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My hope is that this blog will give you a glimpse inside my life in Ireland! 

My Irish Baking Lesson

My Irish Baking Lesson

I am so excited about today’s post. I’m sure every blogger could say that about all their posts but this one is special to me. I was serious when I said in Learning Curving that I wanted to explore and master some Irish dessert recipes. Fortunately, my friend Cathriona volunteered to teach me a classic Irish dessert, how nice!  

Before you watch our baking lesson I must share the story of how our lesson came to be and why she showed me this recipe. 

The Story

7 Layer Bars have been my claim to fame here in Wexford. Yes, I’m talking about the classic Minnesota bar. I love the graham cracker crust with layers of sweet treats. I’ve served the bars 3 different times and all 3 times I was asked for the recipe. I have to smile because they’re so basic at home. Right?

The first successful batch was made for Mathew’s co-workers, and that was a big batch. He came home with an empty tray and raving reviews from people coming back for seconds and thirds. The second and third batches were served to my Irish friends, Cathriona and Deirdre. Both enjoyed the treat and were curious to know what they were eating.

While out to dinner with Cathriona I was explaining how common a 7 Layer Bar is at home, “It’s considered a staple, everyone knows how to make them. No one’s asking for the recipe, they already have it.” We were laughing about that then she told me, “That sounds like Chocolate Biscuit Cake.” Chocolate Biscuit Cake? She told me she’d have me over and show me how to make the dessert, “Although the dessert is foolproof so you really can’t mess it up and might not need me.” Foolproof? That sounds like my kind of recipe!

Watch our lesson, followed by the recipes (if you need them) for both our classic treats:


Chocolate Biscuit Cake, sometimes called Refrigerator Cake

Yields 1 cake

This recipe is adapted from “Good Housekeeping UK”, this is not my recipe I simply added imperial measurements and reworded the directions for an American baker.

  •  6oz / 175g butter
  • 1 cup / 150g dark chocolate bar with dried fruit
  • 1 ¼ cup / 200g dark chocolate bar
  • 4oz / 100g dark corn syrup (golden syrup)
  • 2 tbsp Irish whiskey
  • 1 ¼ cup / 200g graham cracker (digestive biscuit) pieces
  • 1 small jar/ 200g maraschino (glacé) cherries halved

Grease and line with plastic wrap a loaf tin. In a double boiler melt all the chocolates, butter, golden syrup, and whiskey. Roughly crush the digestive biscuits by hand or in a food processor. Add the biscuits and cherries to the chocolate mixture. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Chill for 6 hours or overnight. Slice, serve and enjoy!


7 Layer Bars

Yields 2 dozen bars

Since everyone at home already has this recipe I’ve typed this recipe with my Irish friends in mind. Next time someone asks for the recipe I can direct them to my blog. Yes for cross promoting my blog and gaining more Irish readers!

  • ½ cup / 112g melted butter
  • 3 cups /300g graham cracker (digestive biscuit) crumbs  
  • 2 cups / 300g of chocolate chips
  • 2 cups / 300g of butterscotch chips – this ingredient is not available in Ireland. So technically when I make these bars here they’re only 6 layer bars. Just omit this ingredient
  • 1 ½ cups / 225g of coconut flakes  
  • 1 cup / 150g of chopped walnuts
  • 1 14 oz/ 397ml can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat the oven to 350F/180C

In a 9x13 sheet pan combine the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs together. Press into the bottom of the pan to form a base. Layer the ingredients as follows: chocolate chips, then butterscotch chips (if making in America), coconut, walnuts, and cover everything with the condensed milk.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until walnuts are toasted and bars have set.

Allow to cool, then remove from pan and cut into bars.

Thank you for visiting, see you next week! 

Aran Islands, Ireland

Aran Islands, Ireland

"What Do You Do All Day?"

"What Do You Do All Day?"