Try this tasty version of the classic Irish fruit loaf. It’s so simple to prepare, and is just perfect when served toasted with butter and a cup of tea.

  • 10 mins preparation plus overnight soaking
  • 1 hr 30 mins cooking
  • Makes 22 pieces
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  • 2 cup golden sultanas
  • 1/4 cup mixed peel
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 500 millilitre hot earl grey tea
  • 2 1/2 cup self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 medium free-range egg, well beaten


  • 1
    Mix sultanas, peel, sugar and lemon zest together in a bowl and pour over hot tea. Leave to soak overnight; cover when cool.
  • 2
    Line the bottom and sides of a 22cm-deep cake tin with baking paper. Preheat oven to 170°C and set a shelf below the centre of the oven.
  • 3
    Sift the flour, mixed spice and salt over the fruit mixture, then add the egg and gently fold together; don't beat. Tip mixture into prepared tin.
  • 4
    Bake for 1½ hours, draping the top with tin foil once it is a deep golden-brown. The cake should be well risen, a good colour, feel firm to the touch and be showing signs of pulling away from the sides of the tin.
  • 5
    Cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then turn it out onto a cake rack and leave until cool. Once cool, store airtight – it will keep for several days. Serve it sliced into thick wedges and spread generously with butter.

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