Sunday, 16 November 2014

Tea loaf cake

Classics become classics for a reason – usually because they’re great.  There is something about a tea loaf cake that is inherently nostalgic.  I feel it has always been in my life and I can clearly remember, from a young age, the smell of it being toasted and buttered to have with a cup of tea on Sunday afternoons.  Back then I wasn’t a fan of it being toasted but I like it now.

I enjoy making any recipe where soaking of fruit is involved, be it an alcoholic bath for Christmas cake fruits or – as in this instance – tea.  Each time I pass the bowl I cannot resist tinkering with it; carefully mixing the fruit to ensure each sultana and raisin gets a chance to soak and absorb the flavours.  What is unusual in this recipe is that you add the sugar at this stage too – I’d not seen that before.  The only thing to be aware of with this recipe is the soak time i.e. you need to start it a day before you wish to make it.  Other than that, it’s a doddle!

When you spoon the cake into the tin it will seem like the mix is all fruit and no cake.  That’s often the way with these sort of bakes but don’t worry, the magic of the oven will sort it all out and I promise you’ll end up with a lovely tea loaf!  Mine seems to have come out huge (even by my standards) – not sure why!

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time you will know my only rule for buttering a slice of fruit loaf: the butter has to be thick enough that you leave teeth marks in it when you take a bite.  If your dentist couldn’t identify you from the impression you have left in the slice of fruit loaf then you need to reconsider your approach to buttering. 


250g sultanas
250g raisins
250g caster sugar
375ml cold tea – any tea you like!
1 egg
500g self raising flour
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg


The day before baking place the sultanas, raisins, caster sugar and cold tea in a bowl and mix together. 

Cover the bow and leave to stand overnight.  Stir occasionally.

Preheat the oven to 180C/fan oven 160C/350F/gas mark 4.

Line a 900g loaf tin with baking paper.

Beat the egg and then stir into the bowl of soaked fruit.

Add the flour and spices to the fruit mix and stir well to ensure that everything is well combined and there are no clumps of flour.

Spoon into the prepared tin and level the surface.

Bake for approximately 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the loaf comes out clean.

Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before de-tinning and leaving to cool completely on a wire rack.

Serve in slices with thick butter.  As the loaf ages it is delicious to toast.

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.



Gloria Baker said...

This is a beautiful loaf Cake CC! I love all these fruits look yumm!

Baking Addict said...

Can't beat a good classic. Love your buttering approach - my dad will put at least twice that amount of butter and say "it's only a little bit of butter"!

Snowy said...

I love tea breads and I'd love a slice of this one - looks delicious.

Catherine said...

THis is a wonderful bread for coffee in the morning. Catherine

Choclette Blogger said...

Ooh I haven't made a tea loaf in an age, what a good idea. And you are dead right - this is the sort of thing that needs to be thickly spread with butter.

Lisa Niblock said...

When I soak fruit I always am drawn to smelling it! I agree with you on classic bakes, they are classics for a reason and hopefully they stay classics for years to come!

I love your tea loaf, perhaps I will have to make it myself ... unless of course you have any left? ;0)

The Happy Whisk said...

Wonderful loaf.

Cakelaw said...

I enjoy a good tea loaf too. There is a great AWW recipe for tea loaf that I must dig out soon and make again.

MonuTeena RecipesPassion said...

such a great looking loaf :) nom nom pass me a slice

Kate Glutenfreealchemist said...

I can imagine eating this fresh from the oven or lightly toasted, smothered in butter gently melting around the fruit....... Yum! Nice loaf!!

Maggie said...

Tea loaf is a great standby in my house because it freezes so well, I've never eaten it toasted though.

Stuart Vettese said...

Got to admit, I've never tried tea loaf as I never used to like dried fruit. I can handle it a bit better these days, so your recipe does look tempting.

Jason Underwood said...

Oh my gosh! I can almost feel my belly rumble in desire to take a bite of that tea loaf. Your philosophy on butter amount is one that I'm willing to adapt to. I'm definitely whipping up a loaf of my own. Thank you so much for sharing that wonderful recipe! Happy baking!

Jason Underwood @ La Patisserie

Jo said...

Haha I love your approach to buttering! It's the only way to truly enjoy a tea loaf. I'm also in awe of your cake rising abilities. Are you secretly a cake whisperer? They always seem to rise so magnificently.

Anne Szadorska said...

Tea loaf is one of my favourite bakes, I love its simple homeliness and the fact of course it has my favourite things all combined!

Babsie said...

That looks so gorgeous! I can't wait to make it.

Babsie said...

Thank you so much for this recipe. I just made a loaf, it's currently cooling on the rack. It's HUGE! I can't wait to try a slice, I don't remember the last time I had a piece of Tea Loaf Cake.