Irish Pumpkin Brack

This recipe is inspired by the traditional Irish Barmbrack or tea loaf. It’s soft, dense and moist, and tasty! And, it’s made from pumpkin – and therefore Halloween themed in my opinion! It’s perfect for this time of year as the need for warm cups of tea increases, and, squashes and pumpkins are in season!


  • A small bit of Pure soya butter for greasing
  • 200g light muscavado sugar
  • 200g grated pumpkin flesh (try squash either)
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 100g raisins
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 200g gluten free self-raising flour (normal flour will work too)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • A generous grating of nutmeg
  • 4 tbsp vinegar
  • 4 tsp baking soda
  • The brine from one can of chickpeas

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1-2 hours approx.
Makes: 1 loaf





  • Preheat the oven to 170°. Lightly grease a bread loaf tin (22 x 12cm or something like that) and line it with greaseproof paper/baking parchment.
  • Weigh out and prepare all your ingredients.
  • Add the lemon zest and juice, raisins and ground almonds to the pumpkin flesh in a large bowl.
  • Add the baking soda to the vinegar in a food mixing bowl.
  • Add the sugar to this and beat using an electric whisk for 2-3 minutes until pale and creamy.
  • Add this to the pumpkin mixture and lightly stir.
  • Sieve the flour and add to the mix along with the spices. Fold it all in together until well combined.
  • Using an electric whisk beat the chickpea brine until it holds soft peaks like what egg whites would do.
  • Stir a heaped tablespoon of this into the brack mixture to loosen it and then fold the rest in as lightly as possible.
  • Pour the mixture into a prepared load tin and even out the surface.
  • Bake it in the oven for around 1 hour at the temperature recommended.
  • Check if ready by inserting a skewer or knife into the centre. It should come out clean, but if it doesn’t, leave it in for longer and turn down the heat if it is starting to burn out the outside.
  • Remove the loaf from the tin and leave in the oven at an even lower heat near the end to ensure thorough baking.
  • Then let it cool on a wire rack before slicing. Don’t be tempted to slice into it before it cools! It could fall apart!
  • Enjoy with some soya butter and a cup of tea.