Delicious tea-soaked dried fruits fill this soft, moist, sweet bread. Traditionally served with a spread of butter alongside afternoon tea.

Traditional English Tea Loaf Delicious tea-soaked dried fruits fill this soft, moist, sweet bread. Traditionally served with a spread of butter alongside afternoon tea.

If you've never tried a slice of English Tea Loaf then you must! It's a delicious tea time cake, and best served alongside a nice cup of tea at around 3pm!

For those of you unfamiliar with tea loaves, you may think it a bit odd to use tea in a cake, however, these types of cakes originate back to wartime days when butter and other dairy products were scarce and pantry ingredients were thus used to make all manner of recipes.

This doesn't contain any butter or milk, and just a small egg for binding. So on the plus side, if you're watching your weight, this would be a good option!

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The cake itself is incredibly easy to make, no fancy mixing, just add all the ingredients as instructed to a bowl and mix well and pop in the oven. We've added walnuts to this recipe.

Feel free to swap the fruits and nuts around to suit what you have in your pantry, just make sure to stick to the weights in the ingredients so you get a good bake.

The cake is not particularly sweet, so if you do have a sweet tooth, feel free to double up on the sugar quantity.

Traditional English Tea Loaf Delicious tea-soaked dried fruits fill this soft, moist, sweet bread. Traditionally served with a spread of butter alongside afternoon tea.

What is English Tea Loaf?

A tea loaf is a traditional sweet English Bread, although it is more like a cake texture than a bread. It contains a variety of dried fruits which are soaked in tea overnight, and then baked and cooled.

It's usual to serve in slices with a spread of butter or a piece of cheese, together with a cup of tea, such as during an Afternoon Tea.

It doesn't contain any fat, such as butter or oil, and uses pantry ingredients.

What tea can I use?

You can use any strong tea. Traditionally, Yorkshire tea was used, however, variations are Earl grey tea, or any fruit teas.

Just make sure the tea is strong, and when making it, allow the tea bags to soak in the hot water for an hour or so in order to draw out as much flavor as possible.

What do you serve with Tea Loaf?

This tea loaf is delicious on its own, however, if you're planning on serving this for an Afternoon tea party, we would suggest some Savory Vol Au Vents, English Scones, Cream Filled Chocolate Eclairs and a Classic Victoria Sponge Cake.

Traditional English Tea Loaf. Delicious tea-soaked dried fruits fill this soft, moist, sweet bread. Traditionally served with a spread of butter alongside afternoon tea.

Recipe by Sheila Vango

Photos Lovefoodies

Prep Time

20 Minutes

Cook Time

55 - 60 minutes

Serves

8 Slices

Traditional English Tea Loaf Delicious tea-soaked dried fruits fill this soft, moist, sweet bread. Traditionally served with a spread of butter alongside afternoon tea.

Ingredients

3 1/2 oz or 100g Raisins
3 1/2 oz or 100g Glace Cherries or Cranberries
3 1/2 oz or 100g Sultanas
3 1/2 oz or 100g Walnuts or Pecan Nuts
7 Fl Oz or 200 ml Hot, Strong Tea (I used 4 Earl Grey tea bags)
1 Egg, beaten
1/2 Cup or 100g Regular Sugar (or Coconut Sugar if preferred)
1 2/3 Cups or 200g Plain Flour
1 Tsp Baking Powder

Instructions

1.Weigh out the dried fruit and add to a bowl.

Add the sugar followed by the hot tea. Mix well and cover, preferably overnight, but at least for 6 hours.

TIP

The stronger the tea the better. If using tea bags, use around 4 tea bags in the hot water and allow to steep for an hour or so before adding to the fruit.

Traditional English Tea Loaf. Soak fruits in tea

2. Preheat oven to 325 F or 175 C.

3. Line a 2lb loaf pan

Traditional English Tea Loaf. Line loaf pan

4. Take a large mixing bowl and transfer the soaked fruits to the bowl.

5. Then add the nuts, flour, baking powder and beaten egg. Using a wooden spoon, mix well until combined.

Traditional English Tea Loaf. Make batter

6. Transfer the batter to the baking pan and level the top. Place in the oven for around 55 - 60 minutes.

Traditional English Tea Loaf. Batter in pan

7. Once risen and golden brown on the top, (the top of the cake should be firm to touch) remove from the oven and transfer from the pan on to a cooling rack.

Traditional English Tea Loaf Delicious tea-soaked dried fruits fill this soft, moist, sweet bread. Traditionally served with a spread of butter alongside afternoon tea.

8. When cooled, cut into slices and serve as it is or spread with a little butter.

Traditional English Tea Loaf Delicious tea-soaked dried fruits fill this soft, moist, sweet bread. Traditionally served with a spread of butter alongside afternoon tea.

Optional, eat with a slice of apple and a piece of cheese.

Traditional English Tea Loaf Delicious tea-soaked dried fruits fill this soft, moist, sweet bread. Traditionally served with a spread of butter alongside afternoon tea.

Recipe Card

Traditional English Tea Loaf Delicious tea-soaked dried fruits fill this soft, moist, sweet bread. Traditionally served with a spread of butter alongside afternoon tea.

Traditional English Tea Loaf

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Delicious tea-soaked dried fruits fill this soft, moist, sweet bread. Traditionally served with a spread of butter alongside afternoon tea.

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 oz or 100g Raisins
  • 3 1/2 oz or 100g Glace Cherries or Cranberries
  • 3 1/2 oz or 100g Sultanas
  • 3 1/2 oz or 100g Walnuts or Pecan Nuts
  • 7 Fl Oz or 200 ml Hot, Strong Tea (I used 4 Earl Grey tea bags)
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 1/2 Cup or 100g Regular Sugar
  • 1 2/3 Cups or 200g Plain Flour
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder

Instructions

    1. Weigh out the dried fruit and add to a bowl. Add the sugar followed by the hot tea. Mix well and cover, preferably overnight, but at least for 6 hours.

    TIP: the stronger the tea the better. If using teabags, use around 4 tea bags in the hot water and allow to steep for an hour or so before adding to the fruit.

    2. Preheat oven to 325 F or 175 C.

    3. Line a 2lb loaf pan

    4. Take a large mixing bowl and transfer the soaked fruits to the bowl.

    5. Then add the nuts, flour, baking powder and beaten egg. Using a wooden spoon, mix well until combined.

    6. Transfer the batter to the baking pan and level the top. Place in the oven for around 55 - 60 minutes.

    7. Once risen and golden brown on the top, (the top of the cake should be firm to touch) remove from the oven and transfer from the pan on to a cooling rack.

    8. When cooled, cut in to slices and serve as it is or spread with a little butter.

    Optional, eat with a slice of apple and a pice of cheese.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 321Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 74mgCarbohydrates: 57gFiber: 3gSugar: 30gProtein: 6g

English Classics

Here's a selection of classic English Recipes for you to enjoy!

This post is part of Twinkl’s VE Day Campaign, and is featured in their Best Wartime Recipes to Celebrate VE Day from Home post.

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