B is for Barmbrack



Yeasted bread.

It’s a phrase that makes me droll thinking about cinnamon rolls, french bread, brioche and ciabatta, while simultaneously cringing at the work required to make such treats.

Plus, combine the work required to make yeasted bread with the fact that I’m the third quarter of my junior year of high school (and that I just started Track and Field, which is two hours every weekday) and you’ll see how low bread making is on my priorities.

So here’s where the problem arises.  For my “Alphabet desserts around the world idea,” my next recipe was Barmbrack (Báirín Breac), a traditional irish yeasted bread.  To compensate for my laziness, as well as my lack of time, I ended up settling for a more tea-cake like version, a recipe I shamelessly butchered by added butter, but the results were awesome.

This weekend I actually have some time-weird-and I plan to try a more traditional yeast bread version and report back.  For now, this recipe should suffice.  The cake is fruity, sweet, and dense, and the perfect complement for a mug of hot tea.  How close it resembles it’s irish ancestor will tell, but never-the-less it’s a really enjoyable fruit cake.


Adapted from here.

  • ¾ cup dried apricots, chopped
  • ¾ cup dried figs, chopped
  • ¾ cups raisin and cranberry blend
  • 4 tea bags (I used 2 black tea bags and 2 fruity tea bags)
  • boiling water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • ¼ cup orange marmalade
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  1. In a large bowl, combine the dried fruit and tea bags.  Add enough water to completely submerge, and allow to rest for 2 hours.
  2. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and baking soda.
  3. Beat together the egg, sugar, orange marmalade, and butter.
  4. Drain the fruit and add to the wet ingredients.  Stir Together. *note* do not discard of the fruit soaking water.
  5. Fold in the dry ingredients.
  6. Poor the batter into a greased and floured bundt pan, and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes-1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted comes back clean.
  7. Remove from pan, and allow to cool on a baking rack until warm.


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • fruit soaking water (from above)
  1. Combine the sugar with the fruit soaking water, adding one tsp of the juice at a time.
  2. Stir until a glaze forms.
  3. Brush the still warm barmbrack with the glaze then allow to cool completely.
  4. Serve with milk, tea, or coffee.