Food and Fruit

Irish recipe – The Irish Barmbrack

Irish Barmbrack, traditional Irish bread with dried fruits

Barmbrack is a very popular traditional Irish fruit cake, tasted mainly during Halloween. It is customary to insert objects after cooking, and each one of them symbolizes a specific thing for the person who will find it. Be careful though to clean the object thoroughly before inserting it into the bread. Among the most used objects on Halloween, we remember

  • the piece: the person will know luck and wealth
  • pea: the person will not get married in the year
  • the match: the person will experience an unhappy marriage or disputes
  • thimble: the person will be single for the rest of his life
  • the end of the fabric: the person will experience bad luck or poverty
  • the ring: the person will get married in the year

Suffice to say that all this is not very jovial, but the Irish take it more for fun than anything else.

This recipe will give you a very nice bread, rich in flavors with spices and dried fruits. It will also be much better after resting 1 or 2 days, so anticipate its preparation in advance.

Irish Barmbrack recipe – bread with dried fruit Irish Barmbrack


  1. 375g of different varieties of raisins
  2. 60g of orange zest and lemon confit (mixed peel)
  3. 300ml of hot black tea
  4. 1 to 2 teaspoons of molasses (optional)
  5. 200g brown sugar
  6. 225g of flour
  7. 2 teaspoons of yeast
  8. ¼ teaspoon of the spice blend
  9. 1 egg


  • Mix the dried fruits, zest, hot tea and molasses in a bowl. Cover everything and let stand overnight.
  • The next day, preheat your oven to 180 ° C (Thermostat 4-5). Grease a cake pan (900g) and put baking paper on it.
  • Add brown sugar, flour, yeast, spices and egg to the tea / dried fruit mixture. Mix until you obtain a homogeneous mixture.
  • Pour the dough into the cake pan and put it in the oven for 1h30, or until it is firm to the touch. Then put the cake on a rack and let cool.
  • If you can, let the Barmbrack sit for a day or two in a ventilated room, it will give it a lot more taste!


You can find molasses in most organic shops in the area.

If you wish, you can replace 50 ml of black tea with Irish whiskey, to give more flavor to your cake.

Sam Owens

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