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Barm brack


  • 150 ml strong cold tea
  • 175 grams brown sugar
  • 450 grams mixed dried fruit
  • 110 grams mixed peel
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice or pumpkin spices mix + extra for the syrup
  • 250 grams plain (all purpose) flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 100 grams white sugar
  • 100 grams water
  • Salted Irish butter to serve

Optional traditional additions:

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


  1. Place the cold tea, sugar, mixed dried fruit and candied peel in a bowl.
  2. Cover the bowl with a clean cloth and allow to infuse overnight.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.
  4. Grease a 2-pound loaf tin and line the base of the tin with some baking parchment.
  5. Stir the tea and dried fruit mixture and add the egg. Stir to combine.
  6. Sieve over the flour and baking powder and combine into the mixture.
  7. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin.
  8.  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.
  9. Place in the pre-heated oven and bake for 1-1/2 hours.
  10. 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. 
  11. When the cake is baked, remove from the oven and cool in the tin for 15 minutes.
  12. Turn the cake out of the tin, and crush with syrup.
  13. Place on a serving platter and slice.
  14. Serve warm with some salted Irish butter.

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