Welsh Bara Brith Cake

Bara Brith Cake Recipe

The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 75 mins
Total: 85 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
533 Calories
4g Fat
118g Carbs
10g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 533
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Cholesterol 36mg 12%
Sodium 947mg 41%
Total Carbohydrate 118g 43%
Dietary Fiber 8g 29%
Total Sugars 51g
Protein 10g
Vitamin C 4mg 20%
Calcium 293mg 23%
Iron 6mg 31%
Potassium 717mg 15%
*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.)

Bara Brith, the Welsh for speckled bread, a famous delicious fruity tea bread from Wales. Classically, the bread is served on a Welsh afternoon tea and is always on St David's Day on March 1st; but needs no excuses for a slice or two.

The cake is easy to make but does need to soak in the tea overnight, so be sure to plan accordingly and is best made two days ahead of time if you have the time as this allows the flavors to absorb and develop. If you don't have the time, it is also rather good straight from the oven.

This recipe comes from Gilli Davies' renowned book of Welsh food, "Flavours of Wales," which was nominated for a Gourmand World Book Award.


  • 1 pound (450 grams) mixed dried fruit

  • 1 1/3 cups (300 milliliters) cold tea

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 2 tablespoons marmalade

  • 1 large free-range egg, beaten

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, soft

  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice

  • 1 pound (450 grams) self-rising flour

  • Honey, to glaze

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a large bowl, pour the cold tea over the fruit and leave to soak for a minimum of 6 hours, or overnight if possible.

  3. The next day, preheat the oven to 325 F/170 C/Gas 3 and grease a 2-pound (900-gram) loaf tin with butter and put to one side. To the soaked fruit, add the marmalade, egg, brown sugar, spice, and flour and mix well.

  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 1 1/4 hours, or until the center is cooked through (when a cake tester comes out clean). Check from time to time to see that the top doesn't brown too much, and cover with a sheet of foil if necessary.

  5. Remove from the oven and leave the Bara Brith to stand for 5 minutes, then turn out of the tin and place on a cooling rack. Brush the honey over the top to glaze and leave to cool completely on a rack.

  6. Slice and enjoy. Bara Brith is even tastier when served with a little butter spread over a thick, fruity slice, or for added sweetness, a little jam or honey.

How to Store and Freeze

  • The cake can be stored at room temperature for up to a week. Cover in plastic wrap or place in an airtight container to prevent it from drying out.
  • This bread freezes well for up to three months. Wrap it in plastic wrap and foil, then place it in an airtight plastic container or freezer storage bag.


If you only have a 1-pound (450-gram) loaf tin, you can divide the batter in half and bake in two batches. Reduce the baking time to 1 hour, checking for doneness.

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