Baking with tea makes me happy

Baking with tea -Black Tea Cake
Tea Cake with Honey Cream icing covered with Nasturtiums

Baking with tea makes me happy. There are so many flavours derived from a variety of teas or tisanes (herbal teas) that can be introduced to food. Therefore I am always looking for new tea recipes and ways to use tea in my baking. I have some which use the tea drink while others use the dry tea leaves.

When used with food the flavour may seep through or if used as a marinade it can assist with tenderizing meats. 

Baking this tea cake recipe – a favourite

This time I am sharing with you a favourite tea cake recipe I used to make for our café. The recipe says black tea. I have tried this with a Breakfast Tea and also Earl Grey. Oolong teas are good as they are sometimes a little sweeter so most suited for this purpose. Rooibus, a South African herball tea, can be used for a different flavour again. It may also alter the colour.

The tea leaves are placed in boiling milk to steep before pouring into the mix. I have tried pouring it in with and without the tea leaves. The Breakfast or Earl Grey teas can go in complete and create some crunch. Oolong tea should have the tea leaves removed before adding to the cake mix as they are bigger leaves and likely to be chewy.

Experiment for yourself and discover your preferences in flavour and texture. I love tea cake and I am sure you will too.

A slice of Tea Cake with the tea leaves left in.

Ingredients and how to make a tea cake

Black Tea Cake with Honey Butter Cream Icing
250 ml milk
3 tablespoons black tea (or the contents of 3 tea bags)
55 grams butter, room temperature
1 cup (225 grams) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups (175 grams)  flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease a 9-inch round cake pan or make smaller cup cakes.

Warm the milk until near boiling on the stove or in the microwave. Cut open the tea bags and add the tea directly into the milk. Allow to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Gradually add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the tea brewed milk, mixing until batter is uniform and smooth.

Transfer batter to prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes (18-22 minutes for cupcakes), or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before frosting or serving.

Note: the batter is quite thin so you will need to have adequate lining in the tin to prevent it leaking out the bottom. Although the smell of cake on the bottom of the hot oven is quite alluring.

Honey Buttercream

1/2 cup (110 grams) butter, room temperature
3 tablespoons honey
2 cups (250 grams) powdered/icing sugar
Pinch of salt

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and honey until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and salt and continue mixing until the frosting comes together. If the frosting is too runny, add more powdered sugar until it reaches the right consistency. Likewise, if the frosting is too stiff, add more honey (or a splash of milk) to thin it out. If the frosting is too sweet, add a pinch more salt until the desired sweetness is achieved.

Spread or pipe the honey buttercream onto the cooled cake and serve.

An alternative topping is a hot caramel sauce on the uniced cake. Delicious and I love tea like this!

Gluten free cake

I have also made this with gluten free flour and the rest of the recipe stays the same

Keep a lookout for more Tea Recipes. I hope baking ith tea makes you as happy as me!