Packed full of tea-soaked fruit, this tea loaf is beautifully rich and moist.
I love to serve mine spread with a little salted butter and a nice cup of tea.
It keeps really well and makes a great gift too.

Slices of buttered tea loaf on a plate with a butter knife. Rest of the cake in the background.
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Can you believe that I when I was younger, I didn’t like tea bread.

Was I insane?

All of those raisins seemed to be taking the place of some more deserving chocolate or jam.
I really didn’t know what I was missing out on.

Nowadays, I can’t get enough of a lovely rich slice of tea bread, served with a strong cup of builders tea.

Chris is obsessed with the stuff.  If we go to a farm shop or market and he spots tea bread, he’s paid for it before I even open my mouth. So I know I’m always going to have a happy husband when I make it at home!

The sultanas and raisins are soaked overnight in the tea – which really plumps them up.  The whole bowlful – including the leftover soaking liquor is added to the mix.

📋 What do we need?

Ingredients for fruit tea load on a wooden table

🔪 How to make this tea bread recipe

Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.

  • First we need to soak the raisins and sultanas overnight in tea. This helps them to plump up, so you get a wonderful moist cake with lots of flavour.
  • Then we mix the dry ingredients together – the flour, baking powder, brown sugar and mixed spice.
  • Next in goes melted butter, eggs and the soaked fruit (including any liquid left in the bowl).
  • Mix it all together, transfer to a loaf tin and bake for about 1 hour to 1 1/4 hours, until cooked through.

👩‍🍳PRO TIP You can check the cake is cooked all the way through by inserting a skewer into the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, it’s done. If it still has wet cake mixture on, place back in the oven for 10 minute increments, until done. If the cake starts to look like it’s going to get too brown on top, then top it with foil to stop it browning further.

fruit tea loaf that has been sliced open on a wooden table.

Once it’s cooked, cool it on a wire rack, then slice.
You can serve it as is, or spread with a little butter and serve with a nice cup of tea!
Any leftover cake can be wrapped in a layer of parchment, then a layer of foil. It should keep well for a week at room temperature.

Two slices of buttered tea loaf on a white plate. Knife also in shot.

🍲 More fantastic fruity cakes

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4.95 from 40 votes

Moist and Fruity Tea Loaf

Packed full tea-soaked fruit, this tea loaf is beautifully rich and moist.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 12 slices
Course: Cakes
Cuisine: British


  • 150 g (3/4 cup) sultanas
  • 150 g (3/4 cup) raisins
  • 300 ml (1 1/4 cups) freshly made tea using 2 tea bags
  • 250 g (2 cups + 1 tbsp) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 200 g (1 cup + 2 tbsp) soft light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter melted
  • 2 large eggs
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  • Place the sultanas and raisins in a bowl and pour over the hot tea. Cover and allow to soak up the liquid overnight.
    150 g (3/4 cup) sultanas, 150 g (3/4 cup) raisins, 300 ml (1 1/4 cups) freshly made tea
  • Preheat the oven to 170C/325F (fan). Line a 2 lbs loaf tin with baking parchment or a loaf tin liner.
  • Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, and mixed spice in a mixing bowl and stir together.
    250 g (2 cups + 1 tbsp) plain (all-purpose) flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 200 g (1 cup + 2 tbsp) soft light brown sugar, 1 tsp mixed spice
  • Mix in the melted butter and eggs – using a wooden spoon or spatula.
    2 tbsp unsalted butter, 2 large eggs
  • Add in the raisins, sultanas and any liquid left in the bowl.
  • Stir together until everything is thoroughly combined. It will be a very wet mixture.
  • Spoon the mixture into the lined loaf tin, place in the oven and bake for 1 hour – to 1 hour 15 minutes. You'll know it's done when an inserted skewer comes out clean. If you find that the top of the tea bread is starting to look too dark whilst it's in the oven, you can cover it will foil.
  • Once cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Then remove from the tin and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving.



This cake will keep for a week or more wrapped in baking parchment and placed in a sealed container at room temperature (in fact, the cake tastes even better after a day or two).
Nutritional information is approximate, per slice.


Calories: 246kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 22mg | Potassium: 347mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 40IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

This recipe was first posted in May 2015. Updated in June 2021 with new photos, video and a bit of housekeeping.

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links – which means if you buy the product I get a small commission (at no extra cost to you). If you do buy, then thank you! That’s what helps us to keep Kitchen Sanctuary running. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors. For more information please see our Terms & Conditions.

Welcome to Kitchen Sanctuary

Hi, I'm Nicky and I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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  1. Janice says:

    5 stars
    I have made this three times now, the compliments are plentiful, so your recipe and web address are passed on frequently, thank you for this and many more of them.

  2. Lisa Noble says:

    5 stars
    New to your blog and so happy to have found it. I just made a second loaf of this tea bread – so good! Perfect for a weekend tea or coffee! I’m over in Canada and I just love your recipes and your youtube channel!

    1. Barb says:

      I’m in Canada as well and I must admit I don’t get what the difference is between raisins and sultanas. Have you found there’s a difference between the two?

  3. Sue says:

    5 stars
    I have been looking for a Fruit cake/loaf for ages now, and have had a lot of failures, mainly too dry. This one turned out perfect and I will certainly be making it again, my husband loves fruit cake and thinks this is the best.
    I did cut down on the brown sugar by 50g, I used 150g instead of 200g as we don’t like our cakes overly sweet. I have a fan assisted oven and have noticed other people turned their temperature down to 150, I left mine at 170 degrees and the cooking time was 1hr 10 mins. I tried the cake at 1hr but the skewer was quite wet at this stage, the extra 10 mins was perfect.
    I left the fruit soaking overnight, the bowl covered at room temperature.

  4. David Tennent says:

    5 stars
    A keeper !

    Delicious, moist fruit cake with very subtle flavours. Made it yesterday, reduced the temp to 150 for fan-assisted oven and let it cook for the full hour and fifteen. No ‘burning’ issues at all – absolutely superb. Simplicity of the recipe belies the quality of the end result

    Definitely one for the ‘keepers’ file

    Well done Nicky – and good choice Chris !!

  5. Selina says:

    My Grandma (who was from Sheffield) used to do something called plum bread which is similar to this one. I’ve been trying to get the recipe from my dad for years. Don’t suppose you have a ginger Parkin recipe do you? I’m not much into cakes but a good Parkin is a weakness, I haven’t had a slice since my mum died.

  6. Julia Garling says:

    Do you have a gluten free version for this tea bread please?

  7. Pat from Canada says:

    Can’t find spice mix. What do I use to make my own.?

  8. Karen Bowland says:

    5 stars
    Great recipe, works every time, I’ve even adapted to use wholemeal flour and works just as well…….

  9. CARDAMOME says:

    5 stars
    ma voisine anglaise a fait ce gâteau, délicieux aussi je vais m’empresser de le refaire! Ma neighbour, english woman as cooked that teabread wich was so delicious. Quickly i’ll do myself !

  10. Anna Mcfadden says:

    5 stars
    Another beautiful recipe from Kitchen Sanctuary but I swap out 100ml of the tea for spiced dark rum and add cherries. Made 4 this week. It’s a winner with everyone.

    1. Nicky Corbishley says:

      Oooh I love that addition!!!