Mary Berry Tea Bread Recipe

Mary Berry Tea Bread Recipe
Yields: 1 Serving

Mary Berry Tea Bread is a delicious and moist fruit loaf that is perfect for tea time. It is also easy to make, with only a few ingredients and steps. You don’t need any yeast or kneading to make this bread. All you need is a mixing bowl, a wooden spoon, a loaf tin, and an oven.

In this article, I will show you how to make Mary Berry’s tea bread, with a complete step-by-step guide. You will also learn some tips and tricks to make your bread even better.

Let’s get started!

What is Mary Berry Tea Bread Recipe?

Mary Berry tea bread is a traditional British cake, made with dried fruits that are soaked in hot tea overnight. The tea gives the fruits a rich and moist texture and adds a subtle flavor to the bread. The bread is also flavored with brown sugar, mixed spice, and orange zest. 

Other Popular Recipes

Why You Love this Recipe

There are many reasons to love this recipe for Mary Berry tea bread.

Here are some of them:

  • Simplicity: With straightforward steps and common ingredients, this recipe is incredibly easy to follow.
  • Versatility: You can personalize the bread by choosing different types of dried fruits, teas, and additional ingredients like nuts or chocolate chips.
  • Deliciousness: The bread’s moist texture and rich flavor make it a delightful accompaniment to tea or coffee.

Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Tea Bread Recipe

To make Mary Berry tea bread, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 300 g (10 oz) mixed dried fruits (such as raisins, sultanas, currants, cherries, cranberries, etc.)
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) hot black tea (such as Earl Grey, English Breakfast, or Assam)
  • 225 g (8 oz) self-raising flour
  • 150 g (5 oz) light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Grated zest of 1 orange

Useful Equipment

To make this recipe for Mary Berry tea bread, you will need the following equipment:

  • A large mixing bowl
  • A wooden spoon
  • A 900 g (2 lb) loaf tin
  • Baking parchment
  • A skewer
  • A wire rack

Instructions Make Mary Berry Tea Bread

To make Mary Berry tea bread, you need to follow these steps:

Step 1: Soak the Fruits in Tea

  • The night before, put the mixed dried fruits in a large mixing bowl and pour over the hot tea. Stir well and cover with a plate. Leave to soak overnight at room temperature.
  • This will help the fruits to plump up and absorb the flavor of the tea.

Step 2: Prepare the Oven and the Loaf Tin

  • The next day, preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan, gas mark 4).
  • Grease and line the loaf tin with baking parchment. This will prevent the bread from sticking to the tin.

Step 3: Make the Batter

  • Add the flour, sugar, mixed spice, egg, and orange zest to the bowl with the soaked fruits.
  • Stir well with a wooden spoon until well combined. The mixture will be thick and sticky.
  • This will form the batter for the bread.

Step 4: Bake the Bread

  • Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and level the surface.
  • Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • This will bake the bread until golden and cooked through.

Step 5: Cool the Bread

  • Leave the bread to cool slightly in the tin, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • This will allow the bread to set and firm up.

Step 6: Enjoy Your Mary Berry Tea Bread

  • Enjoy your Mary Berry tea bread, sliced and buttered if you like.
  • You can also serve it with jam, honey, cream cheese, or clotted cream for extra indulgence.
  • It goes well with a cup of tea, coffee, or milk. You can enjoy it for tea time, breakfast, or snack.
Mary Berry Tea Bread
Mary Berry Tea Bread

What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Tea Bread?

The Mary Berry tea bread, with its inviting and rich texture, is a flexible choice for various accompaniments. Whether enjoyed in its pure, unadorned state or enhanced with additional flavors, this bread caters to a range of preferences.

Here are some ideal pairings and ways to enjoy it:

  • Classic Pairing: Simply slice and butter for a traditional approach, highlighting the bread’s inherent flavors.
  • Sweet Complements: Spread with your favorite jam or drizzle honey for added sweetness.
  • Creamy Additions: Cream cheese or clotted cream can offer a luxurious, creamy texture.
  • Perfect Beverage Match: Enjoy it alongside a warm cup of tea, coffee, or a comforting glass of milk.
  • Versatile Occasions: Suitable for a range of settings, from a relaxing tea time and hearty breakfast to a wholesome snack.

Tea Bread Recipe Mary Berry

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Tea Bread

Here are some pro tips to make perfect Mary Berry tea bread:

  • Ingredient Quality: Choose high-quality dried fruits and robust-flavored teas to ensure depth in taste. Feel free to chop the fruits for a more even distribution.
  • Tea Preparation: Use hot tea for soaking the fruits; this enhances their absorption and plumpness. For an extra layer of flavor, consider adding a dash of brandy, rum, or whisky.
  • Mixing the Batter: Mix just enough to combine the ingredients. Overmixing can result in a dense and heavy bread.
  • Baking Considerations: Avoid overbaking. Start checking the bread after one hour. If needed, cover with foil to prevent excess browning and bake a little longer.
  • Storage: Keep the bread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days. For longer storage, freeze it for up to three months.

Variations of Mary Berry Tea Bread

You can make some variations of Mary Berry tea bread by changing the ingredients or adding some extras.

Here are some ideas:

  • Fruit Varieties: Experiment with different dried or fresh fruits like apricots, figs, dates, prunes, or pineapple. Adjust tea and sugar quantities if using fresh fruits, as they bring additional moisture and sweetness.
  • Tea Choices: Explore various teas like green, herbal, or fruit-infused teas. Alternatively, coffee, cocoa, or juice can replace tea, but adjust sugar levels accordingly.
  • Add-Ins: Enhance texture and flavor with nuts, seeds, or chocolate chips. Walnuts, almonds, pecans, pistachios, or seeds like sunflower and pumpkin are great options. Dark chocolate chips add a luxurious touch.
  • Spice It Up: Infuse the batter with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, or cardamom. Vanilla, almond, or lemon extracts are great alternatives or additions to orange zest.
  • Finishing Touches: Consider a glaze or drizzle like lemon, orange, cream cheese frosting, or chocolate ganache. A simple dusting of icing sugar or cocoa powder can also elevate the presentation.

How do I store Mary Berry Tea Bread Leftovers?

Ensuring your Mary Berry tea bread remains fresh and delicious for subsequent servings is simple with proper storage techniques.

Here’s how to maintain its quality:

  • At Room Temperature: Keep the bread in an airtight container for up to 5 days. This method preserves the bread’s moisture and flavor.
  • Freezing for Longevity: For longer storage, wrap the bread tightly in plastic wrap, followed by foil, and freeze it for up to 3 months. Labeling with the date helps keep track of its freshness.
  • Defrosting: When ready to enjoy, defrost the bread at room temperature for a few hours, or for a quick solution, use the microwave for a few seconds.

How do I reheat Mary Berry Tea Bread Leftovers?

Enjoying your tea bread as if it’s freshly baked is easy with these reheating methods:

  • Oven Reheating: Preheat your oven to 160°C (140°C fan, gas mark 3). Wrap the bread in foil and warm it for 10-15 minutes. This method evenly warms the bread, restoring its original texture.
  • Microwave for Convenience: For a quicker option, slice the bread and place it on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave for 10-15 seconds or until it reaches the desired temperature.

Nutrition Value per serving (1/12 of a loaf):

  • Calories: 215
  • Fat: 1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 50 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 51 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Sugar: 31 g
  • Protein: 4 g

Popular Recipes to Try


Can I use fresh fruit instead of dried in the Mary Berry Tea Bread recipe?

Yes, you can use fresh fruit, but it’s important to adjust the recipe slightly. Fresh fruits contain more moisture than dried, so you may need to reduce the amount of tea or increase the flour slightly to compensate. Also, keep in mind that fresh fruits might alter the bread’s texture and taste.

Is it possible to make Mary Berry Tea Bread gluten-free?

Yes, you can make this bread gluten-free by substituting the self-raising flour with a gluten-free self-raising flour blend. Ensure that the baking powder in the blend is also gluten-free. However, the texture might be slightly different from the original recipe.

How do I know when the tea bread is perfectly baked?

The tea bread is done when it has a golden-brown color and a skewer or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. It typically takes about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes at 180°C (160°C fan, gas mark 4). Avoid overbaking to prevent the bread from becoming dry.

Can I freeze the Mary Berry Tea Bread?

Absolutely! The tea bread freezes well. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then in foil, and freeze for up to 3 months. To defrost, leave it at room temperature for a few hours or microwave it for a few seconds before serving.

Are there any alternatives to black tea in the recipe?

Yes, you can experiment with different types of tea. Green tea, herbal tea, or fruit-infused teas are great alternatives. You can also use coffee or cocoa for a unique twist. Just be mindful that the liquid used can influence the final flavor of the bread.

Final Words

I hope you enjoyed this article and learned how to make Mary Berry tea bread, with a complete step-by-step guide. This bread is delicious and moist and perfect for tea time. It is also easy to make, with only a few ingredients and steps. You can also customize it with your favorite fruits, tea, and extras. Try this recipe and let me know how it turns out. Thank you for reading and happy baking!

Leave a Reply