Easy Homemade Sticky Malt Loaf

Slices of dark brown sticky malt loaf, some spread with butter

The Spruce Eats/ Elaine Lemm

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Soaking: 20 mins
Total: 90 mins
Servings: 10 servings
Yield: 1 loaf
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
257 Calories
0g Fat
60g Carbs
5g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10
Amount per serving
Calories 257
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 224mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 60g 22%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 37g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 128mg 10%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 355mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Malt loaf is one of my quintessential childhood memories; a lovely filling snack after school when my Mum would cut thick slices of the sticky loaf and smother it in butter to keep us going until dinner time. It was rare to go on a school trip without a few slices wrapped in greaseproof. My love of malt loaf has never left me; the problem is the loaf is so moreish I can never stop at one slice.

This recipe, adapted from Felicity Cloake at The Guardian, uses a mix of dried prunes, figs, and some dried fruits, as I find they make an even stickier cake, but adjust the dried fruits to what you like.

It is so easy to make, but be warned, this malt loaf is seriously addictive.


  • 2 tea bags, preferably Yorkshire Tea

  • 3/4 cup malt extract, divided

  • 2 tablespoons molasses, or black treacle 

  • 50 grams (1/4 cup) dark brown sugar

  • 100 grams (3/4 cup) prunes coarsely chopped

  • 50 grams (1/2 cup) dried figs, coarsely chopped

  • 1/2 cup dried mixed fruit

  • 120 grams (1 cup) all-purpose flour and 120 grams (1 cup) whole-wheat flour, mixed

  • 3 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • Butter, optional, for serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Pour 3/4 cup/150 milliliters of boiling water over the tea bags and let the tea steep for 10 minutes to create a good strong brew.

  3. Remove the tea bags, then add 9 tablespoons of malt extract (keep the remaining extract for glazing after the loaf is cooked), the molasses, brown sugar, and the dried fruits. Stir well and let to soak for 20 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, line a medium loaf tin (approximately 10 x 22 centimeters) with baking parchment and preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C/Gas 4.

  5. Sieve the flour mixture and baking powder into a large baking bowl and add the salt. Add the soaked fruits and tea and mix thoroughly to create a thick batter.

  6. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin and bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes, then lower the heat to 325 F/160 C/Gas 3 and cook for a further 40 minutes. The loaf is cooked when pierced with a skewer or toothpick and it comes out just about clean.

  7. Take the loaf from the oven and pour the remaining malted extract over the loaf while it is warm and leave the loaf to cool in the tin.

  8. Wrap the loaf in paper and leave it to mature at room temperature for four to five days. In this time, the loaf will soften and become lovely and sticky.

  9. To serve, cut into thick slices and smear with butter. If the loaf feels a little hard, warm it gently for 10 seconds in the microwave or in a warm oven for 5 minutes.

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