Irish barm brack

    9 hours 40 min

    This is an easy dark fruit cake or tea brack, which involves soaking dried fruit in strong black tea overnight. Barmbrack was traditionally served at Halloween in Ireland. Items, such as a ring to signify a wedding in the near future, would be wrapped up in paper and baked in the cake for one lucky person to find in their slice! There's no butter required for the recipe itself, but it's worth buttering every slice of this. Stored in an airtight tin, this cake will keep for 10 days.


    County Antrim, Northern Ireland, UK
    178 people made this

    Serves: 16 

    • 275g raisins
    • 100g sultanas
    • 60g mixed peel
    • 300ml warm, black strong tea
    • 1 or 2 teaspoons treacle (optional)
    • 200g dark brown demerara sugar
    • 225g self raising flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon mixed spice
    • 1 egg

    Prep:10min  ›  Cook:1hr30min  ›  Extra time:8hr soaking  ›  Ready in:9hr40min 

    1. Mix the dried fruit, mixed peel, warm tea and treacle in a bowl. Cover and set aside overnight.
    2. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C/ gas mark 4. Grease and line a 900g (2 lb) loaf tin or a 20cm (8 inch) round cake tin.
    3. Add the brown sugar, self-raising flour, mixed spice and egg to the dried fruit-tea mixture; stir well until mixed.
    4. Pour into prepared tin and bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until it feels firm to touch. Transfer to a wire rack and cool.
    5. Be patient, if you can and store in an airtight container for a day or two. It really does taste better this way.

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    Reviews in English (6)


    Love the recipe!!! I think I may have left mine to soak in too much tea and not long enough in the oven. I know you may dis approve but it is great with some hot custard! Thanks for sharing!!  -  26 Aug 2013


    I didn't have treacle so left it out and it still tasted great - just not as dark in colour. It really does taste even better each day I try it. Easy recipe, thanks!  -  14 Mar 2011


    I prepare afternoon teas from British and Irish recipes and this is one of the very best!!! Thank you for being here!  -  22 Feb 2014