27 October 2014

Earl Grey Tea Cake (using tea-infused butter)

I am a big tea lover, you'll find all sorts of tea and hardly any coffee in my cabinet. Probably just a few sachets of instant coffee that I took from hotels during vacations (in case I need coffee powder for baking).

Of all the different flavours of tea, Earl Grey is my absolute favourite =D
Besides drinking it as a beverage whether hot or iced, I also like to incorporate the flavour into my bakes. So far, have tried chiffon and cookies. For earl grey chiffon, the tea leaves are infused through milk to extract the flavour; while I love the texture of chiffon, the earl grey is a little subdued by the milky taste of the cake. As for cookies, I'm not really a big fan, I just eat a few pieces and then will get sick of it easily. This time, I'm looking for a slightly dense cake which is still very tender and moist with full bodied earl grey fragrance and taste.

Recently came across a blog which talks about baking with tea and using butter to infuse the tea flavour into baked goods and it's really interesting. So after checking out various cook books and websites for a suitable cake recipe, decided to adapt the Earl Grey Cake by Honey Bee Sweets with this tea-infused butter method.

The batter of this cake is not too thick, quite runny in fact. So if using cupcake cases, it's advisable to place the cases in muffin pans before filling the batter, or use hard cupcake cases. Initially I intended to bake only one loaf cake but because my loaf pan is slightly smaller than the regular size, I had extra batter to fill three more cupcake cases. Instead of the usual round cases, I chose these sweet flora square ones :)

Earl Grey Tea Cake (using tea-infused butter)
(makes 1 no. 24cm x 7cm loaf pan and 3 nos. cupcakes)


(A) Concentrated Earl Grey Tea
  • 2 sachets earl grey tea (any tea leaves of your choice, I used BOH Seri Songket Collection - Earl Grey with Tangerine)
  • 150g water
  1. Boil 150g of water and sip the 2 sachets of tea bags in the water. Turn off heat and infuse for 10-15 mins.
  2. Strain and measure 100g of earl grey tea. Set aside to cool down.
(B) Tea-infused Butter
  • 180g unsalted butter
  • 2 sachets earl grey tea
  1.  In a small saucepan, melt the butter until just turned liquid.
  2. Add the tea leaves to the melted butter and continue heating on low heat until the mixture starts to foam.
  3. Remove from heat and infuse for 10-15 mins.
  4. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve, pressing hard on the tea leaves to get as much liquid butter as possible. ** Quantity of butter will be lesser than 180g as some will be stuck to the tea leaves. Should be able to get 150g for use. Set aside to cool down. Discard the strained tea leaves.
(C) Earl Grey Cake
  • 150g cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 150g tea-infused butter
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 100g earl grey tea
  • 2 egg whites
  • 20g caster sugar
  1. Preheat oven (top and bottom heat) at 175 degree celsius.
  2. Line loaf pan with baking parchment and set aside.
  3. Sift cake flour, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.
  4. In a mixing bowl of a stand-mixer, add tea-infused butter and 80g caster sugar, mix on medium speed using k-beater till well-blended.
  5. Add the egg yolks and mix till well-blended.
  6. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the earl grey tea. Mix till batter is thick and smooth, stop to scrap the batter from sides of bowl where necessary.
  7. In a separate mixing bowl, beat the egg whites (I use hand-mixer) till foamy and add the 20g caster sugar gradually. Continue beating till stiff peak.
  8. FOLD 1/3 of the egg white meringue into the main batter gently. After egg white is almost incorporated, FOLD another 1/3 of the meringue into the main batter gently. Finally, pour all the main batter into the bowl containing the remaining 1/3 meringue and FOLD gently.
  9. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and cupcake cases.
  10. Bake the cupcakes for 20 mins and loaf cake for 45 mins, or cake tester comes out clean.
  11. Cool the cakes on a wire rack.
  12. Enjoy the cake on its own or top with frosting
* Weight of the batter is about 600g. As my loaf pan is slightly smaller than the standard size, after filling the mould with about 450g of batter, there's extra batter to fill another 3 cupcake cases (about 45-50g of batter each). If using only cupcake cases, should be able to yield 12-13 regular size cupcake cases.

I find the cake tasty enough to eat on its own but even better with a touch of frosting or icing :) Here, I'm using cream cheese frosting because I had some cream cheese left from a previous bake. The amount is just enough to frost the quantity of cake I baked (sparingly coz I don't like too much frosting).

Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 45g cream cheese, slightly softened
  • 30g unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 20g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp grounded earl grey leaves (I use direct from the BOH tea sachet as the leaves are very fine already) *optional
  1. In a mixing bowl of a stand-mixer, add all the ingredients and mix on medium-high speed using k-beater till smooth and creamy.
* the grounded earl grey leaves won't add much fragrance or taste to the frosting because it's not infused and hence flavour can't really be extracted. I just added them to make the frosting look nice :p

I really love how the cake turned out, rich with earl grey fragrance and taste, texture was very tender and moist with tight crumbs. Best way to eat it? With some cream cheese frosting and nice cuppa earl grey tea without sugar or milk :)

This recipe is definitely a keeper for me. Gonna try other flavours of tea-infused butter next time!


  1. hello, ur cakes presented so sweet and nice! can i know where did u bought the cake stand (white one with ribbon) and the plates?

  2. Hi Yi Xuan,
    Thanks :)
    I bought the cake stand with green ribbon from Shermay's Cooking School. The plate was from Tokyo. The petite cake stand was from a shop at Haji Lane.

  3. Hi there,
    Does the cake keep well in room temperature ? And is the overall restore like a pound /buttercake ? Tks

    1. Yes, the cake stays well in room temperature. Texture is like buttercake.