Looking for a tasty dessert that is perfectly Irish? This traditional apple crumble cake recipe from one of Ireland's most favorite chefs is your only answer. 

"Apple crumble is one of my most favorite desserts of all time," Donal Skehan reminisces.

"I remember making it growing up and to this day still swoon at the smell of it coming out of the oven.

"This Irish apple crumble cake is a nice little twist on the classic with a moist apple cake interior and a light crumbly topping. That classic combination of apple and blackberries could also be used here."

Chef Donal Skehan's Irish apple crumble cake dessert recipe 

Serves 6-8


  • 4oz butter plus extra for greasing
  • 5oz soft light brown sugar
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 7oz plain flour, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 11oz peeled, cored and sliced cooking apple (Shouldn’t be more than one large one)

For the crumble topping:

  • 2oz of vanilla sugar (or substitute with caster sugar)
  • 2oz of plain flour
  • 2oz of butter


Preheat the oven to 360°F, grease and line an 8in cake tin with a removable base. With an electric hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until they are incorporated.

Fold through the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon until you have a thick cake batter. Stir through the apple and pour the batter into the cake tin. The batter will be thick, so use a spatula to spread across the base of the tin.

Using a hand blender with a food processor attachment, blitz the ingredients for the crumble topping until you get left with rough crumbs. You can also do this by hand in a bowl using your fingertips to combine the ingredients together. Sprinkle the crumble topping on top of the batter.

Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Donal demonstrates how to make this delicious crumble in the video below. Check out his Facebook page and website for more culinary tips, recipes, and food travels.

*Originally published in August 2016, updated June 2024.

What's your favorite Irish recipe? Let us know in the comments!