St Patrick's Day Fruit and Spice Bread

READY IN: 1hr 5mins
Recipe by Zurie

Adapted from a recipe by Sarah Cook in GoodFood magazine. Best eaten warm, freshly baked. It's best by far not to substitute any ingredient.

Top Review by awalde

I'm glad we tried this delicious traditional bread. <br/>It was really easy to prepare as I had all the ingredients I needed. For the spices I used: cinnamon, nutmeg, little spice-bread mix and cardamom.<br/>I prepared all the dry ingredients the evening before and added the liquid only in the morning.<br/>I used about 1/3 of cup less liquid, perhaps my oats adsorbed less than others.<br/>After placing the dough over a floured baking sheet I formed the bread directly there, made the cross and we baked it. In this way we had a delicious St.Patrick's bread, still warm from the oven.<br/>So yummy! Thanks a lot Zurie and a big HUG!

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 4 ounces oats (rolled breakfast oats)
  • 7 ounces flour, all-purpose
  • 7 ounces wholewheat flour (plus extra for dusting)
  • 2 ounces butter, firm, cut into small dice
  • 4 ounces superfine sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
  • 2 teaspoons mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces raisins, golden, seedless (sultanas)
  • 2 ounces dates, finely chopped (fresh is lovely if available)
  • 3 tablespoons mixed peel (dried mixed peel, used for Christmas baking)
  • 16 fluid oz buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 -4 tablespoons sugar, dark brown (demerara, or use any brown sugar)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 deg F.
  2. In a food processor, whizz the oats and butter together. (Can also be done with fingertips, saving you cleaning the processor!).
  3. Tip into a big bowl, and stir in the 2 flours, superfine sugar, baking soda, mixed spice, salt, raisins, dates and mixed peel.
  4. Pour over the buttermilk and vanilla, and stir in briskly with a wooden spoon.
  5. Tip on to a flour-dusted surface and gently form into a flattish ball. Transfer to a baking tin (cover it with baking paper first).
  6. Sprinkle over the dark brown sugar (any brown sugar will do) and press the sugar in, all over the top. To be traditional, cut a cross in the top of the bread.
  7. Bake for about 35 minutes, until crusty on the outside. Do test with a skewer, as ovens can vary a lot. Allow more baking time if necessary.
  8. Nicest if eaten warm, in thick slices, slathered with real butter!

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a