Enjoy our fruited tea loaf, then also check out more afternoon tea recipes including our welsh cakes, Earl grey teacakes, rock cakes and bara brith.


  • 150g glacé cherries, quartered
  • 50g or the grated zest of 2 large lemons and 2 large oranges mixed peel
  • 2 tbsp rum
  • 60g at room temperature unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 125g flaked almonds
  • 150g sultanas
  • 250g full-fat milk
  • ½ tsp fresh yeast or easy blend dried yeast
  • 500g strong bread flour
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 10g salt
  • 3 large eggs, 1 beaten with a pinch of salt for an egg wash


  • STEP 1

    Soak the cherries and peel or zest in the rum overnight. Grease 3 × 500g (20-22cm long) tins with butter.
    Sprinkle the almonds on a baking tray and toast under the grill or in the hot oven, turning from time to time until they are golden brown. Leave to cool. Mix all the fruit with the nuts.

  • STEP 2

    To make the dough, warm the milk gently until it is about body temperature – it should feel neither warm nor cold when you dip your finger into it.
    You can use a microwave to do this if you prefer – about 1½ minutes at full power.

  • STEP 3

    To mix by hand, rub the yeast into the flour using your fingertips as if making a crumble. Rub in the butter, then add the sugar and salt, then the 2 eggs and milk. Work the dough. Or tip everything into a mixer fitted with a dough hook and work to a smooth dough.
    Add the fruit and nut mixture to the dough towards the end of working, making sure it is evenly distributed. Shape the dough into a rough ball and place in a lightly floured bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to rest for 1 hour.

  • STEP 4

    With the help of the rounded end of a scraper, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it into three equal pieces. Shape each into a rough ball and leave to rest for a further 5 minutes.

  • STEP 5

    Mould each ball into a loaf. Lightly dust your work surface, put the dough smoothest-side down and flatten it into a rough oval shape. Fold one side of the flattened dough into the middle and press down firmly enough to leave finger indents. Now fold in the other side followed by the bottom and top, pressing down firmly each time. Fold in half and press down firmly to seal the edges. Put them in 3 × 500g buttered tins, seam-side down.
    Brush the tops with the egg wash. Cover with a tea towel and leave to prove for 1½ hours or until the dough has nearly doubled in volume. Heat the oven to 220c/gas 210c/fan 7 an hour before you need it and put in a baking stone, flat baking sheet or upturned roasting tin.

  • STEP 6

    Brush again with egg. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until the crust is dark golden brown. Remove from the tins and check that the sides and underneath are golden. If not, put them back in for a few minutes (out of the tins). Leave to cool on a wire rack.


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