Earl Grey Tea Loaf

A classic Earl Grey Tea Loaf recipe made with Earl Grey loose leaf tea! Perfect for Afternoon Tea, lunchboxes and… breakfast?


This Earl Grey Tea Loaf is a delightful treat. Packed full of juicy, tea-soaked fruit and bursting with sweetness, it’s the cake everyone says ‘yes’ to! It’s easy to make – you just need a handful of store cupboard ingredients – and best enjoyed with a cuppa.

Simple but oh so scrummy!


Earl Grey Tea loaf on chopping board besides oranges and brown sugar cubes





What is Earl Grey Tea?

Earl Grey is the quintessential Chinese black tea. It’s named after former British Prime Minister Charles Grey, who received a bergamot oil-flavoured tea and loved the taste so much he asked British tea producers to recreate it. And thank goodness they succeeded!

Loose leaf earl grey with tea strainer and label


Sweet, fragrant and fabulously tasteful, Earl Grey is the afternoon tea essential. Even the Queen is a fan! It is lighter than most black teas and offers a smooth, elegant body sparkling with citrusy notes. There’s a little vanilla flavour in there, too.

For full tea satisfaction, loose leaves are the way to go. Our lovely loose leaf teas contain fresh, unbroken tea leaves (rather than the dusty bits that end up in tea bags) to give you a brew that’s tastier, healthier and way more sustainable!

Bag of Two Chimps loose leaf earl grey





What is an Earl Grey Tea Loaf?

Tea Loaf is a classic afternoon tea cake made with juicy dried fruits and – you guessed it – tea! Soaking the fruit in hot tea makes it plump and sweetie-like, while the absence of butter gives the loaf a sturdier texture.

You can use strong English Breakfast tea in a tea loaf recipe, but we just love the brighter taste of loose leaf Earl Grey. It adds a twinkle of citrus, which you bring out with the orange zest.

Tea loaf may be traditional but – oh my – it’s good! Comforting, squidgy and fruity-sweet, this is a cake we’re making again and again!



Earl Grey Tea Loaf Ingredients

We guess you’ll have all the ingredients for your Earl Grey Tea Loaf in your cupboard already…

tea loaf ingredients on a wooden chopping board



Earl Grey Loose Leaf Tea

Your tea loaf deserves the best Earl Grey loose leaf tea! There are so many benefits to choosing loose leaf tea over teabags. Alongside an infinitely fresher flavour, you get more vibrancy, more health benefits and less plastic waste.

This is the Earl Grey tea to put in your Earl Grey Tea Loaf! Pop along to our online shop and get your lovely tea right away.


Two Chimps earl grey tea leaves


Dried Fruit

We’ve used a mixture of raisins, sultanas and juicy cranberries in this tea loaf cake recipe. We love the addition of dried cranberries: their ruby-red colour and tart tang are just awesome in this traditional recipe. That sour-sweetness is perfect with the orange flavour, too.

Soaking the dried fruits in tea makes them lovely and plump. Leave it overnight if you can, but a few hours will do just fine.

Slicing Earl Grey tea bread


No butter

A fat-free cake! That basically makes it a health food, right?

But, to be honest, the absence of butter isn’t down to saintly intentions. Without any oil or butter, tea loaf offers a crumb that’s sturdier than your airy Victoria sponge. This makes it a great cake for slicing and packing in lunchboxes. It keeps for longer than sponge cakes, too.

But no fear, butter lovers! You’re not missing out! Because the best way to serve your Earl Grey Tea bread is by spreading it thickly with lots of butter…

Two slices of tea loaf on a plate spread with butter alongside an orange




How do I serve my Earl Grey Tea Loaf?

To eat your homemade tea loaf cake, slice it into generous slices and spread with butter. You can toast it lightly, too. And serve with a pot of Two Chimps loose leaf tea, of course!

Earl grey loaf cake on wire rack with orange peel and blue butter dish




How do I store this Earl Grey Tea Loaf?

To keep your Earl Grey tea bread fresh, store it in an airtight container for up to five days.

And guess what? This tea loaf recipe is one of those wonderful cakes that tastes better after a couple of days (this allows the flavours to develop).


woman's hand reaching to take a piece of cake from a stack of earl grey tea loaf slices




Can I freeze a tea loaf?

Yes! Tea loaf cake is the perfect cake for freezing.

  • Simply wrap the whole cake in cling film or baking parchment, label, and pop in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw completely at room temperature for eight or so hours before tucking in!
  • You can also freeze individual slices of Earl Grey fruit cake. Just wrap each slice in cling film or parchment and freeze as before.
earl grey tea bread with three slices on a white plate beside loose leaf earl grey tea and square dish of butter





Earl Grey Tea Loaf Ingredients

  • 3g Loose Leaf Earl Grey Tea for 300ml tea
  • 100g raisins
  • 175g sultanas
  • 70g dried cranberries
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 275g self-raising flour
  • 170g light muscovado sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 large free-range egg, beaten



Step 1

Make 300ml (about one mug) of tea using your Earl Grey loose leaf tea – you want a fairly strong brew.

 Earl grey tea in infuser in a jug of water

Step 2

Put the raisins, sultanas, dried cranberries and orange zest in a bowl and pour over the hot tea. Stir, cover and leave to soak for 2-3 hours or overnight.


Mixed dried fruits steeping in orange zest and tea


Step 3

Preheat the oven to 150C/130C Fan/Gas 3½. Grease a 900g/2lb loaf tin and line with baking parchment.


Lined loaf tin on white board


Step 4

Add the flour, sugar, cinnamon and egg to the bowl of fruit mixture and mix thoroughly (you don’t need to drain the fruit).

Earl Grey tea loaf ingredients in mixing bowl

Step 5

Spoon into the prepared tin and smooth the surface. Bake for 1¼ – 1 ½ hours, then check to see how it’s doing. The cake should be risen, and a skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean. Put it back in for another 15 mins if it’s not cooked.

If the top is browning too quickly, cover it with tin foil before putting it back in the oven.


Step 6

Leave to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes. Then remove from the tin and transfer to a wire rack.

Earl Grey tea loaf on wire rack besides loaf tine

Step 7

To serve, cut into thick slices and spread with butter.



Sliced Earl grey tea loaf on a plate with cake fork with whole cake and peeled satsuma




Caught the baking bug? Then head to our online recipe file for more scrummy ideas!



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