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Welsh Cold Tea Cake


This is my mother’s recipe, she made this cake regularly throughout my childhood and continues to bake it at the age of ninety two! However, I’m not making any claims for it as an aide to longevity.

We live in a small walled village in Umbria and every summer they hold a baking contest, As residents, we felt we would like to be involved although neither of us are great cake eaters now. So we made and entered my mother’s Welsh Cold Tea bread.

There were some fantastic entries depicting the Italian football team winning the World Cup and even the floods in New Orleans. We didn’t win but at the end of the judging everybody from the village can go and taste the cakes. We’re proud to say that even though the idea of a cake made with tea wasn’t appealing to the villagers, once they tasted it there wasn’t a crumb left.

Wrapped in foil this cake will keep well in the fridge. It’s delicious sliced and buttered.


350g self raising flour
450g dried fruit sultanas and currants
225g caster sugar
1 large egg
2 tbsp marmalade
tsp mixed spice
1 cup of warm tea (no milk)


Place the dried fruit and the caster sugar into a bowl add a cup of warm black tea, give everything a stir and leave to steep overnight.

When you’re ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 170c if you are going to divide the mixture into two tins or heat the oven to 150c if you are using one large tin.

Butter and flour your tins of choice. Into the bowl with the dried fruit, sugar and tea, stir the egg, flour, marmalade and mixed spice. Stir well making sure everything has amalgamated properly.

If you divide the mixture into two tins, bake at 170c for one hour and fifteen minutes. If you decide to use the one large tin, bake at 150c for one hour forty five minutes. In either case you will need to keep an eye on it and probably cover the top with some foil.

Test to see if it’s cooked by inserting a clean skewer, when it comes out clean without any mixture clinging to it, the cake is cooked. Leave to cool for fifteen minutes in the tin and then turn out onto a wire tray. When cold, wrap in foil and it will keep well in the fridge. That is if you haven’t eaten it all!