A very good friend got married in December. We have known each other since I was 14 years old, so its a friendship that goes way back, and includes many mischievous evenings (as any friendships should!). I made her wedding cake. She wanted the usual Chocolate and lemon cake, however, I told her that I would make a surprise layer just for her. The surprise was this Earl Grey Cake, because she loves Earl Grey. For anyone who likes a cup of Earl Grey, I think you will also appreciate this cake!
This cake recipe has been adapted from Kara’s Couture Cakes vanilla recipe. It is an unusual recipe in that its first step is to mix flour and butter rather than flour and sugar, but I like it. I like the texture of the cake it provides, and I find it is more stable and more even than most other recipes. Try it!
Earl Grey Cake Recipe:
7” round pan
- 225g plain flour
- 1.1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 310g sugar
- 170 ml milk
- 135g egg white
- 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
- 15g vegetable oil
- 115g butter
- 2 heaped teaspoons of earl grey tea leaves
Earl Grey Syrup
- 100ml water
- 2tbsp earl grey
- 100g sugar
Earl Grey Buttercream
- 250g Butter
- 600g Icing Sugar
- 2tbsp strong earl grey tea
- grated zest of lemon
To make the cake:
- Ensure all ingredients (including milk) are at room temperature.
- Slowly heat the milk to warm (do not boil) with the earl grey tea leaves. Set to one side to infuse. Once cool, and you are ready to make your cake, strain the tea leaves.
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Line your 7″ pan with greaseproof paper.
- Add all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) to a stand mixer bowl and mix with the paddle to combine well. This replaces sifting – if you do not have a stand mixer, you can simply sift all the ingredients.
- In a separate bowl, combine all wet ingredients (vanilla bean paste, egg whites, infused milk, and vegetable oil) and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Turn mixer to low and add chunks of butter slowly to the dry mix. Continue to beat on slow until there are no chunks of butter remaining and the mixture becomes crumbly.
- On low speed, add 1/3 of the liquid ingredients to the dry/butter ingredients and then turn to medium. Mix until a light paste forms. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add half of the remaining wet ingredients and beat on medium high speed for 4 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Add the remaining wet ingredients and beat on medium speed for 5 minutes.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared 7″ cake pan.
- Wrap the outside of the cake tin with a wet tea towel (this helps to ensure you get an even cake).
- Bake for 40-60 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean and sides have begun to pull away from the side of the pan. (This will depend on the size of your pan, how full you make it, and the oven temperature.)
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan. Place on a rack to finish cooling.
To make the Earl Grey Syrup:
- Boil some water and measure out 100ml, soak the tea leaves in the water for at least 10 minutes. Strain.
- Place the infused water and the sugar into a pan and slowly bring to a boil. Boil for a couple of minutes until you have a runny glucose type consistency.
To make the Earl Grey flavoured Buttercream:
- First boil some water and make a strong flavoured earl grey tea.
- Beat the butter, and add the icing sugar, continue to beat until combined.
- Add 2 tablespoons of the strong flavoured tea and zest of one lemon to the butter mixture, and beat until fluffy in texture.
To compose the Earl Grey Cake:
Once the cake has cooled, slice the cake horizontally into 2 or 3 layers. Cover each layer with some of the earl grey syrup, and fill with the earl grey buttercream. If you are covering with sugarpaste, you can use the remaining buttercream to cover the cake before covering with sugarpaste. Alternatively, you can leave it uncovered, and just add a dusting of icing sugar and some more zest of lemon.
Slice, Serve and Enjoy!