Yorkshire Barm Brack with Wenslydale for Best of British

Uncategorized | August 11, 2012 | By

One of the things I love about visiting tea rooms in Yorkshire is being served a piece of Wenslydale cheese with a slice of fruit cake, it’s a fabulous combination and a real treat, if you’ve never tried it I can recommend it.

When I saw that Karen at Lavender and Lovage was hosting Best of British for the Yorkshire region, it was a no-brainer that I should make a traditional Yorkshire Barm Brack and serve it with a wedge of Hawes Wenslydale cheese. 

Yorkshire Barm Brack


550g/ dried fruit – sultanas, currants and raisins
225g /4oz candied peel, chopped
225g /8 oz glace cherries, halved
300ml/10 fl oz cold, strong, black “Yorkshire” or other tea
150g/5½ oz butter, slightly softened
150g/5½ oz soft, dark brown sugar
3 large eggs
225g/10oz all purpose/plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp black treacle/molasses
100ml/3 fl oz whisky
1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
2 tsp lemon juice
110g/4oz ground almonds

  1. Place all the dried fruits in a large bowl, pour the tea over, stir well, then cover with a tea towel and leave overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 170°C (160C Fan)/325°F/Gas 3.
  3. Line a 22cm/8½” cake tin (I used a square tin) with greaseproof paper or baking parchment and grease lightly with a little butter.
  4. Place both the butter and sugar into a roomy baking bowl. Cream
    the butter into the sugar until light, smooth and creamy using either a
    fork or electric hand whisk.
  5. Mix the flour with the baking powder. Beat one egg into the
    creamed butter, then beat in a third of the flour. Repeat until all the
    eggs and flour are used up.
  6. Finally, gently stir in the treacle, whisky, nutmeg and lemon juice to the cake mixture using a spoon or spatula.
  7. Drain the dried fruits of the tea and add the ground almonds. Stir
    well then add to the cake mixture, again stirring gently until all the
    fruits are incorporated into the mixture. Make sure you do stir gently
    so as not to knock the air out of the mixture.
  8. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and gently level the
    surface. Cook in the preheated oven for 2 – 2½ hours or until dark,
    golden brown.
  9. Remove the cake from the oven and place on to a cooling rack and
    leave the cake to cool in the tin. Once cooled it is ready to eat. The
    cake keeps well when stored in an airtight tin. 

It’s a lovely moist fruit cake, there is a hint of whisky flavour, not surprising given how much there is in it!  The black treacle and dark brown sugar also add a lovely depth to the flavour.  I probably had my oven a little too high as it was ready a little soon and is a bit more damp in the middle than I would have liked.  It’s an easy recipe to make and definitely one to make again.

If you would like to enter the Best of British challenge which is sponsored for the first six
months by New World Appliances  proud BRITISH manufacturers
of kitchen appliances.  Each month, one entrant will be picked AT RANDOM to receive a
£50 Amazon voucher.  And, at the end of the six month period there will be a regional showdown, with a judge to pick the best entry  New World Appliances have kindly offered £300 of Amazon
vouchers for the overall winner, so if you enter every month you have 6
chances to win the grand prize!
We’ll be showcasing the entries both on the Face of New World blog
and on host blogs and promoting the recipes through Facebook and
Twitter, with all your entries fully credited back to your blogs. The full rules are posted on The Face of New World Appliances.

The Best of British Challenge has been organised by Karen Burns Booth of Lavender and Lovage and Fiona McLean of London Unattached.  Many thanks to them both for all their hard work.

I’m also entering this cake for Alphabakes August 2012. as it is a Teabread for the letter ‘T’.  Alphabakes is organised by Ros at The More than Occasional Baker and Caroline at Caroline Makes.

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CheleThe KitchenMaidJohanna GGGRecipe JunkieDom at Belleau Kitchen Recent comment authors

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He he, that's funny. I'm just writing up my Best of British now and was trying to find the link to your round-up from last month AND what do I find, but your entry.

It looks delicious Janice and fruit cake and cheese is such a great combination, but I never remember it when I have fruit cake on the go. Great entry for BoB Yorkshire 🙂

Fiona Maclean

Not fair. I am on a 2 of 2:5 and what do you do? make CAKE!!! and CAKE I WANT TO EAT!!!


Sorry Fiona, you will just have to sniff it from afar! hee hee

Rebecca Subbiah

this looks wonderful never tried this combo before most give it a try 🙂

Baking Addict

I've been hearing a lot about cheese and fruit cake so I'm glad you made one. I'm not a huge fan of fruit cake but this looks delicious! Thanks for entering this to AlphaBakes.

Debs Dust Bunny

My hubby will go mad for this cake and Wenslydake is my FAVOURITE cheese! This recipe will most certainly be on my 'TO DO' list.

Karen S Booth

A PERFECT recipe for Yorkshire and a PERFECT post highlighting the NEED for cheese with cake, and apple pie too as it happens! A REALLY lovely entry thanks Janice and your photos are also LUSH! Thanks! Karen

Phil in the Kitchen

I love this combination and it definitely reminds me of the Dales. In Swaledale, of course, you'll get a wedge of their cheese instead and I'm not quite sure which I'd prefer. Perhaps I should try both just to be certain.


ooh where do get the Swaledale cheese? Other than in Swaledale, of course!

Dom at Belleau Kitchen

I think this is a very similar thing to a Lincolnshire Plum Bread which we also serve with cheese… there is nothing more divine that sweet fruit cake with cheese, i'm in heaven looking at these pics Janice, divine!!… nice Yorkshire link too!

Recipe Junkie

ohhh – love cheese and fuit cake.

Johanna GGG

Cheese and fruitcake sounds delicious – I love eating cheese and fruit bread which I was told was very dutch! love your dark moist barm brack

The KitchenMaid

Wow, this looks amazing – I LOVE Christmas cake and cheese, even though I am about as far from Yorkshire as you can get. Why is it called Barm Brack, by the way? I've always wondered…


Oh my gosh, how those photos are making my mouth water. I've never tried this with Wenslydale though, is this the traditional way? Fill like I am missing out now lol


Yes, Chele it is the traditional way to eat fruitcake, you need to visit the north of england, it's on the menu in all the tea shops! Or just go out and buy some Wenslydale and make a fruit cake!