Sticky Malt Loaf

When I was a lad, there used to be two main brands of malt loaf: Harvo and Soreen

Harvo was originally made by Rank Hovis McDougall. The company was taken over by Premier Foods who the trademark allowed to expire in 2006. 

Soreen was produced by a Dane, John Rahbek Sorenson. He set up factories in Hulme and Beswick, Manchester, in 1932 and made his definitive Soreen malt loaf until he sold out to Imperial Bakers in 1938. The name stayed, as did the product, and is still available today; recognised as a healthy snack by the government's Change4Life campaign. 

Nobody makes a malt loaf like Soreen...until now. This recipe is astonishingly easy and the end product gives the original product a really good run for its money. It can be beaten....but that's for another day. 

Try it.

You'll need two 1lb loaf tins and either waxed loaf tin liners or greasproof / baking paper cut into strips. You might need to grease your tins first, espcially if they're new. 

Preheat the oven to 150 degree C.


150 ml strong black tea

175 gms of malt extract. (I buy Potters from Amazon or Holland and Barrett)

85 gms of dark muscovado sugar

300 gms of dried mixed fruit

2 large eggs (beaten)

250 gms plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. 

Into a mixing bowl pour the hot tea, the malt extract, the sugar and the dried fruit.

Stir well and then add the eggs.

Tip in the flour and then quickly add the bicarbonate of soda and the baking powder. 

Stir until well mixed and then pour equally into the prepared tins. 

Put them in the oven on a lowish shelf and bake for 50 minutes until firm and well risen. 

While they are warm, you can glaze them if you wish with a little more malt extract. Honestly, I don't bother. 

Once they've been removed from the tins, resist the temptation to eat them straightaway. If you wrap them in greaseproof paper and then again in aluminium foil, they'll become even better over the course of two to five days. They'll also darken as the malt extract works its magic. 

They freeze really well. 

Brew a pot of tea, slice them and pile on the butter. 

Happy baking....


Two weeks on from posting this blog, I've taken the malt loaf out of the freezer and thawed it slowly at room temperature. It's marvellously sticky. It's rich and indulgent, especially when smothered in Welsh butter. 

Very Happy Baking......


  1. Oh God..this is divine:) day I may try it. I miss the kind I used buy in England..I believe it had a purple wrapper..the little Harvo loaf?


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