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 at 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 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.
Recipes from Bread and Butter – Cakes and Bakes from Granny’s Stove by Ciara McLaughlin
Published in February 2022 by The O’Brien Press. Updated in February 2023.