Irish Whiskey Cake Recipe

This last Christmas, with the over commercialization of Christmas and the warmth and feeling of exchanging gift cards,  I had the grand idea of baking gifts. Well as usual life got in the way of my good intentions. I did however, find the time to make this wonderful recipe as gifts for the kids. It was easy and fun.
I am learning more about and exploring my Irish heritage and passing that information on to my children. Its fun to introduce that to the family and what better way than with food to share as a family.
I did substitute the SULTANAS for CRANBERRIES. They worked rather well, however, leaving them whole, allows them to sink to the bottom of the pan while baking. When you flip the cake over and remove it from the pan you have a nice layer on Cranberries at the top. This mistake actually turned our nicely. Next time, however, I will add them to the food processor first.
Would love to hear your comments and suggestions.
One of the most popular traditional Irish recipes

Irish whiskey cake is one of the most traditional of Ireland's best-known baked treats. Fancy versions, with all manner of spices, nuts and candied fruits, often appear at Christmas time or prepared for special family gatherings such as baptisms and birthdays. For presentation purposes, they might be baked in two cake pans and, after cooking, piled one on top of the other, separated by a butter icing layer. More icing is then spread across the top and decoration added. Or it might be a standard fruit cake which has been dosed with Irish whiskey during its maturity period.
Much simpler, lighter and cheaper versions are baked for weekends or for any occasion when friends or family might be popping in for afternoon tea.
My Irish whiskey cake recipe falls into this latter category. It's a tasty cake to share with friends, and the taste of whiskey is barely perceptible.
Nothing other than basic ingredients, a glug of whiskey, and a hint of orange is added, not even decoration. I bake it in a loaf tin rather than in cake tins and can promise that this pure and simple Irish whiskey cake goes down very well with a hot cup of freshly-brewed Barrys tea.

Ingredients for a 1lb cake tin:

  • 1 Orange
  • 2 tbs Irish whiskey
  • 6oz sultanas
  • 6oz butter
  • 6oz caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 8oz self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • S pinch of salt.


Using a vegetable peeler, peel the orange thinly. Place the peel in a small bowl and squeeze 1 tsp of orange juice over it. Add the sultanas and pour in the whiskey, lightly coating all the fruit. Cover and leave in a cool place for a few hours or overnight. Heat the oven to 350F/180C/Gas4. Discard the orange peel from the small bowl. Grease the loaf tin.
In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until the mix is fluffy, then add a little of the beaten eggs. Stir in. Continue adding the egg and mixing.
Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt together and gradually fold it into the mixture.
Stir in the sultanas and any remaining liquid.
Pour the mixture into the loaf tin (or cake tins if you are using them) and bake for 60-75 minutes until cooked through and the top is light to mid brown.

Taste that whiskey

My Irish whiskey cake recipe produces a cake that barely tastes of whiskey. That's how I like it.
If you want to ensure your guests taste the 'craythur', here's what to do:
After baking and while the cake is still hot and in its tin, prick the top with a skewer in several places. Drizzle a teaspoon or two of whiskey over. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before turning out.
Check the cake after 20-30 minutes; if it appears to be browning too quickly, wrap some foil over the top.
Leave to cool for 15 minutes before turning onto a wire rack. Serve hot or cold, in slices.

This recipe was found on Irish Genealogy Toolkit. Its a great resource for exploring Irish history, genealogy and traditions.


Mona R. said...

If you roll the cranberries in flour before you stir them in the batter they are less likely to fall to bottom ....true with blueberries in cake of muffins. Yours in baking .. Mona R.

Blanche aka Dianne Hartshorn said...

Mona, thanks for the advice.