The Smoked Brown malt loaf


Both my father and my boyfriend love malt loaf.  I decided to treat my dad on his birthday this year by learning to make it and it was very successful with him exclaiming that “It’s better than Soreen!”.  My boyfriend likes to take it on long bike rides with him.

I picked up a staff bottle of The Smoked Brown from Anspach & Hobday and mulled over putting it in a fruitcake.  Then I remembered how much my dad and boyfriend like malt loaf and decided to stick it in one of them instead.

I adjusted the trusty BBC Good Food recipe I always use by reducing the amount of hot tea and replacing with beer. I also glazed with the beer first before glazing with the malt  The good thing about this recipe is that it makes two so if you’re nice and share one with friends you’ve always got a secret one stashed away for yourself.  Or, in my case, one for Dad and one for the boyfriend.  You also have beer leftover to drink whilst it’s baking.  Double winner.

It turned out well, not sure the smokeyness comes through enough but it’s very sticky and also a lot more fruity tasting.  Boyfriend gave it a big thumbs up. I’m afraid now I’ll be hassled to make it more often.


Sunflower oil (for greasing loaf tins)
50ml hot tea
100ml beer
175g malt extract (you can get this in Holland & Barrett)
85g dark muscovado sugar
300g mixed dried fruit
2 large eggs, beaten
250g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb

I recommend slathering on salted butter before shoving it into your gob

Pre-heat your oven to 150c/Gas 2 and line the base and ends of your greased loaf tins.

Pour the tea, beer, malt extract, sugar and dried fruit into a mixing bowl. Stir well then add the eggs.

Tip in the flour, then quickly stir in the baking powder and bicarb and immediately pour into the tins.

Bake for 50 mins until firm and well risen.

While still warm, brush with the beer then with the malt extract and leave to cool.


Remove from the tins and proceed to stuff your face.

These last up to 5 days wrapped in foil.

I’d like to do a cupcake recipe with a fruity beer frosting, maybe a sour to get the sweet and sour element. Or could make a jam to go in the middle of a cupcake. Watch this space.


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