Sticky malt loaves

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 50 mins


Makes 2, each cuts into 10 slices
There's something very satisfying about a cup of tea with a slice of buttered malt loaf - this simple, good-for-you version makes two and improves on keeping

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal140
  • fat1g
  • saturates0g
  • carbs31g
  • sugars22g
  • fibre1g
  • protein3g
  • salt0.17g
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  • sunflower oil, for greasing
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    A variety of oils can be used for baking. Sunflower is the one we use most often at Good Food as…

  • 150ml hot black tea
  • 175g malt extract, plus extra for glazing (see tip)
  • 85g dark muscovado sugar
  • 300g mixed dried fruit
  • 2 large eggs, beaten



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 250g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
    Baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…


  1. Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Line the base and ends of two greased 450g/1lb non-stick loaf tins with strips of baking parchment.

  2. Pour the hot tea into a mixing bowl with the malt, sugar and dried fruit. Stir well, then add the eggs.

  3. Tip in the flour, then quickly stir in the baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and pour into the prepared tins. Bake for 50 mins until firm and well risen. While still warm, brush with a little more malt to glaze and leave to cool.

  4. Remove from the tins. If you can bear not to eat it straight away, it gets more sticky after wrapping and keeping for 2-5 days. Serve sliced and buttered, if you like.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Comments (92)

KazL_aka_Red's picture

I made this as one two pound malt loaf because I don't have the smaller tins. It turned out very nicely for a healthy (fat free) cake. It is much tastier than a brought one. I added a little bit of cinnamon (I was in a hurry and couldn't find the mixed spice). I shall make this again.

arnie_pipe's picture

I've made this recipe a few times now and it always turns out perfectly! As others have said, it's not exactly the same as a Soreen loaf as it's a bit less squishy and probably a little less sweet, which I think I prefer. It does seem to cook in 40 - 45 mins rather than 50, but that may be because I'm using a bigger loaf tin, so it's a bit more spread out. It seems fairly forgiving of a few extra minutes anyway.
I also use half wholemeal flour in an attempt to make it slightly healthier, and this works absolutely fine.
Patience is definitely rewarded - it seems to get better the longer you leave it wrapped up!!

Mishi10's picture

I made this for the first time today and was very impressed with how easy and tasty this malt loaf is. I didn't have malt extract (and my local supermarkets didn't have it) and wasn't going to go on an expedition to find any but I had some malted milk powder. so I used about 150g of that and omitted the sugar because the powder had enough in it plus I used the whole 375g packet of mixed dried fruit I bought. I also added more hot tea to make up for the absorbent qualities of the malted milk powder (approx 250-300ml instead of 150ml). My two loaves took a fair bit longer than 50 minutes to cook through but the end result was delicious. The fruit was evenly distributed throughout and it was sweet and malty but not overly either. I didn't bother with the glaze. I've had two slices with butter and marmalade as afternoon tea and have no doubt the rest will be eaten by the other members of the household tonight! The second loaf I will wrap up to see how much it improves over the next few days (like my great nan's fruit cake).

jmalanga1981's picture

I made this in my bread maker just to see if I could make anything else but bread in my new machine. Combined all the liquid ingredients together then added sugar and fruit and raising agents and put on 'sweet', 1000g 'light' colour setting. Needed an extra 10 minutes on 'bake' to ensure it was baked all the way through. Fruit was evenly distributed throughout (a bit of luck involved with this I think) and the loaf was lovely in texture and flavour. The only difficulty was that because of the machine I had one huge loaf rather than two as stated in the recipe. I just cut one slice in two- simple!

PHinch94's picture

The neighbourhood baker and friend (and malt-loaf lover) was very impressed. Passing on the recipe to him.

squashypig's picture

Been wanting to try this recipe for a while but couldn't find malt extract, until I asked in my local chemist. The result was a great success and can't wait to make more. Next time though I think I'll swap the mixed fruit for just sultanas, and probably use more, as the fruit sank to the bottom (like in the illustration) and I like my malt loaf full to the brim with squidgy fruit. The taste was perfect and nice and sticky with the extra glaze. I stored mine in an airtight container rather than wrapped in foil etc as it does tend to take a lot of patience and finger licking before you get to the treasure! I got 24 adequate slices out of my 2 loaves and lathered in butter they go down a treat!

janice88's picture

Like Cookie-Lady I too missed Soreen malt loaf and found this recipe a great comfort and good second-best. However, having been back to the UK and eaten Soreen again I now find the results of this recipe far superior. The loaves certainly improve with keeping. Just make sure more are made in good time in order to continue the supply!
A tip for cookie-lady - muscovado sugar is available at Walmart if you have a store near you. I use also dark brown sugar which is available in most stores.

Cookie-Lady's picture

Janice88 - just saw your note. I found Muscovado sugar on Amazon and now make sure I always have both light and dark Muscovado sugar in the pantry (I buy 10 lbs at a time to make sure I don't run out). You are right, this recipe is far superior to Soreen.

Cookie-Lady's picture

Since moving to the USA many years ago, one thing I missed was the Soreen malt bread. I finally found this recipe and decided to try it. The malt extract and the muscovado sugar were not very easy to get. I finally found them online. I made the recipe last week. This is not a "copycat" Soreen. But it is awesome. I only have a few slices of the second malt loaf left, so I am going to have to make some more soon.

britgirl58's picture

Hello - you say you found the sugar and malt extract online - could you please be specific? Did you use brewers malt extract? This is all I seem to be able to find. Thank you!

Ellen4's picture

So this was easy to make and tasted so fresh and yummy, but without all the bad. But don't expect it to taste like the malt loaf you buy from the shop as it doesn't. But it does taste amazing

kjarvo's picture

I'm not sure why this says it is 'good-for-you', it's as bad as any cake. But it is still nice.
I used 250g of fruit, any more seems too much. I also used standard granulated sugar instead of muscavado, because it is cheaper.
It didn't turn out very sticky, but it still tastes nice. I made it again with added ginger and that was nice. The recipe should just half all of the ingredients, there is no reason to list everything for 2 loafs. I also stuck it in the oven at 180C for 30 mins and it was fine. I don't see the need for cooking it at that low a temperature for 50 minutes.

britgirl58's picture

If you made all these changes - maybe that is why yours didn't turn out quite so sticky.

Pgale's picture

Best recipe I've found so far. Also tried the recipe from The Guardian (twice) but that one came out quite bitter. For this recipe I used 100g prunes (from Guardian recipe) and 200g saltanas. Fantastic taste, squidgy and medium sweet. Really lovely.
As other have said, if you're making these regularly, buy the 2.5kg tub of malt extract (syrup - not powder) from Amazon for around £12. Hugely better value than paying £2-4 for a tiny jar!

allielovetocook's picture

Incredibly easy recipe to follow, though I soaked my fruit for half an hour or so in the hot tea, sugar and malt extract before doing the rest. Resulting loaves took the required 50 mins to cook and after glazing and cooling one is now wrapped awaiting maturation and eventual eating on the weekend! .. however, loaf number two was used for experimental purposes and, strictly for those reasons, I have cut into it today and had a couple of slices .... it is pleasantly firm but squidgy with plenty of aeration and fruit throughout - and although different to the ever-gorgeous Soreen, is absolutely yummy already. I intend to sample it at various stages during the next few days to ensure I find the optimum stage at which future batches should be consumed .....

amandagreen's picture

We live in Spain so my parents brought over malt extract from health shop...the malt loaf turned out brilliantly ....I used molasses instead of Moscavado which really made the texture excellent....and yes it improves within a couple of days .....if it gets to last that long !!!

lisavictoria79's picture

So simple to make and tastes amazing, a big hit with my four year old son. Didn't even bother freezing the second loaf as the first one didn't last two minutes!! Will never buy malt loaf again as this is so much better.

stephenjoanne's picture

Excellent recipe, but beware don't make this unless you want to be making it for everyone, I've had loads of requests.
Do try this toasted for breakfast ....gorgeous !!! Mmmmmm mm
Can't seem to rate this recipe buts it a big fat 5 stars from me and my family.

heybear's picture

A lovely flavour, but my loaf didn't rise in the slightest! Perhaps my oven temperature was slightly off. The mixture also seemed very runny - did anyone else notice this?

barbarianjoy's picture

This is fantastic, a real taste from my childhood!! Super quick, easy and so moreish, just like my mum used to make, YUM!
Also, I got my malt extract from Ocado, and I'm pretty sure I've seen it Sainsbury's too.


Questions (15)

awolf44's picture

Hello from the US! I've found Malt Extract on Amazon, but it's available in both liquid and powder form. Which one?? Thanks!

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi there, we used the one that is like a syrup. Glad you were able to find it online. It's also available in health food shops.

rockybman's picture

Could I half the amounts or would this affect the rise?

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi, yes you can halve all of the amounts but you'll need to cook it in a smaller tin and also adjust the cooking time but it won't affect the rise at all.

rockybman's picture

I noticed the total amount of ingredients is greater than a kilo/Lb. Could I half this to make a 1Lb loaf or 3/4 to make a 1.5Lb loaf in a bread maker?

goodfoodteam's picture

This recipe makes two cakes, and you could halve it easily. We can't say how this would work out in your bread maker as appliances vary. It might be a case of experimenting. Let us know how you get on.

awolf44's picture

Hello from the US! I'm quite keen to try this. I've found Malt Extract on line (Amazon) but they have it in both (either) liquid or powder form. Which one does the recipe call for (or does it make a difference?)

goodfoodteam's picture

Thanks for your question. We used the one that is like a syrup for this recipe. We're happy you were able to find it online. It's also available in health food shops.

britgirl58's picture

I am in the US and cannot find Malt extract at my local stores. I have looked online and can only see brewing malt which I understand is not the correct kind - any specific help/details would be much appreciated

anniemt's picture

For the LIFE of me - I don't remember any fruit in malt loaf, especially mixed dried fruit, which I dislike! I searched for the recipe after sending for malt from home. Has this recipe been changed to include fruit?

Thank you.

rosieaconroy's picture

How many slices is "One Serving"? Thanks x

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi there. Each serving is one slice.

stephenjoanne's picture

I don't know why but I can't seem to rate anything ;(

PA's picture

If I use dates instead of the dried fruit do I still use 300g and do I still need to soak them in the tea?

goodfoodteam's picture

That's right - use the same amount of dried fruit and use the tea as well.

Tips (3)

Rosiepk's picture

I found malt extract in health food shop
Recipe is great thank you bbc good food

hesterjames's picture

A note to those who had problems with rising or sunk in middle. Mine took much longer to cook than the advised 50 mins. In fact it took 1hr 20. Tasted great though. The cooking temp is very low so I suspect most ovens will need a bit more time. I just tested it by gently pushing the top. If it still moved, I popped it back for another 10 mins at a time.

KazL_aka_Red's picture

Mine took a little longer but it was a single 2lb loaf.

You must preheat ovens properly for cakes. I preheated the oven at a higher temperature GM4 (I was baking a sponge) and then reduced the heat to GM2 when I put it in.

I switch my oven on when I start to bake and get the tins ready. Stand the tins on top of the oven so they are warming (not hot).