Kumquat Tea Bread

My refrigerator fruit drawer is currently so packed with citrus fruit that I have great difficulty closing it. It takes about 3 tries to actually get the drawer to slide correctly from all the weight of blood oranges, clementines, tangerines, grapefruit and kumquats. It seems about time that I actually do something other than just devour the citrus fruit family, so I decided to actually bake with some.

I’d been eyeing some kumquats for some time in our local natural foods store and finally picked some up a few weeks back. I found a recipe that intrigued me with the tangy flavor combination of tea, cardamom, pineapple and kumquat. The tea flavoring was fairly subtle, so I’ve adjusted the recipe a little to make the flavor more pronounced. This is a bread that could easily pass for a cake. That’s the best kind, isn’t it? The kind you can justify eating for both breakfast and dessert.


    Kumquat Tea Bread

  • Ingredients

    kumquat tea bread
  • 2 cups kumquats, stemmed, quartered, seeded; plus 4 kumquats, thinly sliced
  • 1-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2-3 teaspoons instant iced tea powder (optional)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1-1/4 cups pure cane sugar
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple in its own juice
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
  • kumquat glaze
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant iced tea powder (optional)
  • water, if needed

  • Directions

  • make the kumquat tea bread

    Place quartered kumquats in processor; puree 3 minutes. Reserve 1/3 cup puree for glaze.

    Preheat to 350 degrees. Spray two loaf pans with nonstick spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, tea powder, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Using an electric mixer, blend 1 1/4 cups sugar and oil. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition. Then, mix in vanilla, 2/3 cup kumquat puree and pineapple with juice. Gradually add dry ingredients, beating just until blended. Do not over mix. Fold in walnuts. Divide batter between loaf pans.

    Bake bread until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 50 minutes-1 hour. Cool 5 minutes, then turn bread out on rack, top side up. Cool completely.

    make the kumquat glaze

    Place reserved 1/3 cup puree in large bowl. Whisk in butter, powdered sugar, lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt. If glaze is too thick, thin by whisking in a little water. Drizzle glaze over bread loaves. Top with kumquat slices. Let stand until icing sets. Store at room temperature.

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  1. rebecca
    Posted March 9, 2010 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    mara – the photography looks bon appétit-worthy! yum.

  2. Posted March 9, 2010 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    The iced tea powder sounds so different, seems like just the snack when you have friends over just to chat. Like tea… except its in a bread/cake… which is better.

  3. Posted March 9, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been hearing about people using kumquats for baking a lot lately! I’ve never thought to use them this way, but it seems inevitable that I must give this a try. While it’s the only way I’ve ever had them, I love just popping the little balls of sweet and sourness right into my mouth. So good.

  4. Mara
    Posted March 9, 2010 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    They are really good to eat whole. I just couldn’t resist baking with them, they’re pretty cute.

  5. Posted March 10, 2010 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Beautiful photos and what a delicious-looking bread! I’ve never actually usesd kumquats before but I just can’t wait to try out this recipe!

  6. Posted March 10, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Permalink


  7. Posted March 14, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Permalink


    Just wanted to stop by and pass along an award to you! Hope you are enjoying your lovely Sunday :)



  8. Mara
    Posted March 15, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for the award Michelle!

  9. Posted March 23, 2010 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful! Those kumquats are so cute.

  10. Posted March 26, 2010 at 4:16 am | Permalink

    I like kumquat.But i eat it as a fruit.

  11. Posted March 26, 2010 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Hello Mara! I am a big fan of kumquats and my husband finally bought a small tree. I hope to have a nice harvest this year so I can try this recipe!
    BTW – I’m a friend of Ralph Smith’s here in Houston. He said I should check out your blog. I like it!

  12. Posted May 18, 2010 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Wow, I would love one of those trees, if only we had warmer weather for it. Ralph is great, thanks for checking out the blog!

  13. Posted June 21, 2010 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Pretty pretty pretty! I like the idea of using iced tea powder in the glaze. The flavor of the powder brings back memories from my childhood. The kumquats are so cute on top!

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