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.