Thursday, November 24, 2011

almond citrus tea loaf

Does it sound quaint or archaic to say “tea loaf” or “tea cake” in this day and age when hardly anyone takes time out of the day to sit down to a proper cup of tea, and a slice of something?  I guess by now you’ve figured out that “tea cake” here means a cake to slice up and have with tea, in the late afternoon, rather than a cake that contains tea.

Before the manic brand of motherhood that has become second nature (think mum, writer, blogger, tutor, cook, housekeeper, finance manager, referee and errand runner – no, I do not have a live-in or part time maid) I used to brew and savour a pot with my own mum. It was a sacred ritual for us and a relished respite from our daily humdrum.

Well, take a step back and get your teapot off that dusty shelf. There’s a reason for the phrase “tea and sympathy”, as everything that ever seemed insurmountable to me, always somehow felt more achieveable after a cup of comforting, perfectly brewed tea. And to go with that perfect cuppa, this perfectly simple and delectable moist and tangy loaf. I felt guilty that it took this little effort to wreck my diet. Bah!! Life is short dammit! And a friend wisely informed me that cake doesn’t count, cake is medicine. Well, another slice then please!

Prep 15 mins          Cook 40 mins          Serves 4 – 6

Dry Ingredients

100 g (1 cup) plain or all purpose flour (lightly packed and levelled)
60 g (1/2 cup) finely ground almonds (lightly packed)
75 g (1/2 cup) icing (powdered or confectioner's) sugar
1tsp baking soda (sieve it if lumpy – mine always is)
60 g  (1/2 cup) chopped candied orange or citrus peel

Wet Ingredients

140 ml (2/3 cup) cool melted butter or vegetable oil (melted butter recommended)
70 ml (1/3 cup) water or milk (milk recommended)
2 small eggs, beaten
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp cider vinegar

Heat oven at 175 C (340 F) and line a 8 cm by 20 cm (3 in by 8 in) loaf pan with baking parchment.

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a big mixing bowl and stir with a whisk until the orange peel is no longer in clumps.

Add in all the wet ingredients and stir until there are no lumps and sugar is more or less dissolved. Be gentle and don’t overwork the batter.

Scrape batter into tin and bake for about 35 – 40 minutes or until cake starts to pull back from the tin and a thin pointy knife stuck into the centre of the loaf comes out clean.

Turn cake out onto a cooling rack and leave till cold before slicing. Slice and serve with tea.

How. Easy. Was. That?


  1. This would be perfect with a cup of tea! I love orange cake but have not tried or seen orange candy. I imagine marmalade might be a good substitute. I will have to find an excuse to make this soon :)

    Even when I am having a cuppa alone, I like to make my tea in a teapot. It just makes the whole experience that much more enjoyable without having to get up to fill the cup. Have you seen people putting a teabag in cold water and then nuking it. It's sad...

  2. Nuking a teabag IS sad... but I really don't think that anyone who has tried a cup of tea brewed with care, from loose tea leaves (or at least good quality teabags)would be able to do that! It's a pity many aren't aware that tea leaves make great compost or that loose leaf tea is many times more eco friendly. It doesn't just make better tea. All this talk is making me thirsty for a cup right now.....

  3. Oops sorry! Yes, Biren - marmalade would be a good substitute and it would also make for a even more moist cake.

  4. BTW, is that teapot and tea cups part of a set? It looks really pretty. Love that silver finial on the lid. Having tea is a great excuse to use all that pretty china :)

  5. The teacups I got at 50 cents a piece from a warehouse clearance sale and the teapot is part of a different set, whose teacups didn't appeal to me. I like to mix up my china, so if a piece is broken, it doesn't hurt so much...

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