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.

Serves: 6-8


  • 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 2023.