Homemade Malt Loaf – this easy malt loaf recipe takes minutes to mix together all in one bowl. Delicious served warm with lashings of butter and a cup of tea!
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I was first introduced to malt loaf when I first moved to England several decades ago. I quickly fell in love with this fruity loaf and I am still hopelessly devoted to it!
There’s nothing quite like a thick slice of malt loaf generously spread with butter and a strong cup of tea to lift spirits on a dreary rainy afternoon.
Since malt loaf featured in a recent episode of the Great British Bake Off I can see it soaring in popularity!
What is Malt Loaf then?
Although Malt loaf brings to mind bread, it is actually more of a sticky, fruity loaf cake packed with plump dried fruit.
Malt extract lends this loaf cake its name, sweetness and sticky texture which only matures as the cake ages.
Store bought malt loaf (such as Soreen) has a softer and more squidgy texture whereas homemade versions are denser but no less delicious!
Malt Loaf Ingredients
- Dried fruit – I used raisins and dates but you can use your favourite dried fruit such as sultanas, prunes or figs
- Tea – I used Earl Grey which is not as strong but more aromatic and added the tea into the loaf batter
- Malt extract
- Diastatic malt powder – this is entirely optional but if you have some you can add a tablespoon or two (taking out equivalent in flour)
- Dark brown sugar or molasses sugar
- Flour – you can use plain flour or something more interesting such as spelt or wholemeal or buckwheat flour
- Baking powder and bicarbonate of soda
HOW TO MAKE MALT LOAF
Full measurements and instructions can be found on the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page. Please take a look at the steps and video before attempting this recipe!
Preheat the oven to 170C (340F). Grease and line a 900g (2lb) loaf pan. Add the dried fruit and contents of a tea bag into a mixing bowl. Pour in freshly boiled water, malt extract and sugar. Stir well and leave to stand for 10 minutes.
Stir in the eggs and then sift in the flour and baking powder. Mix the batter until no streaks of flour remain and pour into a greased and lined loaf pan.
Bake for an hour, or until the malt loaf has risen and feels firm to the touch. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean. Brush the warm loaf with malt extract and leave to cool in the tin.
Wrap the malt loaf in two layers of greaseproof paper and store at room temperature for 3-5 days so it can mature. The loaf will become stickier and softer in texture as it ages.
Serve warm with butter and be warned, it is deliciously addictive!
Recipe notes and tips
- If you like you can soak the dried fruit overnight so that they plump up properly. A little whisky or rum is a lovely addition to the soaking liquid!
- You don’t have to wait until the malt loaf is mature to slice it but trust me when I say it tastes SO MUCH BETTER if you do!
- Slice and freeze the cake once it has matured so that you can treat yourself to a slice! Toast to defrost or heat in the microwave.
MORE LOAF CAKE RECIPES
Homemade Malt Loaf
- 200 g (7oz) sultanas or raisins
- 100 g (3 1/2 oz) chopped dates or prunes
- 150 ml (2/3 cup) freshly boiled water
- 1 Earl Grey teabag (or tea bag of your choice)
- 150 g (2/3 cup) malt extract
- 100 g (1/2 cup) molasses sugar or dark brown sugar
- 2 eggs large
- 255 (2 cups) plain flour or see notes
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 3 tbsp malt extract to brush on malt loaf
- Preheat the oven to 170C (340F). Grease and line a 900g (2lb) loaf pan. Add the dried fruit and contents of a tea bag into a mixing bowl. Pour in freshly boiled water, malt extract and sugar. Stir well and leave to stand for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the eggs and then sift in the flour and baking powder.
- Mix the batter until no streaks of flour remain and pour into a greased and lined loaf pan.
- Bake for an hour, or until the malt loaf has risen and feels firm to the touch. A toothpick inserted in the centre should come out clean.
- Brush the warm loaf with malt extract and leave to cool in the tin.
- Wrap the malt loaf in two layers of greaseproof paper and store at room temperature for 3-5 days so it can mature.
- You can use wholemeal, spelt flour or buckwheat flour if you prefer.
- The cake keeps well at room temperature but you can also slice and freeze it. Toast from frozen or warm in the microwave before serving.