Earl Grey Tea Loaf Cake

5/5 - (1 vote)

This Earl Grey Tea Loaf Cake is from a recipe by Mary Berry. I saw it on a TV show when she was at Goodwood House. The recipe is also available on BBC Food. There appears to be a discrepancy, though, between the video I saw and the written recipe. I will explain about that later.

First let me talk a little about the recipe since it promises, and delivers, a lovely dense and flavoursome loaf. The recipe uses sultanas and currants, though other fruits can be used. For instance, dried mixed fruits with mixed peel is a great alternative. The fruits swell and plump up as they soak in Earl Grey tea.

Apart from the fruits and the Earl Grey tea there are only a few other ingredients. There is self raising flour, though plain flour with 3 3/4 teaspoons of baking powder is a good alternative. Then there is also sugar and an egg.

Mary Berry has a propensity for self raising flour it seems as it appears in many of her recipes. Many people only by plain flour but, as I mention above, that can work too.

Earl Grey Tea Loaf Cake

Another of Mary’s propensities is that she so often uses large eggs(XL in USA) which is a shame since the majority of baking recipes call for medium eggs(large in USA). However in the recipe below I give the weight of my large egg out of the shell, so people can weigh egg to that weight.

I think that a medium egg(large in USA) will work just fine, since there is excess liquid from soaking the fruit of a variable amount. The baking time may be slightly longer if the batter is wetter.

Process for Earl Grey Tea Loaf Cake

The process for making the loaf cake is very simple indeed. Simply mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Put that mixture into a lined loaf pan and bake it.

That brings me to a major inconsistency between the video and the written recipe. In the video Mary says to bake at 150C Fan. But the written recipes suggests 150C/130C Fan. That is quite a difference. In the recipe below I give 150C/130C Fan/300F which is what I used. That is on the basis that I can bake for longer if necessary.

My Loaf Cake


I baked my Earl Grey Tea Loaf Cake for 1 hour and 40 minutes. Checking at 1 hour 15 minutes with a skewer, the skewer was clean but quite moist so I left the loaf cake for a further 25 minutes. A further test was clean so I took the cake out of the oven. After 10 minutes I took it out of the loaf pan and let it cool on a wire rack. Then I cut some slices and enjoyed one, buttered. The rich and fruity flavour, with the Earl Grey too, was very good indeed. The loaf cake was dense, as expected and perfect with butter.

Earl Grey Tea Loaf Cake – Video

Another great tea loaf recipe is Barm Brack – Irish Tea Loaf

Earl Grey Tea Loaf Cake

Recipe by Mary Berry/BBC FoodCourse: CakesCuisine: BritishDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time






  • 300ml(1 1/4 cups) hot Earl Grey tea, as strong as you like

  • 175g(1 cup + 2 1/2 tbsp) sultanas

  • 175g(1 cup + 2 1/2 tbsp) currants

  • 275g(1 1/2 cups+1/3 cup, based on scooping packed flour into 250ml cup) self raising flour – for plain flour see note below

  • 1 large egg(XL in USA) 56g(2 oz) out of shell

  • 225g(1 cup+2 tbsp) light brown sugar


  • Place the tea, sultanas and currants into bowl and mix, then cover and leave overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 150C/130C Fan/300F.
  • Grease a 2lb(900g)loaf pan and line it with parchment paper.
  • Beat the egg to break it up.
  • Most of the liquid should have been absorbed into the fruit, leaving no more than 30ml(2 tbsp), if there is more drain it off but save it.
  • Put the flour, egg and sugar into the bowl with the fruit and stir it until fully incorporated into a thick and heavy batter. If necessary drizzle a little more liquid in.
  • Put the batter into the prepared loaf pan and level it off.
  • Bake the loaf cake for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Check after 1 hour 15 minutes, with a skewer in the centre. If it is clean you can take the loaf cake out of the oven. Otherwise leave it in for up to 30 minutes more, testing again. If it browns too quickly cover the top with aluminium foil.
  • Leave the loaf cake in the pan for 10 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

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