from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • noun A currant-bun.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • noun An Irish yeasted bread with sultanas and raisins.


  • Nowadays, a barmbrack can be bought in the supermarket but doesn't usually contain all of the above-listed items -- many cakes only contain a ring.

    Halloween's Celtic Roots

  • Another food associated with this festival is fruitcake or bairin breac (barmbrack) which had items in it that were used for foretelling the future -- a pea (or rag) meant poverty, a bean meant wealth, a religious medal meant the finder may enter a convent or seminary, a ring meant marriage, and a stick meant that the person who received this in their slice of cake would be beaten by the marriage partner.

    Halloween's Celtic Roots

  • Maria superintended the distribution of the barmbrack and saw that every woman got her four slices.



The word 'barmbrack' comes from Irish words meaning 'speckled cake'.