Philippa Davis' wonderful chocolate and orange fruit tea cake is simple to make and is also an excellent treat for when sustenance is required

If you are going to do teatime, you must do it properly. Philippa Davis’ chocolate and orange fruit tea cake is simple to make for even the most kitchen allergic amongst you, and makes a truly excellent treat when teatime comes calling and some sustenance is required.

For more teatime treats, The Field has plenty of inspiration. Our fruit and almond tart is a failsafe recipe. And you can use whatever fruit you have to hand with this method. It can be enjoyed warm or cold, and is best served with a generous dollop of crème fraîche. Or if you prefer tea to be served with a side of chocolate, our chocolate and rhubarb brownies are irresistably fudgy. Little can be done to improve the pink stems, but adding chocolate does just that. Or include anything from chocolate mini eggs to cut up Mars Bars if rhubarb is not to everyone’s taste.


Serves 12


  • 250ml boiling water
  • 2 teabags
  • 100g glacé cherries
  • 100g mixed dried fruit
  • 2 tbsp orange liqueur
  • 250g room-temperature butter
  • 250g soft brown sugar
  • 260g self-raising flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 100g roughly chopped walnuts
  • 1 orange, zest only
  • 100g dark chocolate chips


  • 150g icing sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp double cream
  • 2 tsp orange liqueur

Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3.

Line 2 x 1lb loaf tins with baking paper.

In a pan on a low heat add the boiling water, teabags, cherries and dried fruit. Bring to a simmer and cook until the liquid has been soaked up. Take off the heat, leave to cool, remove the teabags then stir in the liqueur.

Beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, then gently add in the eggs.

Stir in the rest of ingredients, pour into the tins and bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool.

Mix all the icing ingredients together, pour over the top and leave to set, about four hours.