Saffron Tea Bread

Sophie Grigson's fruit speckled tea bread is an utter delight - thickly spread with butter, it makes the perfect teatime treat
By Sophie Grigson
Saffron Tea Bread
  • Rating:
  • Serves: Makes 1 loaf
  • Cook Time: 1.5 hours 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: easy



  • good pinch of strands saffron
  • 100 g butter
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 100 g golden sultanas
  • 50 g glacé cherries, halved
  • 280 g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt


1. Put the saffron into a jug and pour in 230 ml of hot water. Leave to infuse for 20 minutes (or longer if more convenient).

2. Put the butter and sugar in to a pan large enough to take all the ingredients and stir over a moderate heat, until the butter has melted and mixed evenly with the sugar. Add the sultanas and cherries and pour in the saffron water, complete with all the threads. Return to the heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Leave to cool.

3. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/ gas 4. Grease and line a 500g loaf tin, so that the cooked loaf can just be lifted straight out of the tin when it is done.

4. Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt and then slowly stir it into the saffron mixture to form a batter. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 1-1 ¼ hours, or until a skewer inserted in to the centre comes out clean.

5. Lift the cake out of the tin on to a wire rack and leave to cool. Serve in cut into slices and thickly buttered.

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