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Irish Tea Brack made with organic mixed spice

Mixed spice is a classic blend in the UK and Ireland, and one many of us will be familiar with from our childhoods. Like all good traditional recipes, I got this one from my mum.  My mum’s recipe uses ordinary self-raising flour and caster sugar, but I have replaced them here with wholemeal self-raising and soft dark brown sugar to give a darker, slightly denser result. Only a small amount of spice is required, and it works really well with the tea and dark brown sugar to create a sweet teatime treat.

Serves: 6


  • 350g dried mixed fruit
  • 300ml strong, hot tea
  • 2 tbsp Irish whiskey (optional)
  • 350g wholemeal self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp Pinch Organic Mixed Spice
  • 250g unrefined soft dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Irish Tea Brack


The night before you plan to bake, you need to soak the fruit. Put the dried fruit in a large mixing bowl, pour over the tea and add the whiskey if using. Cover and leave overnight to allow the fruit to absorb the tea. When ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4 and line a 7” square or 8” round baking tin with baking parchment. Sift the flour with the baking powder and mixed spice together, then add the sugar to the mixing bowl containing the fruit and tea. Stir well with a spoon, add the egg and continue to stir until the mixture is combined. If the mixture is dry and is not coming together, add a little milk. Put the mixture into the lined baking tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour 15 mins. Don’t be tempted to open the oven door during the cooking time, or the cake will drop, and you will end up with tea brick, not tea brack! When the cooking time is up, turn the cake of the tin. Leave for 10-15 mins then turn it out of the tin and leave on a wire rack to cool, The cake will keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

How To Serve

Serve in slices with butter and a cup of tea.

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