Wednesday 9 January 2013

Malt Loaf - New Year but no excesses

Malt Loaf with some juicy sultanas
Once January hit us there are all sort of plans for improving one's lifestyle. Out of the all the resolutions the most popular must be to lose weight and to get fit. After the excesses of Christmas, not to mention the tins of chocolates and boxes of chocolates still lying about, it can be hard to give up on the sweet things to eat. For most people resolutions rarely don't make it through January. The combination of the cold weather, still short days and the feeling of little to look forward doesn't make for a great motivator. What you need is something like a cake but without the guilty fat feeling. For this the number one candidate is malt loaf.

Malt loaf remains a quintessentially British food. Many people state its origins to be in northern England however a patent for it was filed by a Scotsman in 1890. Ironically, the company best known for producing it commercially is based in Manchester, but is named after the Danish Sorensen family who once owned the company.

In recent years malt loaf has regained its popularity as a snack foods amongst athletes, particularly cyclists and runners. The low-fat, carbohydrate high nature of it gives a welcome energy boost during endurance events. If though you are not of such a sporty nature then a slice of malt loaf goes down well with a cup of tea at any time of day. Opinion is divided whether one should eat it plain or spread with butter. I have also read people eulogizing about how good malt loaf is if toasted or fried in butter. Personally, I am an au naturel girl but I'll leave it to you to experiment and decide how you like it best.

Malt Loaf

Makes 2 x 1lb (450g) loaves. The second loaf can be frozen if necessary. For reasons of ease and quickness I use loaf liners for the tins. The recipe needs cold tea so remember make that first! I use what is left over in the pot from my morning tea.

Click here for a printable recipe. 

Equipment:2 x 1lb (450g) loaf tins, baking parchment (this will need to be greased) or loaf tin liners, mixing bowl, large saucepan

8oz (225g) Plain flour
½ tsp (2.5ml) Bicarbonate of soda
1tsp (5ml) Baking powder
8oz (225g) Sultanas
2oz (55g) Demerara sugar
6oz (170g) Malt extract
1tbsp (15ml) Black treacle
2 Large, free-range eggs, beaten

¼ pint (150ml) Cold tea (no milk or sugar added!)


1. Get the two tins prepared by either lining them with greased baking parchment or pop in the loaf tin liners. 
2. Let the oven get up to temperature by pre-heating to 150°C/Gas mark 2.
3. In the mixing bowl weigh the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder.
4. Add the sultanas and then stir together.
5. In the large saucepan put the sugar, malt extract and black treacle and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.
6. Take the saucepan off the heat and pour onto the dry ingredients. Add the beaten eggs and the tea.
7. The mixture needs to be well beaten until smooth.
8. Spoon equal amounts of the mixture into the prepared tins.
9. The loaves will need about 1 hour in the oven or until well risen and firm to the touch.
10.Once the loaves are cooked let them cool for 10 minutes in the tins then turn out on to a wire rack to let them cool completely.
11. The texture of the malt loaves means they are best left for 2 days before eating, however this can prove to be very difficult!


  1. My other half just loves "Soreen" malt loaf - so think might have a go at making the "real" thing to see which he prefers.

    1. I had some for breakfast this breakfast this morning. I eat it without any type of spread on it so very low fat and healthy. This is the most 'Soreen' like malt loaf I've made as the others I have experimented with are either more like cake or a malt flavoured bread.


I appreciate your comments. If you have any tips, tricks or tweaks please pass them on!