apple & bramble cake with bushmill’s custard & a st. pat’s blog hop

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The Bushmill’s Inn was originally a coaching inn that dates back as early as 1608. Located in the County Antrim town, where the Old Bushmills Distillery was granted the world’s first ever license to distill whiskey, the town and inn are closely associated with the classic malt whiskey. This beautiful, fruit-filled cake that calls for apples, brambles (blackberries), and clover honey is wonderful by itself, but the whiskey-flavored custard gives it an unmistakable Northern Ireland flavor.


• 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
• 1 cup sugar
• 4 eggs
• 3 cups self-rising flour
• 2 cooking apples, unpeeled, cored, and diced
• 1/2 cup blackberries (plus more for garnish) and rosemary sprigs for garnish
• 3-4 dessert apples, unpeeled, cored, and sliced
• 3 tablespoons clover honey for glaze

Bushmills Custard
• 1 1/4 cups whole milk
• 1 1/4 cups cream
• 4 egg yolks
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/4 cup Bushmill’s Whiskey


Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease a 9-inch springform pan.

Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then sift in the flour. Stir in the diced apples and blackberries. (Batter will be very thick.) Using a rubber spatula, spread batter evenly in pan. Arrange the apple slices around the top of the batter. Bake until lightly browned, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in the pan. Loosen around the edges of the cake and transfer to a serving plate.  Brush the honey over the top of the cake. Garnish with the extra blackberries and sprigs of fresh rosemary.

Bring the milk and cream to a boil over medium heat, then turn off the heat. Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until pale and fluffy. Slowly pour in the milk/cream mixture, whisking continuously. Return to saucepan over low heat and cook until custard is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 10-15 minutes. Stir in the whiskey. To serve, slice the cake and spoon the custard over each slice. Makes 8 servings.

I’m collaborating with some other amazing blogs this week in a St. Pat’s blog hop! Please, go on over and see these beautiful blog posts for more holiday inspiration! Thank you, Joan, for inviting me to be a part of this! XO

Debi over at  Recipes for my Boys made  Colcannon, and Irish Stew
Carrie from  Carrie’s Experimental Kitchen made an  Irish Feast
Kimiko at  Beachside Baker made a  Shamrock Shake
Melissa at  Chin Deep made Apple Bramble Cake with Bushmill’s Custard
Lesa at  Edesia’s Notebook made  Corned Beef & Cabbage Soup
Michaela at  An Affair From the Heart made  Irish Cream Cheesecake
Joan at  Chocolate, Chocolate and More made  Grasshopper Pie

Happy St. Patrick’s Week!

How do you celebrate?


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  38 comments for “apple & bramble cake with bushmill’s custard & a st. pat’s blog hop

  1. March 12, 2012 at 6:53 am

    I absolutely Love this! This is definitely on my list to make! Love sharing the blog hop with you Sweetie! <3 and hugs!

    • Melissa
      March 12, 2012 at 7:16 am

      Hi Debi! Glad you like the cake. It’s actually pretty easy to make, and the hubby and daughter gave it rave reviews!

      So happy we’re friends, and so appreciative of Joan for gathering us all together this way.


  2. March 12, 2012 at 7:05 am

    Oh my goodness – that cake is gorgeous! Sigh… what a nice thing to see first thing on a Monday morning…

    • Melissa
      March 12, 2012 at 7:17 am

      Hello Movita! Thanks for stopping by, and for the lovely comment. xoxo, enjoy the recipe! 🙂

  3. March 12, 2012 at 7:23 am

    Melissa, how could you ever cut into that cake, it’s just too pretty to eat! But I’ll bet with the sauce, it’s irresistible!

    • Melissa
      March 12, 2012 at 7:25 am

      Aw! Thanks so much Joan! It was really good, and surprisingly easy to make…the shortcut in this recipe is the self-rising flour 🙂

      xoxoxo and thanks again for organizing this blog hop! So good to talk to you last night, even though I was so sleepy (sorry if I rambled on…LOL)

  4. March 12, 2012 at 8:19 am

    Gorgeous cake!! I agree with Joan, it would be hard to cut into that!! It’s like a piece of art!!

    So glad we are all “hopping” for St. Patty’s Day!! <3 Happy to be a part of it! <3

    Michaela – An Affair from the Heart

    • Melissa
      March 12, 2012 at 8:21 am

      Thanks Michaela 🙂 My first bloggy hop too! So glad we’re in this together.


  5. March 12, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Whiskey flavored custard? Wow! And I bet the combination of apples and blackberries is delicious. I love how you gave a story behind it; that’s really neat! Great choice and I’m glad to meet you and make a new bloggy friend!

    • Melissa
      March 12, 2012 at 10:38 am

      Hello there Lesa! Thanks so much 🙂 this is a great little recipe. I’m so glad to meet you too! (side note…my full name is Melissa, but a lot of my friends call me Leisa. I think it’s cool that we’re both “Lisa” with an “e” ) hee hee. xoxo

  6. March 12, 2012 at 10:53 am

    yum, that looks so delicious. thank you. I tend to add good tea rum to my custard, it just takes the whole cake to a new dimension, yours sounds so good I wish i had a piece before lunch!

    • Melissa
      March 12, 2012 at 10:58 am

      Hello Haniela! What is tea rum? I’ve never heard of it. Sounds intriguing, and I’d love to try it sometime! Thanks so much for stopping by and for commenting. xoxo

  7. March 12, 2012 at 11:02 am


    You genius you! This is perfect For St Patty’s Day, sounds absolutely divine with the custard and whiskey, I could eat a whole bowl, yes I do have a criminal record, as always I love your blog!


    • Melissa
      March 12, 2012 at 11:04 am

      Thanks for the lovely compliments Nettie *blush* 🙂 You’re a sweetie.


  8. March 12, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Whiskey custard! What WHAT!? I think I am in love.

    • Melissa
      March 12, 2012 at 12:45 pm

      Hi Corey! Hee hee…yeah, it’s SOOOO good 😉 xo and thanks for stopping by!

  9. March 12, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    This cake looks amazing! Oh and you’ve been honoured on my blog with a Kreative Blogger Award! Yahooo!

    • Melissa
      March 12, 2012 at 1:21 pm

      Thanks so much Allison! You positively made my day! XOXO and thanks for the sweet compliment 🙂

  10. March 12, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Oh my…this is now on my to make list..thanks Melissa ;0)

    • Melissa
      March 12, 2012 at 2:35 pm

      Hi Nel! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂 enjoy the cake! xoox

  11. March 12, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Beautiful cake, beautiful photography. I MUST make this…it sounds soooooo delicious! I’m so glad I’ve discovered your blog, and had fun participating with you in the St. Patty’s Day Blog Hop! I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog in the future. 🙂

    ~Kimiko AKA The Beachside Baker

    • Melissa
      March 12, 2012 at 2:44 pm

      Hello there Kimiko! So nice to meet you, and to be doing my first ever blog hop with you! Your shamrock shake looks super yummy! I love the idea of being able to make it at home. Thanks for the sweet comments and for stopping by! I look forward to reading ore of your blog too. xoxo

  12. March 12, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Wow, just wow…beautiful presentation, inspired recipe, and an out-of-the park photo…my first inclination was to get a fork, then I decided to get a spoon instead!

    • Melissa
      March 12, 2012 at 4:17 pm

      Thanks so much Scott! What a lovely compliment. 🙂 xoxo and enjoy the recipe!

  13. March 12, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Oh, Melissa, this looks so good…I am searching for a wonderful custard recipe, and I just found it! If I don’t use ‘Bushmill’s’ whiskey, which I don’t know if I can find, I promise to use a good counterpart!! xoxo Ally

    • Melissa
      March 12, 2012 at 5:32 pm

      Hi Ally! I’m happy I could help! This is a great little custard recipe…not thick like a pudding, but a smooth, lovely custardy sauce that is the perfect accompaniment to cake and fruit. enjoy! xoxo

      • March 12, 2012 at 9:39 pm

        @ Ally…Bushmills is available just about everywhere…if you prefer Jamison’s (heathen), its also widely dispensed…this would be great with Bourbon also, but not as Old Country…

        • Melissa
          March 13, 2012 at 7:27 pm

          @Scott-LOL! Jamison’s is pretty good 🙂 She used Jack. Solid choice. hee hee

          • March 15, 2012 at 3:38 pm

            Jack? Jack? Jack IS whiskey, but it’s made in Tennessee?!?!

          • Melissa
            March 15, 2012 at 3:42 pm

            Scott, TOO FUNNY! You’re as persnickety about your whiskey as I am about my vino 🙂 Jack is pretty darn good for being made in Tennessee. LOL…I don’t even know what I mean by that. Maybe I should have a shot of whiskey and it will all start making sense.

  14. March 12, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Looks and sounds incredible!

    And what a FAB list you have there…I already follow several and will certainly check out the others!

    • Melissa
      March 12, 2012 at 7:42 pm

      Thanks Carrie! Was just thinking about you today. I received a certain award, and I’m to pass it along to 5 of my favorite bloggers.(Of course I thought of you!) More info coming in the next couple days 😉 xoxo

  15. March 14, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    What can you use instead of whiskey?

    • Melissa
      March 15, 2014 at 8:22 am

      Hi Amy 🙂 You could substitute rum or brandy…. or, if you don’t what to use alcohol… just add a little rum extract to the custard for flavor.

  16. June 16, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    Hi! I’ve been following your weblog for a while now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Porter Texas! Just wanted to say keep up the great work!

    • Melissa
      June 16, 2015 at 7:58 pm

      well, thanks! so happy you’re here! xo

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