A craving for cake and a distinct lack of butter…

Sunday evening at around 4:15 – just late enough for the shops to be shut and just early enough for me know that the sudden urge to bake that I’ve just had is not going away in a hurry.

What cakes can I bake without butter, there’s barely a sniff left in the butter dish and the corner shop is more of a margarine type affair. I scan through the very small index of baking recipes in my brain and come up rather short – I’ve always been more of a dinner maker than cake baker. I remember the vast stash of half-used bags of dried fruits piled up at the back of the cupboard from Christmas pudding making in November. Surely I can make a fruit loaf without butter?

This could *almost* pass for a healthy recipe. Wholemeal flour – good, no butter – good. And all that dried fruit is packed with fibre, nutrients, antioxidants and because it’s naturally sweet, the recipe requires very little sugar. The problem comes a day later when you realise you just polished off 4 slices in one sitting, all slathered in butter.

Easy Fruit Loaf


350g whatever dried fruit you have – I used figs and prunes (chopped), sultanas, goji berries and raisins

200ml freshly brewed black tea – I used spiced chai

250g wholemeal flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 heaped tsp mixed spice

A pinch of salt

1 tablespoon soft brown sugar

3 medium eggs

Grated Rind from 1 orange

Marmalade (optional)

Leave your fruit to soak in a bowl with the tea for a couple of hours.

Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and mixed spice. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs with the sugar and orange rind.

Combine the fruit and flour and mix well with a wooden spoon, then add the egg mixture.

Transfer to a lined 2lb loaf tin and bake in a pre-heated oven for 50mins – 1 hour (160 C fan) or until you pass the clean skewer test.

Glaze the top with a little runny marmalade if you fancy a nice sheen and leave to cool.

Easy Fruit Loaf

Not quite as good as my Nanna used to make to but good enough.

Serve a slice with a generous spread of good butter if you have some… (remember there’s none in the cake so don’t feel guilty) and a nice cup of tea.

Easy Fruit Loaf