Traditional Yorkshire Barm Brack

Yorkshire Brack

 Elaine Lemm

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 2 hrs 30 mins
Total: 3 hrs
Servings: 6 servings
Yield: 1 cake
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
956 Calories
34g Fat
151g Carbs
13g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 956
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 34g 43%
Saturated Fat 15g 75%
Cholesterol 149mg 50%
Sodium 402mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 151g 55%
Dietary Fiber 9g 34%
Total Sugars 96g
Protein 13g
Vitamin C 3mg 14%
Calcium 230mg 18%
Iron 5mg 30%
Potassium 953mg 20%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Yorkshire brack is not dissimilar to a rich fruit cake but with a stronger tea infusion and a little whiskey (optional). Brack, just like Irish barm brack is a perfect tea time cake (or any other time you choose) spread with a little butter. The success of a Yorkshire brack depends on the soaking the dried mixed fruits in a strong, preferably Yorkshire tea the night before. The addition of the tea adds a subtle depth of flavor and moisture to the cake. For this reason, you will need a little planning to allow time for soaking the fruits. It is worth it, though, so don't be put off.


  • 1 pound (450 grams) dried fruit, such as sultanas, raisins, currants

  • 4 ounces (125 grams) candied fruit peel, chopped

  • 4 ounces candied cherries, halved

  • 10 ounces (300 milliliters) strong black tea, Yorkshire or other, cold

  • 5 1/2 ounces (150 grams) unsalted butter, slightly softened

  • 5 1/2 ounces (150 grams) soft dark brown sugar

  • 8 ounces (225 grams) all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 3 large eggs

  • 2 tablespoons molasses, or dark treacle

  • 3 ounces (100 milliliters) whiskey

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

  • 4 ounces (110 grams) ground almonds

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Place all the dried fruits in a large bowl, pour the tea over, stir well, then cover with a tea towel and leave overnight.

  3. Preheat the oven to 325 F/ 170 C/ Gas 3.

  4. Line a 22-centimeter/8 1/2-inch cake tin with greaseproof paper or baking parchment and grease lightly with a little butter.

  5. Place both the butter and dark brown sugar into a roomy baking bowl. Cream the butter into the sugar until light, smooth, and creamy using either a fork or electric hand whisk.

  6. Mix the flour with the baking powder. Beat 1 egg into the creamed butter, then beat in a third of the flour. Repeat until all the eggs and flour are used up.

  7. Finally, gently stir in the molasses, whiskey, nutmeg, and lemon juice to the cake mixture using a spoon or spatula.

  8. Drain the dried fruits of the tea and add the ground almonds. Stir well, then add to the cake mixture, again stirring gently until all the fruits are incorporated into the mixture. Make sure you do stir gently so as not to "flatten" the cake mixture.

  9. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and gently level the surface. Cook in the preheated oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until dark golden brown.

  10. Remove the cake from the oven and place on a cooling rack and leave the cake to cool in the tin. Once cooled it is ready to eat. The cake keeps well when stored in an airtight tin.


  • You can use a prepared dried fruit mixture available in most supermarkets, or blend your own to create an individual cake to your preferences.

Recipe Variation

  • Instead of whiskey use a little brandy or rum.

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