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
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Total Time1 hr 25 mins


  • 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


  • 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.
  • Line a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment.
  • Add the sugar, flours, spices and eggs to the soaked fruit. The mixture is quite wet at this stage, don’t worry.
  • 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.