the naughty ingredients. I don’t need any urging to give this recipe a go!
Kari @ bite-sized thoughts says
Thanks so much for sharing this recipe – I am definitely keen to try it. I’ve never seen anything like it but suspect I could like a workman’s apple cake very much indeed!
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
Hehe you see the fact that you described it like an Anzac biscuit made me like it even more! 😀 This is a wonderful looking rustic cake 🙂
Lisa the Gourmet Wog called it a door stop. LOL She’s in big trouble. 🙂
Lisa the Gourmet Wog says
Oh Maureen, I love you and your recipes to bits. Please don’t put me in the naughty corner 😉
LOL okay no more naughty corner 🙂
Lisa the Gourmet Wog says
Oh Maureen, you know I love you and your recipes to bits. Please don’t put me in the naughty corner 😉
Lisa the Gourmet Wog says
Looks a bit like a door stop but I’m sure it tastes absolutely divine!!
OMG I read this and burst out laughing. Don’t you dis my cake, woman! 🙂
Helene D'souza says
clever dog or fibbing husband… hehe
Do you have the sauce recipe for it too Maureen?
I think they would look cook in small mini square forms, no?
Wish I could have joined you girls =P
I didn’t have sauce.. it was just cream poured on top.
No – never heard of this. What an interesting cake!! It does look like a brick, but I love the look of it cut. This is definitely one of those recipes that is so different and so interesting that I know I really need to make it. I can already smell it baking.
Bam's Kitchen says
Hi there Maureen! I am having so much fun catching up on all of your delicious posts. A good dense cakes with lots of delicious butter, sugar and dates. Sign me up!
Nami | Just One Cookbook says
Hm, I had never heard of it before but it looks delicious and great tip on making into square and put it in lunch/snack box for school. Love your great recommendation for this cake and I also wish that I live nearby so I get to eat some of your baked goods!
Kim | a little lunch says
Maureen, you had me sold at “peel, peel, chop, chop, chop, melt, mix and stir” and “how much cake can two people eat when one doesn’t like sweets?” This sounds like THE perfect cake for us. Thank you! Also loved your crackling roast pork and review of Lizzie’s farm — extremely enjoyable posts — never thought to prep a roast with a blow dryer before… may have to try that! 😉
Charles Smith says
Wonderful looking cake, with a hilarious title – I presume the “brick” part alludes to the consistency of it, right? It does sound great though! Your “fibbing husband” made me think of my father. He would go to great lengths to announce his hatred of cheesecake to the world, and yet slices would mysteriously disappear from the refrigerator!
It’s hard to say, “I don’t eat sweets” and then have the last piece gone, isn’t it?
The Café Sucre Farine says
What a fun post Maureen. I love things like this that totally surprise you. I do know now though that if I invite you to dinner and you say you don’t care for dessert, that you’re too full. that my dessert doesn’t look super appealing. Maybe you shouldn’t tell us all of your secrets. 🙂
I can always find room for dessert and I don’t think for one poofteenth of a second that your dessert wouldn’t be divine. (poofteenth is Australian for a very very tiny portion of a second)
I don’t know how I missed reading/commenting on this post. When the notification shows up in my email box, there’s no link so I have to click on the bookmark to your blog and then I delete the email … looks like skipped the visit to the blog.
The two steps of layering the cake on the bottom/sides and then sealing the top seems a bit fiddly but the finished cake appears to be seamless with the wonderful filling inside coming as a tasty surprise. I’d like to give it a try. 🙂
I just plopped half the batter in the bottom and smoothed it with my fingers, tumbled in the apples and dates and put spoonsful of batter over the apples and patted it all together. I didn’t fuss with the sides, they took care of themselves in the baking.
That’s good to hear. I do want it to look good though.
I bought a pound of honey dates today because I want to make this cake and a sticky date pudding … one of my long time cooking bucket list items. Oh and I just tried a new pie crust recipe so I’m going to make pecan pie/tarts with a portion of the pastry I didn’t free.
Hard to believe I’m not a big dessert eater, isn’t it? 🙂
For someone who doesn’t like desserts, you’re definitely on a roll!
Maureen, I just finished devouring a small slice of the brick cake with a scoop of French vanilla ice cream and it was amazing … lots of great texture from the oats and I liked the crunchy crust outside with the tender apples in the middle. I made it a small slice because I didn’t want spoil my appetite for the braised leg of lamb which still has 45 min left before it’s ready to eat and now I regret not that it wasn’t bigger and I have to wait. 🙂
I just wish I had a nice cake plate to display it on.
I’m so glad you tried it AND that you liked it. I knew you would! I can’t wait to make it again.
I just made it again and am curious if you’ve tried other fruits than apple that you can recommend. Not that I don’t love the apples and dates. 🙂
I’ve tried it with berries, peaches, pears, bananas and pumpkin. The pumpkin and bananas were a loss for me. 🙂
Thank you. Pumpkin and banana wouldn’t not be my first (or 15th) choices, for that matter. But, I’ll add the other fruit suggestions to my recipe notes.
Paula @ Vintage Kitchen Notes says
The name is so fitting Maureen! I actually like the idea of apples in between thick oat crust. Must try this one, absolutely! I love oats
Paula, you won’t regret making this cake and be wild and fill it with something different and then tell us about it. I’m still drooling over that raspberry apple crostata of yours. How elegant!
Gisele aka LA2LAChef says
The dog ate it – HA! That’s rich.
Gisele, my husband says he doesn’t eat sweets so admitting it was more than he could do. 🙂 (btw, the dog WOULD have eaten it if he’d had the chance!)
Claire @ Simply Sweet Justice says
This cake looks like comfort food! As soon as we hit fall with the yummy apples, I’ll be making this.
Mary Frances says
I am not much of a sweet person either but I will definitely give this cake a try now that apples are coming into the height of the season. Sounds yummy!
Debbie Russell says
Oh my goodness, Maureen. This looks fabulous. I love apples and dates too. So easy! I think I will add a few chopped pecans to mine. Now, to convert that recipe to an American version… lol.