Moira Young's tea loaf cake

(310 ratings)

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tea loaf fruit cake
tea loaf fruit cake
  • Serves: 8-10

  • Prep time:

  • Cooking time:

    (plus cooling time)
  • Total time:

  • Skill level: Easy peasy

  • Costs: Cheap as chips

This classic tea loaf is really tasty, moist and so easy to make. Best served sliced and buttered with a cup of tea. The best thing is it improves with keeping so put in an airtight box and you can enjoy it for weeks


  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of mixed, dried fruit
  • 1 cup of cold tea
  • 1tsp of mixed spice
  • 1oz of margarine
  • 2 cups of self-raising flour
  • 1 egg

Cup measures vary from country-to-country. In the US, a cup is 250ml. However, as long as you're using the same sized cup for all your measurements, your cake will work - cooking times may need to vary. For this recipe you could try using a tea cup.


  1. Put the sugar, dried fruit, tea, mixed spice and margarine into a pan.
  2. Slowly bring to boil, stirring all the time, and then let it stand to cool down.
  3. Add the flour and egg and beat the mixture together.
  4. Pour into a loaf tin and bake at 180C for 90 mins or until knife inserted is clear.
  5. Leave the cake in the tin for 10 mins, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Serve in thick slices with butter.

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  • 4
(310 ratings)

Your comments


I love this recipe, easy to foloow and make. I found if I leave it wrapped until the next day it becomes more moist, however I do have to hide it to achieve this!


I baked this tea loaf and it turned out great. However my loaf only took 60 minutes to bake!


This recipe looks great and very similar to the one I always bake. I've just started the tealoaf and will let you know the results.


My hubby loves tealoaf and this is very similar to the one I always bake, so I'm giving this recipe a try and will let you know how it turned out!


this is such an amazing recipe! so simple my kids can do it together and bakes beautifully even staying moist a few days later if ever it lasts that long! thanks sooo much

GTK Recipes ed

Hi Liz, yes this cake can be frozen for up to 3 months. Remove from the freezer and allow it to defrost fully. It will still keep for a week or so if wrapped in a tin. Enjoy!


I am assuming that you mean an equal size cup of each of the "1 cup" ingredients, or are you using American cup measures?

ride sally ride

mine hasn't cooked yet bu it smells delicious and im sure my family will enjoy it. even though i does take too long to cook.


mmmmm nice made 2 today,i wonder how long they will last!!!! I should hide one as they taste even better a couple of days later

Julia Day

I have made this several times now, sometimes varying the type and mix of sugar (demerara and/or soft dark brown for example) and every time people have asked me for the recipe. And it's so easy! Great introduction for those who have never really baked before, thanks.

Tracey Knott

Hi Moira making your loaf yet again, thought it was about time I thanked you for this wonderful recipe.

alan smalley

hello moira going to try your cake today willlet you no the outcome im sure its going to be tasty


Thank you so much Moira, I baked this cake just yesterday and my husband loves it that much i'm doing another one to-morrow!


Thank you very much Moira!! He loved it, and rhe rest of the family as well.I can`t get all these special sugars and flours here, so i am very happy to know now the trick, to let it taste malty, with ordinary german ingredients!! Thanks to this wonderful web page goodtoknow aswell!!! Kind regards from Berlin Judith


I am just trying this recipe,will tell you later if my stepfather who is getting it for his birthday will like it. i let the raisins soak in irish cream liquer before. Regards from Berlin


can I freeze this loaf?


Here in Canada we use the American system,not sure why we have metric as we do not even use it,everything in Canada is the american measurement system......Canadian version is usually smaller text as the American one bolder


Absolutely delicious and so easy to make. The smell was like Christmas cake cooking. Love it. Used Dark brown sugar instead of white and put cranberries in with raisins and sultanas. YUM


Have just made this and can't believe that the recipe suggest 90 mins!!! Checked after 45 mins and it's done. Smells lovely but I'd ignore the timings

Tony Arnold

I did make it but if I hadn't followed the advice of others here it would have been a disaster. Fan oven-did it at 180 for 55mins. Checked with a knife and fine. Also wiped some margarine round baking tin to stop sticking. Added cinnamon and cloves-approx 1/2 tspoon of each. 1oz of margarine= 28gm by the way. I used combination (50:50) of golden brown and light muscavado sugar. Nice mid brown colour. Good outcome but not as good as my mums which I want to replicate-more fruit perhaps?

Tony Arnold

Glad to have found this as it contains margarine and my mother used it in heres and they were great. Butter too crumbly I find. Just hope my attempt work. Useful tips below about overcooking....


Mine was the same, was smelling amazing after 30 minute and checked with a skewer at 45 mins as it was starting to smell burnt. Skewer came out clean. The corners were starting to burn 😟 I hope it's not overcooked! I used a lime and orange black tea... we'll see how it looks in the morning. Fingers crossed. Have to say I wanted to eat the cake mix it smelled so good!


I made double the quantity in 4 x 1lb loaf tins, great success, i used dried cranberries and raisins and my mixed spice ( i had run out of traditional mixed spice) was ground up mulled wine spice which was a really good flavour. baking took just over half an hour on the middle shelf of my gas oven. Because the sugar was white and the spices were not as dark as usual it made a lovely light coloured loaf and the red of the cranberries also made it look special


I have made two of these delicious fruit loaves in the last week but they only took an hour to cook, any longer and they would have been burned.


Can I freeze this loaf


Yes, butter should work just as well. Happy baking! Jessica x


I don't have any margarine, so can I use regular unsalted butter instead? Or would it not turn out as good? I am going to make this tonight for my grand father but don't have time to pick any margarine up! Philia x

Jenny N

Made this today - jan 1, 2014 - absolutely fabulous! Had enough mixture to make 2 loaves! Very tasty and definitely more-ish. Happy New Year to all.


Line tin, cook for one hour, cover after 45 mins. Great taste. Not sure how long it keeps as Ive baked it lots of times and it gets eaten in a week.


Lovely bread, quite solid, I doubled up the recipe and ended up baking 3 loaves. I used dark muscavado sugar. Each loaf was baked for 1hr. I covered the top loosely with foil to stop the top from browning too much after 45mins.


mine is in the oven but not sure if I used the right sized tin??? looks like its going to overflow!!!!!!!

Karen Thomson

worked fine tho although i only baked it for 50 mins at 155 celcius and top waas bit crispy

Karen Thomson

just put this in the oven and forgot to put the egg in :(

Sara Kelly

I just made this with chai tea rather than black tea its cooking just now and smells delish... drooling, will it taste as good as it smells!

Ashley Taylor

Going to try this one now, looks good. :)

Adam Tarshis

Some feedback after trying this recipe: 1) I lowered the temperature to 160 as I was using a fan oven, but 90 minutes was still slightly too long. 2) Next time I would line the loaf tin with baking parchment to avoid the cake sticking 3) I used a home made mix of nutmeg, cinnamon and all spice, and much more than the recipe suggests, it was very nice! 4) DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR for any reason in the first 45 minutes! I opened it after 30 minutes and the top sank. A very nice cake that I made from items already in my cupboard. I will make this again!


Very popular with family and friends. My most requested recipe so far this year, thank you Moira.

GTK Editor

Hi Dansk, this Welsh fruited tea bread doesn't use any egg:


Could you make this with out the egg or substitute it for with something else.


This cake is wonderful,just making it for a second time.It will be a family favourite.


I made this cake and it was one of my best ever," stunning"

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