Sugar-crusted bara brith

Sugar-crusted bara brith

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(27 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 a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 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…

  • 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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27th Mar, 2018
This is the second time I have made the recipe and I love the texture of it. The next day it's better than the day before. I'm a firm believer in the nice slather of salty butter on it. I think my Welsh ancestry is in heaven!! Waiting on it to cool right now. I have been known not to wait, either way it's so delicious!!
27th Aug, 2017
4th Apr, 2017
So disappointed ! unfortunately I didn't read the reviews before trying it, all say to share the mixture in two tins :-( THE RECIPE STATES ONE 2lb loaf tin ! ... the 180 temperature is also too high for a fan oven (it's usually 150 to 160) I thought BBC Goodfood tested these recipes before using them, so unfortunately this recipe is not to be trusted as it is without the changes stated in all the reviews
31st Aug, 2017
The recipe states 160 fan
11th Mar, 2017
Tastes really nice and was easy to make. Only comment I would make is that the recipe produces way too much for one 900g tin, closer to two, so I ended up with a very tall large Bara and one 6" cake tin full. Have had to recalculate reduced recipe ingredients to produce just enough mix for a 900g tin for next time.
16th May, 2016
I am a welsh cook and foodie to the core, and apart from the cranberries the receipe is VERY typical of bara brith. Though 'bara' is welsh for bread, most bara brith recipes I have come across do not have yeast! My mum is a prolific bara brith maker, so much so, in my 40s I have never had to make it before. I asked her for the recipe (as we were doing a welsh tea fundraiser). She had 4 recipes - all 4 different and none with yeast !. Oh - and NO instructions! Hence my recipe googling. I doubled the quantity, ditched the cranberries and used more dried raisins, and I used a pot of tea. Half light and half dark brown soft sugar. DO NOT drain the tea (and reduce the milk if necessary), and I think sprinkling demerera on top gives a nicer finish. It made 5 small loaves and without boasting too much - they look amaaaazing, and they were deeeee-lish ..... bendigedig! Even mam "The Bara Brith Queen" was impressed ! My mum suggested wrapping in cling film for 2 days - as it improves, and has a 'nice sheen' - who knew?
KochinVeronica's picture
14th Jan, 2015
Really good!
1st Oct, 2014
This would be a traditional Welsh Tea Loaf without the Cranberries. I have baked this cake with great success. But I did however include 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate soda. I also replaced the 175g soft brown sugar with 175g coconom coconut sugar. This is a personal preference as this sugar has a low GI index. The taste and texture improve, and should be stored in an airtight container.
3rd Apr, 2013
Didn't really work for me. Not really enough for 2 tins but too much for 1. Followed recipe to the letter but came out quite dry and crumbly, more like Mr killings manor house cake than anything. Good flavour but def won't be using this recipe again.
27th Feb, 2013
I agree with Mandinga. Probably a very tasty cake, but it is not traditional Bara Brith. The clue is in the name 'bara' = bread, so needs yeast. Fruit loaves and tea bread, regularly called 'bara brith' is not proper Bara Brith unless it contains yeast, and slices like a small loaf of bread, which is then buttered.


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the goughies
14th Jun, 2013
I used chopped dried apricots instead of cranberries and boiled all fruit up with the tea and good glug of rum so that I didn't have to soak overnight and 2 tbs malt instead of milk - the result was fabulous - I am using this as a base for my Xmas cake
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