{Gluten-Free} Barmbrack Loaf

Just a quick post today, to share a gluten-free version of the Irish quick bread, barmbrack. It’s traditionally served around Halloween or the new year but since today is St. Patrick’s Day in America I thought it would be fun to do an Irish-inspired recipe. “Bairín breac” — which comes from the Irish bairín, meaning loaf and breac meaning speckled — is so easy to do gluten-free, with a simple blend of almond flour and arrowroot. I did a combination of regular and golden raisins here, soaked over night in black tea, though you could do either one alone. A little bit of coconut sugar rounds out the rich flavor of this naturally sweet loaf that is perfect with afternoon tea or as a morning snack.

This is how James Joyce described barmbrack in a short story from The Dubliners: “The fire was nice and bright and on one of the side-tables were four very big barmbracks. These barmbracks seemed uncut; but if you went closer you would see that they had been cut into long thick even slices and were ready to be handed round at tea.” As I am quite fond of the idea of tea-time, especially by a fire, this sounds just right.

Til next time – N x

Need substitutions? Swap tiger nut or another nut flour for the almond flour and tapioca for the arrowroot. Try maple syrup or brown sugar instead of the coconut sugar.

{Gluten-Free} Barmbrack Loaf

Recipe by Nicole SpiridakisCourse: Breakfast



Note that the raisins need to be soaked overnight so plan to begin this bread the day before you make it. Recipe is adapted from Braes Bites.


  • 260 g/2 cups almond flour + 2 Tablespoons

  • 70 g/1/2 cup arrowroot

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar

  • 1/4 cup black tea

  • 1/2 cup raisins

  • 1/2 cup golden raisins


  • Soak the raisins overnight: In a medium bowl, place raisins, 2 tea bags, and 1 1/2 cup boiling water. Let this steep for about 10-12 hours
  • After soaking the raisins, drain the tea and reserve 1/4 cup. Remove the tea bags.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9×5 loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl combine the almond flour, arrowroot, baking powder, and salt and whisk to combine.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, applesauce, coconut sugar, and tea. Stir in the raisins. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and stir until just combined.
  • Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan, place in the oven, and bake for 45-50 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a rack to cool, 10 minutes, then turn out onto the rack to cool completely. Let loaf cool completely before serving. Loaf will keep, well wrapped in the fridge, for five days.
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