bara brith recipe
Bread Recipe

Perfect Bara Brith Recipe | Homemade Welsh Delight!


Bara brith is a traditional Welsh tea bread that is loved for its rich flavor and moist texture. It’s a delightful treat that captures the essence of Welsh baking. Whether enjoyed as a traditional afternoon tea bread or as a special treat for celebrations, bara brith is a versatile and delicious addition to any menu.

While there are variations of the recipe, the most popular version involves soaking dried fruit in hot tea overnight, which gives the bread its distinctive taste. This homemade Welsh tea bread is a must-try for any baking enthusiast.

Bara Brith Ingredients and Preparation

To make a delicious bara brith, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Mixed dried fruit (such as sultanas, raisins, and currants)
  • Strong hot tea
  • Self-raising flour
  • Mixed spice
  • Dark brown sugar
  • A beaten egg
  • Honey for glazing

Begin by soaking the mixed dried fruit in the hot tea overnight. This allows the fruit to plump up and absorb the flavors.

bara brith ingredients

The next day, sift the self-raising flour and mixed spice into the soaked fruit. Stir in the beaten egg to create a thick batter that is well combined.

Pour the mixture into a lined loaf tin, spreading it evenly to ensure even cooking. Bake the bara brith in a preheated oven for about an hour, or until the cake has risen and cooked through.

Once baked, allow the bara brith to cool completely before removing it from the tin. This helps the cake set and retain its shape.

For a glossy finish, warm some honey and brush it over the cooled bara brith.

Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Soak the mixed dried fruit in hot tea overnight
  2. Sift the self-raising flour and mixed spice into the soaked fruit
  3. Add the beaten egg and mix well to form a thick batter
  4. Pour the batter into a lined loaf tin and spread it evenly
  5. Bake in a preheated oven for about an hour, or until cooked through
  6. Allow to cool completely before removing from the tin
  7. Warm honey and brush it over the cooled bara brith for a glossy finish

Now that you know the ingredients and steps involved, you’re ready to create your own delicious bara brith at home!

Storage and Serving Suggestions

Once the bara brith is baked and cooled, it is best to store it for at least two days before eating. This allows the flavors to develop and the bread to become moist and flavorful. The loaf can be wrapped in foil or cling film and kept at room temperature for up to 7 days.

When serving, it is traditional to slice the bara brith and enjoy it with a generous spread of butter. The combination of the sweet, spiced bread and creamy butter creates a perfect balance of flavors.

homemade bara brith loaf

Variations and Tips

While the classic bara brith recipe calls for traditional ingredients like mixed dried fruit and mixed spice, there are variations that can be explored. Some recipes use marmalade or different types of tea for added flavor, while others incorporate additional ingredients like grated carrot or nuts. These variations allow for personalization and experimentation, while still maintaining the essence of the traditional Welsh tea bread.

When making bara brith, it is important to allow the dried fruit to soak overnight for the best results, as this step ensures that the fruit is soft and flavorful.

Try These Bara Brith Variations:

  • Marmalade Twist: For a tangy twist, add a spoonful of orange marmalade to the tea while soaking the dried fruit. The citrus flavor complements the sweetness of the bread.
  • Nutty Delight: If you enjoy added texture, try adding a handful of chopped nuts, such as walnuts or pecans, to the batter. The nuts will give the bara brith a delicious crunch.
  • Carrot and Spice: For a unique variation, grate a carrot and add it to the batter along with the mixed spice. The carrot adds moisture and a subtle sweetness to the bread.

Feel free to get creative and experiment with different flavors and ingredients. The versatility of bara brith is what makes it such a beloved treat!

The History of Bara Brith

Bara brith holds a cherished place in Welsh culinary tradition, with a rich history that has made it a beloved delicacy across the country. Its name, “bara brith,” translates to “speckled bread” in Welsh, referencing the delightful dots of dried fruit scattered throughout the loaf. While bara brith has evolved over time, the contemporary version incorporating self-raising flour has become the most popular.

This traditional tea bread is closely associated with special occasions and celebrations in Wales and can be found in tearooms and bakeries throughout the region. Its irresistible taste and texture have captured the hearts (and palates) of many, prompting the National Trust and The Guardian to share their own versions of the best bara brith recipes.

traditional bara brith recipe

Discovering Bara Brith’s Roots

The origins of bara brith can be traced back to the early times of Welsh baking. The original recipe was a yeasted bread, but it gradually evolved to the self-raising flour version we know today. Each slice of bara brith is a testament to Welsh tradition and culinary heritage.

Bara brith continues to charm both locals and visitors alike, thanks to its unique combination of flavors and textures. Its distinct aroma, densely packed with spices and infused with the sweetness of dried fruits, casts a spell that has endured through the centuries.

The National Trust and The Guardian Keep the Tradition Alive

Rely on centuries of Welsh tradition with the National Trust’s authentic recipe for bara brith,

The National Trust and The Guardian have become custodians of this cherished traditional recipe, sharing their own versions of bara brith with home cooks across the globe. These recipes provide a trusted starting point for those looking to recreate the magic in their own kitchens.


Bara brith is a delicious and easy-to-make traditional Welsh tea bread that will delight your taste buds. Its rich flavor and moist texture make it a versatile addition to any menu, whether you enjoy it as an afternoon tea treat or serve it as a special dessert for celebrations. By following a few simple steps and using quality ingredients, you can create an authentic bara brith that will impress your friends and family.

When making bara brith, the key is to let the dried fruit soak in hot tea overnight. This step ensures that the fruit becomes plump and absorbs all the wonderful flavors. Combined with self-raising flour, mixed spice, brown sugar, and a beaten egg, the result is a thick batter that bakes into a perfectly risen loaf.

Once the bara brith is baked and cooled, it’s best to let it rest for a couple of days to allow the flavors to develop. Sliced and served with a generous spread of butter, this homemade Welsh treat is a true delight. So why not give this traditional recipe a try and experience the taste of Wales in your own home? Make an easy bara brith and savor every delicious bite.


Can I substitute the mixed dried fruit with fresh fruit in the bara brith recipe?

Using fresh fruit instead of dried fruit in the bara brith recipe can alter the texture and flavor of the bread. It’s best to stick with dried fruit for the traditional taste.

How long does it take for the fruit to soak in the hot tea overnight?

Allowing the mixed dried fruit to soak in the hot tea overnight ensures they become plump and flavorful. Ideally, let them soak for at least 8 hours or overnight for the best results.

Can I freeze bara brith for later consumption?

Yes, you can freeze bara brith for up to 3 months. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before freezing. Thaw at room temperature before serving.

What is the purpose of the honey glaze on the bara brith?

The honey glaze not only adds a glossy finish to the bara brith but also enhances its sweetness and overall presentation.

Are there any dairy-free alternatives for serving bara brith other than butter?

You can enjoy bara brith with dairy-free spreads like margarine or coconut oil for a vegan or lactose-free option.

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