Monday, 10 June 2013

Earl Grey Fruit Loaf with Lemon & Lavender Icing

The best cakes are sometimes the simplest.  A classic tea loaf has to be one of the easiest cakes to bake.  Whether it's Yorkshire Tea Loaf, Bara Brith, Irish Tea Brack or one of the many other regional specialities, it's just a case of soaking fruit and sugar in tea and then mixing in the egg and flour before baking.

It's pretty perfect just spread with butter and accompanied by a cup of tea.  But in this version I've swapped strong tea, for the lighter, more fragrant earl grey from Flint & Co and I've added some icing made with lemon juice and a very small amount of edible lavender (you don't need much as it is a flavour which can quickly overpower everything else).


For the cake:

350g mixed vine fruit
225g light soft brown sugar
300ml earl grey tea
275g self raising flour
1 medium egg, beaten

For the icing:

juice of half a lemon
100g icing sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp edible lavender


For the cake:

Put the vine fruit, sugar and brewed tea into a bowl, stir and leave to soak for 12-24 hours.

Prepare a 2lb loaf tin (one which measures approximately [ ]l / [ ]w / [ ]d) by greasing and lining with baking parchment.

Stir the beaten egg into the fruit mixture and then sift in the flour. Stir until well combined.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake at 150C for 11/2 hours. Leave the cake to cool in the tin and then turn out onto a cooling rack.

For the icing:

Mix the icing sugar into the lemon juice bit by bit (you may not need it all, but you may need more depending on how juicy your lemon is). You are looking for a pouring consistency, but not so thin that it all runs straight off the cake!

Once the cake is cool, drizzle the icing across the the cake widthways, using as much or as little as you like. Finish by sprinkling the lavender on top of the cake.


  1. You know, I've never cooked with Earl Grey or eaten anything with lavender in it. Really do think that I should try something with Earl Grey, though — it's such an intense, lovely flavour.

    Also, that's some skilled icing drizzling you've got there!

  2. Love the idea of using Earl Grey. I imagine it gives the cake quite an intense flavour no?

  3. Amy - It's the first time I'd ued Earl Grey in a tea loaf, but it's my tea of choice so I loved it.

    Miguel - It does have quite an intense flavour and I guess might be a bit too much for anyone who doesn't like Early Grey.

  4. Making this for the second time this weekend, the first being for a friends 4th July BBQ (the British contingent next to the American flag cake). It went down a storm, the earl grey was lovely and not too intense and the lemon and lavender topped it all of perfectly. So easy to make and I can see me baking this time and time again. Great recipe!!