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.
Watch the video to see step by step instructions. Or print off the recipe card, scroll down to the bottom of this post, to add to your collection. TIP: Click the saved button within the recipe card to save to your browser for later.
Soaking the Fruit
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.
TIP: 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.
Note: There will be 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.
Lining the Tins
In the morning, preheat the oven to 160 C fan-assisted and grease and line two 1lb loaf tins with baking parchment.
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.
I often need to make a fold in the centre to make sure the cake liners fit my tins correctly. If you can't get hold of cake liners, grease the sides of the tins and dust with flour, shaking off any excess flour before you add the cake batter.
Mixing the Ingredients
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.
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.
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
This recipe for Yorkshire Parkin contains medium oatmeal. It is often made in early August to celebrate Yorkshire Day. Or on bonfire night on 5th November.
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.
Yorkshire Tea Loaf
- 2 x 1lb Loaf Tins
- 2 x 1lb Cake Liner or Baking Parchment
- Cake Skewer
- 350 ml Freshly Made Black Tea strained
- 350 grams Mixed Dried Fruit
- 2 Medium Eggs
- 200 grams Light Brown Sugar or a mix of Light and Dark Brown Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Tea Leaves Finely Ground
- 270 grams 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.
I made the loaf today but replaced tea with coffee and added some walnuts, it was delicious, coffee & walnut loaf with sultanas, yummy super and moist, I have also use tea both delicious and so easy, thank you for the recipe
Thank you very much for such a super easy recipe. I too replaced the tea with ground mixed spice and used all sultanas, as that was all I had in my cupboard. Gave one of the small loaf tin cakes to a friend who was thrilled , and requested another one. Another friend said it was the best tea loaf he had tasted, and loved the mixed spice flavour!
All in all a winner. (Especially buttered)
Got raisins soaking now to make the batter tomorrow.
Hi Made the tea loaves today in 1lb loaf tins perfect the only thing I didn’t have was brown sugar so I used golden caster sugar a bit lighter in colour but apart from that they are perfect ?
The best tea loaf ever. I don't need any other tea loaf recipes now! Thank you. A very moist and tasty fruit loaf. Very clearly explained. Like all your recipes - perfect.
I have made two in 2lb tins but one using 22 sweeteners instead of using sugar The sweetener one was thicker mixture and was a little quicker to cook.
I used glazed cherries as well as raisins and sultanas.with no added tea leaves or spices., Both turned out good but very sweet so next one's I will be 15 sweetners or 150g sugar. Oh and the sweetner was 1 hour to cook the other was 80 minutes
Many thanks for your tips for using sweeteners instead of sugar.
Such a good recipe. Works every time and tastes amazing. I tend to use mixed spice instead of tea and it’s delicious. Thanks so much for this foolproof recipe.
Thank you for the recipe. We tried making this today and added 1tsp of baking powder as we cannot buy self raising flour at our location. However, when cooking in a 900g the cake sank in the middle. Do you have any tips to prevent this or why it might have happened? Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
I'm sorry to hear that it sank in the middle. What kind of flour did you use?
There could be many reasons why your cake sank in the middle.
Too much baking powder.
Not baked long enough. I assumed you tested the cake with a skewer until it came out clean.
The oven temperature is not correct.
Opening the oven door too soon, then slamming it shut.
The timings when baking in a 900g loaf tin is only a guide and may need a little longer. If you look at some of the comments from other bakers, they mention different timings ranging from 75 mins - 90 mins. I'm assuming of course, that they used Self Raising Flour.
This is the most amazing fruit tea loaf ever. Therapeutic to make..
I make two loaves at a time in 2 pound bread tins as if the oven is on I might as well make two . Followed recipe to the letter but feel it needs 75 minutes in oven . Normally keep one in fridge and freeze one .Goes down a storm with my teenage grandson.
Good to hear you like the recipe. If you are making it in a 2lb loaf tin, as you say it will need extra baking time.
I made 2 2pound loafs it's amazing moist and tasty it needed 90minutes in my oven delicious
What an absolutely beautiful recipe. I did mine in a 2lb tin and cooked for approx. 75 mins on gas mark 4. I covered with tin foil for the last 10 mins to reduce risk of the top burning. I also used 4 Earl Grey teabags. The loaf is so moist and delicious. My husband loved it. Thank you.
Thanks. I'm pleased that you were able to bake it in a 2 lb loaf tin. Great idea to cover the top with foil to stop the top from over baking.
Lisa & Chris
This T Loaf is an absolute winner and a joy to bake, so much so that I’ve made it for the seventh time in so many days.
This has been enjoyed throughout the family and work colleagues and have been requested by my brother to bake him another ASAP!
Thank you for sharing your recipe on-line ?
You're welcome. I'm so pleased that you like the recipe enough to make it so often and that the family and work colleagues like it too.
I made this cake last week and I was so lovely and moist, l made one cake in a 2lb loaf tin, l left out the tea leaves though. I gave some to my elderly neighbour and she hasn't stopped raving about it so l have my fruit in soak for another one tomorrow.
I'm so pleased to hear this. Sometimes I can't stop making this recipe. I've just taken one out of the fridge that I made a few weeks ago. It's amazing how well it keeps when wrapped well.
Can you use ground tea out of a tea bag for this cake? It sounds yummy! ?
Yes, if you mean to add it to the cake batter. Just make sure it's fine enough. For brewing, tea bags or loose leaf tea is fine.
Lynn, Thanks for this yummy recipe for Yorkshire Tea Loaf. I made it this morning and followed your recipe to a ‘T, ’soaking my fruit overnight in the tea. I did make a 2 pound loaf instead of two one pounders so just increased cooking time to @ 75 mins as others had mentioned. I did have to make a homemade version of the self-rising flour (for every 1 cup flour, add 1.5 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt) but it came out great. Thanks for responding to my IG post of it.(@cannesoleil) and thanks for sharing your baking talents with us.
Hi Michele. Thank you so much for your comment, it's always great to hear how fellow bakers adapt my recipes to suit their needs. I try to make them so versatile. Keep up the good work.
Hmmm, made this today but, though delicious, it didn't really rise much and is rather hard and dry on the outside, more moist than cake usually is on the inside. Actually more like a bread pudding.
I did have to use ordinary sugar and I lined the tin with foil rather than baking paper but I don't think this would have affected it rising.
Any way, there's absolutely no chance that it will go to waste and certainly won't last two weeks?.
I'd be interested if you have any insight into why it ended up as it did.
Hi Jo. Sorry to hear that it didn't rise as much as you would have liked. In the absence of greaseproof paper, try not to use foil. It conducts heat and could be the reason it was dry on the outside and edges. Grease the tin and perhaps dust with a little flour, shaking off any excess.
One other option, was your oven at the correct temperature before you placed the two cakes in the oven? I often advise investing in an oven temperature because it can take an extra 10 mins or so for an oven to come up to temperature.
I am going to make it tomorrow I have the fruit with the tea in the bowl all ready to go in the morning so I will let you know how it goes
Just made this morning and eaten this afternoon. Lovely and moist and the fruit was very evenly distributed.
Instead of tea leaves I used a heaped teaspoon of mixed allspice and baked 1 x 2lb loaf tin for 85 mins......perfect. I will definitely be making this again using this super easy recipe and method might try different teas like lady grey next time.
Good to hear that you were able to bake it in a 2lb loaf tin. I love the idea of replacing the tea leaves with Allspice. Soaking the fruit in fruit tea works very well too.
I made this for the first time yesterday and it worked out perfectly! Very clear instructions and a beautiful tea loaf. Thank you!
You're welcome, Thomas. Glad you like the recipe.
I love it, an old family favourite , however I don’t put eggs in mine .
12 oz mixed fruit
7 oz Demerara sugar
Soaked in half pint cold tea overnight
Fold in 10 oz Self raising flour
Bake in a 9” loaf tin with a parchment liner
160 fan oven for 1 hour.
Perfect every time. !
Thanks for the comment. Interesting to hear that you don't add eggs in your recipe.
I made this excellent recipe yesterday and it turned out wonderfully well. I always make it in a 2lb loaf tin and cook it for about 10 minutes longer. We had it for tea with Wensleydale cheese and it went down a treat.
Thanks Janice. I don't think I could eat a slice of Tea Loaf without a good slab of cheese.
Lovely moist tea loaf can I freeze one ?
Yes you can. Wrap it well to avoid freezer burn. Or cut into individually wrapped slices so that you can eat a slice as and when you wish.
Made this first time yesterday. Turned out great and so tasty. I wondered though why it doesn't need butter. May be it would be too moist. A firm favourite now and made in minutes.
No butter. Not even melted. It's great, isn't it? Especially for people who are dairy intolerance. Glad you like it.
Made this many times now, turns out perfect every time, family and friends love it.
Thanks Ann. I'm so pleased that you, your family and friends like it too.
Very tasty and moist. Family requested bake again as soon as finished. Great with a cup of Yorkshire tea .
I'm so pleased that you and your family like it. I totally agree that it's great with a cup of Yorkshire Tea. Have you tried serving it with some crumbly cheese yet? Such as Wensleydale Cheese.
No haven't tried the cheese but will be doing so! Thanks
Very easy to make a delicious moist fruit cake,will become a favourite.
Thanks, Pamela. I'm so pleased that you liked it.
So easy to Make! Love this recipe. I made them in muffin tins and wow they're stunning. I am the most basic of cooks. But I managed to batch cook muffins and a cake with this recipe.
Hi Lynn. I've been looking for an easy tea loaf recipe and came across your's. I plan to soak my dried fruit tonight and make the loaf tomorrow. Do you know if it will be ok to freeze it? Looking forward to baking tomorrow.
Kind regards, Donna x
Hi Donna. I've never actually frozen this cake. I'm pretty sure it will freeze and thaw nicely. But do wrap it in baking parchment and a suitable freezer bag. Making sure there are no air pockets to create freezer burn. Especially if you plan on freezing it for a while. If you do freeze it, please let me know how you get on with it.
This was lovely. Thank you for the recipe great way to use up leftover dried fruit.
Lynn, thank you so much for your wonderful newsletter, which I look forward to, and fir your fabulous recipes. I cannot wait to try these three recipes.
Susan, An American Fan
very morish and keeps great
I made this cake today. It was so easy and it tastes delicious. Thank you Lynn. I look forward to trying your fantastic recipes xx
Thanks Barbara. I’m pleased that you like the recipe.
This was the best Yorkshire Tea Loaf I've ever made and a great hit with everyone who was lucky enough to get a slice. I made it in a 2lb tin and baked it for 75 mins, it was perfect. People either ate it as is, with Wensleydale cheese or with butter and all loved it. Thank you so much for such an easy to make, well balanced recipe.
Thanks Janice. So pleased it was a success. It's good to hear how it turned out when baking it in a 2lb loaf tin. As an alternative to tea, take a look at my version with coffee and spelt flour
Girl, no butter.
Does wholemeal flour will be too dry?
I don't think it will make it too dry as there is quite a lot of liquid in there anyway. But it may make the cake texture a little denser. Which is fine really, because wholemeal flour does generally make cakes a little denser anyway.
I will do so and I will tell you if it worked ... But I'm going to have to adapt to a different kind of liquid, here in Brazil I didn't think yorkshire tea, only has matte leão tea, but he is very weak and almost tasteless
I wonder if freshly brewed coffee would work? It would give it a different taste. Or double the strength of tea when you brew it. I've used Guinness on one occasion. So perhaps a beer or larger might work too. Do let me know how you get on.
I have made this twice now, and it is phenomenal! The first time, I used all dried cranberries and added some cinnamon in with the ground black tea, and the second time, I used a mix of cranberries, apricots, and dried orange slices and added cardamom with the ground tea. I also ended up making the second batch as muffins, because I seem to have misplaced my loaf tin... they are AMAZING as muffins though. I'm in America, and this is my first foray into tea loaves, and this was the perfect starter recipe! Thank you so much for sharing!
This is great to hear. I love how you’ve adapted the recipe to include a mix of different dried fruits and the fact that you also turned one batch into into muffins.