Bailey’s Irish Whiskey cake a thoroughly adult treat

Yankee Chef logoBy Jim Bailey

Yes, I know. There is no such thing as Bailey’s Irish Whiskey.

This beautifully scented Irish cake is, however, brought to you by a Bailey and it does have a hint of Irish Whiskey both in the cake and on top.

You can, however, substitute a few drops of rum extract in the milk or just leave out any hint of alcohol altogether. The curdled milk is a great way of adding buttermilk flavor without the added expense while giving this upside down cake perfect flavor and moistness.

Jim Bailey's Irish Whiskey cake, just in time for St. Patrick's Day.

Jim Bailey’s Irish Whiskey cake, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day.

1/4 cup whole milk, half-and-half or light cream
1/2 cup Irish Apple Whiskey or Irish Apple Liqueur, divided
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, divided
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 large, firm apple, peeled, cored and wedged 1/2-inch thick
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs

In a small bowl, whisk together milk, 1/4 cup whiskey and lemon juice and let sit 30 minutes to curdle while preparing rest of recipe.

Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a 9-inch round cake pan over low heat. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the brown sugar and cook, stirring for about 3 minutes until smooth and bubbling.

Remove pan from heat. Lay the apple slices on top of melted butter/brown sugar mixture decoratively. Sprinkle the dried cranberries over the top and evenly drizzle remainder of whiskey; set aside.

In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and ground ginger. In another bowl, beat remainder of butter and sugar on high until light and fluffy.

Scrape down sides and add eggs; beating very well. Reduce speed to low and beat in the flour, a little at a time. Beat in the milk mixture just until moistened.

Spoon batter over apples and even out top without disturbing the apple arrangement. Bake 35-40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in middle come out clean. Cool cake in the pan for a couple of minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the pan to help release. Invert onto a serving platter or plate quickly and carefully. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yankee Chef book coverSchiffer Books of Pennsylvania has released Jim Bailey’s new book The Yankee Chef: Feel Good Food for Every Kitchen. It contains more than 550 traditional New England comfort-food recipes tweaked for today’s palates with hundreds of kitchen tips and food facts. The hardback book is 312 pages and contains 200 color images. Its ISBN is 978-0-7643-4191-5 and the cost is $34.99. The book can be ordered through Misty Valley Books, 802-875-3400.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at

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