My Fruity Malt Loaf..

Malt Loaf (3)

Ah Soreen Malt Loaf – or, if you’re my age and lived in Dublin in your youth – Maltana. Who doesn’t love that decadently squidgy, impossible to cut, eat-it-all-in-one-go, malty, heavenly taste?

Well, I have something very similar for you today. I know, I’m excited too..

This recipe requires you to temporarily turn into your Mother (in my case) and buy a jar of Ovaltine.. I was doing the Smart Shop today, which allowed me to: a) check that no one was watching, b) scan it and c) shove it deep down into the bag in my trolley, safe from prying eyes.

The Ovaltine is an essential ingredient; there’s no getting around it.

This recipe is simplicity itself, and it makes 2 x one pound/500g loaves. I love recipes that make two of anything!

*Please note that the 1lb/500g tins are best for this recipe*


  • 2 x one pound/500g loaf tins, really well buttered or lined *see NOTES re: 1 x 2-pound tin*
  • A large mixing bowl.
  • A measuring jug.
  • A spoon or spatula                                      Malt Loaf (7)


  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 4 tablespoons of Ovaltine – that’s 60g to the rest of us
  • 50g soft brown sugar
  • 150g Sultanas
  • 45g Golden Syrup or Malt Extract * see NOTES*
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • enough milk to make the egg mixture up to 300mls


  • Heat the oven to 160ºFan
  • Butter/line the tins and leave them to one side.
  • Sift the flour, Ovaltine and sugar into the bowl.
  • Mix them together until combined, then add the Sultanas, making sure that they’ve been separated and are well coated with the flour/Ovaltine mix
  • Beat the eggs in the jug, then top them up with milk until it comes to 300mls, then add the Golden Syrup/Malt Extract, whisk them all together briefly.
  • Add the wet to the dry ingredients and mix it all together until it’s completely mixed. This takes no time at all; I don’t even use a mixer for this.

Malt Loaf (6)

  • Divide the mix between the loaf tins
  • Pop it in the oven for 35* minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. *This is a change from my original 45 mins cooking time, and I prefer it*
  • Remove the loaves from the tins immediately and cool on a wire rack. It cuts more easily when it’s cold.

Malt Loaf (8)

  • Cut into slices and spread with some proper butter. Magic!


  • The timings are correct for 2 x one-pound loaves – the result is squidgy enough in a 1-pound tin, I’m not at all sure that a 2-pound tin would work for this recipe.
  • Malt Extract – I wondered if real Malt Extract it would make a huge difference to the loaves – they are delicious enough already, but I’m always one to improve if I can. I got some in Holland and Barrett’s (no, they’re not paying me!) and tried it instead of Golden syrup in the recipe. Truthfully it didn’t, as far as I could tell, make a huge difference at all. I was glad I tried it though, just for completeness’ sake!
  • The crust is nicely firm when it’s cooked and cooled, so you’ve got that crunch, followed by the malty, fruity bit.
  • The middle of the loaf looks almost uncooked if you cut it whilst it’s still warm – so I’ve heard. 😉 Seriously though, the loaf cuts beautifully when it’s cold, and the texture really improves, so do try to allow at least one loaf to cool properly.
Malt Loaf (1)

This loaf was cut when fully cooled..



Malt Loaf (12)

This loaf was cut while still warm..






  • This is a seriously easy bread/cake to make – it’s ready for the oven in about 5 minutes.
  • A couple of slices of this would be a fabulous addition to a traditional Afternoon Tea.
  • The joy of making two small loaves is that you have one for yourself, and then another for yourself!
  • This would make a perfect gift if you can bear to give it away, but when a recipe is as easy as this, you can rustle up another batch in no time.

Malt Loaf (3)


I started writing down recipes in an old copybook when I was about 16. With 6 children at home, my Mother was always glad of a hand in the kitchen, and really allowed us to experiment - as long as we washed up afterwards, and left the kitchen immaculate! Having a tidy kitchen has followed me through my life, as has the habit of writing down my favourite recipes; except that these days I write them for my website, and add photographs when I can. The website really started when it occurred to me that my daughter might like to have these recipes when I've forgotten them. In my early days of cooking for family and friends, I used to phone my Mum all the time to ask her for the recipe for some of our favourite family dinners. She rarely had a recipe to hand - I think, like me, she made a lot of it up as she went along.. So welcome to Eating for Ireland - these are the recipes that my friends and family having been eating these past 40 years.. yes, I truly am ancient! They are tried and tested, and have worked for me for all that time - I have updated them as new ingredients became available - I really hope you'll find something that you can make into a family favourite of your own. You don't have to tell anyone where you found these great new dishes that you're serving up - it can be our little secret, but I'd really love it if you could give me a sneaky 'follow' on Facebook and Instagram.. So off you go - have a good rummage around, you're bound to find something new! My sincere thanks to all of you who have found a recipe that you liked and dropped me a line to tell me - I really do love to hear from you! Happy Cooking! Becks xx

Posted in