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A Traditional Welsh Loaf

A Traditional Welsh Loaf

I was watching the 2007 BBC Show ‘Coal House” recently, where three families live in 1927 conditions for three weeks. The women kept referring to the ‘Bara Brith’ they had made, which looked like a cake, so I decided to find a recipe and make some. This traditional welsh recipie is from Visit

“Bara Brith translates to ‘speckled bread’ and is a rich fruit loaf made with tea. Produced all over Wales the spiced fruit loaf is delicious when spread with salted Welsh butter.”

Recipe for Bara Brith:

  • 450G/1lb self raising flour
  • 1tsp mixed spice
  • 175g/6oz Muscavado sugar
  • 1 medium size free-range egg
  • 1tbsp orange zest
  • 2tbsp orange juice
  • 1tbsp honey( or Replace the honey and fruit juice with 2 tablespoons of marmalade)
  • 300ml/½pt tea (or substitute ¼ of the fluid with a whisky liqueur)
  • 450g/1lb mixed, dried fruit
  • Extra honey for glazing

The day before

Put the mixed dried fruit into a mixing bowl, pour over the tea, cover and leave to soak overnight. 

The next day 

  1. preheat the oven to gas3/160c/325f 
  2. mix together the sugar, egg, orange juice, zest and honey, add to the fruit.
  3.  Sift in the flour and spice, and mix well. Pour the mixture into a buttered loaf tin, 1.2L/2pt.
  4. Bake for about 1¾ hours. The loaf should be golden in colour and firm to the touch in the middle. 
  5. Baste with honey whilst still warm. Allow to cool thoroughly before storing in a cake tin.


mixing the Bara Brith


Hurry up and take the photo Mum so we can eat it!

We had had about half the cake for afternoon tea – the kids loved it, despite the sultanas, which they usually hate (apparently the soaking made the difference), and the touch of ginger that was in the 2 spoons of marmalade. I didn’t even have time to glaze it!

Here is another recipie you might like to try –

Barra Birth recipefrom The Australian Women's Weekly, April 1961

from The Australian Women’s Weekly, April 1961


About thewartimewoman

I love history, fashion, art and design, especially of the 1930s to the 1960s. I am also a mother, wife, interior decorator & a treasure hunter who wishes she could drive a 1933 Delage. I studied Architecture at Melbourne university, briefly, and completed a Diploma of Art in Interior Design at the Melbourne College of Decoration in 1991. I have worked on an off as a decorator ever since, in between stints as a florist, balloon artist, having my five children and helping my husband in his law firm. in my spare time I love researching history, blogging and gardening.

One response »

  1. Mum used to call this style of loaf simply tea loaf. She made it regularly because it stayed fresh thanks to the soaked fruit. It was always good, I had no idea it has Welsh origins.


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