Traditional Irish Halloween Recipe

Posted by Neil Hand on the 31st of October 2014 at 09:06:11

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Halloween is finally here! We hope some of you managed to get to some events at the Bram Stoker Festival last week, which took place at various locations around Dublin. It really was a great festival and something you should definitely check out in 2015.

An Irish Halloween would be nothing without the interesting and often very sweet food that accompanies it. Below you'll find one of my favourite Tourireland blogs from last year, which takes a look at another Irish Halloween tradition. Hope you enjoy and have a great night tonight.

One of my favorite Halloween traditions is the Barnbrack/Barmbrack– a fruity infused bread with a long tradition. Although its orgins have been lost down through the centuries, it was most probably derived from Celtic times as within the brack, small items were placed , which, when found, were thought to be an indicator for the year ahead. Initially in the brack were: a pea, a stick, a piece of cloth, a small coin (originally a silver sixpence) and a ring.

pea: the person would not marry that year
stick: “to beat one’s wife with”, you will have an unhappy marriage or continually be in disputes
cloth/rag: you will have bad luck or be poor
coin: you will enjoy good fortune or be rich
ring: you will be wed within the year. Nowadays, commercially produced barmbracks for the Halloween market still include a toy ring.

But if you would like to bake this for yourself and perhaps put in your own chosen items, here is a great recipe!

• 225g / 8oz Self Raising Flour
• 375g packet of dried Fruit Mix
• 300ml / 1/2 pint Cold Tea
• 125g / 4oz Caster Sugar
• 1 Egg (beaten)
• Good pinch Mixed Spice
• Ring or other Charms
• Honey or Golden Syrup (for decoration)


1. Place the fruits and tea in a bowl and leave to soak overnight.
2. Add the sugar, the egg, the flour and the mixed spice and mix well.
3. Wrap the ring and any other charms in greaseproof paper and stir into mixture.
4. Transfer to a greased and base lined 20cm/8? round cake tin or 900g/2lb loaf tin.
5. Bake in a pre-heated oven 170°C/325°F/Gas 3 for approx. 1 hour or until the cake has risen and is firm to the touch.
6. Cool on a wire tray. When the cake is cold, wrap it in greaseproof paper and keep for two days before cutting.
7. Melted honey or golden syrup may be brushed over brack before cutting.


And after you make the brack, why not settle down and read all about some more of Ireland's Halloween traditions or perhaps some of her Haunted Hotels!

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