halloween barm brack

Halloween barm brack

Nessa Robbins from Nessa’s Family Kitchen shares her family recipe for traditional Halloween barm brack.

The traditional Halloween barm brack was another fun way to tell someone’s fortune for the coming year. As a child, I remember inside each brack would be a pea, a stick, a piece of cloth, a small coin and a ring. Just ensure each one is well wrapped with greasproof paper and always let the brack-eater know of these additions.


Serves 8

  • 200g sultanas
  • 150g raisins
  • 25g mixed peel
  • 300ml tea, cold
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten


1. Place the dried fruit into a bowl. Pour over the cold tea. Cover with cling film and leave to soak overnight.

2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/ fan 160°C/ gas mark 4. Line the base of a 2 lb loaf tin with parchment paper and grease the sides with a little butter.

3. Sieve the flour into the bowl with the soaked fruit. Add the sugar, spice and lightly beaten egg. Using a wooden spoon, stir well to combine.

4. If using the ‘fortune teller’ items, tightly wrap each one in greaseproof paper and carefully add to the mixture

5. Transfer to the loaf tin, and place in the preheated oven for one and a half to one and three-quarter hours, or until the brack has risen well and is cooked through.

6. Cool on a wire rack. When cold, cut into slices and spread each with a thin layer of butter.

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