Mary Berry's Orange Tea Bread. Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post.
Mary Berry's Orange Tea Bread. Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post.

RECIPE: Mary Berry's orange teabread

By Beck Krystal Time of article published Jul 8, 2020

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This is a simple fruit-studded tea bread with a tender crumb and lovely orange flavour. Everything comes together in a single bowl with a few quick stirs. 

Not only is the tea a starring ingredient, you can't go wrong with a thick slice, eaten plain or with a bit of butter or marmalade, served alongside a cuppa.
Mary Berry's recipe is beautiful as written, but feel free to use it as a template, swapping in your choice of tea, dried fruit and citrus zest.

You'll need an 20cm round cake pan for this recipe. We also tested it in a 23cm pan; the bread will bake faster (start checking at about 45 minutes) and its texture might be a bit drier than the 20cm bread.

The fruit, sugar and orange zest need to soak overnight in the tea. The texture of the bread is best the day it is made, but leftovers hold up well for a few days at room temperature in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap. (Pop a slice in the microwave for about 10 seconds for more of that just-baked texture and warmth.)

Mary Berry's Orange Teabread (Makes 1 20cm round loaf)


1 cup (150 grams) dried currants
1/2 cup (75 grams) seedless golden raisins
1/2 cup (75 grams) diced candied orange peel (may substitute additional golden raisins)
3/4 cup (150 grams) packed light brown sugar
Finely grated zest of 2 navel oranges (1 tablespoon)
1 1/4 cups hot black tea (brewed)
2 cups (283 grams) flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 large egg, beaten


Combine the currants, golden raisins, candied orange peel, brown sugar and orange zest in a mixing bowl, then pour in the hot tea. Stir well, and cover with a plate to keep the heat in. Let the mixture stand (macerate) overnight.
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees. Grease  cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
Add the flour, baking powder and egg to the soaked fruit mixture, stirring to form a very thick batter.
Scrape the batter into the cake pan, smooth the top and bake (middle rack) for about an hour, or until the tea bread is nicely browned and has slightly pulled away from the sides of the pan. 
A skewer or cake tester inserted into the centre should come out clean.
Invert the bread onto a wire rack so you can discard its parchment paper, then turn it right side up on the rack. 
Cool until barely warm, or room temperature, before cutting into wedges for serving.

The Washington Post 

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