Tea has always been a comfort for me. Growing up, I had a specific raspberry tea I drank whenever sick – it was the cure all for a head cold or sore throat. Once I got to college, I delved into the many different kinds of tea, expanding my palette.
As I’ve been working on expanding my baking palette, a tea based dessert has been on my mind for a while. I’ve been thinking in cakes a lot, so that seemed the obvious pairing.
And this cake delivers. A solid, but not overpowering, Earl Grey flavor pairs nicely with the sweet honey frosting. Even my mother, a long time hater of tea flavored baked goods, enjoyed it!
for the cake
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon Earl Grey tea, finely ground
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1½ cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup Earl Grey milk, room temperature
- 1½ cup milk
- 1 tablespoons Earl Grey tea heaping, loose leaf
for the frosting
- 1 cup of butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups of powdered sugar, sifted
- 2½ tablespoons honey
- pinch of salt
Start by making the Earl Grey milk. In a saucepan over a medium-high heat, bring the milk and tea leaves to a boil. Take off the heat and steep for 10 minutes, then strain out the tea leaves. Measure out 1 cup, and set aside to continue cooling as you begin to prepare the cake batter.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare three 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper.
Combine the flour, baking powder, finely ground tea and salt in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer, on medium-high speed, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy and light in color. Slow down, and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Beat in vanilla. Alternately add the flour and Earl Grey milk mixtures, beginning and ending with the flour (add the flour ⅓ at a time, the milk ½ at a time), making sure to mix well each time.
Divide evenly between the pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes, a toothpick will come out clean when inserted and the cake will spring back to the touch once ready. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Run a knife along the edges to help loosen the cake, and then turn out of pans. Let cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting, using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix the butter, powdered sugar, honey and salt. Beat for a few minutes until completely smooth. You can add a touch more honey or powdered sugar to get the consistency you desire. Frost the cake however you like, and serve!