Earl Grey Tea Cake

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If you follow me on Instagram, this cake is not a new cake for your eyes to behold. See, back in the day (read: a few months ago) when I was a dedicated food blogger I was baking & instagramming all at the same time & so when a cake first appeared in my feed it would quickly be followed up by a post & the recipe on here. That, sadly, doesn’t appear to be the case anymore. Nowadays I take more of a relaxed stance on the whole blogging thing. If the inspiration to write or bake something new is there, then I do; if it isn’t, then I don’t. It might sound like a cop-out to some, but this way I don’t put too much pressure on myself. & I am alll about that these days as I recently found at least 8 white hairs dotted in amongst all the black hairs on my head. Send help & hair dye. 

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Moving swiftly on from my white hairs, let’s talk cake. This cake was the very unexpectedly delicious end result of a test to see whether my hand-me-down bundt tin was capable of evenly baking a cake in my temperamental gas oven. It was a big ask, & honestly I wasn’t expecting much. I had thought about making a simple (bland) sponge cake, as it was just a tester, but I really find it hard to pass up the opportunity to bake something new. I’d had my eye on Betty’s bundt cake for a while & eventually I just decided I’d try my luck & see how it turned out. Result: amazing. 

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Not only did the bundt tin still have magical baking powers, but the cake was beyond perfection. Moist, fragrant, flavourful, & lathered in lemon icing, which is – in my opinion – the way all cakes should be. This is going to sound so ridiculous, but the cake really did actually taste like earl grey tea! Before putting the cake in the oven, I thought the end result would just have a slight hint of earl grey about it, but it turned out to be almost the exact opposite. This worked well for me, as I’m a big earl grey fan, but for those less enthusiastic about the flavour (cough, Boyfriend, cough) it was slightly overwhelming, so I’ve left notes in the recipe if you want a weaker taste. 

Print this recipe!

Makes one 8-inch bundt cake. Cake adapted from Betty Liu. 

Ingredients: 

  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 3 tbsp earl grey tea bags
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice

Recipe: 

  1. Heat the buttermilk slightly in a bowl in the microwave & leave the earl grey tea bags to soak inside the bowl for 10-15 minutes. Stir the tea bags around & when removed from the bowl the buttermilk should be fragrant and tinged slightly brown. (For a weaker taste, leave the tea bags to soak for 5-7 minutes and stir only lightly.) 
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C. Liberally grease the bundt tin (We do not want a broken cake after all this work!) with butter & then dust lightly with flour. Set aside. 
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and bicarbonate of soda.
  4. In a different bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until pale & fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla extract & beat until well incorporated, about 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add in the eggs, one at a time, making sure it is well incorporated after each addition, being sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. 
  6. Alternate between adding 1/3 of the flour mixture and then ½ of the buttermilk into the batter until everything is incorporated, mixing gently each time until just combined – do not over mix the batter.
  7. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared bundt tin & lightly tap it against a surface to remove any air bubbles. Bake the cake for one hour, until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Invert the finished cake onto a wire rack & leave to cool for another hour.
  8. To make the glaze, mix together the zest & juice of the lemon with the icing sugar in a small bowl until it becomes a paste. Add more or less of each ingredient to get the desired consistency. 
  9. When the cake is completely cooled, drizzle with the lemon glaze. 
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