Earl Grey and Lemon Cake

I was a fairly latecomer to tea-drinking, although I did used to drink tea in my cup as a toddler. I’m not a huge fan of hot drinks and to this day leave it to go pretty cold before I drink it. I do however believe strongly that tea should be Earl Grey. I drink it with honey and a little milk. I’m not sure why, probably the same control freakery that means I can’t drink a gin and tonic without instructing the barman exactly how I want it made. I think this means I probably drink more gin and spit than gin and tonic!


This cake is lovely. It’s a real curl up with a cup of tea, afternoonish cake. It’s got a lovely texture, crumbly and nutty and the tea leaves add something. I was a bit perturbed about adding whole tea leaves to a cake batter but if anything they add to it! I used Twinings Earl Grey, tipped straight from a tea bag. If you were using a larger leaf tea, you might want to give it a quick chop or a whizz in a tiny magimix/chopper thing. I covered it with a sheet of baking paper while baking because it did brown quickly but I think that added a crunch. The original recipe didn’t call for icing but I made an orange/lemon cream cheese icing up (the sort of thing you’d have with carrot cake) and not only did that cover the brown-ness but gave it a nice sparkle of freshness.


I really would recommend making this cake. It scored a massive thumbs up from all of us at teatime.


whole cake2


Earl Grey and Lemon Cake

  • 165g butter, room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 160g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 130g icing sugar
  • 100g walnuts, lightly toasted and chopped
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • a pinch of salt
  • 50g honey
  • 1 1/2 tbs Earl Grey tea leaves (chopped, if yours comes in larger leaves)
  • zests of 2 lemons


  1. Preheat your oven to 170C.
  2. Sift flour and baking powder in a bowl. Stir through the tea leaves and lemon zest.
  3. Cream the butter and icing sugar together using an electric whisk or mixer, until it is pale yellow and fluffy, This should take any time from about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure each is incorporated well before adding the next.
  5. Stir in the honey, vanilla extract, flour and salt and mix for another 3 minutes.
  6. Using a spatula, fold in the walnuts gently.
  7. Line your baking tin with baking paper and pour your cake batter into the tin, ensuring there is space for the cake to rise.
  8. Bake for 40-45 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  9. Let the cake cool for at least 20 minutes before icing/slicing.

2 thoughts on “Earl Grey and Lemon Cake

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