Figgy brack is an easy-to-make rustic classic. This particular recipe is a variation on the traditional Irish brack, a rich moist heavily fruited cross between a cake and a type of bread.

There are several definitions of how the name barm brack came about.

One of these is that it evolved from the old English word ‘beorma’ meaning yeasty (some bracks are yeast leavened) and the old Irish word ‘breac’ meaning speckled, which is like the fruit studded dough of the barm brack.

You can see how these two words could easily have become the name we now know as barm brack.

Makes 24 loaves

Chopped glacé cherries - 820g

Californian raisins - 1.6kg

Chopped dried figs - 820g

Currants - 820g

Strong tea - 3kg

Rum Belmonte - 36g



(UF&Bi 01700)

Vanilla Mauritius - 36g



(UF&Bi 01800)

Bun Spice Flavour - 1 tspn


(UF&Bi 02252)

Whole egg - 600g

Plain flour - 3.77kg

Bicarbonate of soda - 75g

Soft brown sugar - 1.1kg

Total weight - 12.683kg


Make the tea and while it is still hot pour it over the prepared fruit and the combined flavours in a bowl. Cover and leave this fruit mixture overnight at room temperature.

The next day butter and flour 24 tins before mixing the dough. Combine the eggs and tea-swollen fruit mixture in the bowl.

Sieve the flour and the bicarbonate of soda twice. Then, add the flour, along with the sugar, to the bowl and thoroughly combine all the ingredients. The mixture must not be too firm so a little milk may be added, if needed.

I use quite small tins, 18cm x 8cm, so the mixture above will give you 24 bracks of just over 500g each before baking. Bake at 160ºC for around 90 minutes, but they may need more or less time depending on the oven used.

Inserting a skewer and checking if it comes out clean can test the degree to which they are baked. Once baked rest in the tins for 20-30 minutes before turning out and cooling on a wire rack.

• When it comes to fruit you could use dried dates, dried cherries, prunes or dried apricots. Try experimenting to create seasonal favourites.

• For a crunchy top sprinkle with demerara sugar before baking.

• You could finish it like a stollen brushed with melted butter and dredged in icing sugar.

• Store in an airtight container to keep for three to four days.