Tea Brack

One of my favourite autumnal bakes is a Tea Brack. Full of deliciously sweet fruit and warm spices, it’s a true seasonal taste.


Traditionally, non-edible items would be added to the tea brack, each with its own meaning for the person who got it in their slice.

– A pea: The person would not marry that year
– A stick: The person would have an unhappy marriage or continually be in disputes
– A cloth or rag: The person would have bad luck or be poor
– A coin: The person would enjoy good fortune or be rich
– A ring: The person would be wed within the year

I first came across this recipe years ago in a little magazine that came free with the RTE Guide I think? It’s a Dรณnal Skehan recipe and over time I’ve adapted it with different fruits, spices and liquor. As we get closer to Christmas, I like to add cranberries to this mix for some festive colouring.

Hope you enjoy! Amy x

250ml cold tea
50ml of brandy/whiskey/sherry (optional)
250g plain flour
2 tsps of baking powder
300g sultanas/raisins/cranberries/cherries
100g caster sugar
25g soft dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp mixed spice
2 tbsp granulated brown sugar

Place the fruit mix in a bowl and pour over the cold tea and alcohol, if using and allow to soak overnight.

Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin and preheat the oven to 180ยฐC.

Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and mixed spice in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and mix in the egg.

Mix in the fruit mix until everything is thoroughly combined. The mixture will be quite wet.

Transfer to the prepared loaf tin, sprinkle over the granulated brown sugar and bake for an hour.

Remove from the tin and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.