Caketober: Beer Malt Loaf

This recipe is wholly thanks to Melissa Cole. The lovely lady has this recipe on her own blog and very kindly allowed me to use it. I made one or two little changes, but in essence this absolutely bloomin gorgeous cakeage is all down to her.

If you’ve never come across Melissa before, please consider this an introduction to a lady who understands beer, likes to experiment as much as I do and a woman doing a hell of a lot for women and brewing in the UK.

Another of my brewing heroes.

However, this post is about cake and this is my version of her malt loaf. The beer I used was Thwaites Nutty Black – after my original version using Mud City Stout went something awry and overflowed all over the oven. This would be perfect with anything dark and rich, maybe try something like Black Jack’s King of Clubs for extra fruit, or Marble’s Ginger 1888 Stout (if you can get hold of it). In this case, I went with what I could get in the supermarket.


Ginger Malt Loaf


900g loaf tin

Baking parchment

Pastry brush

Two large mixing bowls


Measuring spoons


Cling Film



100g wholemeal flour

150g plain flour

2tsp baking powder

1tsp bicarbonate of soda

Unsalted butter, for greasing

150ml Nutty Black

175g malt extract, plus extra for glazing

85g dark muscovado sugar

150g raisins

150g crystalised ginger

2 large eggs, beaten


For finishing:

4tbsps malt extract

25ml of Nutty Black


In a saucepan, gently warm the beer until the fizz dies away and it’s just hinting at coming to the boil. Add in the ginger and raisins and leave to stand for at least 15 minutes (I got distracted and left mine for closer to 25).
Pre-heat oven to 150C/130C fan, gas mark 2. Yes, it’s low and slow.

Grease and line 900g loaf tin with baking parchment.

Pour the fruit and beer mixture into a mixing bowl with the dried fruit, malt extract and sugar and stir until the sugar is fully dissolved. As it’s a good dark sugar, this won’t take long at all.
Add the eggs and stir well.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flours, the bicarbonate of soda and the baking powder


Add the liquid ingredients to the flour stirring vigorously and leave to stand for 15 minutes


Pour into your baking tin.

Bake for 50 mins until well risen and firm to the touch.

While the cake is still warm and in it’s tin, heat the malt extract and beer together for about 10 minutes. Do not allow to boil. While it is warming, take a skewer, a fork, or a sharp knife and poke holes over the top of your loaf.

Paint the cake liberally with the malt & beer mix, allowing it to seep into the holes, wrap in baking parchment and cling film.

Then, and this is a really, really hard bit, put it to one side and forget about it for 3 days or so. The longer you leave it, the stickier, naughtier and better it gets.


If you can’t wait, then try to leave it 24 hours, but please, trust me, 3 or 4 days and you’ll have a sticky, light, gorgeous malt loaf.


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