St Patrick's Day Fruit and Spice Bread

Recipe by Zurie
READY IN: 1hr 5mins


  • 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)


  • Preheat oven to 350 deg F.
  • In a food processor, whizz the oats and butter together. (Can also be done with fingertips, saving you cleaning the processor!).
  • Tip into a big bowl, and stir in the 2 flours, superfine sugar, baking soda, mixed spice, salt, raisins, dates and mixed peel.
  • Pour over the buttermilk and vanilla, and stir in briskly with a wooden spoon.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Nicest if eaten warm, in thick slices, slathered with real butter!