Recipe for Bara Brith

Since I spent St David’s Day slogging my way around the Eastbourne Half Marathon course, I didn’t have time to make Welsh cakes to take into work. Yes, it was a real slog, especially the final few miles! However, I did make some Bara Brith (speckled bread) as it is MUCH less time consuming, and no less yummy.

My mum got her recipe from one of her patients years ago, when she was working as an Occupational Therapist in West Wales. However, when she wrote it out for me and I made it, I totally messed up! This is because it is along the lines of “use some tea to soak the fruit,” “cook for a bit” etc. I like and need some specifics to work towards. Anyway, I now use my grans recipe. I would like to say there is a nice family story behind it, but she got it from This Morning a few years ago, when Bonnie Tyler cooked it 🙂

Ingredients (enough to make 2 1lb/ 450g loaves)

  • 6oz (175g) currants/raisins
  • 6oz (175g) sultanas
  • 8oz (225g) dark soft brown sugar
  • 1/2 pint (300ml) hot black tea
  • 10oz (275g) self-raising flour
  • 1 egg beaten
  • Optional – 1 tsp of mixed spice (Bonnie and my mum don’t use mixed spice)


  1. Measure the fruit and sugar into a bowl and pour over the hot tea. Stir well, cover and leave to stand overnight or for a few hours at least.
  2. Grease and line your loaf tins. I have some fancy loaf tin paper cases which make this step much simpler.
  3. Stir the flour and egg into the fruit mixture, mix and split between the tins.
  4. Bake at Gas Mark 4 / 180 deg C for about 1 hour. If the tops are catching towards the end, cover with some greaseproof paper. They are done when a skewer comes out clean.
  5. Turn out and leave to cool.
  6. Serve plain or with butter. I quite like it on its own.

and here is Bonnie Tyler with “Total Eclipse of the Heart” for you to sing along to. I forgot how terrifying(ly bad) the video is!