by | March 14, 2014 · 4:45 pm

It might be old-fashioned, but I love tea loaf! 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 great lunchbox treat, after school snack, or tasty sustenance for long road trips. While Lil’ L still won’t eat dried fruits in trail mixes or granolas (still a texture thing apparently!), he’ll happily eat them in this tea loaf. ;)

English Fruity Tea Loaf (Dairy-free / Egg-free / Fat-free / Vegan)

As cakes go, this tea loaf is pretty healthy. It’s filled with nutrient-rich dried fruits and wholegrain flour, contains a relatively low amount of sugar (compared to regular cakes) and it’s fat free!

English Fruity Tea Loaf (Dairy-free / Egg-free / Fat-free / Vegan)

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 an egg but I always bake it eggless and it turns out absolutely fine. I can’t actually tell the difference!

I’ve made countless loaves in the past year or so and I’ve yet to have a fail…

Vegan Fruity Tea Loaf (Fat-free)

… that said, I’ve yet to attempt a gluten-free version of the loaf. Lately, every time I try baking gluten-free, it ends up a total fail! If anyone does attempt a GF version of this loaf, I’d love to hear how you get on.

This loaf is incredibly simple 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!

Dried Fruit for Tea Loaf

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Hands on time: 10 minutes    Soaking: 4-5 hours (can be left overnight)
Cooking time: 1hr 15 minutes

250ml / 8½ fl oz / 1 cup strongly brewed tea (I use green tea)
225g / 8 oz / 1 ½ cups mixed dried fruit (I use raisins, sultanas, goji berries, candied citrus peel)
113g / 4 oz / ½ cup unrefined caster sugar
1 TBSP marmalade (or apricot spread)
227g / 8 oz / 1 2/3 cups fine wholemeal (wholewheat) or chapatti flour (I use the latter)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon or mixed spice
3 TBSP water

Get prepared:
Soak the dried fruit in the brewed tea for 4-5 hours (can be left overnight).
Lightly grease a 2lb loaf pan and line the bottom with non stick paper baking. My pan dimensions are 13cm x 23cm (5″ x 9″) measured from the top of the pan.
Pre-heat the oven to 160C / 325F / Gas 3.

Ready, set, go!
Tip the dried fruit and any remaining soaking liquid into a mixing bowl. Stir in the sugar and marmalade. Sift in the flour, baking powder and spice. Add 3 TBSP water and stir until thoroughly combined. Tip into the prepared loaf tin. Spread the mixture evenly in the tin using the back of a metal spoon. Bake for 1¼ hours, or until a tooth pick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove and leave to rest in the tin for 30 minutes or so. Gently run a knife round the edge of the tin, tip upside down and shake to release the cake. Place on a wire rack until completely cooled.
Stored in an airtight container in the fridge, the loaf will keep for up to five days. It also freezes well. (I always keep a few slices in the freezer for lunchboxes).
The loaf is delicious served on its own, or with marmalade or apricot jam.

Lovely cup of tea and English fruity tea loaf

 Are you a fan of fruity cakes? If so, what’s your all-time favourite? If you’ve got any recipes, please do link up below.

Have a great weekend everyone! xx

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