Bara Brith | Traditional Welsh Tea Cake

When watching The Great British menu a few years ago Bryn Williams made Bara Brith for his dessert. This traditional Welsh cake was the first thing that I ordered when we had morning coffee in Little Haven in Pembrokeshire, Wales. It is a spiced fruit cake and really tasty. As soon as we were home I looked through all of my recipe books to find a recipe for Bara Brith. I prefer to use my recipe books as I have paid for them and need to get some use from the recipe book, other than getting the writer to sign them for me. I turned to Brian Turner’s Favourite British Recipes and followed his recipe for Bara Brith (page 175) to the tee, using up the last of my fresh yeast. The first stage worked quite well, given the fact that I had to use my heater to prove the dough as it was a really cold day, but the second stage proved to be a total disaster. A dough did not form with the addition of the liquid ingredients, and instead I had a nice batter. Rather than shaping this into a round tin as per the method listed, I poured the batter into a loaf tin and proceeded to bake it for the required time. This resulted in a not completely cooked spiced loaf, which I cut up and dried into rusks. I then turned to the internet and found this recipe. It worked perfectly, and the Bara Brith lasted a week. We toasted some and had it with jam which was perfect for an afternoon tea time treat.

Do you order traditional cakes when you are travelling?

Bara Brith
Bara Brith
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Bara Brith

Recipe Category: Baking
All Rights Reserved: Recipe adapted from Visit Wales


  • 1 black tea tea bag (I used vanilla tea)
  • 225 mls boiling water
  • 300 g raisins
  • 150 g currants
  • 75 mls whisky
  • 450 g self raising flour
  • 5 mls mixed spice
  • 175 g fructose
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 orange, zest only
  • 30 mls orange juice
  • 15 g honey, plus extra for glazing


  • Place your tea bag into a cup and cover with boiling water
  • Leave to steep for 5 minutes and then remove the tea bag
  • Place into the fridge until cold
  • Put the raisins and currants into a mixing bowl
  • Pour over the tea and the whisky
  • Cover with cling film and leave to soak overnight
  • Preheat the oven to 160° Celsius
  • Sift the flour and spice into the mixing bowl with the fruit and mix in
  • Place the fructose, egg, orange zest and juice and the honey into a mixing bowl
  • Whisk together and then add to the fruit, mixing to incorporate all of the ingredients
  • Pour the mixture into a buttered loaf tin
  • Bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes
  • Baste the top generously with honey while still warm
  • Allow to cool thoroughly before slicing

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38 thoughts on “Bara Brith | Traditional Welsh Tea Cake

  1. I love cake or bread recipes with raisins and tea and spice… this looks and sounds divine!

  2. Hi Tandy, this sounds so interesting, so clever of you to change gears and make the most out of the batter. Looks delicious!

  3. Beautiful – this bring back happy childhood memories as one of my grandfathers was Welsh and one of my great aunts always used to make this. She used to cut it really thin and spread butter thickly on it! Happy days 🙂 You made a great job of yours and well done for persevering.

  4. So pleased that others watch The Great British Menu – and this loaf looks great.

  5. This cake with a little coffee looks like the perfect way to start my day. I don’t order traditional cakes when traveling because I never see such items on the menu, or at least where I travel! Looks delightful though..

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