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Saturday, 14 April 2012

Irish Tea Brack

Irish Tea Brack

This is a popular fruit loaf in Ireland. I sometimes buy fruit loaves in the supermarkets; they have some that are dairy & egg-free. I've always wanted to try out a proper homemade tea brack recipe though. After searching for a vegan recipe, I found that most of them used egg-replacer which I didn't have. So I decided to start off from a non-vegan recipe that I veganised.
I replaced the egg with 1/2 a banana. Only half was just the right amount to act as a binding agent without leaving the banana flavour behind. I also reduced the sugar because I thought the fruits would provide enough sweetness and also because I like this to be more like a loaf than cake. (I could have reduced the sugar even more I think...)

The original (non-vegan) recipe said to bake this at 160 degrees Celsius for one hour. But I started baking at a higher temperature then reduced gradually. It took longer than an hour and in the end I baked it for an hour and a half. It might have been because I used prunes and they contain a bit more moisture. So, if you are not using prunes, you might need less baking time.

Irish Tea Brack

100 g muscovado (or soft dark brown) sugar
1 tablespoon molasses (optional)
300 ml black tea (I brewed strong Lyons loose tea)
350 g mixed dried fruits (I used raisins, chopped dried apricots, prunes and dried cranberries, you can reduce the amount to 250g for a bit less fruit)
1/2 banana, mashed
240 g flour (I used 75g wholewheat and the rest plain white)
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  • Add dried fruits to hot tea. Dissolve in the sugar. Let soak for about 15 minutes.
  • Mix baking powder and flour.
  • Add liquid ingredients, stir and mix well.
  • Add mash bananas.
  • Pour into a loaf tin.
  • Bake for 1h and 30 minutes (or until a metal skewer comes out clean). I baked this at 180 degrees Celsius for the first 20 minutes, then lowered to 160 degrees for the next 50 minutes, and then 170 degrees for the final 20 minutes. I turned off the oven and let it sit in there for another 10 minutes.
  • (But do the fork test to see when yours is done. You might need less time...)
  • Allow to cool before cutting.

I liked the way it turned out; it was crusty on the outside but moist inside. This is nice smeared with a bit of vegan margarine too! Enjoy with a cuppa tea.

Irish Tea Brack


  1. Its so simple and beautiful - I absolutely adore that shiny coat on the top. ^^ I'll be making a variation on this very soon!

  2. this looks so delicious...with black tea. This is great.

  3. Mmm, that looks so moist, perfect!

  4. Oooh my dad loves fruit cake and this is perfect comfort food for him. Will surprise him with this. Thank you for posting. I'm off to check out your Etsy shop.

  5. I'm going to try this because it looks delicious :)
    Love your blog, it is so inspiring :)

  6. I was looking for vegan brack recipes and this looks delicious, it's so grey and wintry here right now and all I am craving is comforting cake to go with my coffee. :)

  7. So delicious!! Do you know if it can be frozen?

    1. I haven't tried freezing it. I am guessing it will be like freezing cake.


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