Rick Stein’s Cornwall: Fruit Tea Loaf Recipe

Fruit tea loaf - Rick Stein

As seen on Rick Stein’s Cornwall – bake Rick’s traditional fruit loaf for your next afternoon tea at home. Perfect slathered in butter with a spoonful of plum compote and a pot of tea, preferably Cornish tea, of course.

Make in a 2lb/1 litre loaf tin (approx. 23x13x8cm)


  • 350g mixed dried fruit, such as raisins, sultanas, chopped dates, currants and mixed peel
  • Zest of an unwaxed lemon
  • 300ml strong tea, made with 3 teabags of Earl Grey or English Breakfast
  • 2 medium eggs, beaten
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 200g light soft brown sugar (or 100g caster and100g dark brown sugar)

Perfect with plum compote:

  • Approx 500g plums (or damsons), stoned
  • Approx 300g caster sugar (or more to taste)

How to make fruit tea loaf

  1. Make the tea in pot or jug and allow it to steep for 10 minutes. 
  2. Put the fruit and the zest in a bowl and cover with the hot tea and soak, covered for a couple of hours or overnight. 
  3. Preheat the oven to 180c/160c fan. Grease and line the base of a loaf tin with parchment. 
  4. In a mixing bowl, beat together the eggs and brown sugar with a wooden spoon, then stir in the flour, mixed spice and tea soaked fruit and mix well. Pour into the greased and lined tin and bake for approximately 1 ¼-½ hours until a skewer comes out clean, cool in the tin for 15 mins then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. 

Plum Compote:

Mix the stoned plums in a pan with a tiny splash or water if fresh (it won’t be needed if the fruit has been frozen and defrosted). Add the sugar and stir over a low heat until dissolved then increase the heat and boil until jammy and pour into a sterilised jar/s. Or allow to cool and use immediately or spooned onto warm buttered tea loaf or toast.


Recreate your favourite recipes from series one, two and three of Rick’s adventures around Cornwall. Something sweet, something savoury, something spicy and lots more to cook at home.