Irish Dessert Recipes: Traditional Spice Cake

Last Updated on March 31, 2023 by Ellen Christian

Looking for easy Irish recipes for dessert? Try my traditional Irish Spice Cake. It’s one of my favorite traditional Irish dessert recipes.

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I love enjoying healthy 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.  

Looking for easy Irish recipes for dessert? Try my traditional Irish Spice Cake. It's one of my favorite traditional Irish dessert recipes.

Irish Dessert Recipes – Spice Cake

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.

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. And, it’s one of our favorite healthy Irish dessert recipes.

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

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 is one of those Irish dessert recipes that could be made throughout the year and topped with whatever fruit is in season in your area when you make it. It’s a wonderfully dense cake recipe with an amazing taste.

I hope you have a chance to try it.

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More Irish dessert recipes

I would love to try a few more Irish cakes this year. And, I have heard that Irish Apple Cake and Irish Tea Cake are both delicious and relatively easy to make. Of course, scones and bread pudding are also fairly traditional Irish desserts to make. But, I have made them several times in the past.  

You can try my cranberry walnut scones recipe. Or, if you like bread pudding, you can try my spiced pumpkin bread pudding and my bread pudding with praline topping.

These are all family favorites at my house. 

Looking for easy Irish recipes for dessert? Try my traditional Irish Spice Cake. It's one of my favorite traditional Irish dessert recipes.

What are your favorite Irish dessert recipes to have for St. Patrick’s Day? Have you tried any of the recipes I’ve mentioned before?

More St. Patrick’s Day articles

If you’re looking for more St. Patrick’s Day fun, why not try these:

Looking for easy Irish recipes for dessert? Try my traditional Irish Spice Cake. It's one of my favorite traditional Irish dessert recipes.

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If you enjoyed these Irish dessert recipes, you might want to try these.

Yield: 8

Irish Spice Cake

Irish Desserts - Irish Spice Bread

You are going to love this traditional Irish spice cake.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes


  • 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.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 441Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 423mgCarbohydrates: 79gFiber: 2gSugar: 48gProtein: 6g

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48 thoughts on “Irish Dessert Recipes: Traditional Spice Cake”

  1. 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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  5. 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!
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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. 
    • 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.

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