Barm Brack

Barm Brack

This recipe is steeped in tradition. There are many items that can be found within the cake which suggest various different things for the recipient. If you get a ring it suggests that you will be married within one year, a coin could suggest you will get rich...
4.18 from 46 votes
Course cake
Cuisine Irish


  • 250 ml strong cold tea
  • 400 g mixed dried fruit
  • 1 tsp mixed spice or pumpkin spices mix + extra for the syrup
  • 225 g plain flour
  • 175 g brown sugar
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp baking powder

Optional Traditional Additions to be wrapped in tin foil or baking parchment

  • 1 1 ring, 1 pea, Piece of a cloth, Money

For the glaze :

  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 100 g water
  • Salted Irish butter to serve


  • Place the cold tea, mixed dried fruit in a bowl. Cover the bowl with a clean cloth and allow to infuse overnight.
  • Pre-heat a fan oven to 160C/325F/Gas Mark 4.
  • Grease a 2-pound loaf tin and line the base of the tin with some baking parchment.
  • In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, spices, brown sugar. Add the fruit mix and the egg. Stir in and add most of the cold tea from the soaked fruits until a loose batter is achieved. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin.
  • If you are putting in a ring, coin, rag, pea etc, wrap it in tin foil or baking parchment and place it into the cake mixture at this stage.
  • Place in the pre-heated oven and bake for 1 ½ hours.
  • In the meantime, prepare the syrup. In a small saucepan, bring to the boil the white sugar and water until the sugar dissolved. Remove from the heat and add extra mixed spices. Set aside to cool until needed.
  • When the cake is baked, remove from the oven and Cool in the tin for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the cake out of the tin and brush with syrup. Place on a serving platter.
  • Serve warm or toasted with some salted Irish butter.
Keyword afternoon tea, Cake, fruit cake, Kevin Dundon

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