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Classic tea loaf recipe

Classic tea loaf recipe

26 ratings

You can't beat a classic tea loaf and this tried-and-tested recipe makes an excellent teatime treat. Serve with butter or without, but definitely with your favourite cuppa. See method

  • Serves 10
  • 1 hr 35 mins, plus at least 3 hrs soaking
  • 316 calories / serving
  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian
  • Dairy-free


  • 2 English breakfast teabags
  • 375g dried mixed fruit
  • 200g light brown soft sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 275g self-raising flour
  • 1 lemon, zested 
  • butter, to serve (optional)
No self-raising flour? Add 2 tsp baking powder for every 150g plain flour

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    2g 3%
  • Saturates

    1g 3%
  • Sugars

    44g 49%
  • Salt

    0.4g 6%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 67.7g Protein 5.1g Fibre 2.9g


  1. Put the teabags in a heatproof jug and fill with 300ml boiling water; set aside for 10 mins to brew. Put the dried fruit and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Discard the teabags and pour the tea over the fruit and sugar. Stir, cover, then set aside to soak for at least 3 hrs or overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C and line a 900g loaf tin with baking paper. Add the eggs to the soaked fruit (don’t worry if not all the tea has been absorbed and it seems runny). Mix well, then stir through the flour, lemon zest and a pinch of salt.
  3. Transfer to the prepared loaf tin, then bake for 1 hr 15 mins or until risen and firm, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 mins before turning out onto a wire rack. Slice immediately and serve warm, or leave to cool completely before slicing and serving with butter, if you like. The tea loaf will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container.

Tip: The flavours will develop over time, so making the loaf a day or two in advance will add more flavour.

Freezing and defrosting guidelines

In order to enjoy optimum flavour and quality, frozen items are best used within 3 months of their freezing date. For more tips on freezing and defrosting food, read our article Love Your Freezer.

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