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If there's one thing I never thought I'd be able to crack it's gluten free malt loaf - and now I'm pleased to report I've done it!
Squishy, rich and delicious, this British tea-time classic is the perfect Soreen dupe.
This recipe 100% gluten free, dairy free and coeliac safe - full of malty flavours with absolutely zero malt!
This dark-coloured loaf is deliciously sticky and perfect slathered in a thick layer of butter and served with a cuppa.
It's taken me a long time to get this recipe right and the gluten-eaters in the house report it's just like the real thing!
So if you miss malt loaf and have being dying for a gluten free replacement, here it is.
Is Malt Loaf gluten free?
Malt Loaf, also known by the brand name Soreen in the UK, is definitely not gluten free.
But this gluten free version of it is!
Malt Loaf is a squidgy, loaf-like cake which is sweet and sticky and has a very distinct flavour using malt extract.
Aside from the fact Malt Loaf is made with wheat flour, malt extract also comes from barley, which contains gluten.
If you have coeliac disease, you'll know that the guidance around malt extract can be confusing.
Some items, such as some supermarket own brand cereals, contain a low enough level of barley malt extract that they are considered gluten free.
But unless a product is specifically labelled gluten free it's hard to tell if the levels are low enough to be considered gluten free or not.
Coeliac UK is pushing for greater clarity on this from manufacturers to make things less confusing.
But this aside, I haven't used any malt extract in my Malt Loaf and instead have used a combination of treacle, date syrup, prunes and dates to get that rich flavour.
Ingredients and Substitutions
There's a full printable recipe card below with all the ingredients, quantities and the full method.
However, here are a few notes on some of the ingredients used and any substitutions you could make...
- Black Tea - Soaking the fruit in tea is important and I used just a classic, English Breakfast tea. You can use a decaf one if you prefer.
- Dried Prunes and Medjool Dates - I use a combination of the two to get a lovely, rich flavour in the gluten free Malt Loaf. You could use one or the other if you prefer but it would affect the flavour profile. Chop them as finely (or chunky!) as you like.
- Treacle - This helps to get the right flavours in this loaf but also helps with the colouring. Malt Loaf is usually a dark-coloured loaf.
- Date Syrup - I found the Groovy Foods date syrup in my local Tesco store with the sugar products. You can get it on Amazon too but it's more expensive.
- Plain Gluten Free Flour - I always use the FREEE by Dove's Farm flour but any plain or All Purpose flour blend will do. This recipe won't work with a single flour like coconut or almond flour.
- Xanthan Gum - This is essential in gluten free baking as it helps to replicate the texture of the gluten. You can omit this if your flour blend already has it in.
This recipe is already dairy free. If you wanted to make it vegan you could use an egg replacer instead of the egg.
Don't forget the full printable recipe card with all the ingredients and quantities is below.
Tips for making Malt Loaf
Before you get started, I just have a few tips and tricks to ensure you get the best gluten free Malt Loaf possible.
For starters, this loaf gets better with age and I would strongly recommend making it the day before you eat it.
I know, the idea of waiting 24 hours seems like torture but trust me, it will be worth it!
Giving it time helps the flavours to mature and for the loaf to become extra squidgy.
I'd also recommend chopping the fruit fairly finely - you can leave a few chunks if you like but I found this gave a better flavour throughout.
And finally don't over-mix the batter - just mix it enough to combine so there are no lumps of flour.
My gluten free malt loaf recipe
Here it is, my gluten free Malt Loaf - aka gluten free Soreen recipe.
This Malt Loaf s also dairy free (and can be made vegan with an egg replacer) and is so easy to make.
It's best made a day or two before eating so if you can bear to, I'd recommend making this ahead of time and letting it sit.
Trust me - it's worth it!
And please do leave a review to let others know you loved it too! It would mean the world to me.
- 350ml black tea (made with 2 teabags)
- 200g dried prunes
- 6 x pitted medjool dates
- 60ml treacle
- 60ml date syrup (Plus 1 tbsp extra for brushing)
- 50g muscovado sugar
- 250g plain gluten free flour
- ½ tsp xanthan gum
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 large egg
First soak the fruit
- Roughly chop the prunes and dates. I like to chop them into really small pieces but leave them chunkier if you prefer. Add the chopped fruit to a bowl.
- Add 2 teabags to 350ml of boiling water, brew for a minute then pour (teabags and all!) over the fruit. Stir then cover with foil (or an upturned plate) and leave for 30-60 minutes. You can also leave this overnight if you like.
To make the malt loaf:
- Preheat the oven to 180C / Fan 160C / Gas Mark 4. Line a 2lb loaf tin with a loaf liner and set to one side.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the gluten free flour, xanthan gum and baking powder and stir well. Stir in the muscovado sugar.
- Add the treacle and date syrup to a small bowl. Once the fruit has soaked, strain off some of the liquid into this bowl and mix to water down the syrup. Add the syrup mix and the soaked fruit (plus any leftover liquid - just make sure you remove the tea bags first!) to the mixing bowl with the flour.
- Beat using a wooden spoon until the mixture is just combined and there are no lumps of flour. Lightly beat the egg in a bowl or mug and then add to the mix. Beat again until combined.
- Pour the mixture into your lined loaf tin and spread out evenly. Bake in the centre of the oven for 50-60 minutes - it should be nicely risen and spring back when pressed gently.
- Remove the cake from the oven onto a cooling rack. In a mug or bowl, mix 1 tbsp date syrup with 1 tsp boiling water, then brush over the cake.
- Leave the cake to cool completely and - ideally - for another 24 hours for it to go super squidgy and delicious! Slice and serve with butter.
- This malt loaf is best made at least 24 hours before eating - the longer you leave it the better it gets. Slices can also be frozen once cooled.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 288Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 132mgCarbohydrates: 68gFiber: 5gSugar: 35gProtein: 5g
Need some more gluten free baking inspiration?
Want to have a go at some of the other gluten free baking recipes on the blog?
Give some of these other gluten free bakes and creations a try and see what you think!
There are plenty to choose from depending what sort of dessert you fancy:
And if you have any recipe suggestions, please let me know in the comments what you’d like to see next!
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