Healthy and delicious, Aine's Fruity Spiced Tea Cake is perfect for breakfast, dessert or a mid-afternoon snack.
Combine the dried fruit, maple syrup, tea and orange zest and mix well. Leave to marinate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
When ready to make the cake, preheat oven to 350° and place the rack in the center of the oven. Rub or brush the inside of a 9" x 5" loaf pan with coconut oil or butter.
Add the melted coconut oil to the fruit mixture and mix in the sifted flour, almonds, baking powder and sea salt. Mix well and spoon the cake mixture into the prepared loaf pan. Chop the pecans and sprinkle on top of the cake, pressing them in lightly.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes—you can test by inserting a toothpick or sharp knife into the middle, and if it comes out clean, it's done.
Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.Variations:
- You can use whatever dried fruits you like—I made it with dried cherries, golden raisins, figs and apricots, but you could also use dates, dried mango, pineapple, cranberries or currants.
- If you prefer a nuttier texture, you can add 1 cup lightly roasted chopped walnuts or pecans to the cake mixture.
- You can experiment with different teas such as Earl, Lady Grey or Rooibos, or you could use a fruit or herbal tea.
- For a gluten-free cake, you could use a mixture of rice and oat or amaranth flour.
- Other oils—such as sunflower or olive oil—could be used instead of the coconut oil, or you could use melted ghee or butter for a nonvegan cake.