Christmas Tea Bread

May 13, 2013mayurisjikoni
Blog post



Christmas Tea Bread

Are you wondering why would anyone want to make a Christmas Tea Bread when there is a Christmas Cake around? Well, for one this Christmas Tea Bread is so easy to put together and secondly not everyone wants a rich Christmas Cake. This Christmas Tea Bread offers the soaked fruits, the warmth of spices but is so much lighter. This bread can replace the Christmas Cake easily, can be enjoyed for breakfast or even as an accompaniment to your cup of tea or coffee.

What is the difference between a cake and tea bread or quick bread?

The basic difference is the tin that its baked in. Normally, cakes are baked in a round tin or a square one while tea breads or quick breads are baked in a loaf tin. However, the other difference is that while quick breads or tea breads can be sweet or savory, cakes are usually sweet. Another difference between the two is that cakes tend to be much lighter as more eggs are used compared to quick breads or tea breads where less eggs are used and they tend to be a bit dense. Lastly, quick breads or tea breads are so much easier to put together. Its usually just mixing dry ingredients with the wet ones like we do so for muffins.

Is this tea bread only for Christmas?

Not really, I make this fruity and spicy tea bread often especially whenever I’m hosting a tea party. Sometimes, I bake it just so that its a good weekend treat for us with our tea or coffee. During Christmas and Diwali I like to bake them in smaller loaf tins so that I can give them away as gifts.


The first time I tried this Christmas Tea Bread was for my eldest son’s in laws. They were visiting us for the first time and thought they would want a cake or something similar with their tea or coffee. I was right, they enjoyed the tea bread with their coffee and also had it the next day for breakfast. It was their first visit to Kenya. Also was the first time we met each other. In spite of a slight  language problem, we got along pretty well. They were in Mombasa for a few days only. We took them down to Tsavo East to get a feel as to how a safari is and they loved it. They couldn’t believe how beautiful the beach is.


This group was started by Renu, who blogs at Cook with Renu. The whole purpose of this group is to redo old posts with new photos, new write up, whatever one wants to do to make the post better. Most of my posts are about re writing the post in a more structured manner and of course updating the photos.

A bit more about the Christmas Tea Bread

The first time I tried the bread, I baked it using all purpose flour. Over time bit by bit I replaced it with wheat flour. Nowadays whenever I bake this Christmas Tea Bread, I use wheat flour. Also I replaced normal refined sugar with brown sugar. As for the dry fruits that I use, I add whatever I have at hand. Basically you can use any dry fruit of your choice, blueberries, cranberries, raisins, sultana, figs, dates, apricots, dried kiwi, pineapple, candied orange peel, etc. I’ve even used dry dates, which work pretty well as the fruits are soaked in hot black tea for an hour or so. Sometimes I soak them overnight.


Some more Quick Bread/Tea Bread Recipes

Corn Cornbread –a savory bread

Carrot Nut Bread 

Oatmeal Banana Quick Bread

Sweet Potato Streusel Quick Bread

Banana Walnut Bread 

Carrot and Apple Nut Bread

Eggless Banana Walnut Bread

Eggless Coconut Pineapple Banana Bread

Christmas Tea Bread as Edible Gift

Makes a perfect gift for any occasion. Make one big loaf or mini loaves.

Ingredients Required for Christmas Tea Bread

Flour – use either all purpose flour (plain flour) or wheat flour

Black Tea – strength of the tea depends on your taste. I like to make strong black tea. In that respect I love Kenyan tea as its full of flavour and aromatic too.

Baking Powder

Baking Soda – soda bicarbonate.

Dried Fruits – of your choice. Can use dried blueberries, cranberries, raisins, sultana, figs, apricots, dry dates, mixed peels, kiwi, strawberries, pineapple, mango, etc

Sugar – use either white sugar or brown one. I prefer to use brown sugar.

Egg – lightly beaten

Orange Marmalade – adds a lovely flavour to the bread. However, if you don’t have any, replace it with orange jam or apricot jam.

Tea Masala – or chai spice mixture. I use the tea masala I make at home. If you don’t have any, its readily available in stores. Or make a mixture of cinnamon, cardamom, clove, ginger, nutmeg and pepper powders according to your taste. Click on the link for the homemade tea masala recipe. Can replace the Tea Masala with any spice mixture of your choice.



Christmas Tea Bread is a quick and easy alternate to a Christmas Cake. Enjoy it for breakfast, teatime or even as a dessert.
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Tea Time
Cuisine International
Servings 10 slices


  • 1 cup black tea cold
  • cups dried fruit cranberries, raisins, sultanas, blueberries, mixed peel etc
  • cup wheat flour
  • ⅓ - ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda soda bicarbonate
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 2 tbsp orange marmalade
  • 1 tsp mixed spice or tea masala


  • Soak the dried fruit in the black tea overnight or till the fruit plumps up.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Sift or sieve flour, spice mixture, baking powder, soda bicarbonate and salt together.
  • In a mixing bowl,add marmalade, beaten egg and sugar.
  • Whisk it well.
  • Add the soaked fruit and remaining tea. Mix well.
  • Add the flour mixture. Mix till the flour becomes wet.
  • Grease a loaf tin (9X5 inches). Dust it with some flour.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared tin.
  • Bake the bread for 1 hr or till it is done. Insert a toothpick or a fork into the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, then the bread is ready.
  • Allow the bread to cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Remove the bread from the tin and let it cool for a while on a wire rack.
  • Slice the bread and serve with some butter, marmalade, honey or on its own.


  • Take any dried fruit you like but the total amount should be about 1¼ cups.
  • Ready made tea masala is readily available in most supermarkets and Indian grocery stores.
  • If you're in a hurry, soak the fruit in hot black tea for 1 hour.
Keyword Christmas Tea Bread, Easy Tea Bread Recipe

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A little request:

If you do try this recipe then please either

  • add a comment below,
  • send a picture to my email
  •  tag me as #mayuri_jikoni on Instagram
  • or tag me on Twitter as #Mayuri1962






  • Beena.stephy

    May 14, 2013 at 7:54 am

    Perfect tea time snack. yummy

  • Mayuri's jikoni

    May 14, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    thank you Beena. Try it out.

  • Kirti patel

    December 12, 2020 at 4:44 pm

    The recipe is delicious but we donot bring or eat eggs . Pls suggest substitute

    1. mayurisjikoni

      December 13, 2020 at 4:58 pm

      Hi Kirti, whenever you need to replace egg then the best option is plain thick yogurt. Remember its 1/4 cup yogurt for 1 egg. Also if you can wait, I’ve got an eggless wheat flour Christmas cake that will be on my blog by Tuesday or Wednesday.

  • Vasusvegkitchen

    December 13, 2020 at 7:15 pm

    5 stars
    Wow perfect recipe for Christmas di, you made it healthy using wheat flour and brown sugar. Loved the taste of dry fruits and it’s aroma ..

    1. mayurisjikoni

      December 14, 2020 at 3:21 pm

      Thank you so much Aruna.

  • Pavani

    December 15, 2020 at 6:48 am

    5 stars
    That is such a moist and delicious looking tea bread. Love the addition of tea masala – must have added so much yummy flavor to the bake.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      December 17, 2020 at 5:19 pm

      Thank you Pavani, the tea masala adds a delicious warm flavour to the tea bread.

  • Lata Lala

    December 17, 2020 at 8:48 pm

    5 stars
    That sounds like a perfect recipe for Christmas Mayuri. Tea breads are my favorite, and you made it healthy using wheat flour and brown sugar along with crunch of dry fruits.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      December 18, 2020 at 7:15 pm

      Thank you so much Lata, the dried fruit actually are not crunchy as they are soaked, so it makes them soft and moist.

  • Sandhya Ramakrishnan

    December 18, 2020 at 2:15 am

    5 stars
    When I read tea bread I was assuming a bread to be eaten at tea time, but it was a pleasant surprise to read the recipe. this has the tea in it and all the spices would have made it so flavorful. Absolutely love this mayuri!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      December 18, 2020 at 7:13 pm

      Thank you so much Sandhya, try the recipe as it is quite different from the usual tea breads we make.

  • Poonam bachhav

    December 18, 2020 at 7:11 am

    5 stars
    Soaking fruits in black tea sounds interesting to me. Can imagine how flavorful the bread must have been. Looks so moist and delectable !

    1. mayurisjikoni

      December 18, 2020 at 7:10 pm

      Thank you so much Poonam, for this recipe you need really good tea and strong too. However, once the bread is baked the tea taste is subtle.

  • Padma Veeranki

    December 19, 2020 at 2:45 am

    5 stars
    Perfect recipe for Christmas. Using wheat flour and brown sugar makes it healthy. Cake looks so moist & I can imagine how flavourful the bread must have been. Just need my coffee to go with this bread!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      December 19, 2020 at 11:15 am

      Thank you so much Padma.

  • Seema Sriram

    December 22, 2020 at 11:26 am

    5 stars
    We tried your recipe today. Love the ease of making the recipe, absolutely the brown sugar made such a deep flavour. The perfect treat for Christmas under lockdown.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      December 22, 2020 at 9:54 pm

      Thank you so much Seema for trying out the recipe. I wish you would have shared a photo of your preparation with me.

  • kalyani

    December 22, 2020 at 11:58 am

    5 stars
    Growin up in bangalore, these plum cakes / Xmas tea cakes are still my personal favourite over ANY other rich / fancy pastry.. the cake is looking so good, mayuri.. wish I were ur neighbour..

    1. mayurisjikoni

      December 22, 2020 at 9:52 pm

      Thank you so much Kalyani.

  • Uma Srinivas

    December 22, 2020 at 9:44 pm

    5 stars
    Christmas tea bread looks delicious. I agree that everyone doesn’t like a heavy cake. I like light and yummy bread with a cup of coffee!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      December 22, 2020 at 9:50 pm

      Thank you so much Uma. Tea breads are an alternate to cakes.

  • Jayashree T.Rao

    December 23, 2020 at 5:14 pm

    5 stars
    This cake looks so delicious and liked the idea of soaking it in black tea. Lovely one to bake for Christmas or anytime.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      December 23, 2020 at 5:54 pm

      Thanks Jayashree, this quick bread is perfect for any occasion or even to enjoy for breakfast or tea any day.

  • Renu

    December 24, 2020 at 1:06 am

    5 stars
    When I started baking Christmas Cake, many said me to soak in tea if I am not comfortable with alchohol. However I did not try that, now that you have done this, I will give this a try. I like the addition of chai masala here and I am so intrigued now, for the taste. Beautiful clicks and yes so perfect for the festive season.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      December 24, 2020 at 9:09 pm

      Thank you so much Renu, I usually make strong black tea and you get a hint of the tea taste. As for the tea masala, come to think of it, it has all the spices we normally would put in a Christmas Cake. Well at least mine does. So it works perfect for me.

  • Priya Srinivasan

    December 24, 2020 at 11:13 pm

    5 stars
    Wow lovely fruit bread mayuri ji! nice idea to soak the fruits in black tea, it must be adding a deep flavor! i wil try soaking in Tea next time i bake a fruit cake!! Brilliant bake , perfect share for the holiday season !

    1. mayurisjikoni

      December 26, 2020 at 6:11 pm

      Thank you so much Priya, try and use loose tea leaves if you have any and I definitely prefer using either Indian tea leaves or Kenyan. So much more flavorful and strong too.

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