Earl Grey tea cake

These fragrant Earl Grey tea cakes are flavored with loose leaf tea and orange zest for a delicate flavor in every bite. Dark chocolate chunks add extra richness and balance out the sweetness perfectly. Perfect for any tea lover!

Tea-flavored desserts are delicate, aromatic and an absolute treat for the tea-obsessed baker that I am. Whether I’m at high tea in London or baking Chai tea sourdough, I simply can’t resist the warm, calming aroma of tea. 

If you’re a kindred spirit tea lover, I think you’ll love these Earl Grey tea cakes. They’re moist and crumbly with an incredible fragrance in each bite. To enhance the Earl Grey, I add orange zest for a bright burst of citrus flavor and a splash of vanilla for warmth. It all comes together beautifully, and rich dark chocolate chunks add extra decadence.

Because these cakes aren’t too sweet, I would even argue that they could be Earl Grey breakfast cakes. They’re definitely muffin-textured, so if you can eat a muffin for breakfast you certainly shouldn’t feel bad about eating one of these beauties!

Tips for baking with tea

Because of its delicate flavor, tea can be tricky to bake with. Using high quality loose leaf tea will ensure concentrated flavor. In a pinch, tea bags can work as well but the flavor may not come through as strongly. 

The best way for tea flavor to come through in a baked good is to steep it in liquid. Along with loose leaf tea mixed in the batter, we’ll add a quarter cup of strong brewed tea as well. 

What baking tin should I use?

I love separating out the batter into mini ramekins for single-serve cakes. The recipe makes about 4 cakes this way. I know not everyone has ramekins, so I’m including potential substitutions below. These are simply suggestions, so I would test the bake time earlier rather than later to avoid overbaking.

  • Muffin tin – The recipe should make about 6 standard muffins. Feel free to double it for a 12-count muffin tin and adjust the baking time accordingly. I would start with 20 – 25 minutes.
  • 9” x 5” loaf tin – If you want to use a loaf tin, I would recommend doubling the recipe and adjusting the baking time accordingly. The recipe as written will be too small for a loaf tin. I would start with 45 – 50 minutes.
  • 8” baking tin – If you would like to make a larger cake, I would recommend using an 8” round cake tin and adjust the baking time accordingly. I would start with 30 – 35 minutes. 

Tips for a perfect cake

  • Make sure your butter is room temperature so it can easily cream with the sugar. 
  • While not required, it helps to blend or grind the Earl Grey tea to remove any large pieces of tea before adding to the flour.
  • Be careful not to overmix the cake, as this can make it tough instead of tender.
  • I like to use chopped dark chocolate instead of chocolate chips but either will work. I always save a couple chocolate chunks to press into the top of the batter before baking. It helps with aesthetics!
  • When testing for doneness, I like to insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. Make sure there is no batter attached to the toothpick when it comes back out. Melted chocolate is okay and to be expected!

This recipe is a simple and delicious way to enjoy your favorite tea baked into a cake – perfect for breakfast, dessert, or an afternoon snack!

Other quick cake recipes I love:

If you make this recipe, let me know! You can comment below or tag me on Instagram @halicopteraway or #halicopteraway.

 

Earl Grey tea cake

These fragrant Earl Grey tea cakes are flavored with loose leaf tea and orange zest for a delicate flavor in every bite. Dark chocolate chunks add extra richness and balance out the sweetness perfectly. Perfect for any tea lover!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Servings 4 mini cakes

Equipment

  • medium mixing bowl
  • 4 ramekins (see notes for alternatives)
  • Stand or hand mixer

Ingredients
  

  • 1/4 cup (60g) water
  • 2 tbsp Earl Grey tea
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • zest of 1 medium orange
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup (190g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup (60g) milk
  • 100 g dark chocolate, chopped

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and grease your ramekins.
  • Brew the Earl Grey tea. Mix 1/4 cup of boiling water with 1 tbsp of the Earl Grey loose leaf tea. Let steep for 3 – 5 minutes. Strain out the leaves, squeezing the leaves to press out the liquid. Set aside.
  • Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 1 tbsp of Earl Grey loose leaf tea. Set aside.
  • Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the orange zest and vanilla extract and mix on low speed until incorporated.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well each time. Then, add the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Mix in the milk and Earl Grey tea. Be careful not to overmix, as this can make your cake stiff. Fold in the dark chocolate chunks.
  • Pour the batter into the ramekins. Place the ramekins on a baking tray. Place the tray in the center rack of the oven and bake for 28 – 30 minutes until golden brown on the edges and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (melted chocolate is okay).
  • Remove from the oven and enjoy!

Notes

  1. Ramekin alternatives:
    1. Muffin tin – The recipe should make about 6 standard muffins. Feel free to double it for a 12-count muffin tin and adjust the baking time accordingly. I would start with 20 – 25 minutes.
    2. 9” x 5” loaf tin – If you want to use a loaf tin, I would recommend doubling the recipe and adjusting the baking time accordingly. The recipe as written will be too small for a loaf tin. I would start with 45 – 50 minutes.
    3. 8” baking tin – If you would like to make a larger cake, I would recommend using an 8” round cake tin and adjust the baking time accordingly. I would start with 30 – 35 minutes. 
  2. To make the tea extra fine, you can pulse in a blender or grind with a mortar and pestle before adding to the flour. 
Keyword cake, earl grey, tea

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