You’ve certainly heard of eating cake with tea. Chances are, if you’re a tea lover, you’ve probably done it on occasion. But have you ever combined the two and baked them with a tea infusion? Don’t be daunted by the prospect of baking with tea. It really couldn’t be simpler in 99.9% of cases! Most recipes involve the simple act of adding ground tea or strained loose leaf into your flour mixture.
There are endless possibilities when it comes to making baked goods with tea given the wide variety of cakes and blends. Some of these include chamomile ricotta cake, matcha marble and lime drizzle cake, masala chai rock cakes and green tea moon egg custard sandwiches. Yes, that is a thing.
So sit back, grab yourself a brew and feast your eyes on your next kitchen endeavour. Here are just ten to get you started!
Persian Love Cake + Black Tea
A young woman, head over heels, baked this cake for a Persian prince way back when, or so the story goes. It’s hard to see how the prince, or anyone, could resist the charms of the Persian love cake, with its wonderful mix of cardamom, rose and saffron. When finished, it’s usually topped with rose icing, pistachios and rose petals.
While your cake is baking, add honey and orange juice to a small saucepan over medium heat and stir for around ten minutes until the mixture is combined, bubbling and syrupy-like. Remove from the heat, add black tea and saffron and infuse for ten minutes. Take your cake out, poke holes in it and drizzle the strained tea mix over it.
Matcha Marble and Lime Drizzle Cake
You’ll have heard of matcha by now. It’s a Japanese green tea made in powder form, harvested as such so it retains an intense green colour. High in antioxidants, it also enhances brain function and can aid in weight loss, though if you’re having it in the form of a Matcha Marble and Lime Drizzle Cake, there may be some interruptions. But it’s delicious!
What’s great about matcha is how easy it is to include in baking thanks to its natural powder form. We’re giving a shout-out to marble and lime drizzle cake in particular but, really, you could put matcha in almost any cake mix and see tasty results.
Apple Pie and Masala Chai
Apple Pie is not only tasty but healthy, too! Create a pastry first by blending or mixing a combination of eggs, honey and palm shortening before adding the flour. Blend for as long as it takes until you have a dough. Cover with a wrap and pop it in the fridge for an hour.
Brew some masala chai, wash and chop your apples, then pop them in said chai, allowing them to soak up all the flavour and aroma. Drain them a tiny bit before adding coconut sugar and lemon juice. Take your pie crust and spread it into a pan and fill it with your yummy chai apple mixture. Place it in the oven and let it bake until golden brown. This should take around 40 minutes. Serve with a scoop of ice cream and a cup of tea, of course!
Lemon Drizzle Cake with Lady Grey
A lemon drizzle cake is always a good time, but by adding some lady grey tea to it, you’re elevating it to unseen levels. The citrus flavours work in tandem, creating a powerful but agreeable fusion. It’s not exactly crucial what lemons you get, but make sure the tea is lady grey for this one!
To make, mix butter with caster sugar until light and fluffy, add 4 eggs one at a time and then throw in some lemon zest and juice. Sieve in your flour and fold together, then add the result to a lined loaf tin and bake in the oven for around 55 minutes. While the cake is still warm, brew 2 cups of lady grey tea for five minutes, poke holes all over your cake and gently pour in the brew. Allow it to sit for a few more minutes then slice and serve!
Pecan and Black Tea Cake
A sultana and pecan cake is already an easy cake to fix up, so why not add tea while you’re at it? Brew your tea in boiled water as usual and steep for ten minutes. Cream together butter and sugar, add eggs, vanilla, tea and then your sultans and pecans. Dust them in a bit of flour, mix, place in your cake tin and bake for 50 minutes.
The result will be a golden brown sponge of goodness. But you’re not done there. Top with icing and even more chopped pecans, if you’re really crazy about pecans. If not, simply add the icing and serve with a cup of tea. Yes, more tea. Just cause there’s tea in the cake doesn’t mean you won’t want or need another to wash it down with!
Jasmine Tea Scones
Jasmine tea and mixed berry scones are a wonderfully flavourful variation of this traditional pastry. The jasmine tea leaves, ground into a fine powder, are what really make this one stand out. The baking process is fairly simple and the subtle floral rewards are to die for.
Jasmine tea scones are made by placing jasmine tea leaves into a coffee grinder or food processor until they’re in powder form before combining it with flour, almond, flour, sugar, salt and baking powder into a food processor bowl. Add heavy cream to make it into a dough, add berries, cut into appropriate sizes, brush the tops with heavy cream and bake for 25 minutes. Let them cool on a wire rack then serve with more tea!
Rock Cakes with Masala Chai
Rock might not be a word you’d want to associate with cake, but this British wartime treat is not only delicious but easy to make! Rock cakes are made from self-rising flour, baking powder, sugar, butter, milk and eggs then is plied with dried fruit, rolled into balls and baked.
Rock cakes made with masala chai tea don’t involve anything complex. Simply infuse the dough mix with masala chai instead of the all-spice. Unlike a lot of baked goods, rock cakes, thanks to their size, don’t take that long to cook. Just a 20–25 minute session in a preheated oven will have them coming out perfect!
Chocolate-Dipped Chai Shortbread
Chocolate-Dipped Chai Shortbread is a straightforward and quirky-looking baked good that is made by adding chai tea to melted butter in a saucepan, straining into a bowl and leaving that to sit and solid in a fridge. Allow the butter to then return to room temperature, and put 250g of it into a mixing bowl and combine with cream and sugar. Then stir with flour, spices and salt.
Once you’ve created a respectable dough, press it into a greased tin, lay a sheet of baking paper on top and then flatten the surface of the shortbread using the back of a spoon or anything flat! Throw away the baking paper and slice into a dozen fingers and bake for an hour. Remove them from the oven, sprinkle with caster sugar and let them cool. Finally, dunk half of them in melted chocolate and allow to set.
Chamomile ricotta cake
Chamomile ricotta cake is a fancier option when it comes to baking with tea and something that will definitely impress your guests. Blend together icing sugar and two tablespoons of chamomile until finely ground, then add ricotta, lemon zest and juice then pulse further with gelatine. Strain the result into a bowl and fold with mascarpone and cream to create a perfect chamomile ricotta layer.
For your white chocolate top layer, place cream in a saucepan over high heat and add soaked gelatine. Pour in some chocolate and whisk until smooth. Then whisk the yoghurt until combined. Let this chill overnight or at the very least, for three hours. For the base, blend almond meal, butter, caster sugar and a tiny bit of salt, press into a pan and bake for fifteen minutes.
Green Tea Moon Egg Custard Sandwiches
Green tea moon egg custard sandwiches are a spin on the mooncake, a traditional pastry eaten during the mid-autumn Chinese festival that are imprinted with Chinese characters celebrating longevity. While this version isn’t verbatim, the ingredients are mostly the same, except for the infusion of green tea, of course!
You’ll need three layers for this. First, make the custard by simmering cream, milk, vanilla bean and seeds in a saucepan over medium heat. Set aside and combine cornflour and eggs and pour over your hot cream mixture. Then return the pan to medium heat. Stir constantly for 8 minutes until your custard sticks to the back of your spoon. Strain this into a tray and chill for 2 hours.
As for the green tea moon cake biscuits, place your flour and green tea powder and syrup into a bowl and stir to form a sticky dough. Transfer to a floured work surface and knead until its ball-shaped. Wrap it in plastic wrap and let it set at room temperature for 30 minutes. Roll the dough out and create moon cake shapes with a cutter. Bake for 15 minutes and set them aside.
And then there’s the fun part — assembling it all! We don’t really need to tell you how to put together a sandwich of ingredients but just in case: Get your biscuit, cover it in coconut jam on one side, then top that with your custard, then some more jam and then the enclosed biscuit.