This collection of home-baking recipes, handed down through Ciara McLaughlin’s family, brings cakes and bakes from Granny’s stove to your table.
From hearty potato bread to comforting crumble, from the warmth of fresh-baked scones to the joy of a well-stocked biscuit tin, from sticky puddings to foraged-fruit jams, these recipes make a lot from a little and combine seasonal ingredients with classic flavors.
Share in the secrets of traditional Irish baking and create your own memories with delicious recipes for every occasion.
‘Patrick’s Home’ Upside-Down Cake
Aside from my older brother’s great company, we long for his visits back to Ireland for the ritual pineapple upside-down cake that is baked in jubilation upon his return. With its tropical flower-power petals of pineapple, the cake has a groovy flair and the juices from the canned fruit burst with a tang that seeps into the fluffy sponge when it gets cowped at the end.
- 1 small can (220g) pineapple rings
- 7 glacé cherries
- 170g self-raising flour
- 170g margarine
- 170g caster sugar
- 3 eggs
• Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4 and lightly grease an 8 inch/20cm cake tin. Drain the juice from the pineapple and lay the rings flat on the base of the cake tin, then pop a glacé cherry into each ring.
• Sift the flour into a baking bowl, then tip in the margarine, sugar and eggs and beat with an electric mixer until a smooth batter is formed.
• Gently spread the mixture over the layer of fruit, making sure each of the cherries is just submerged.
• Bake for 40–45 minutes, until the sponge is springy to the touch.
• Allow to cool for a few moments, then slide a butter knife around the circumference to loosen the cake from the tin. Place a wire cooling rack upside down on the cake tin and, using oven gloves, sandwich your hands around both, then, with a swift flick of the wrist, flip the cake upside down so that the pineapple layer beams upwards.
• Leave on the rack to cool a little before slicing and serving.
Try an apple and cinnamon alternative by using sliced rings of a cored apple tossed in 2 tbsp each of cinnamon and brown sugar. You can even dot some blackberries in place of the cherries for an autumn harvest feel.
Published in February 2022 by The O’Brien Press. Updated in 2023.