Bairín breac – Barmbrack

Barmbrack is a traditional Irish bread eaten at Halloween. Celts would celebrate Samhain, the beginning of winter with this fortune telling tea brack. A ring, a coin, a piece of cloth and a small stick were baked in the bread and would tell the fortune of those who found them. The ring is the most common symbol still today, it means marriage for the lucky finder!

We are proud to farm in the fields of our ancestors and celebrate their Samhain traditions. We would encourage you to make your own barmbarck this Halloween and talk about all who baked this delicious bread over hot coals.

Oíche Shamhna shona duit.

Lou 🙂

Ingredients: serves 8

  • 225g plain flour
  • 2 tsp of baking powder
  • 375g packet of fruit mix (raisins/current/sultanas/candied peel)
  • 300ml hot tea (2 teabags)
  • 125g light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp of mixed spice
  • A ring to go in the cake batter – wrap it in parchment paper
  • Sugar syrup: 1 tablespoon icing sugar with 1 tablespoon boiling water- optional


Step 1: Place the fruit mix in a bowl and pour over the hot tea, discard the teabags. Allow to soak up the liquid overnight. The next day strain the fruit, but keep the liquid.

Step 2: Preheat the oven to 170ºC, and grease and line 8inc round cake tin. Put the brown sugar in a mixing bowl with the egg, whisk well, add the liquid from the fruit and whisk again. Sift in the flour, baking powder and mixed spice. Gently fold in to make a smooth batter. Then stir through the fruit mix until everything is thoroughly combined.

Step 3: Spoon the wet dough into the lined tin, poke a hole and add in the ring, smooth the top and place in the oven on the middle shelf and bake for 50 minutes – 1 hour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before removing from the loaf tin and placing on a wire rack. Serve in slices spread as it is or with some butter.

Optional: To make the sugar syrup, mix 1 tablespoon icing sugar with 2 teaspoons boiling water until smooth, then brush over the cooled barmbrack to give a nice glaze.