Old Fashioned English Tea Loaf (Dairy-Free / Egg-Free / Fat-Free)

* 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.

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5 from 4 votes

Old Fashioned English Tea Loaf

It might be old-fashioned, but tea loaf rocks! It's perfect for serving for 'elevenses' or as a mid-afternoon 'pick me up'. It also makes a delicious after-school and travel snack. It's incredibly easy to make. You simply soak the dried fruit in a cup of tea for a few hours, then mix all the ingredients together and bake.
Hands-on time10 mins
Total Time6 hrs
Course: Afternoon Tea, Dessert, Elevenses, Snack, Treat
Cuisine: English
Keyword: Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Tea Loaf, Vegan Cake, Vegan Treats
Servings: 10

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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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With love,

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54 thoughts on “Old Fashioned English Tea Loaf (Dairy-Free / Egg-Free / Fat-Free)

  1. p.s. Forgot to add that I used 2 teaspoons of baking powder per 100g of flour. My fruit was 150g raisins, 100g chopped apricots and 100g glacé cherries (these were with natural fruit colouring).

  2. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe. Once in a while, I used to have this in the evening but now I prefer having a hot pot of tea; variety keeps changing, sometimes I go with green tea and sometimes I prefer oolong tea. Makes me refreshed for the second half.

  3. this is a great recipe. thanks. Used something like this with all bran, but prefer this as it has less sugar. tweaked it for christmas by using mulled wine instead of tea. worked a treat! ( good for cake and a pudding!)

  4. 5 stars
    My go to breakfast recipe- I make a loaf on weekends and cut slices in the AM before leaving for work. Has withstood me fiddling with it too (e.g. using unsweetened Mango puree in lieu of jam and possibly some of the water, fresh apple chunks, etc.)!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind feedback Ursula! ❤️ I’m thrilled to hear how much you’re enjoying the recipe… AND that it withstands modifications! ☺️

  5. 5 stars
    I make this a LOT!!! I use coconut sugar, just 1/4 cup and a little sprinkled on top before baking. I add sweet cinnamon to my spice mix. It’s delicious and nobody believes me when I say its totally vegan and low sugar!!

    1. Hey Jayne, I’m so happy to hear how useful you’re finding this recipe! I love the idea of swapping the cane sugar for coconut sugar and adding a touch of cinnamon. I’m definitely going to give this a try next time! xx

      1. 5 stars
        I’ve since tried using molasses in place of jam and I now omit the sugar altogether (well…I still sprinkle a bit on top!). It totally withstands this change and gives it a new depth. I find it sweet enough with the fruit anyway – Making another batch tomorrow. Trouble is it doesn’t last long enough!! x

        1. Hey Jayne! I’m loving all the different versions you’re making of this tea loaf! I really looking forward to trying molasses instead of marmalade. I love molasses!! ☺️

  6. This is a wonderful recipe. I may post it on instagram. I used PG Tips Apple and Cinnamon tea, raspberry jam, mixed fruit, plain flour, dark brown sugar and mixed spice. The loaf turned out amazing, I can’t believe that there is no fat, egg or dairy! Thank you Sharon. xxx

    1. It’s an absolute pleasure Lauren! I’m so pleased you liked the tea loaf! ☺️ The combination of ingredients you used sounds delicious. I imagine all the loaf is gone by now, but next time you make it be sure to share a pic on Instagram. I’d love to see it!! xx

  7. 5 stars
    My partner thought all “nice “ food was a no no after having to go on a low fat diet after gallbladder disease. He can’t believe how moist and good for him this cake is. Used homemade rhubarb and ginger jam it was all I had – absolutely divine. Thank you for sharing this recipe it’s certainly put a smile back on his face !!

    1. Oh Judy, this made me smile so much!! I’m so happy to hear how much your partner enjoyed the tea loaf! It can be tricky when we have to adapt our diets for health reasons, but hopefully your partner has now seen that dietary restriction doesn’t mean he has to miss out on tasty treats! ☺️ Sending much love to you both 💕

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