Happy Holidays Everyone!
Christmas is over but the Christmassy feeling is yet to go. This is the season for cakes and we are practically having fruit cakes with every cup of tea. Today I will share the recipe of afternoon fruit loaf. Even though it is called a loaf, it is essentially a light fruit cake.
If you don’t like those rich fruit cakes or plum cakes baked during Christmas, this is the perfect alternative. It’s not loaded with dry fruits but just enough to have a texture with every bite. Besides if you like orange flavour, this is a must-try cake for you.
Afternoon fruit loaf ingredients
This fruit cake has basic ingredients, much like any English tea cake. Sugar, butter, eggs, flour and baking powder are the main ingredients. However, what makes this afternoon fruit loaf incredibly delicious is the freshly grated orange rind. Additionally, there is a cup of dry fruits and nuts that have been soaked in alcohol for a long period of time. Don’t get disheartened here. Like a traditional English tea loaf, you can steep these dry fruits and nuts in orange juice and a little bit of rum (optional) for fifteen to twenty minutes on the stove-top. And that should do the trick. I have tried it and I know it works.
Dry fruits and nuts that go into this light fruit cake
Honestly, I don’t think you have to worry about having the perfect combination of raisins and sultanas. In my early baking days, that is two decades ago, I used to measure out each different dry fruit and nuts to the exact measurement. Over the years, I have baked with whatever came in handy and the taste never changed drastically. For this afternoon fruit loaf, I have cashews, candied peel, black currants, sultanas, golden raisins and some tutty fruity in no specific quantity soaked together in rum and brandy over months.
I made a second loaf today by steeping the same ingredients, plus walnuts and cherries in orange juice and run for 15 minutes over low heat till the fruits had soaked in the liquid. And then I used the juice of one orange and the steeped fruits in the tea cake.
Here are a few more afternoon tea cakes that might interest you:
- Almond flour banana bread is a gluten-free recipe
- Banana bread with maple buttercream
- Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting
- Eggless rich fruit cake
- Traditional Christmas cake with almond paste frosting
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Afternoon Fruit Loaf | No Yeast Fruit Loaf | Afternoon Tea Fruit Cake
- 200 gms butter 7 oz
- 150 gms caster sugar 5 oz
- 3 large eggs
- 250 gms all-purpose flour 9 oz
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 large orange
- 150 gms dry fruits and nuts 5 oz (see notes)
- Pour the juice of one orange into a saucepan and add all the dry fruits and nuts. You can add half a cup of rum to this also if you want.
- Over medium heat, give this a boil and lower the heat and let it continue simmering for a few minutes till it has become a bit syrupy.
- Transfer to a bowl and let this cool down. In case you have dry fruits and nuts that are already soaked in alcohol, you can use that as well.
- In a large mixing bowl, take the butter at room temperature and sugar. Add the zest of one orange and then whisk till they have combined.
- Add eggs one by one and whisk each time to incorporate fully.
- Sift in the flour with baking powder and fold this. This will be quite a thick batter.
- Add the steeped fruits along with all the liquid. And then fold that in. In case all the liquid has evaporated, then add the juice of half an orange. Or you could add a couple of tbsps of rum to the batter.
- Transfer to a greased loaf tin. Preferably line the loaf tin twice since this has a long baking period.
- Bake in pre-heated oven at 180 degrees for 30 minutes and then at 160 for another 15 to 20 mins or until a skewer comes out clean when you prick in the centre.
- Let it cool down completely and then cut into slices and serve.