Barmbrack - Irish Halloween Cake

Barmbrack - Halloween Cake Recipe

Barmbrack, "báirín breac" is a traditional Irish fruit cake made at Halloween. A small symbolic object was often baked inside and if you found it, it would foretell your future for the following year.

Barmbrack Fortune Cake
Barmbrack Fortune Cake


    • 1 1/2 cups hot brewed tea
    • 2 1/2 cups mixed dried fruit
    • 2 1/2 cups flour, sifted
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 1/4 cup lemon or orange marmalade
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 1/4 teaspoon All Spice


      1. Place the dried fruit in a large bowl and pour over the hot brewed tea, leave to soak for a minimum of 2 hours, preferably leave to soak overnight.
      2. Preheat oven to 350F/180C/Gas Mark 4 and grease a cake tin.
      3. In a large bowl add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and All Spice.
      4. Strain the dried fruit and combine with the sugar, marmalade and beaten egg.
      5. Fold in the flour and spices into this bowl.
      6. Spoon the mixture into the greased cake tin and bake in the oven for 1 hour.
      7. Take the cake out of the oven and leave it to cool for an hour, then transfer it to a wire rack.


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