Irish Barmbrack (Irish Fruitcake)

Irish Barmbrack (irish Fruitcake) Recipe

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Alicia .


A friend emailed this recipe to me when I inquired what I could fix for an Irish treat for my fiance without corned beef and cabbage.

It is kind of labor intensive and needs some babysitting but in my opinion it was worth it. It was kind of fun playing with a new recipe and messing the kitchen.

Thank you Cara!

pic pending location of camera cord :(


★★★★★ 1 vote

one 8 inch loaf
2 Hr
45 Min


  • 2 c
    strong black tea
  • 2 c
    dried fruit (raisins, sultanas, currants, dates, candied peel, etc)
  • 1 c
    lukewarm milk
  • 1/4 oz
    active dry yeast
  • 3 c
    bread flour
  • 1/4 c
  • 1/2 tsp
    ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp
    ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp
    ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp
    ground ginger
  • 1
    egg, beaten
  • 1/3 c
    unsalted butter, softened but not melted
  • 1 tsp

How to Make Irish Barmbrack (Irish Fruitcake)


  1. At least one hour before you plan to make this, soak the dried fruit in a bowl with the strong black tea.

    I let mine go overnight and used a mix of raisins, coarsely chopped cranberries and chopped dates since I couldn't find currants or candied peel at my local grocer.
  2. Drain the fruit. I highly suggest doing this when you start and let it just sit and drain as much excess liquid as possible out as you prepare the dough.

    In a small bowl mix the yeast, warm milk and 2 teaspoons sugar and set aside for 5-10 minutes.
  3. In a separate large mixing bowl sift together flour, sugar and spices. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the yeast mixture, egg, butter and salt.

    Stir with a large spoon to bring the dough together.
  4. Move dough to a floured surface and knead about 5-6 minutes until smooth.

    Knead in the dried fruit a small handful at a time until it has been well incorporated into the dough.

    *I needed a lot of flour on hand for this as the dough became VERY sticky and impossible to work with quickly. Just make sure it stays smooth and only lightly tacky*
  5. Put the dough in a large, lightly greased bowl, cover and let rest for about 1 1/2 hours so it is doubled in size.

    Remove dough back to a floured surface, punch down and knead lightly another 2-3 minutes.

    Put in a greased 8-inch cake pan and cover to let rise another 30 minutes to 1 hour. Should double in size.
  6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake 35-45 minutes. Top will be browned and sound hollow when lightly tapped.

    Allow to cool before serving, suggestion was to serve with "plenty" of butter and tea.

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About Irish Barmbrack (Irish Fruitcake)

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