Go Back
Barm Brack

Barm Brack (Bairín Brack)

Barm Brack is a traditional fruit bread/cake which is served at Halloween. In Ireland the tradition is to add certain things to the brack.  e.g. a ring to represent marriage, a coin to represent wealth, a small piece of cloth to represent poverty etc. In modern times the ring is the one that is still traditionally done, the other ones have fallen out of practice. 

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Author Adapted from Recipe by Sheila Kiely


  • 300 g Mixed dried fruit
  • 225 ml Hot tea
  • 225 g Plain flour
  • 125 g Golden brown sugar
  • 50 g Dairy Free Margarine [I used Pure Olive Spread]
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • Juice and zest of one orange
  • 1 pinch Mixed Spice
  • 1 ring [I used one we got in a shop-bought brack, but  you could probably get one in a Euro-shop/Pound Shop]


  1. Make the tea.
  2. Put the dried fruit in a bowl and add the juice, zest and hot tea and leave to soak overnight. (You can do this for less time if you are short on time).

  3. Preheat oven to 180C / 170 fan / 350F / Gas Mark 4.

  4. Grease a 2lb loaf tin.

  5. Cream the margarine and sugar together and beat in egg and sieved flour.
  6. Wrap the ring in baking paper.
  7. Stir in the fruit mixture including the tea and orange juice. Stir in the ring. 

  8. Pour into the loaf tin.

  9. Bake for 1 hour. Test the brack with a skewer and if it comes out clean it is cooked.