Bara Brith

Bara Brith is a popular spiced tea loaf in Wales and means 'speckled bread'. The speckled part comes from the raisins which are scattered throughout the bread, which would have been made traditionally from leftover bread dough. To make the dough more of a sweet than a savoury, mixed spice is added, and the raisins are soaked in tea to plump them up and make the bread moist. Modern day Bara Brith recipes don't use yeast, making the loaf a lot quicker to make.

The first thing to do when making Bara Brith is to put the kettle on and make a strong cup of tea, but not for yourself!


  • 225g mixed dried fruit
  • 225ml hot strong tea, strained
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1tbsp mixed spice
  • 25g butter
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 1 egg

1. Soak the fruit in the hot strong tea for at least an hour to plump up the raisins (this process can be sped up by microwaving it for 2 minutes). I added the mixed spice at this point to infuse it into the tea, traditionally it is added in with the flour.

tea loaf

2. Preheat the oven to 180degreesC/350degreesC/gas mark 4. Grease and line a loaf tin, or use a silicon baking 'tin' instead, far easier.
3. Sift the flour (and the mixed spice) into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and mix into a breadcrumb consistency.
4. Stir in the sugar, then add the fruit and its liquid along with the beaten egg. Stir well to make a mixture with a soft consistency.

tea loaf

5. Transfer to the baking tin and put into the preheated oven for about an hour or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
6. Turn onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
7. Serve the Bara Brith sliced and buttered.

fruit tea loaf

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  1. says

    I adore bara brith. I make it with Pur'eh tea (which has been fermented underground!) as it gives a lovely strong taste and I soak the fruit for 24 hours. I didn't know that microwaving it would speed it up – I'll give that a try.

  2. says

    Sounds lovely. My best friend in school had a Welsh Grandmother who used to feed it to us when we went to see her and it tasted amazing. Just the words Bara Brith take me right back to her kitchen table.

  3. Natasha Dennis says

    That's interesting I've been making this for a while from a celtic recipe book but they call it Barm Brack as in the Irish version. Their Bara Brith has marmalade in it.

    Also I make it with fructose(instead of sugar but only 1oz) and self raising wholemeal flour so it is suitable for a low GI diet and diabetics.

    Also as it is so easy Little Man likes helping me make it.

  4. says

    Sounds similar (ish) to my Slimming World cake i often make – Weetabix Cake, yes it sounds a bit odd but it's yummy, which is unusual for a slimming world recipe 🙂 (blog post coming up soon about it!)

  5. Zaggora Girl says

    Wow, never heard of this type of bread, sounds and looks great though, will definitely give it a try! 🙂 Could you make this bread with diced fruit such as apples, or oranges? 🙂

  6. says

    This looks lovely and is a lot like a tea loaf that I used to make……very similar, maybe it's just given different names! I love it when it is warm, and sometimes add glacé cherries as an extra treat!

  7. Red says


    Sorry for seeming ignorant… but what is "mixed spice"??

    Note I'm from US… and we likely don't have the mix here, so a specific content list would be awesome!!!

    The "mixed spices" used here are usually a savory combination for specific meat dishes, and there's one explicitly used for Pumpkin Pie… which tastes good in other baked goods too (Combination of: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves).

    I'd love to get as close to your original recipe as possible – so any help is appreciated!!!


  8. Lorraine says

    This is a very good recipe . My grandma made this when I was a child and I had not tasted Bara brith again until last Spring in the Vale of Clwyd at a relative’s home !

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