Irish Barmbrack:

Irish Bramack 

This traditional Irish tea cake is perfect with a cuppa! It is one of Katharine C’s favourites as her mother used to make it.  Below you will find the recipe from the Guardian newspaper.  The link to the article is also provided together with a link to another recipe in the Irish Times.  You will need to make this cake the day before the afternoon tea. It can be served toasted with butter or au natural.  You can put either a coin (for wealth) or a ring (for love) in the batter before baking!




  • 200g currants
  • 200g sultanas
  • 300ml strong tea
  • 50ml whiskey (or another 50ml tea)
  • 25g mixed peel, roughly chopped
  • 25g glace cherries, quartered
  • 25g blanched almonds, roughly chopped
  • 150g light muscovado sugar
  • 210g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp fine salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp sugar syrup (optional)


  1. Put the currants and sultanas in a large heatproof bowl, pour over the tea and whiskey, if using, then leave to soak for at least six hours.
  1. Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4, and grease and line a 13cm x 20cm loaf tin. Stir the peel, cherries and almonds (if using) into the soaked fruit.
  1. In a second bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder, spices and salt, making sure you break up any lumps in the sugar, then stir into the fruit with the beaten egg.
  1. Tip the loaf mix into the tin, smooth the top and bake for 90 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean. If the top looks to be going too dark or burning on top towards the end, cover with foil.