Loading page...

Halloween Barm Brack With Browned Butter Frosting


  • Prep Time 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time 80 Minutes
  • Servings 1 Loaf

The Barm Brack or Báirín Breac as it is called in Irish  (means speckled loaf) is a traditional sweet Halloween bread. It is to be found in supermarkets and bakeries all over the country. Our ancestors, the Celts would  practice many fortune telling games and traditions during the festival of Samhain. The Barm Brack is a sweet bread made from fruits and spices. As a child growing up in Ireland, I can recall eagerly awaiting a slice of this brack. This sweet loaf, held my future in it's hands as there were several trinkets baked inside. As a young girl, I wanted the ring. Each trinket held a meaning. The pea meant poverty, the bean meant wealth. If you got the ring you were to meet your man or future husband that year. Sadly if you got the rag, it meant you would wear rags and if you got the stick it meant strife or trouble. To us, it was all a bit of fun and the sheer excitement watching and waiting only added to the Halloween atmosphere. You can wrap a few pieces if you like in parchment paper and place them in the batter. This loaf is at it's absolute best if you soak  the fruits the night before in the cold tea and sugar.


Dissolve the brown sugar in the tea while it is warm. Add raisins, golden raisins and whiskey to the tea, cover and leave overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a 1lb loaf pan.
Wrap the trinkets in parchment paper. (optional)
In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder and mixed spice.
Lightly whisk the egg and add to the fruit and tea.
Combine the fruit mix with flour and spices.
Pour into lined pan and bake for 70 -80 minutes. Insert skewer/toothpick and if it's clean then the cake is done.
Sift the powdered sugar into a bowl.
In a small saucepan melt the butter until a golden brown color.
Add vanilla and milk to the confectioners sugar. Slowly add the melted butter and mix well until creamy and smooth.
Cool for a few minutes then spread on the Barm Brack.