The Best Bara Brith Recipe Ever

This is another lip-smackingly good recipe which has been in the Welsh side of our family for years. My husband’s Nanna claims this is the best Bara Brith recipe. Now you guys get to put that to the test!

In honour of St David’s Day on 1st March – the Patron Saint of Wales – it seems right to brush off those classic Welsh recipes. You’ll probably only have this once a year, but my god it is yummy.

What is Bara Brith?

Firstly, for the etymologists amongst you (I know there are a few!) ‘Bara Brith’ literally means ‘speckled bread’. Similar to Welsh Cakes , you’ll traditionally see these in most touristy shops in Wales. It is one of the signature bakes from Wales.

It is a traditional Welsh ‘tea bread’ made with mixed fruits (sultanas, raisins and dried currants). Soaking the fruit along with mixed spices and candied lemon or lime peel can lead to a deeper flavour.

Bara Brith has been munched on by Welsh folk since the 1700s, and chances are (like ours) recipes were handed down between generations.

As well as St David’s Day, Christmas is another time Bara Brith is popular, due to its similarity with Christmas Cake and mince pies.

Bara Brith is not only a Wales delicacy. Incredibly, in the 19th century a colony was set up by Welsh expatriates along with their customs and traditions. For that reason, commonly known as torta negra or ‘black cake’.

Bara Brith Recipe Ingredients:

250g mixed dried fruit
110g salted butter
150g brown sugar
240ml milk
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
340g self-raising flour
2 free range eggs
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon


Preheat your own to 180 degrees Celsius.

In a large pan, melt together the sugar, fruit, milk and butter. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes.

Take off the heat and leave to cool for 15-20 minutes.

Now add 2 beaten eggs and self-raising flour and mix well.

Spoon the mixture into a greased/lined loaf tin and cook for 1 hour at 180 degrees.

Top Tips for this Bara Brith Recipe

If you’d like an extra crunch on the top, sprinkle with brown sugar before you put in the oven.

Adopt the Bake Off pose and keep an eye on the bread once it goes into the oven. Accoidingly, if it looks like it is going a little too brown, loosely cover the top with foil.

Soaking the fruit overnight before baking can give a richer, deeper flavour.

Finally, enjoy a slice, covered in butter, on St David’s Day!

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