Indulge in the rich flavors of Ireland with our delightful Best Irish Spice Cake Recipe with Whiskey, infused with a touch of spice and whiskey-soaked raisins. This moist and aromatic cake, perfect for celebrating St. Patrick's Day or any special occasion, combines warm spices, raisins, walnuts, and whiskey which adds a delightful kick.
We'll guide you through the steps to create this decadent treat that's sure to become a favorite in your home. Print the recipe out and add it to your collection of the best Irish dessert recipes.
This cake is often compared to the traditional Irish porter cake due to its spice-infused nature. Porter cakes are a variation of the Christmas fruitcake. Whether you're a fan of Irish desserts or simply looking for a moist and flavorful cake, this recipe has you covered. Trust me. I am an O'Brien, by marriage.
- MARY'S TWO CENTS
- WHAT MAKES THIS RECIPE THE BEST?
- INGREDIENT NOTES
- STEP-BY-STEP PHOTO INSTRUCTIONS
- TOP BAKING TIP
- If you like Irish spice cake, you'll love these cupcakes!
- Why is it called spice cake?
- Best Irish Spice Cake Recipe with Whiskey
MARY'S TWO CENTS
This delicious Irish Spice Cake Recipe falls into our frugal category for recipes costing between $4.00 and $8.00 per serving. That can go off the rails if your spices are old and stale.
Buying new spices can be expensive. To find out how to store your spices for maximum freshness, read my article Storage Tips For Dried Herbs and Spices.
WHAT MAKES THIS RECIPE THE BEST?
This recipe offers the perfect blend of sweetness and warmth, making it a comforting choice for any dessert lover. Its roots in Irish tradition make it a fantastic addition to your St. Patrick's Day celebrations. Plus, the whiskey infusion adds a unique twist, making it an adult-friendly treat. This cake pairs wonderfully with a mug of tea, a glass of porter ale, a cup of coffee, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
This moist cake recipe with its fine crumb and warm spice blend is so easy to make. An electric mixer is not needed. You make the cake batter on the stovetop!
For the full recipe with quantities, see the recipe card at the end of the post.
- Irish Whiskey: The star of this recipe, Irish whiskey, lends its distinct flavor to the cake and sauce. Choose your favorite brand for a personalized touch.
- Dried Fruit: You can experiment with different dried fruits like currants or sultanas for a variation in flavor.
- Walnuts: For added crunch and depth, make sure your walnuts are fresh and at room temperature.
- Egg: This traditional recipe does not include eggs. For extra richness and to make the cake less crumbly, add one lightly beaten egg to the cooled batter before pouring it into the baking pan.
If you're looking to make this recipe your own, consider these substitutions:
- Alcohol-Free Version: To make it non-alcoholic, skip the whiskey in the cake.
- Nuts: If you have allergies or prefer a nut-free option, omit the walnuts or substitute them with your favorite seeds or chocolate chips.
- Gluten-Free: Experiment with gluten-free flour for a gluten-free version of this cake.
- Dietary Restrictions: Adjust ingredients as needed to meet dietary restrictions while maintaining the rich flavor of this cake.
- Brown Sugar: You could use half brown sugar and half white sugar for a deeper flavor. I do not recommend using all brown sugar.
- Apple Spice Cake: Add diced crisp apples to the cake batter for a fruity twist reminiscent of classic apple desserts. A nice blend would be to substitute chopped apples for half the raisins.
- Chocolate Chip Infusion: For chocoholics, fold chocolate chips into the batter for an indulgent twist on the original recipe. I recommend omitting the raisins if adding chocolate chips.
- Whipped Cream Topping: Instead of powdered sugar, serve each slice of traditional Irish spice cake with a dollop of freshly whipped cream for a creamy option.
STEP-BY-STEP PHOTO INSTRUCTIONS
Step 1: Prepare the baking pan with baking spray and parchment paper. See Top Baking Tip for more information.
Step 2: Add ¼ cup Irish whiskey into a small ramekin. Add the raisins. Microwave for 30 seconds. Set aside.
Step 3: When cool, strain the raisins retaining the whiskey they soaked in.
Step 4: Add the water and whiskey (from the raisins) plus the sugar and butter to a large heavy pan.
Step 5: Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat.
Step 6: Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves to the hot wet ingredients.
Step 7: Mix well. Return the pot to heat and boil for an additional four minutes. Cool.
Step 8: When the liquid is cool, add the flour, baking soda, salt, raisin, and walnuts. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Step 9: Fold the flour mixture, raisins, and nuts into the wet ingredients until a nice batter forms.
Step 10: Pour batter into the prepared pan.
Step 11: Bake for 30-35 minutes in a 350-degree oven. Remove when a toothpick comes out clean.
Step 12: When the cake is cooled, lift it out of the pan or cut and serve directly from the pan. Top with sauce or powdered sugar.
Parchment Paper: To prevent sticking, line your pan with parchment paper, ensuring easy removal. See Top Baking Tips below.
Baking pan: This recipe is written for an 8x8 inch square baking pan. You can use a 9x9 inch pan but the cake with not rise as tall. You can also use a standard Bundt pan or loaf pan. I prefer the square pan with square slices to pour the whiskey custard sauce over. Cooking time will vary if you use an alternative pan. Check for doneness frequently.
Heavy Saucepan: The preparation of the batter calls for boiling the ingredients. Use a heavy saucepan to prevent scorching. Choose a large pan like a Dutch oven because the dry ingredients will be added to the wet ingredients in the saucepan.
This cake is best served in 1-2 days for maximum moistness. It can be frozen, for 4-5 weeks before losing flavor and moisture. To freeze, wrap the cake in plastic wrap, and place it in a freezer-safe airtight container or zipper top bag before freezing. I like to wrap individual slices of cake in plastic wrap, freeze them, then place all slices in a freezer bag. Then, when we want a slice, just thaw and enjoy.
TOP BAKING TIP
The best way to make sure your cake does not stick to the pan is to spray it first with baking spray, then add a layer of parchment paper cut long enough to hang over the edge. Spray it with baking spray. Do the same for the other edge. This will allow you to let the cake cool in the pan, then easily lift it out for cutting and serving. If you are planning to cut and serve it directly from the pan, spraying with baking space will work. If your pan has straight edges, use a small brush to make sure the spray gets into the corner.
Why is it called spice cake?
Spice cake can be prepared in so many varieties. To be considered a "spice cake" it should include warm spices such as cinnamon, cloves, allspice, ginger, mace, and nutmeg.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Best Irish Spice Cake Recipe with Whiskey
- Large heavy saucepan
- Medium bowl
- wooden spoon
- 1 cup sugar
- ¾ cup water
- ¼ cup Irish whiskey
- ½ cup butter
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ cup raisins
- 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup walnuts chopped
- Prepare the baking pan with baking spray and parchment paper. See Top Baking Tips for details.
- Add ¼ cup Irish whiskey into a small ramekin. Add the raisins. Microwave for 30 seconds. Set aside to cool.
- When cool, strain the raisins, retaining the whiskey they soaked in. This will be added to the batter later.
- Add the water and whiskey (from the raisins), plus the sugar, and butter to a large heavy pan.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat.
- Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves to the hot wet ingredients.
- Mix well. Return pot to heat and boil for additional four minutes. Cool completely. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- When the liquid is cool, add the flour, baking soda, salt, raisin, and walnuts.
- Fold the flour mixture, raisins, and nuts into the wet ingredients until a nice batter forms.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes in a 350- degree oven. Remove when a toothpick comes out clean. Cool cake in pan.
- When the cake is cooled, lift it out of the pan or cut and serve directly from the pan. Top with powdered sugar if desired.
Approximate nutrition information is provided as a convenience and courtesy only. You are encouraged to do your own calculations if precise data is required.
We take every effort to ensure that the estimated meal cost per serving is accurate. We use a meal cost analysis application that estimates the cost of a recipe based on groceries purchased at a Walmart store in my geographical area, northern California.