Irish Tea Bread, also known as Tea Brack, is somewhere between a quick bread and a fruit cake. With brown sugar, whole wheat flour, and tea-soaked dried fruit, it is delightfully dense and sweet and is best spread with salted butter and served with a strong cup of tea. Enjoy our take on this Irish classic.
Irish Tea Bread Recipe
- 1 ½ cups dried currants
- 1 cup chopped dried dates
- 1 cup (8oz.) hot, brewed black tea (such as English or Irish Breakfast tea)*
- 1 egg
- ½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 2 Tbsp. butter, melted and cooled a little
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. Kosher salt
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- ½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
- 2 Tbps. turbinado sugar or crystal sugar (we used crystal sugar)
*You can also use any fruity black tea, but we do not recommend floral teas.
- Pour the hot tea over the dried currants and dates and set aside for at least 30 minutes.
- Grease a bread loaf pan with butter, or generously spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. We do not recommend using a convection setting for this recipe.
- In a large bowl, whisk the egg, brown sugar, and melted butter until the sugar is mostly dissolved.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon until well-combined. If using chopped nuts, whisk them in now. Set aside.
- Add the dried fruit and tea into the egg/sugar mixture (make sure the tea is not too hot or it could cook the egg). Whisk until it is all well-combined.
- Add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and fold it in just until it is all moistened. Try not to over-mix the batter. It will be thick.
- Spread the batter into the prepared pan and evenly sprinkle the top of the batter with turbinado sugar.
- Bake for 45 minutes, until a toothpick or knife inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. Add a little more time in 5 minute intervals if necessary. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan then turn out onto a wire rack. Allow to cool completely before slicing and serving with soft butter to spread. Yields one loaf.