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Irish and Spice for St. Patrick's Day

Updated on March 11, 2015

The Irish are Spicy?

It may be a popular notion that Irish cooking is not as "bland as the British" (also not necessarily true), but not spicy at all. Actually, some Irish dishes are pretty spicy, owing to ginger and other spices added to meats, reads, and cakes.

The following is a gathering of Spice Irish Rcipes, incuding one that gives me the cake I liked as a child, but which the supermarkets stopped carrying some years ago. This particular recipe is either the luck of the Irish or a blessing, or other. I count it a blessing. I hope you will, too.

Cinnamon as a bark peeled off trees.
Cinnamon as a bark peeled off trees. | Source

Spicy Beef Dinner

This is not a rather time consuming recipe, because of a marinade time of several hours, but it can be reheated quickly for several meals and delicious sandwiches. This recipe should make enough for up to 12 people. Serve with potatoes, and leftovers with homemade noodles or with rice in later meals.


  • 3 Tbsp well-packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cloves, 2 tsp allspice or nutmeg, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp cracked black pepper


  • One 4-pound chuck roast
  • 2 Cups beef broth and one 12 oz bottle of dark beer or ale
  • Hot boiled potatoes for 8-12 people with chopped parsley for garnish


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
    Combine brown sugar and all the spieces in a mixing bowl large enough to hold the roast.
  • Place the roast among the spices and turn it several times, coat it and rub in the spices.
  • Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 12 hours up to overnight to accumulate flavors.
  • Remove the roast from the bowl the next day and pit it into an oven-safe cooking pot - a Dutch oven or a deep iron skillet with lid are best.
    Add the broth and beer.
  • Cover the baking vessel and bake the roast for 3 hr. , checking regularly to make sure it is not drying out. If too dry, add more beer or broth.
  • Remove the roast and let it rest 20 minutes so the flavorful juices will reabsorb into the meat.
  • Thinly slice the roast and serve with pan juices or make a gravy and add boiled potatoes and irish bread (next recipe below).
  • Sprinkle with parsley and any other garnishes you like.


Spicy Irish Bread (Aran Spiosrai)

This loaf serves 8 people, so double the ingredients to accompany the meal above and bake two loaves at once.


  • 10 oz flour, by measure on kitchen scale
  • 2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp baking soda (both are required)
  • 1/4 tsp each of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice or cloves; plus 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 Cup packed light brown sugar
  • 6 oz light raisins
  • 2 oz candied citron in small pieces
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 6 oz Golden Syrup, light corn syrup - or light honey (my preference)
  • 1 large egg, beaten well
  • 1/4 Cup whole milk


  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Sift flour together with the soda and baking powder into a large bowl.
  • And in the spices and mix well. Next, add the brown sugar, citron pieces, and raisins and mix again mix.
  • Make a well in the center fo the dough and melt butter together with the honey or syrup in a pan over low heat. Pour the butter syrup into the middele of the dough well.
  • Pour in the beaten egg and milk and then mix thoroughly.
  • Pour the bread dough batter into a greased 2-pound loaf pan (2 pans for 2 loaves when you double the recipe).
  • Bake 40-50 minutes, or it is done - a sharp knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Check at 20 minutes and if the crust is becoming too brown too fast, cover with aluminum foil tent(s).
  • These loaves are moist and retain this quality for a week of wrapped and falvors will meld further with each day.

Spicy Irish Tea Brulees


  • 2 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 2 Irish tea bags, steeped in one cup hot water (save the bags)
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1/2 of one cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, cut in two down its length
  • 5 large eggs, yolks only – save whites for breakfast.
  • 3 Tbsp powdered sugar and some ground cinnamon


  • Using a heavy cooking pot on the stove top on low heat, pour in the cream, sugar, finished tea, cloves and cinnamon.
  • Dig out vanilla seeds and add to the pot, followed by the bean.
  • Simmer and dissolve sugar, then remove pan from heat.
  • Cover the pan after putting the tea bags back in, and steep the mixture for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Pour cream mixture through a good strainer into a clean bowl and then back into the pan.
  • Simmer the mixture again.
  • Beat the egg yolks in a large cup. Next, whisk a little of the hot mixture into the eggs to prevent curdling, then slowly whisk the eggs into the rest of the hot mixture.
  • Divide the Crème Brulee into six serving cups.
  • Set the filled cups into large baking dish and pour hot water in halfway up sides of cups and place in oven. Or, pour in the water after you set the baking dish with filled cups onto the oven rack.
  • Bake until edges are set and the custards jiggle a bit like Jello (35-45 minutes). Remove brulees from water and cool to room temperature; cover and set in refrigerate overnight.
  • To serve, sprinkle powdered sugar evenly over each brulee. Broil for 2 minutes and serve warm or chill 15 minutes serve. Sprinkle a little cinnamon on top.

Irish Spice Cake

One of the large bakery concerns in the US used to produce a rectangluar dessert with a cream cheese based frosting that was known as "Spanish Bar Cake." it was very similar to the Irish Spice Cake I like and cream cheese frosting would be just as good on the recipe below. I have not seen Spanish Bar for several years, but I can still bake it!


  • 2.5 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground allspice, and 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1 Cup well packed dark brown sugar (light brown sugar is OK)
  • 1/2 Cup softened butter
  • 1 Cup sweetened applesauce
  • ½ cup dark raisins
  • 2 whole large eggs, well beaten
  • 1/3 Cup light molasses


  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, and spices well and set aside for later.
  • In another bowl, beat the brown sugar together with butter until light and creamy.
  • To the creamed mixture, pour in the applesauce, beaten eggs, raisins, and molasses and mix until smooth.
  • Slowly add the flour mixture into the egg mixture to it does not fly into the air, mixing thoroughly until all ingredients are distributed evenly.
  • Pour this cake batter into one 9 x 13 x 2 rectangular pan or a loaf pan that has been greased and floured. Or, cover bottom with cooking spray and parchment paper on top.
  • Bake 35 -40 minutes (loaf pan takes a bit longer), until knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  • Remove cake from oven and cool in pan on a cooling rack for air circulation for 10-15 minutes. Loosen rim of cake with a thin sharp knife if necessary and turn tat onto the wire rack. If you used paper, remove it now by peeling it off.
  • Let the cake sit until completely cool, to room temperature.
  • Make a frosting of 3 Cups powdered sugar, about ¼ - ½ Cup milk or cream and ¼ tsp pure vanilla. Add the milk slowly and keep mixing the frosting with a spoon, and stop adding milk when the desired consistency is reached. Remember that the vanilla will thin it a bit more. If too thin, just add more sugar. Spread the frosting on top of the cake as thickly as you like. You can also split the cake lengthwise down the center and add layer of frosting inside first, if you wish.
  • Slice cake into squares or bar slices and serve.

See other special recipes around HubPages for celebrations and everyday cooking.

© 2009 Patty Inglish

Irish Food Experiences

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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Hello friend cappuccino126! - I will try this recipe with cardamon and cloves - I can taste it right now. The expresso version would also hit the spot. Thanks for suggesting these.

      MandM - I hope you enjoy the roast as much as I do. It's fantastic. It's the spices :)

    • profile image

      MandM 9 years ago

      Very interesting recipes. I think I'm going to try the roast. I always liked the adition of sugar and cinnamon to food. It gives an exotic flavour that I like very much.

    • profile image

      Cheryl (cappuccino136) 9 years ago


      These recipes sound delicious. I love carrot cake, and spice cake is very similar. I also love creme brulee. I have made an expresso creme brulee by just replacing some of the creme with an equal amount of prepared espresso. It turned out good. I never had thought of trying it with tea and some spices. Very interesting. And if you added some cardamom and clove with the cinnamon it might tast like a chai creme brulee.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Hi RKHenry! -- I hope you like them - they smell nice cooking as well. :)

    • RKHenry profile image

      RKHenry 9 years ago from Neighborhood museum in Somewhere, USA

      Someone commented, "You gotta love the Irish". I'll second that motion. Those Brulees are to die for and I've haven't even tasted one yet. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Ginger Cake sounds very nice, Tony - I must find that recipe.

      Peggy - I hope you are able to try a few of these soon. I love a good variety of recipes and hate when everythign starts to taste the same. :)

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      These are all good sounding recipes. Thanks for sharing them with us.

    • profile image

      Tony 9 years ago

      These sound good, not what you would expect from Irish food. Of course we have Ginger Cake in England, that's really good. Might have to try some of these.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Thanks for visiting, Jannette and marisuewrites. That cake is a prize! Let us know what you think of it when you try it.

    • marisuewrites profile image

      marisuewrites 9 years ago from USA

      Gotta Love the Irish!! yummy breads, and cakes...spiced just righ! =))

    • profile image

      Jannette 9 years ago

      Mmmmmm..... All the recipes sound delicious. Thank you for sharing. Another great hub!


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