Recipe of the Month – Irish Barm Brack

As the autumn nights draw in, this delicious fruit cake was traditionally served at Halloween in Ireland.  There’s no butter in this recipe, but try a slice of this warm with lashings of butter on it!

Preparation time – 10 minutes plus 8 hours soaking the fruit

Cooking time – 1hr 30 minutes


275g raisins

100g sultanas

60g mixed peel

300ml warm, strong black tea

1 or 2 teaspoons black treacle (optional)

200g dark brown demarara sugar

225g self raising flour

1/4 teaspoon mixed spice

1 egg


Mix the dried fruit, mixed peel, warm tea and treacle in a bowl.  Cover and set aside overnight

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C / gas mark 4

Grease and line a 900g / 2lb loaf tin or a 20cm / 8 inch round cake tin

Add the brown sugar, self raising flour, mixed spice and egg to the dried fruit – tea mixture and stir well

Pour into the tin and bake for 1hr 30 mins until it feels firm to the touch

Transfer to a wire rack and cool

Stored in an airtight container, this cake will keep for 10 days (if you can resist it!)