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Low Fat Tea Loaf Recipe With Fresh Fruit

Updated on January 9, 2018

Delicious and easy tea loaf

Freash Tea Loaf by peterb6001
Freash Tea Loaf by peterb6001

An old fashioned English Tea Loaf with a modern twist

In this recipe I bring the humble English Tea Loaf to a whole other level, making it more modern and something that the younger generations of budding cooks may like to try.

It's a simple recipe that will fill up your kitchen with delicious spicy smells, something similar as to that of when hot cross buns are baking.

A tea loaf is strongly associated with England and dried fruit, especially with the North of England in Yorkshire, where Yorkshire tea (to drink) is famed for being strong in flavor.

I'm adding fresh fruit to this recipe, as well as dried and am changing the texture of the cake giving it an almost Bread Pudding type consistency.

Many of you will also be very pleased to hear that this recipe is almost fat free, no butter or oil is used in the recipe.

All photos taken by peterb6001 except those used by Amazon or eBay

5 stars from 2 ratings of Modern low fat English tea loaf
Modern low fat tea loaf
Modern low fat tea loaf

Cook Time

Prep Time: 20 mins

Total Time: Approx 1 hr

Serves: 8


  • 1 apple (I used Braeburn)
  • 2 nectarines
  • Handful of large dried seedless dates
  • 2 or 3 strong English tea bags
  • Dried orange, lemon or apricot peel
  • 1 Zest of one orange
  • 300 grams self raising flower
  • 50 grams caster sugar
  • 50 grams muscovado sugar
  • Add spices to personal taste:
  • Freshly grated ginger, and or powdered
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, and or powdered
  • Cinnamon
  • Mixed spice
  • For the topping:
  • Apricot or orange Jam


  1. Peel the apple and dice into 1 cm cubes
  2. Dice the nectarines into 1 cm cubes, I don't peel mine but as I find they hold together better
  3. Cut the figs into similar sized parts as the fresh fruit
  4. A helpful tip:
  5. Drain and gently squeeze the fruit on kitchen paper patting of any excess moisture. This will stop the bake from becoming to soggy
  6. Combining the ingredient:
  7. Make 500 ml of strong English tea in a large bowl
  8. While hot add the sugar and spices and stir well
  9. Add the fresh fruit, dried fruits and zest to the tea and leave for 30 mins to one hour
  10. Add the flours and mix
  11. Whisk the eggs and add and mix
  12. Preheat the oven to 180 'C 350 F
  13. Grease and line a loaf tin with parchment paper
  14. Bake for approx 1 hr, checking after 45 mins
  15. Insert a knife or skewer into the center, if it comes out clean the loaf is done
  16. Brush apricot or orange jam onto the top
  17. Leave to cool on a wire rack, slice and serve with butter if wanted
chopped fruit
chopped fruit

Chop and pat dry the fruit

It is important that you try to chop and dice the nectarines, apples and figs into evenly sized parts to help with even cooking and a consistent texture throughout the tea loaf.

Draining and gently squeezing on paper towel will remove any excess liquid, making sure that the loaf doesn't become to soggy or heavy. As I said above though, this loaf will take on an almost 'Bread pudding' type texture.

As it is very low fat and really quite healthy it is an ideal treat for breakfast or afternoon tea. People that suffer from high high cholesterol can occasionally enjoy this to, but may not want to put thick layers on butter on each slice.

Making the tea and adding the spices, sugar and fruit

To make the tea I simply use three strong English tea bags, and add these to the 600 ml of boiling water in a bowl. I let this brew for 4 to 5 minutes, stir and remove the bags. If the bags are left in for too long an almost acrid flavor will occur.

Whilst the tea is hot I add the sugars and spices, this helps to melt them down.

I now add the fresh fruit and the dried fruit and leave for 30 mins to one hour, giving the fruits time to rehydrate and absorb the wonderful flavors of the tea and spices.

ready for oven
ready for oven

Add the flour then the eggs

First of all add the flour to the fruit and tea mixture. You can sieve the flour into the mixture if you wish. If you don't have self raising flour to hand you can use plain flour and add a little baking powder.

Mix in the flour until it is all wet.

Beat the two eggs in a separate bowl and stir into the mix. Stir the mix until you are happy that it is more or less an even consistency with the fruit evenly distributed.

Preheat the oven to 180 'C 350 F.

Grease and line a large loaf tin (or two smaller ones) with baking parchment. Add the tea loaf mixture and bake in the middle of the oven for 45 mins to 1 hour.

Use a skewer or a knife and insert into the middle of the loaf. If when pulled out it comes out clean the tea loaf is cooked.

Coat with jam and allow to cool

For a sweeter finish use a pastry brush to put a layer of apricot or orange jam on the top of the loaf.

If the jam is particularly set warm it up slightly in a saucepan and stir, to loosen it a little.

Place the low fat tea loaf on a wire rack and allow it to cool.

Being naughty by adding butter
Being naughty by adding butter

Relax and enjoy

Now you can either start your day with this as an alternative breakfast idea, or share with friends and family for high and afternoon tea. You can spread butter or margarine onto your slice / slices to make it even more tasty.

It is also a sneaky, clever and easy way to get your children to eat a couple of their 5 a day. You could even put a slice in their school lunch box.

Modern low fat spicy English tea loaf with fresh fruit

More popular English black teas to make your tea loaf

PG Tips Premium Black Tea, Pyramid Bags, 80 ct
PG Tips Premium Black Tea, Pyramid Bags, 80 ct

PG tips may well be the popular tea in the UK. It is strong but not incredibly so. Even this brands marketing campaign is famous, a stuffed monkey which are now collectors items.


Thanks for visiting and good luck with your cooking. Some of my other tasty recipes can be found in my profile.

I'd love to here your comments and will happily answer any questions

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    • peterb6001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Badham 

      3 years ago from England

      Thank you Savateuse, hope you enjoy it after all the festive food :)

    • savateuse profile image


      3 years ago

      delicious ! just re-blogged...

    • peterb6001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Badham 

      4 years ago from England

      @nicenet: I'm pleased you found this a useful recipe and hope you enjoy it. Thanks for coming by.

    • peterb6001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Badham 

      4 years ago from England

      @flycatcherrr: Indeed it is, I can see why people would assume it's called that just because it's eaten with a cup of tea, that's what I thought at first too. Now I'm thinking of trying variations using different flavoured fruit teas, which I'll post here if they work.

    • flycatcherrr profile image


      4 years ago

      I never knew that a tea loaf was actually made with real tea - up until now, I thought it was just the tasty fruit bread we ate with tea... By which you can see I've never made my own, only bought it from a bakery or begged it off my mum. :)

    • nicenet profile image


      4 years ago

      This is really good for me. My goal is to stay out of fatty foods especially bread. I'll go for this recipe.Thanks

    • MarathonRunning profile image


      4 years ago from Croatia, Europe

      I like this recipe and must give it a try but I will pay attention that the zests came from non chemically treated fruits and will replace margarine with butter for sure.

      Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 

      4 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      It reminds me of a fruit cake. And I'm sure it tastes good!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I have never heard of tea loaf, but I could not eat it unless I used decaf tea. Reminds me a bit too much of fruit cake my grandmother always had around at Christmas.

    • peterb6001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Badham 

      4 years ago from England

      @Elsie Hagley: mmm interesting, I've never tried it hot out of the oven with ice cream. I'm trying to picture what it would taste like. There's no reason why it shouldn't work but I'd have to try it first to know for sure. Thanks for your thoughts.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 

      4 years ago from New Zealand

      Nice recipe, i will love this loaf with fresh fruit in it, I am used to the tea loaf with dried fruit, my children used to love it for school lunches. I think when this is just out of the oven I could eat some as a dessert with whipped cream or ice cream. Thanks for sharing with us.

    • peterb6001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Badham 

      4 years ago from England

      @lesliesinclair: I hope it turns out as luscious as your imagination, please do let me know if it does (or doesn't! hehe)

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 

      4 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      Looks delicious. Really liked the layout with the great pix too.

    • lesliesinclair profile image


      4 years ago

      This looks luscious. I enjoy all the ingredients so I may try making it myself.

    • peterb6001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Badham 

      4 years ago from England

      @Merrci: Merci Merrci, that's a very nice compliment as I'm a little ropy with a camera :)

    • peterb6001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Badham 

      4 years ago from England

      @LisaAuch1: hehe, maybe we could have a bake off?

    • LisaAuch1 profile image

      Lisa Auch 

      4 years ago from Scotland

      Wow this looks delicious!!! I see my hubby has some competition on the baking of tea loafs!


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