The Shamrock and the Peach (and a Coca-Cola cake)

The Shamrock and Peach is one of the most innovative cookbooks I’ve ever been sent to review.  This isn’t to knock any of the others (trust me, there is always room for amazing classic recipes which I can adapt), but I thought the idea of fusing classic Northern Irish cooking with Southern cooking – particularly that which was inspired by backwoods Ulster Scots heritage – was actually a creative, interesting idea.


Author Judith McLoughlin is a transplant from Northern Ireland to the American south and she used her own journey to trace the origins of immigrant food.  The result isn’t just interesting and historical, but absolutely delicious.  A lot of these recipes were combinations which made me feel incredibly nervous (coca-cola and Baileys?) but once I made them, they were amazing.

I would really recommend this book to anyone who is interested in Southern cooking, modern Irish cooking or is willing to try creative and innovative recipes.

The recipe which, for me, really embodies this cookbook is the Coca-Cola cake with Irish cream filling.  Beardy Bestie (my partner in crime, Fran) looked at me strangely when I told her about the cake, but she and her flatmates absolutely loved it!  The cake is a mix of a beloved Southern tradition (Coca-Cola) and the classic Irish cream liqueur.  A bit of Ireland and a bit of Georgia!

Coca-Cola Cake with Irish Cream Filling (from The Shamrock and Peach)

Ingredients (cake):

14 ounces sugar

8 ounces unsalted butter

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 fluid ounces buttermilk

8 fluid ounces Coca-Cola

8 1/2 ounces plain flour

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda


Cream together butter and sugar.  Mix in eggs, vanilla and buttermilk.

DSC_0697Sift in dry ingredients (cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and flour) and mix in Coca-Cola.

DSC_0698Add half of the mixture to a small, lined baking tin (you need at least two layers)

DSC_0699Bake at 170C for about 30 minutes, or until you can put a fork in and the fork comes out clean!


Allow the cake to cool and in the meantime, mix up the cream liqueur filling.

Ingredients (Cream Liqueur Filling):

7 ounces icing sugar

3 ounces unsalted butter

2 fluid ounces Irish cream liqueur


Using a hand or stand mixer, cream the butter.  Slowly mix in the sugar and cream liqueur.

DSC_0738 DSC_0739

Once the filling is mixed, sandwich it between the layers.

Ingredients (chocolate Cola frosting):

11 1/2 ounces milk chocolate

4 ounces unsalted butter

4 ounces Coca-Cola

1 pound icing sugar

DSC_0740Melt the chocolate.  Whip the Coke and butter together – slowly add in icing sugar.

DSC_0742Mix in melted chocolate.

DSC_0744Frost the top and sides of the cake.


The Shamrock and Peach is available from Ambassador International.  I was sent a free copy to review, but all opinions are my own.


One comment

  1. We’ve been enjoying Chicken breast with coke – a naughty but lovely treat. Basically, you bake them & make a reduction sauce with onions, garlic, Worcestershire, tomato puree & coke. Yum!

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