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Mild Malt Loaf

Mark Dredge
  • Serves: 6-8
  • Preparation: 10
  • Cooking: 60
  • Ready: 70

Loaded with dried fruit, this malt loaf is perfect served toasted and spread with almond butter.


  • 150 ml Dark Mild or other dark beer
  • 200 g dark dried fruit (such as raisins and/or sultanas)
  • 250 g plain flour (or a mix of plain, wholemeal, and spelt)
  • 100 g soft dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 135 ml malt extract


Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Line a 1 lb/8 x 4 in (20.5 x 10 cm) loaf pan with baking parchment. Soak the dried fruit in 150 ml beer for a few minutes while you weigh out all the other ingredients.

In a bowl, combine the other ingredients, apart from the malt extract, then add the beer and dried fruit mixture and 8 tablespoons of malt extract and stir with a wooden spoon. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 55–60 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

In a small bowl, stir together the remaining tablespoons of beer and malt extract and pour over the loaf to glaze. Allow the cake to cool slightly before turning it out of the pan, and ideally wait until it’s at room temperature before you eat it (it really does get better, so wait if you can).

Additonal notes

Recipe taken from Beer and Veg by Mark Dredge, published by Dog ‘n’ Bone Books (£18.99)

Photography by Stephen Conroy © Dog ‘n’ Bone Books

“Malt loaf is a squidgy and sticky bread/cake that’s loaded with dried fruit and made with malt extract. A lot of recipes call for the fruit to be soaked in black tea, but I’m soaking mine in beer to enhance the malt flavours. I use a Dark Mild which is sweetly malty and biscuity, but any dark, sweeter ale or lager will work well in this (avoid hop or roast bitterness, though). This loaf was better the day after I made it and stays good—improves, even—for a few days in an airtight container. It’s common to eat it with butter spread on top. It’s also good toasted, with almond butter.

Eat it with barley wine, Belgian Quadrupel, or a cup of tea.”

'Beer and Veg' book cover

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