Easy Tea Cake Recipe

Tea loaf

  • makes 3 small loaves
  • Easy

A family favourite, this fruity tea cake is packed with almonds, sultanas and glacé cherries. Cherries and mixed peel are soaked overnight in rum to ensure your fruit is extra juicy.


Enjoy our fruited tea loaf for an afternoon snack, then also check out our welsh cakes, Earl grey teacakes and bara brith.



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

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 494
  • Fat 52.3g
  • Saturates 16.5g
  • Carbs 223.9g
  • Fibre 10.5g
  • Protein 40.3g
  • Salt 4.18g