Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Recipe: Lavender and black tea cake

Lavender and black tea cake - as made by EJ
This lavender and black tea cake was primarily inspired by my need to use up store cupboard ingredients - I had some lavender sugar approaching its date and didn't want it to go to waste. Personally, I love lavender, but it is definitely one of the few marmites of the cake world - and if you're a little heavy handed with the lavender sugar, you do risk entering the parma violet zone of the flavour spectrum. It is indeed a flavouring which should always be used with caution.

This cake was awesome, but due to a bit of a bake-tastrophe earlier in the day I rushed the decoration (at 10pm after a full on baking day) and, if I'm honest, I don't think the flowers really work. I have since taught myself how to make super cool sugar paste roses:

Sugar paste roses - much better
I've even made a video tutorial, so you can make them too!

This recipe makes two 15cm sponge cakes, which you'll slice in half horizontally (into four thin sponges) and glue together with buttercream.

For the lavender and black tea sponges:

140g butter
60g lavender sugar
80g caster sugar
2 eggs
150g self raising flour
100ml brewed tea, left to cool (I used 2 tea bags brewed for 20 minutes)
2tbs milk

For the buttercream icing:

250g icing sugar
80g butter 2-3tbs brewed tea
1tbs purple food colouring
1tbs milk

For the decoration:
White and pink sugar balls
Sugar paste flowers (use the video tutorial above to make these)

To make the sponges:
Pre-heat the oven to 170C (fan). Line and grease two 15cm round cake tins.

Use an electric mixer to combine all of the sponge ingredients until smooth.

Evenly distribute the cake batter between two 15cm cake tins, tap the base of each tin against the kitchen surface to remove air bubbles from the mixture. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until the sponge springs back when gently compressed with a finger.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool a little. Run a pallet knife around the edge of each tin to loosed the sponge before popping it out. Sit it on a wire rack to cool.

To make the buttercream icing and assemble:
Mix the icing sugar, butter, food colouring and tea together, gradually add the milk until the consistency is smooth enough to spread. 

Use a pallet knife to spread 1/4 of the buttercream from the centre of the first sponge outwards and place the second layer on top - repeat this process until all four sponges are stacked up. 

Spread the remaining buttercream on top of the cake, surround with sugar paste flowers and pour the pink and white sugar pearls into the centre to finish.

Enjoy :)


  1. Lovely recipe! I'm also trying to make sure I use things from my store cupboard before they go out of date. I actually like the flowers, I think they look a little bit different.

    1. Thank you! That is very kind of you to say - I was very tired when I made them, but the cake went down well the next day so I can't complain :)

  2. Wow! That's just beautiful. I love using tea in cakes - earl grey is a favourite. What a wonderful unusual idea!

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