Irish Desserts: Irish Spice Cake Recipe

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I love enjoying Irish desserts on St. Patrick’s Day.  St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated every year on March 17.  St. Patrick’s Day honors St. Patrick who is the patron saint of Ireland. The Irish have observed this holiday for over 1,000 years.  St. Patrick is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland.  Legend explains that he explained the Holy Trinity by using the shamrock or three leaf clover to represent the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This is a traditional Irish dessert that has no food coloring or artificial ingredients. Give your family the chance to try a real Irish dessert this year.

Irish Desserts - Irish Spice Bread

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Irish Desserts: Irish Spice Cake

When looking for Irish desserts, there is no reason to search for a “green” dessert. Traditional St. Patrick’s Day desserts were not colored green.   This Irish Spice Cake is one I remember from my childhood. It is a moist cake or bread that works well for breakfast or as a dessert topped with freshly whipped cream.

Spice breads were typically heavy, moist breads that kept well wrapped in the pantry.  They did not dry out as quickly as other breads which made them quite popular.  While this recipe calls for raisins, you could easily substitute dried cherries, dried cranberries, dates or figs instead if that is what you have in your pantry.

Irish dessert recipe - Irish spice cake

Irish Spice Cake
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1 based on 1 review(s)


  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 3/4 cup organic Turbinado sugar (or substitute light brown sugar)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 tbsp Meyer lemon zest
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 4 ounces of organic butter
  • 1/2 cup local honey
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 egg


  1. Preheat the oven to 325F.
  2. Mix the flour, baking soda, ginger, sugar, raisins, lemon zest, cinnamon and cloves in a large bowl.
  3. In a small pan, melt the butter. Turn off the heat & add the honey, egg and milk. Stir until blended.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until blended.
  5. Grease a large loaf pan. Pour the batter in making sure to fill only half way.
  6. Bake for 60 to 75 minutes covering the top in tin foil during the last 30 minutes of baking.
  7. Cool completely in the pan before removing.
  8. Bake 60-75 minutes. covering the bread with tin foil for the last 30 minutes.



521 cal


13 g


89 g


11 g
Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

I love that this is a healthy dessert made from whole ingredients.  You can add sliced fresh fruit to the top along with the whipped cream if you like. This Irish dessert could be made throughout the year and topped with whatever fruit is in season in your area when you make it.

What is your favorite Irish dessert to have for St. Patrick’s Day?

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  1. Hmmm... I don't think we have a favorite dessert for St. Patrick's day. This looks good though!!!
  2. this looks amazing, I would love to try this one day.
  3. This looks and sounds delicious. I used to bake Irish Soda bread - the last time was a few years ago. I wonder if this is similar? I'll have to compare our recipes. 
    • Ellen Christian says
      Thanks, Nicole. Irish soda bread is generally a white type yeast bread.  This is probably more similar to a gingerbread or maybe a carrot cake.
  4. Mama to 5 BLessings says
    Looks yummy, nice and moist! Great to go with a glass of milk! 
  5. Jennifer @TheRebelChick says
    Your cake looks absolutely amazing! Thanks so much for sharing your recipe!
  6. Katy Rawson says
    Sounds so delicious, I can't wait to try it. And I love the idea of substituting the raisins for figs. I'm not a huge raisin fan but I love figs and don't have nearly enough recipes to use them in.
  7. I love ginger and the combo of raisins must give it a great texture and flavor.  I will pin this! 
  8. Delicious, I love ginger and spice cake sounds so delicious! Love the idea of adding fruits too. 
  9. I am such a fan of spice cake and your recipe looks like a very good one!
  10. This looks like a really good recipe. I love spice cakes like this one.
  11. sounds like a delicious and healthy snack!
  12. I can't think of an Irish dessert we typically enjoy for St. Patrick's Day.  This bread looks awesome, though.
  13. Mistee Dawn says
    Looks so good. Never had Irish Spice Cake before, but I can;t wait to try it.
  14. That looks so yummy! I'll admit, even though I'm Irish I haven't tried much Irish food.
  15. Melanie a/k/a CrazyMom says
    Yummmm.. this looks delicious..thanks for a great recipe .
  16. Stacie Connerty says
    I love spice cakes.  This looks really good and an easy recipe to make.  
  17. my grama hitchcock used to make something like this. i'd forgotten all about it until i was reading your ingredient list and it all came back! i want to make a loaf
  18. Wow, that looks delicious! 
  19. This looks great. We love Irish food. 
  20. Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell says
    I like it with the raisins. That's the way I'll try it!
  21. Just some quick clarification. I noticed you listed milk in the steps, but not in the ingredients. How much and what type of milk did you use? Thanks!
  22. Tasted great!! How many eggs in the recipe? They are not listed in the ingredients list. I used one and substituted dates for raisins.


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