This tea loaf recipe is a staple at the Cornersmith cafe and in our kitchens at home. We love it because you can throw in any grated fruits or vegetables, any nuts, seeds or choc chips and any spices you need to use up and it always works. 






Skill level

Average: 3.3 (38 votes)

We eat this for breakfast, pop it into lunchboxes and serve it with tea in the afternoon.


  • 150 g (1 cup) self-raising flour
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground spice (e.g cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice)
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup (110 g) caster or raw sugar
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) sunflower or good-quality vegetable oil
  • 300 g (10½ oz) grated fruit or vegetables (e.g apple, pear, carrot, pumpkin, beetroot, zucchini) (see Note)
  • 75 g (2½ oz) pantry strays, plus extra to top (e.g. choc chips, dried fruits, nuts, seeds or a combination)

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas mark 4). Line the base of a 23 cm (9 inch) loaf (bar) tin with baking paper.

2. Whisk the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and ground spice in a large bowl.

3. Using electric beaters, beat the eggs and sugar until pale, thick and frothy.

4. Slowly add the oil and continue to beat for a few more minutes until smooth and well combined. Add the grated fruit or vegetables and stir to combine.

5. Fold the wet mixture into the dry mix, adding your choice of pantry strays. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and scatter a few extra nuts or seeds over the top.

6. Bake for 50–60 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the loaf comes out clean. Leave to cool a little before turning out of the tin onto a wire rack to cool.

7. This loaf will last, well wrapped, for up to 1 week.


Combinations we like

Try any of the following combinations:

Pumpkin, apple, ground ginger and pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Beetroot, pear, allspice and choc chip

Zucchini, apple and hazelnut.



• Avoid very over-ripe fruit as it will make the loaf too wet.


Recipe and image from Use It All by Alex Elliott-Howery and Jaimee Edwards, photography by Cath Muscat. (Murdoch Books, $39.99)