Sultana Loaf Cake

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I do love sultanas, they are nice and juicy and give a great texture and taste to almost any cake.  This loaf cake has sultanas that have been soaked in cold tea for at least 5 hours.  I have also added some mixed spice to give a wonderful additional flavour.

I saw the recipe, without the mixed spice element, on a number of different websites without any particular attribution.  But I did see on one site a reference to a Delia Smith cookbook.  So maybe the base recipe is originally one of Delia’s.

The recipe has no fat in it, getting its’ moisture from the plumb tea-soaked sultanas, with a residue of tea as well.  Also a large egg adds a little extra moisture.

This is a very simple recipe, and results in a very stiff batter/dough, but it bakes well and delivers a wonderful cake.  From my reading I see that the flavour deepens if left for 2 days in an airtight container.  Of course that was never going to happen in my case, as I am always keen to taste what I have baked.

Sultana Loaf Cake

Sultana Loaf Cake – Video


  • 225g sultanas
  • 175ml cold black tea
  • 225g self raising flour
  • 175g demerara sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten(extra large in USA)
  • 1.5 tsp mixed spice
  • inch of salt
  • extra demerara sugar to sprinkle on top(either before it goes in the oven or when it comes out depending on preference.


  1. Place the sultanas in a bowl with the cold black tea and allow to soak for at least 5 hours.  Overnight is good.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350 F.
  3. Grease a 2lb/900g loaf tin, or line with parchment paper or loaf paper.
  4. Place the sultanas and residue of the tea in a large bowl.
  5. Sift the flour, mixed spice and salt over the sultanas and stir in.
  6. Add the sugar and stir in.
  7. Add the egg and stir in.
  8. Spoon the thick batter into the loaf tin and spread evenly, pushing into the corners.
  9. Bake in the oven for 1 hour, checking after 50 minutes.
  10. As soon as a skewer, poked into the centre, comes out clean remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before removing from the tin and allowing to cool completely.

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