Tea loaf


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • For



Appears in

Oats in the North, Wheat from the South: The history of British Baking, savoury and sweet

Oats in the North, Wheat from the South

By Regula Ysewijn

Published 2020

  • About

This Tea loaf is a Bara brith without yeast – a more modern version of the Welsh cake. The result is a wonderfully moist cake that stays good for days and only gets better with time. It is heavenly when spread with some good butter. This cake is a favourite with my family and friends.


  • 175 g (6 oz) currants
  • 80 g ( oz) raisins
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz) hot strong English tea
  • 260 g ( oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 110 g ( oz) raw (demerara) sugar
  • 120 g ( oz) soft brown sugar
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • 50 g ( oz) candied citrus peel
  • 15 g (½ oz) baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • butter, for greasing
  • flour, for dusting


For a loaf tin (900 g/2 lb)

Put the currants and raisins in a large bowl. Pour in the hot tea and leave to soak overnight.

Preheat your oven to 150°C (300°F) and prepare the loaf tin.

Add the flour, sugars, mixed spice, candied peel, baking powder and egg to the bowl of soaked currants and raisins and mix well. Spoon into the tin.

Bake the loaf in the lower part of the oven for 1½ hours. Check the loaf after 1 hour and cover with foil if it threatens to get too dark.

Serve the loaf with butter.