Sugar-crusted bara brith

Sugar-crusted bara brith

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(22 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 1 hr - 1 hr, 15 mins Plus overnight soaking


Serves 12
Bara brith (literally 'speckled bread') is a tea-time classic, and it seems that almost every Welsh town and every family has their own recipe

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal397
  • fat9g
  • saturates5g
  • carbs79g
  • sugars50g
  • fibre2g
  • protein6g
  • salt0.58g
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  • 400g/14oz luxury mixed fruit
  • 75g pack dried cranberries


    A tart, ruby-red coloured berry which grows wild on shrubs throughout northern Europe and North…

  • mug hot strong black tea
  • 100g butter, plus extra for greasing



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 2 heaped tbsp orange marmalade
  • 2 eggs, beaten



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 450g self-raising flour - try a mix of wholemeal and white
  • 175g light soft brown sugar
  • 1 tsp each ground cinnamon and ground ginger



    A fragrant spice which comes from the inner bark of a tropical tree. When dried, it curls into…

  • 4 tbsp milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

  • 50g crushed sugar cubes or granulated sugar, to decorate



    Honey and syrups made from concentrated fruit juice were the earliest known sweeteners. Today,…


  1. Mix together the dried fruit and cranberries in a large bowl, then pour the hot tea over. Cover with cling film and leave to soak overnight.

  2. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Butter and line the bottom of a 900g/2lb loaf tin with baking parchment. Melt butter and marmalade together in a pan. Leave to cool for 5 mins, then beat in the eggs. Drain any excess tea from the fruit. Mix the flour, sugar and spices together, then stir in the fruit, butter mix and milk until evenly combined. The batter should softly drop from the spoon – add more milk if needed.

  3. Spoon into the tin and level the top. Sprinkle with the crushed sugar and bake for 1-1¼ hrs until dark golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cover loosely with foil if it starts to over-colour before the middle is cooked. Leave to cool completely in the tin and serve sliced.

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Comments, questions and tips

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26th Feb, 2012
Have just made this for the first time. I think it is delicious but it is very dense with fruit, seems slightly more moist than it perhaps should be, and I even wondered if my dubious oven is partly at fault. Did have to add more milk to mix it. Mine (and I'm not saying your recipe) reminded me of my mother's cakes when something went slightly wrong, but we all loved them anyway and served them as pudding, with custard!! Buttering it seems luxurious and slightly overkill. It did fit in my 2lb. loaf tin, and I shall make it again. Maybe it will come out more like a BBC Good Food cake second time round!!
16th Oct, 2011
Wonderful , have now made this countless times as requests have been flowing in!!
12th Oct, 2011
Have made this a few times now and it works a treat everytime. Has been well received by family and friends alike and have even had requests for loaves that can be frozen for future use. To save time and expense I admitted where the recipe had come from and have now converted a few more people to the pleasures of the BBC Good Food website.
9th Oct, 2011
Took about 1hr 30mins, but turned out very well - OH loves it.
29th Sep, 2011
This is a favourite as it lasts so well and is easy to make. I find I need two tins for the quantities given but it means I can freeze one. I put demerara sugar on top and it is just as nice.
19th Sep, 2011
Definitely more than double the amount that could be contained in a 2lb loaf tin and the verdict here in north west Wales is that it's a nice enough fruit cake but it is NOT Bara Brith!
18th Aug, 2011
I have just made this as an entry for our local cooking and agriculture show but alas was not able to submit it as the mixture is way to much for a 2lb tin as specified in the recipe and has erupted all over the sides of the tin as it was cooking. What a waste! It seemed too much when I was filling the tin with mixture, and yet was not enough for 2 tins. The quantities need to be adjusted before anyone else wastes expensive ingredients on it. Smells good though.
5th Mar, 2011
Great recipe- no probs with the tin but perhaps i have a slightly larger one? I upped the spices a little and js used self-raising and it was delicious. yum yum yum.
21st Feb, 2011
I had no cranberrys so just add extra mixed fruit also no ground ginger so I substituted it with a good splash of ginger wine to the soaking liquid.The other thing I found was that 4tbsp milk made the mix very dry I ended up adding nearer 12tbsp .Like other contributors the mix was too much for a 2lb tin, may be better to split between two tins.Everybody that has tried it has said that it was wonderful though so thanks for the recipe
13th Feb, 2011
Great recipe! Keeps for ages in foil in an airtight box. There is too much mixture for 1 loaf so the second time I added a little more fruit and made 2 good sized loaves. I have tried it using a mixture of wholmeal and white too but prefer the lighter texture using just white flour.


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