Tea Loaf

I drink a lot of tea. I consider it to be a normal amount, but it’s probably well above average for my little corner of suburban Massachusetts.  Perfectly normal for Northern Ireland though.  And tea features in my baking this week.  This is a recipe for Tea Loaf.  A simple, straightforward bake that requires very little hands-on time.

Ideally, you should soak the fruit overnight, but I won’t judge you if you only have time to let it soak for a few hours.

Ideally, the loaf is best left for a day before you eat it, but I won’t judge you if you can’t wait and want to slice into it as soon as it’s (almost) cool.

Other than that, you mix the ingredients, spoon into a lined tin and bake!

Then slather it liberally in butter and demolish.  With a cup of tea, of course!


2 cups/300g/10oz self-raising flour

1 cup/150g/5oz mixed dried fruit

1 cup/225ml/8 fl oz hot tea

1 cup/150g/5oz dark brown sugar

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp mixed spice (pumpkin pie spice)

1 egg, beaten

1.  Place the sugar, spices and dried fruit in a bowl.  I use a very generous teaspoon of each of the spices.  Pour over the tea, mix well and leave to soak overnight.

2.  The next day, add the sifted flour and beaten egg to the fruit and tea.  Mix well and spoon into a lined loaf tin.  My loaf tin measures 23cmx12.5cmx5cm and was the perfect size for this bake.

3.  Bake at 325F/160C for approximately 60 minutes.  I’d start check from about 50 minutes because all ovens are different.  The tea loaf should be beautifully brown and if you insert a skewer it should come out clean.

4.  At this point, leave the loaf to cool in the tin.  You can also brush the top of the loaf with honey or maple syrup, which gives it a lovely glossy shine.

5.  If you can wait, leave until the next day before using.  Slice and butter liberally!

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