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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jobarley's picture
26th Nov, 2012
I've made this a couple of times & it's huge, got a silicone loaf tin which bows at the sides & makes for a funny shaped cake but no overflow! Took a good hour and a half to cook though. Made it the other day for my bf to take on a day out & apparently it went down a treat. I think a bit less wholemeal flour, perhaps a 3rd works best.
16th Jul, 2012
Lovely recipe and so easy. Both my children and husband who hate fruit cake love this and ask for it in their lunchboxes.
7th Mar, 2012
Haha kerryblue - it's one 's' and 2 'p's! Anyway, tried this recipe last week, with the benefit of having read everyone else's comments. I only had white flour (though it was organic), so didn't have a mix as the recipe suggests. I bought dried cranberries, and used other fried fruit already in the cupboard - which turned out to be 98% raisins, 2% sultanas. Also didn't want to buy white sugar cubes we wouldn't have any other use for, so sprinkled demerara sugar on the top. I wasn't sure what size my larger loaf tin is, so actually split the mix between that and a smaller one. The small one cooked in the specified cooking time, but the larger one needed an extra 20 minutes. The results - fantastic, and very much enjoyed by all of us, not too crumbly at all, and just the right amount of moistness. Will definitely make again.
5th Mar, 2012
Sorry but this was a mega-dissapointment (could never spell that word, is it 2 s's or 2 p's ?) a much better recipe is Mary Berry's teabread or bara brith, moist, firm, easy to slice and exactly as it should be. One thing for sure though, don't have a righteous/healthy moment and do a mix with wholemeal flour, it's too dry and too crumbly, tastes like a supermarket out of date by 6 months, value 99p affair that even the birds would reject.
27th Feb, 2012
This isabsolutely wonderful. So easy to make and looks smells an dtastes delicious. I had no problem with my 2lb loaf tin.I think others may not be using the correct tin making another one for my neighbour
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.


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