Easy Mary Berry Malt Loaf Recipe

Last updated on April 21, 2024

Mary Berry Malt Loaf
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 20 Mins Cook Time: 1 Hr 30 Mins Total Time: 1 Hr 50 Mins

Today I am going to make Mary Berry’s Malt Loaf Recipe. It’s a simple, British bread filled with dried fruits and has a sweet, malty taste. You can eat it with butter and it goes well with tea. This recipe makes enough for 8-10 people and takes about 2 to 2.5 hours to make, including the time to get everything ready and to bake it.

I’ll guide you through Mary Berry’s Malt Loaf Recipe, offering detailed steps and insider tips to ensure your baking success. Let’s start on this delightful culinary journey together.

What is the Mary Berry Malt Loaf Recipe?

The Mary Berry Malt Loaf Recipe is a timeless British bake, known for its dense, moist texture and rich malty flavor. It’s a simple yet satisfying bread, packed with dried fruits and steeped in tea, offering a unique taste that improves with age. This loaf is not just a treat; it’s a slice of comfort, perfect for any time of day.

Mary Berry Malt Loaf Recipe

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Simplicity: Despite its luxurious taste, this recipe is surprisingly easy to make.
  • Versatility: Perfect as a breakfast, snack, or dessert.
  • Flavorful: The combination of malt and dried fruits creates a rich, deep flavor.
  • Make-ahead: Tastes even better a day or two after baking.

Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Malt Loaf Recipe

  • 225g (1¾ cups) self-raising flour (also add the equivalent in pounds)
  • 175g (6 oz) malt extract (for a rich malty flavor)
  • 85g (3 oz) dark muscovado sugar (adds depth and sweetness)
  • 300ml (½ pint / 1.26 cups) hot black tea (without milk or sugar)
  • 2 large eggs (beaten)
  • 300g (10½ oz) mixed dried fruit (such as raisins, sultanas, and chopped dates for texture and sweetness)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • A pinch of salt (to enhance flavors)


  • 2lb loaf tin
  • Baking paper or greaseproof paper
  • Mixing bowl
  • Wooden spoon or electric mixer
  • Skewer or toothpick (to test doneness)
  • Wire rack (for cooling)

Let’s move on to the step-by-step instructions to make this delicious malt loaf.

Instructions to Make Mary Berry Malt Loaf Recipe

Step 1. Preparing the Loaf Tin

First things first, preheat your oven to 150°C (300°F, Gas Mark 2). Grease and line your 2lb loaf tin with baking paper. This ensures the loaf can be easily removed after baking.

Step 2. Mixing the Dry Ingredients

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the self-raising flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. Stir in the dark muscovado sugar, breaking up any lumps with the back of your spoon. This blend of dry ingredients lays the foundation for our malt loaf, ensuring it rises beautifully and has a delightful sweetness.

Step 3. Adding the Wet Ingredients

Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients and pour in the malt extract, beaten eggs, and hot black tea. The hot tea will help to dissolve the malt extract and sugar, making it easier to mix. Stir everything together until you have a smooth batter. It should be fairly wet – this is what gives the malt loaf its moist texture.

Step 4. Incorporating the Dried Fruits

Fold in the mixed dried fruits until they’re evenly distributed throughout the batter. The fruits not only add sweetness and texture but also absorb moisture, contributing to the loaf’s dense, moist crumb.

Step 5. Baking the Loaf

Pour the batter into your prepared loaf tin and smooth the top with the back of a spoon. Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake for about 75-90 minutes. The loaf is done when it’s risen and firm to the touch, and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

Step 6. Cooling and Slicing

Once baked, remove the malt loaf from the oven and let it cool in the tin for about 10 minutes. Then, turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely. For the best flavor and texture, wrap the loaf in parchment paper once it’s cooled and let it sit for a day before slicing. This waiting period allows the flavors to meld and deepen.

Mary Berry Malt Loaf Recipe

What to Serve with Mary Berry’s Malt Loaf

Choosing the right accompaniments can elevate your Mary Berry Malt Loaf to new heights.

Here are some perfect pairings:

Buttery Delight: Spread a generous amount of butter on a warm slice.
Cheese Companion: A slice of sharp cheddar cheese goes wonderfully with the loaf.
Tea Time: A cup of hot tea complements the malt loaf’s rich flavors.
Sweet Spread: Try mascarpone and honey for a decadently sweet topping.

Pro Tips for Perfect Mary Berry Malt Loaf

Achieving the perfect Mary Berry Malt Loaf is all about the details.

Here are some tips to help you master this recipe:

Choose Your Tea Wisely: A strong black tea enhances the loaf’s flavor.
Mix Just Right: Avoid overmixing to keep the loaf moist and tender.
Fruit Soak: Soaking the dried fruit in tea adds moisture and flavor.
Check for Doneness: The loaf is ready when a skewer comes out clean but moist.

Variations of the Mary Berry Malt Loaf Recipe

Experimenting with variations can bring exciting twists to the traditional malt loaf.

Here are some ideas:

Nutty Addition: Fold in chopped nuts like walnuts for crunch.
Chocolate Surprise: Add chocolate chips for a sweet, gooey texture.
Citrus Zest: Orange or lemon zest can add a fresh, tangy note.
Seed Mix-In: Incorporate sunflower or pumpkin seeds for a nutritious boost.

How to Store Mary Berry Malt Loaf Recipe Leftovers

Storing your Mary Berry Malt Loaf properly ensures it stays delicious for days.

Follow these steps for the best results:

Airtight Storage: Seal the loaf in cling film or aluminum foil once it’s fully cooled to lock in moisture.
Room Conditions: Keep the sealed loaf at room temperature to maintain its texture and flavor.
Longevity and Taste: Properly stored, the loaf can last up to a week, becoming richer in flavor over time.

How to Reheat Mary Berry Malt Loaf Recipe Leftovers

Reheating malt loaf can make it taste freshly baked again. Here’s how to do it right:

Broiler Toasting: Lightly toast slices under the broiler for a warm, crispy edge. Keep an eye on it to avoid burning.
Microwave Warming: For a softer slice, microwave for 10-15 seconds, which brings back the loaf’s moisture without drying it out.

Nutrition Value (per slice):

  • Calories: Approximately 250-300 kcal
  • Protein: 4g
  • Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 60g (varies depending on the amount of sugar and fruit added)
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 30g (this can vary based on the dried fruits and malt extract used)


Can I use plain flour instead of self-raising flour for Mary Berry’s Malt Loaf?

Yes, you can use plain flour instead of self-raising flour. For each cup of plain flour, add 2 teaspoons of baking powder to make it equivalent to self-raising flour. This will help the loaf rise properly during baking.

What kind of tea is best to use in the Mary Berry Malt Loaf recipe?

A strong black tea, like English Breakfast or Assam, is ideal for this recipe. The robust flavor of these teas complements the richness of the malt and the sweetness of the dried fruits.

Can I make the Mary Berry Malt Loaf without malt extract?

While malt extract gives the loaf its characteristic flavor, you can substitute it with molasses or honey. However, be aware that these substitutes will alter the flavor profile slightly, making it less malty but still delicious.

How long does the Mary Berry Malt Loaf stay fresh?

When stored properly at room temperature, and wrapped tightly in cling film or aluminum foil, the Mary Berry Malt Loaf can stay fresh and moist for up to a week. Its flavor actually improves a day or two after baking, becoming richer and more developed.

Final Words

Making Mary Berry’s Malt Loaf lets you enjoy a classic British treat right at home. This recipe gives you a really good, moist bread that’s fun to bake. You can eat it with butter, cheese, or whatever you like on top. It shows how great simple baking can be. Enjoy baking, and hope it makes your tea time even better.

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