Malt Loaf

Malt loaf is one of my quintessential childhood memories; a lovely filling snack after school when my Mum would cut thick slices of the sticky loaf and smother it in butter to keep us going until dinner time. It was rare to go on a school trip without a few slices wrapped in a greaseproof. My love of malt loaf has never left me; the problem is the loaf is so moreish I can never stop at one slice.

I adapted this malt loaf from Felicity Cloake at The Guardian by using a mix of dried prunes, figs, and some dried fruits, as I find they make an even stickier cake, but adjust the dried fruits to what you like.

serves 6

  • 150 ml strong, hot Yorkshire Tea
  • 175 g malt extract, divided
  • 2 tablespoons black treacle 
  • 50 grams dark brown sugar
  • 100 grams prunes coarsely chopped
  • 50 grams dried figs, coarsely chopped
  • 50 g dried mixed fruit
  • 120 g plain flour and 120 grams wholewheat flour, mixed
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes

making the malt loaf:

  1. To the hot tea, add 9 tablespoons of malt extract (keep the remaining extract for glazing later), the treacle, brown sugar, and the dried fruits. Stir well and let to soak for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, line a medium loaf tin (approximately 10 x 22 centimetres) with baking parchment and preheat the oven to 180ºC. Sieve the flour mixture and baking powder into a large baking bowl and add the salt.
  3. Add the soaked fruits and tea, then mix thoroughly to create a thick batter. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes, then lower the heat to 160ºC and cook for a further 40 minutes. The loaf is cooked when pierced with a skewer or toothpick, and it comes out just about clean.
  4. Take the loaf from the oven and pour the remaining malted extract over the loaf while it is warm and leave the loaf to cool in the tin.
  5. Wrap the loaf in paper and leave it to mature for four to five days. During this time, the loaf will soften and become lovely and sticky.
  6. To serve the malt loaf, cut it into thick slices and smear it with butter. If the loaf feels a little hard, warm it gently for 10 seconds in the microwave or in a warm oven for 5 minutes.

If you enjoyed this malt loaf, find more recipes from Elaine, here on the website or follow her on Instagram.