There is a growing trend for less refined sugar to be used in our diets.  Much concern is made of its effect on the increase in diabetes – in 1996 1.4 million people in the UK suffered from diabetes in 2017 that had risen to 4 million – admittedly a lot of sugar consumed is ‘hidden’ in pre-prepared and processed foods from bolognaise sauce to pizza, fruit juices, soft drinks, low fat foods etc.  Always read the labels!  Or even better make your own so you know what the ingredients are.


However those of us who love to bake are well aware of the properties of sugar to make a good cake, it provides texture and crumb and helps the keeping qualities of a cake.  So my task over the weekend was to try out some cake recipes, without refined sugar crystals and share my results with you.


The title ’Tea without Sugar’ came about with the development of a tea loaf, just using dried fruits and a little honey to provide the sweetness.  I used a 1 lb loaf tin for this recipe.

Using tea to soak the chose

n dried fruits helps to plump them up as well as providing the moisture for the bake. However, different from many tea loaf recipes, I only let the fruit soak for 30 minutes, which cuts down on preparation time – many tea loaf recipes leave the fruit soaking overnight.


As this is a small tea loaf the cooking time is only 20-25 minutes and once it is cooled it can be eaten with or without butter – I find it is delicious too with a piece of cheese.  An ideal addition to a lunch box, or taken as a snack to devour on a long walk.


Brush the freshly cooked loaf with honey for a glazed finish.

By Dawn Road