* This recipe was originally posted in March 2014. The page was updated in August 2019.
It might be old-fashioned, but tea loaf rocks! It’s perfect for serving for ‘elevenses’ or as a mid-afternoon ‘pick me up’ with a lovely cup of tea. It also makes a tasty after-school or travel snack. This is one of my all-time favourite treats for road trips!
I have my mum’s friend to thank for the recipe. I arrived at my mum’s house one day to discover this incredible smell wafting out of the kitchen. It turned out to be this tea loaf!
Back home, I couldn’t wait to have a try at making my own. The original recipe contained egg but I omitted the egg, tweaked the wet/dry ratio a little and it turned out absolutely fine. My family can’t actually tell the difference!
As cakes go, this tea loaf is pretty healthy. It’s filled with nutrient-rich dried fruits, whole grain flour, and it’s fat free!
It’s incredibly easy to make too. You simply soak the dried fruit in a cup of tea for a few hours, then mix all the ingredients together and bake.
Old Fashioned English Tea Loaf
- 250 ml / 1 cup strongly brewed black or green tea
- 225 g / 1½ cups mixed dried fruit (I use raisins, sultanas, goji berries, candied citrus peel)
- 113 g / ½ cup unrefined cane sugar or coconut sugar
- 1 TBSP marmalade or apricot jam
- 227 g / 1⅔ cups fine wholemeal (whole wheat pastry) or chapatti flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon or mixed spice
- 3 TBSP water
- Soak the dried fruit in the brewed tea for 4-5 hours (can be left overnight).
- Grease a 2lb loaf pan and line the bottom with non-stick baking paper (or use a non-stick loaf liner).
- Pre-heat the oven to 160C (160C for fan also) / 325F.
- Tip the dried fruit and any remaining tea into a mixing bowl. Stir in the sugar and marmalade/jam. Sift in the flour, baking powder and spice. Tip any remaining wheatgerm from the sieve into the bowl. Add 3 TBSP water and stir until thoroughly combined.
- Tip the mixture into the prepared tin and level the top.
- Bake for 1¼ hours, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Leave to rest in the tin for 30 minutes or so, then transfer to a wire rack until completely cooled.
- Stored in an airtight container, the loaf will keep for up to five days in the fridge. It also freezes well.
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If you make this Tea Loaf (or any other recipes on my blog), I’d love to hear your feedback and any suggestions for adaptations! Tag your photos with #bitofthegoodstuff on social media and they will find their way to me. You can also connect with me on my social media channels here:
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