Christmas Tea Bread

Tea breads are good standbys for the freezer but will also keep well in a tin box for a couple of weeks. This one improves with keeping.

1 hour 45 minutes


  • 1lb mixed dried fruit
  • 2oz glace cherries, chopped
  • ½ pint strong cold tea
  • 6oz demerara sugar
  • 3 level tablespoons orange marmalade
  • Juice and rind of an orange
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 12oz self raising flour
  • 1 level teaspoon mixed spice
  • Icing sugar to dredge


  1. Infuse two teabags in 1/2 a pint of boiling water and leave to go cold.
  2. Place cold tea, dried fruit and cherries in a basin. Cover and leave overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to Gas 4 / 350 elec / 180c.
  4. Add sugar, marmalade, orange rind and juice to dried fruit. Add beaten egg.
  5. Sift flour and spice together and fold into mixture. Beat well.
  6. Turn into a greased and base-lined 2lb loaf tin and smooth top.
  7. Bake for 1hour and 45 minutes until firm and cake leaves side of tin. Cool in tin.
  8. Turn out onto a wire tray and leave to go cold. Dredge generously with icing sugar before serving.

Serve thinly sliced with butter or rum butter.