I’ve talked a few times about my beloved great aunt Jean. She was my Nana Lulu’s sister-in-law from England and I just adored everything about her. The way she spoke was always gentle, kind and polite in her accent that I could listen to for hours. She taught me all the wonderful things about her home country from the monarchy, to bacon butty sandwiches, to how to do a proper afternoon tea. If she were around today I have no doubt that she and I would revel in watching the Great British Bake Off together. So I decided to whip up this gorgeous earl grey tea cake in honor of her and inspired by my favorite TV show. It is actually a very simple cake that really let all of the notes of earl grey tea, lemon and lavender shine through with a simple, fluffy whipped cream for the icing!
After all that, the assembly was easy. I put the first layer on a cake plate and poked holes all over it. Then I drizzled the syrup on it so that it soaked into the sponge. After a big layer of whipped cream, I did the same with the second layer. For a nice finish, I sprinkled more lemon zest and ground lavender on top! Oh my goodness, my Aunt Jean would have loved this cake for tea time. The sponge and whipped cream were both so airy and the delicate flavors of earl grey, lemon and lavender all sang together gorgeously. It made me feel like spring is coming, I think I am going to recreate this cake for Easter! Hope you all love it too. xoxo
This earl grey tea cake is such a gorgeous confection with notes of lemon and lavender in the sponge cake, all layered with a fluffy lemon whipped cream.
- 250 grams self rising flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 250 grams super fine sugar
- 250 grams unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 5 whole eggs at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 bag earl grey tea cut open to add in just the tea leaves
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon ground lavender
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup super fine sugar
- 1 whole earl grey tea bag
- 1 dash vanilla extract
- 16 fluid ounces heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons super fine sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest divided
- 1 teaspoon ground lavender for sprinkling on top
Pre-heat the oven to 320 and line two 9 inch cake pans with parchment. Spray the cake pans well with unflavored cooking spray. Combine the flour and baking powder in a bowl and set it aside. Then set up a stand mixer and fit it with the whisk attachment. Combine the sugar and butter in its bowl and beat them together until fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla. Let it all get whipped up on a higher speed for a minute, then turn off the mixer. Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl through a fine mesh strainer so that it is very fine and light. Fold it in with a spatula. Then fold in the lemon zest, lavender and the milk to moisten it. Divide the batter evenly among the two prepared cake pans and bake the layers for 25 to 30 minutes. Do not open the oven door or turn on the light until 25 minutes in to check them. Let them cool completely.
While the cakes bake and cool, make the earl grey syrup. Combine the water, sugar, tea bag and vanilla in a small saucepan and heat it over medium high heat. Let it come to a gentle boil while you stir it. Once it starts to coat the spoon and thickens into a syrup, take it off the heat to cool. Then make the whipped cream. Combine the heavy cream, sugar and 1 teaspoon of the lemon zest in a mixing bowl and use a hand mixer to whip it up into stiff peaks. It should be airy but not runny at all. Then it is time to assemble this baby!
Place the first layer flat side up on a cake plate and poke holes all over it. Drizzle in half the syrup to soak into the sponge. Then spread half the whipped cream on it evenly. Place the second layer on flat side down. Poke holes and drizzle the remaining syrup into the sponge. Spread the remaining whipped cream on top, then sprinkle the remaining lemon zest and the ground lavender on top. You could also decorate with lemon wedges or candies lemon peel! Serve and enjoy. It also keeps for 2 days covered in the refrigerator!