Spiced Fruit and Nut Teacakes

Teacakes are an iconic British tea time treat. Far be it from me to attempt any massive changes, but hopefully the “tweeks” and “ideas” below will enhance this great classic.

Makes: 6 large or 8 medium teacakes

Level: A small but worthwhile step up from “easy”.

Time: 50 – 55 minutes hands-on + 90 minutes first prove and 45 minutes second prove

Need: I used a stand mixer, but it’s no problem without

Ingredients

  • 375g/13oz strong white bread flour 
  • ½ tsp fine salt
  • 7g/¼oz sachet fast-action dried yeast
  • 3 – 4 tsp spices (choose from: mixed spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger etc.)
  • ½ orange, zest (and juice as required)
  • 50g/1¾oz golden caster sugar
  • 50g/1¾oz butter, cubed
  • 150ml/5fl oz milk
  • 1 medium egg, beaten + another half egg, also beaten, for glazing.
  • 75g/4½oz mixed dried fruit (raisins, sultanas, currants)
  • 50g/1¾oz dried apricots, chopped small
  • 50g/1¾oz flaked almonds (or other nuts if preferred)

Method

1. Mix the flour, salt, yeast, spices, orange zest and the sugar in a large bowl (or use the bowl of your stand mixer.)

2. Put the butter and milk in a saucepan over a low heat until the butter has melted and the milk is just lukewarm. Remove from the heat and whisk in the whole egg.

3. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the warm butter, milk, egg and a little orange juice if the mixture needs loosening. Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture clumps together in a ball. (Or use the dough hook on your mixer.)

4. Turn out on a lightly floured surface and knead for 7 – 10 minutes to form a nice springy dough. (Or 5 – 7 minutes using your mixer and the dough hook.)

5. By hand, mix the fruit and nuts into the dough until evenly distributed. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover loosely with oiled cling film, a shower cap or a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for about 90 minutes, or until doubled in size and springy to touch.

6. Knead the dough lightly then divide into portions*. Using cupped hands and a circular action, shape them into balls. Push any protruding fruit into the dough to avoid them burning during baking.

* The pictures show that I made six, which is fine if you want large teacakes. Eight might be a better option. Take your pick. I also weighed each ball of dough to get similar sizes.

7. Place them well apart on one or two lined baking tray(s) and cover again*. Leave for about 45 minutes until risen again.

* I usually put the trays inside a white kitchen bin liner and tuck the loose ends under the tray to create a pocket of air.

8. Preheat the oven to fan 190°C / 375°F / Gas 5.

9. Use the remaining beaten egg to brush over the teacakes then bake them in the centre of the oven for 15 – 20 minutes, or until well risen and golden-brown. (Keep an eye on them in the latter stages. You may need to cover with foil if they’re going too dark.)

I wish you every success with your baking. I hope you have a go at this one and enjoy making and eating these tasty teacakes. If you want to see more of my bread recipes click this link.

Here are some quite different breads that you might want to try:

Ridiculously easy No-knead bread

Blueberry and Cinnamon English Muffins

Lemon, Honey and Poppy Seed Rolls

Gluten-free Soda Bread with Cheese & Onion

Also, have a look at my site for other recipes, sweet and savoury. If you’d like to make a comment or ask a question please do, via the contact page.

Very Happy Baking

Ian