Irish Barmbrack Recipe -
Irish Barmbrack Recipe
  • READY IN 5+ hrs

Irish Barmbrack

Recipe by  

"Barmbrack is a traditional Irish cake eaten on holidays. After pouring into the prepared pan, it is tradition to add objects to the barmbrack which symbolize certain things for the person who receives each in their slice. Thoroughly clean objects before adding them to the barmbrack. These objects can be pressed into the bottom of the loaf after baking instead: coin-wealth or good fortune; ring-will marry within the year; bean-poverty; pea-will not marry within the year; matchstick-unhappy marriage; thimble-single for life."

+ Recipe Box + Shopping List + Menu Print

Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 1 - 9 inch Bundt pan Change Servings
  • PREP

    15 mins
  • COOK

    1 hr

    5 hrs 15 mins


  1. Soak the dried fruit in the hot tea for 2 hours, then drain and gently squeeze out excess tea.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9 inch Bundt pan. Stir together the flour cinnamon, nutmeg, and baking soda; set aside.
  3. Beat the egg, sugar, marmalade, orange zest, and tea-soaked fruit until well combined. Gently fold in the flour until just combined, then pour into the prepared Bundt pan.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour or until the top of the cake springs back when lightly pressed. Allow to cool in the pan for 2 hours before removing. Continue to cool to room temperature on a wire rack. Press the objects of choice into the cake through the bottom before serving.
Kitchen-Friendly View

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Mar 24, 2008

This was very good and easy to make. I used a mix of dried fruits that were diced (apples, apricots, raisins, peaches, and pears). I was a little concerned with how thick my batter was when I was making it; I had to scoop out spoonfuls and spread them around my pan. It came out great though and was really good sliced and buttered then broiled for a couple minutes. I will make this again for sure.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Oct 15, 2010

It is eaten as a bread, not a cake and is a regular sight at the breakfast table! Excellent toasted - but only on one-side of course!

Mar 16, 2008

I love this recipe. I used a mixture of sultana raisins, dried cranberries and apricots. Great texture and flavour. I also dusted it with icing sugar to finish it off. Pretty and delicious. Thanks Brooke!

Mar 17, 2009

I made this tonight for a St. Patrick's Day Party. I followed the recipe exactly. I think that the bake time is much too long though. The bread was very hard after baking for this long. I should have checked it earlier, but my oven is pretty true to temperatures and recipes. Next time I will check the bread sooner. The taste was nice though, a mix between a fruit cake and a spice bread.

Mar 17, 2009

This is now a regular in my cook book! I made it for a class for Samhein (Celtic Halloween) , and it was a big hit. I was cheap and used only golden raisins for my class, but any dried fruit mixture is great, I love dates personally. The batter is ridiculously thick, so I don't sqeeze excess moisture out of the fruit, just run off the worst of it, and I have to press it into the pan to bake, but it turns out beautifully.

Mar 16, 2010

I was frankly surprised at how good this was. I made it for a St. Pat's day party (held a few days before it) and it was devoured with oohs and aahs. Instead of sticking objects in the bottom, I made little fortune-cookie like strips of paper, wrote "predictions" on them and rolled them up, putting them in the hole in the center of the cake. Everyone was given one of these with each serving, and it was great fun reading them aloud one at at time.

Mar 20, 2009

I made this March 17th 2009, and unfortunately it came out really hard, even inside behind the crust, and we couldnt eat that day but we put in a whole apple sliced up and placed it and the cake cut in slices into a air tight container for the night. By the next day it was edible and the whole family enjoyed it. The appearance of the cake looked ok, but I think it overcooked. I cooked it right according to the directions, and baked it for an hour, at the temp it asked for, but I think that perhaps for our oven, that at that temp it was too much. Since they want another one today (the other is all gone), I will make another and bake for 45 minutes, not the whole hour, and check it and that may work for us. It was a good cake, the only thing is we couldnt eat it day one because it was hard and dry. The apple really changed all that. I have to wonder if the original recipe was for the celsius temp and that maybe when it was converted to farenheit (if it was) that that has something to do with it or if it was just our oven is a bit different. Allowing for these differences, I gave it four stars, not the highest rating.

Aug 31, 2010

I really enjoyed the taste and texture of this.


Rate This Recipe

Glad you liked it! Your friends will, too:


  • Calories
  • 294 kcal
  • 15%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 70.4 g
  • 23%
  • Cholesterol
  • 16 mg
  • 5%
  • Fat
  • 0.9 g
  • 1%
  • Fiber
  • 0.9 g
  • 4%
  • Protein
  • 4 g
  • 8%
  • Sodium
  • 69 mg
  • 3%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

See More

About the Cook

Subscribe Today!

In Season

Not The Same Old Chicken
Not The Same Old Chicken

We have so many top-rated chicken recipes, you'll never run out of dinner ideas again.

Slow Cooker Time Savers
Slow Cooker Time Savers

Imagine dinner making itself in the slow cooker while you relax or do other things.

Subscribe Today! Only $7.99
Subscribe Today! Only $7.99

Delicious recipes, party ideas, and cooking tips! Get a year of Allrecipes magazine for $7.99!

Related Videos

Irish Soda Bread Cookies

Turn the flavors of soda bread into quick-and-easy cookies.

Irish Cream Chocolate Cheesecake

Chocolate cheesecake gets a delicious Irish makeover.

Irish Bananas

Top ice cream with bananas simmered in butter, Irish whiskey, and brown sugar.

Recently Viewed Recipes

Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States