Bara Brith

Bara brith – which can be translated to ‘speckled bread’ – is a truly delicious Welsh loaf cake. Packed full of fruit (which is soaked in black tea), this cake is absolutely perfect for serving spread with good Welsh butter, with a nice cup of tea on the side.

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Bara brith is a cake that I have loved all of my life. It’s one of those really comforting tastes – it reminds me of childhood. My nain made Bara brith often, and so it reminds me of her and our trips to Anglesey to visit her.

I wanted to share this recipe with you because it is beautiful, easy to make and NEVER goes wrong! It’s the perfect loaf cake to bake if you’re visiting someone too – if you know someone with a newborn, bake this and give it to them! It’s perfect for one handed snacking with a baby in the other hand.

Bara Brith – The Ingredients

  • Mixed Fruit – any kind of dried mixed fruit will work here, from your most basic to fancier varieties. I like to keep it simple with this mixed fruit.
  • Light brown sugar – this is a key ingredient and gives Bara brith its delicious caramel-like flavour. Don’t switch with any other type of sugar.
  • Hot black tea – any kind of black tea will work, such as English breakfast tea. Steep it for about 5 minutes before using in this recipe. If you’re using a teabag, one will be enough for this amount of liquid.
  • Self-raising flour – use white flour.
  • Mixed spice and ground ginger – these spices give bara brith a lovely warm taste. Don’t switch them up.
  • Egg – necessary for binding.
  • Butter – brings a richness to the cake. Salted or unsalted is fine.

Cooking the Cake

Cooking bara brith is straightforward – just follow the steps carefully. Here are some extra tips from me:

  • When you’re soaking the fruit, leave it somewhere room temperature. I made the mistake of leaving it on a very cold windowsill once, and it was quite solid in the morning! If this does happen to you, no worries – just put it somewhere warm for thirty minutes and it will loosen up, if stirring doesn’t work.
  • It is important that you make sure the mixture is really well combined before putting in the loaf tin, otherwise it won’t cook evenly.
  • Use a loaf tin liner if you have one! It makes the faff of lining and greasing the loaf tin yourself a lot easier. You just need to pop it in the tin, no greasing required.
  • Check that the loaf is cooked through before removing it from the oven. You can do this by poking the middle of it with a skewer – if it comes out clean, it’s done. If it isn’t done, just give it 10 more minutes and check again. You can repeat as needed.

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Bara Brith

Save This Recipe
Harriet Young
A delicious, fruity Welsh tea loaf
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Soaking Time 12 hours
Total Time 13 hours 45 minutes
Course Snack
Cuisine Welsh
Servings 1 loaf


  • 400 g dried mixed fruit
  • 250 g light brown sugar
  • 250 ml hot black tea
  • 350 g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 egg
  • 50 g soft butter


  • First, put your mixed fruit in a large bowl. Add the sugar and tea. Stir, then cover with a tea towel and leave to soak overnight.
  • The next day, give the fruit a stir to loosen it up.
  • Preheat the oven to 160?
  • Line a loaf tin with baking parchment (or a loaf tin liner).
  • Pour the flour into the bowl with the fruit. Add the mixed spice and ginger. Stir well.
  • Crack the egg into the bowl and add the butter. Mix again, until everything is fully combined. You should have a fairly stiff dough.
  • Spoon the dough into the loaf tin. Smooth the top with a spoon, then put in the oven. Cook for 1 hour 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. If the top starts to get too dark, cover with tinfoil.
Keyword Baking, loaf, snack

4 responses to “Bara Brith”

  1. 5 stars
    What a lovely loaf cake. I made it for a friend and she loved it!

  2. 5 stars
    Awesome cake, tried it taste was too good.

  3. 5 stars
    Very fun to make for the first time. The flavors are so unique and quite enjoyable.

  4. 5 stars
    We love a spice loaf. This one was very good. Thank you.

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Hi there!

I’m Harriet, writer and cook, and I’m so pleased to have you here! I love nothing more than cooking delicious food and sharing it with the world. You can find out more about me here.