Storecupboard Tea Loaf Cake

We are now in to week three of being a school gate parent. L is settling in and making new friends, I’m trying not to be “that” parent on the playground and keeping my profession quiet so I don’t get roped into PTA cake stall baking.

I’m trying to find a new routine for when we get home from the walk back home. Rather than rushing around trying to start on dinner or get other jobs done; sitting down, just the two of us with a cup of something hot for me and something small to eat and drink for L so we can debrief the day.

We all need recipes that can be thrown together. A cake recipe that doesn’t need a quick dash to the shop when the baking urge hits and great for the mid-afternoon slump.

This tea loaf recipe is one of the most common things I bake. It takes a few few minutes to put together, easy for kids to make, it’s healthier(ish) than other cakes, there is only a bowl and spoon to wash up and it keeps really well.

A perfect cake for lunchboxes and snacks throughout the week. A great cake for camping too.

easy storecupboard tea cake loaf



Makes 1x 2lb loaf

  • 1 tea bag (Earl Grey is nice, fruit tea bags can work too. Whatever you have to hand)
  • 250 ml freshly boiled water
  • 400 g dried fruit (whatever you can find in your cupboard. I usually do a mix of sultanas, raisins, citrus peel and the obligatory glace cherries.)
  • 80 g soft brown sugar (light or dark, doesn’t really matter)
  • 85 g wholemeal self raising flour
  • 100 g self raising flour
  • 2 tbsp mixed spice
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  1. In a large bowl pour the boiling water over the tea bag and allow to steep for 5 minutes before adding in the fruit. Cover bowl and ideally leave overnight. If you’re pushed for time put the dried fruit, water and tea bag in a saucepan, bring to the boil then leave for 30 minutes.
  2. Line a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment.
  3. Add the sugar, flours, spices and eggs to the soaked fruit. The mixture is quite wet at this stage, don’t worry.
  4. Bake at 140°c for 1 1/4 hours, or until a skewer comes out clean. Depending on the mix of fruit I’ve used and how long I’ve soaked it for it can sometimes take a bit longer. Just keep an eye on it. Allow to cool in the tin.

Published by Jules

Professional Food Geek who loves a freshly baked loaf.