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.
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
- Preheat your oven to 170C.
- Sift flour and baking powder in a bowl. Stir through the tea leaves and lemon zest.
- 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.
- Add the eggs one at a time, making sure each is incorporated well before adding the next.
- Stir in the honey, vanilla extract, flour and salt and mix for another 3 minutes.
- Using a spatula, fold in the walnuts gently.
- Line your baking tin with baking paper and pour your cake batter into the tin, ensuring there is space for the cake to rise.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool for at least 20 minutes before icing/slicing.