You are going to love this Black Tea Cake not just because it has creamy lemon frosting. It has a light spongy texture and the tea gives the cake a gently spiced taste. Tea loves lemon loves cake.
Although I have made this tea cake look fancy you can make it as simple as you like. Bake it up into a single layer cake or even as a tray baked bar cake. With the creamy refreshing lemon frosting you can’t go wrong.
Baking with tea
I love baking with tea it adds quite a unique character, almost spice like. The beauty of baking with tea is that there are just so many flavours to explore. There are sweet flowery teas, hebal, smoky and deeply tea sented black like the one I’ve used to make my Black Tea and lemon cake.
How do you cook with tea
Of course, you don’t have to bake with tea. You can use it in savoury cooking too. So, how do you incorporate tea into cooking?
One of the simplest ways to do this is to steep tea in a liquid. Just like making a delicious cup of tea, the tea itself can be steeped with any liquid at all. Water, milk, cream or even melted butter. Steep, strain and cool.
Use the liquid in any cooking you do. Smokey oolong in stirfries, earl grey in cakes and buttercreams or black tea in cakes, syrups and buttercreams just like I did in this recipe.
Who can look past matcha when cooking with tea? This is a legendary ingredient that can be used easily, as it comes in powdered form. You can use tea powder or leaves when baking. You can also grind up tea leaves to make it into more of a powdered form too. Cookies and crunchy bars are great for using tea leaves and powders as they become part of the texture. Tea is a great ingredient for smoking foods. The flavours permeate nicely into yoghurt, cream or butter. Smoking meats with tea is a delicious process that works wonders with a duck breast or almost any other poultry or mild fish.
How do you make a black tea cake?
Making the tea based batter is the start.
- First up it’s a tea-infused milk liquid that ties the wonderful almost spicy flavoured batter to the lemon icing.
- Cooling down the tea ready to use
- Once the butter , sugar and eggs are mixed together, the flour and tea are added alternately
- Once added the batter is a lovely tan colour and smooth and creamy
Once I have baked and cooled the cake I like to add a little tea and lemon syrup. Its pretty easy to make
- Just add some tea bags to a bowl with some sugar and a pice of lemon peel
- Add boiling water and steep
- Once you have a lovely strong syrup discard the tea bags
- Lightly paint the cake top and bottom and sides with the tea syrup
Buttercream is next
Buttercream is quite easy to make but you will need a mixer to get a light and fluffy finish.
- Once the buttercream is whipped up, pop some of it into a piping bag.
- First up pipe a line of buttercream around the out side of the first layer of cake.
- I like to fill mine with lemon curd.
- Put the top of the cake on. Cover it with a thin layer of buttercream before chilling. This is a crumb coat. Chill the cake while this sets. A cumb coat catches all the loose crumbs that can make a mess of the finished cake.
- Chill the cake then cover the top with another thin layer of buttercream and chill again
- Put the rest of the buttercream into a piping bag with a star tip (about 13-14 size nozzle)
I used proper Strong Yorkshire tea for this recipe.
Looking for more cake, tea or lemon ideas?
Black Tea Cake with Lemon Frosting
Black Tea Cake
- 400 ml milk 1 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons
- 10 each teabags I used proper strong Yorkshire
- 250 gm butter, chopped room temperature 1 block
- 50 ml oil, plain vegetable 21/2 tablespoons
- 400 gm caster sugar 2 cups
- 4 each eggs extra large 70 gm
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 490 gm flour, plain 3 1/2 cups
- 3 tsp balking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 each teabags, black
- 50 gm caster sugar 2 tablespoons
- 1 piece lemon zest
- 125 ml boiling water 1/2 cup
- 200 gm lemon curd optional, store bought or homemade
- 1 each lemon to decorate
Lemon Butter cream
- 250 gm butter, unsalted room temperature
- 400 gm icing sugar 3 cups
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest 2 lemons
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
To make the cake
- Set the oven to 170C. Line and grease 2 x 25 cm cake tins. (10 in) You can also make this in one tin (the baking time will be longer)
- Put the milk in a pot with the 10 teabags. Bring slowly up to just under boiling. Turn off imediatly and let steep until room tempertature
- Beat the chopped butter, caster sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time.
- Mix the flour, salt, baking powder and soda together well. Add a third of the flour to the cake mixture and mix until just combined.
- Add the last two lots of flour intermitantly with the tea milk and the oil. Mix until only just combined
- Divide the cake batter in half and put it into the cake tins. Bake the cake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the cake springs bake in the middle when touched
- The batter in one tin will take up to 50 minutes. Test with a skewer or cake pick. The skewer should come out of the centre of the cake clean if it is cooked. Cool the cake completely before frosting
- Put the 5 teabags into a bowl with the sugar and the lemon pice. Pour over boiling water and stir. Let this steep until cool
- Beat the butter with the lemon zest and salt until light and white.
- Gradually add the icing sugar. Add 1/2 the lemon juice and beat well. Add the remaining lemon juice
Putting the cake together
- You will need to trim the tops of your cakes slightly so that they are flat. Put the first half of the cake on the bench at eye level. Run a sharp knife around the diameter just the edge cutting until you meet back where you started. Then cut through and take off the domed piece. repeat with the other cake. Put one half of the cake onto a plate.
- Using a pastry brush, brush the tops and the sides of the tea cake with the tea syrup
- Put 1/4 of the buttercream into a piping bag and pipe a line of buttercream in a ring around the edge of the cake. Fill the centre with lemon curd and put the top on. if you don't have lemon curd use extra buttercream. Just set aside 1/2 for the top.
- Brush the top and sides of the second layer of cake Spread the top of the cake with a thin layer of buttercream and chill. This is the crumb coat. It will hold all those errant crumbs in place. Once chilled, spread another thin layer of buttercream onto the top of the cake. The other 1/2 of the buttercream will be to pipe rosettes on the top.
- Fit the piping bag with a star nozzle (approx 13-14). Pipe rosettes around the top evenly
- Decorate the top with some sliced lemons or some gold or lemon sanding sugar
- The cake will last for 1-2 days out of the refrigerator. If you need to put it in the fridge to firm up, take it out 1 hour or so before serving