Yorkshire Tea Loaf is a deliciously moist, Fruit Loaf. The fruit for this Fruit Loaf recipe is soaked overnight in Yorkshire tea and is often served on its own or with Wensleydale cheese. It's a perfect addition to any Afternoon Tea menu. Or on its own with a nice cup of tea.
It may be a Yorkshire thing, which is where I live in the UK, but cheese goes really well with rich fruit cake or any tea loaf.
Many people have said to me that this is the best tea loaf recipe they have made. I've made dozens of them over the years. It retains moisture when wrapped well and freezes well too.
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How to make a Yorkshire Tea Loaf Step by step
To make a moist fruit tea loaf, first place the mixed dried fruit into a heat proof bowl and pour over the freshly brewed Yorkshire Tea. I always use Yorkshire Tea, but you can use any kind of breakfast tea.
In case you are wondering, this is a fat free tea loaf as it doesn't contain any butter or other fats
Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave for a minimum of 4 hours. Preferable overnight. This is to allow the fruits to plump up by soaking up as much of the tea liquid as possible.
In the morning, preheat the oven to 160 C fan-assisted and grease and line two 1lb loaf tins with baking parchment. I often need to make a fold in the centre to make sure the cake liners fit my tins correctly.
Add the eggs into the soaked mixed fruit, followed by the sugar. DO NOT drain off any of the remaining tea liquid. Mix thoroughly.
In a separate bowl add the finely ground tea leaves to the flour and incorporate. This will help distribute the ground tea leaves evenly into the cake batter.
Give everything a thoroughly good mix making sure there are no residual bits of flour at the bottom of the mixing bowl.
Pour the cake batter evenly into the prepared 1lb loaf tins. I often use scales to make sure that I have equal amounts of batter in each loaf tin. This ensures an even bake for each tea loaf.
Bake for 45 – 55 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of each cake comes out clean. If you haven't weighed the batter evenly in each tin, you may need to adjust the baking times.
Leave in the tins to cool completely before slicing. Serve with butter and a pot of Yorkshire Tea. I often serve mine with a slice of creamy, crumbly, Wensleydale Cheese.
Empty the Tea or Not?
There's no need to empty any remaining tea after soaking the dried fruit. The longer you leave it, the more liquid and tea flavour the fruits soak up.
That's why it's best to pour the freshly brewed, slightly cooled, tea over the fruit straight away. Just make sure that you leave the fruit to soak for a minimum of 4 hours. Preferably overnight.
A Proper Brew.
For a fruit Loaf recipe, the strength of the tea depends on how long you leave the tea to brew before pouring over the dried fruit. 4 mins would be a good enough brewing time.
If you're using loose leaf tea, don't forget to strain before pouring over the dried fruits. You will of course have additional tea flavour with the finely ground tea leaves. TIP: You can of course use tea from fresh tea bags if you don't have any loose tea to hand.
If you're replacing this with complementary spices, it's even more importent to obtain a proper brew first.
Small Loaf Tins.
This recipe uses 2 x 1lb Loaf tins. You'll have time to plan ahead and line your tins as the fruit will require several hours of soaking in the tea.
FAQs and Tips about Tea Loaves
A Tea Loaf will general last for up to two weeks if kept in an airtight container
You can replace the tea with freshly brewed coffee if you wish. Or you can try these alternative recipes such as this Date and Coffee Loaf and this Mixed Fruit and Coffee Spelt Loaf. Both are equally delicious and moist.
Yes, you can but you will need to adjust the baking times and you will need to make sure that the cake batter does not fill the 2lb loaf tin any higher that ¾ full, or you may find that the batter will spill over the top.
Replace the finely ground tea with complementary spices such as mixed spices (pumpkin pie mixture or similar) or cinnamon in equal measure.
You could also use fruit flavoured teas such as Tisanes from the famous Bettys and Taylors Teas in Harrogate.
Slice and serve with butter and a big wedge of Cheese. Preferably Wensleydale cheese which has a lovely creamy taste and a crumbly texture.
Other Traditional Yorkshire Recipes
These Treacle, Ginger and Oat Muffins are another favourite recipe of mine with deep flavours of dark treacle.
Yorkshire Curd Tart made with Cottage Cheese is a dream to make. It uses Cottage Cheese as an alternative to fresh Curd that is normally found in a curd tart.
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Yorkshire Tea Loaf
- 2 x 1lb Loaf Tins
- 2 x 1lb Cake Liner or Baking Parchment
- Cake Skewer
Ingredients - Imperial /oz are approx weights which are calculated by a 3rd party app
- 350 ml Freshly Made Black Tea strained
- 350 g Mixed Dried Fruit
- 2 Medium Eggs
- 200 g Light Brown Sugar or a mix of Light and Dark Brown Sugar
- 1 tsp Tea Leaves Finely Ground
- 270 g Self-Raising Flour
Soaking the fruit
- In a large bowl, add the freshly made tea to the mixed dried fruit. Cover and set aside for a minimum of 4 hours, ideally overnight, to allow all the goodness of the tea to soak into the fruits.
Make the Cake
- In the morning, preheat the oven to 160 C fan-assisted and grease and line two 1-pound loaf tins with baking parchment. I use cake liners.
- Add the eggs into the soaked mixed fruit, followed by the sugar. DO NOT remove any of the remaining liquid. Mix thoroughly.
- Add the finely ground tea leaves to the flour and incorporate before adding this into the fruit mixture. Mix thoroughly.
- Pour evenly into the prepared tins and bake for 50 – 55 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from oven.
- Leave in the tins to cool completely before turning out.
- Replace the finely ground tea with complementary spices such as mixed spices (pumpkin pie mixture or similar) or cinnamon in equal measure.
- Ring the changes by using different flavoured teas such as Tisanes.