Mums Irish Barmbrack Recipe

One of my favourite childhood memories is making Barmbrack with my Mum. Along with the traditional spooky costumes and trick-or-treating, I always loved and hoped I would find the hidden ring! For me Barmbrack is my Irish Halloween custom, not only can you enjoy this delicious traditional Barmbrack, but you can also have fun making it with the whole family. Here’s how to make my Mums Irish Barmbrack for Halloween;


8 oz. sugar

1 lb. mixed fruit

1 cup hot tea

1 beaten egg

1 lb self-raising flour

2 tablespoons marmalade

2 teaspoons mixed spice

Method: Steep sugar and fruit in tea overnight. Next day stir in the egg, flour, spices and marmalade. Add 2 oz. melted butter. Bake in a greased 2 lb. loaf tin.

Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Temperature: Gas 4 / 190 Celsius

History of Barmbrack

Barmbrack is associated with Halloween in Ireland. Traditionally an item is placed inside the bread, with the person who receives it considered to be fortunate or it was used as a sort of fortune-telling game. Small charms were traditionally baked in Barmbrack, here are some ideas and what they symbolise:

Ring – you’ll find love within the year / marry first

Coin – you’ll come into some money / you’ll be rich

Dried pea – you will not wed that year

Stick – relationship problems

Should you wish to add a hidden treat or charm remember to clean each item, wrap them in greaseproof paper and use large coins/items especially if children are involved.

We would love to know what you are doing to celebrate Halloween this year, find us on social media @tridentholidayhomes and let us know or send us a picture of your homemade barmbrack!

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