This Earl Grey Cake is the perfect afternoon dessert for tea lovers, with its tender and robust cake layered with silky lemon buttercream.
Earl Grey Cake
I had wanted to go to Scotland for as long as I can remember, but I wasn’t going for the food, more for the rich history and gorgeous scenery, but after getting into Edinburgh, we were hungry and headed to the Elephant House where J.K. Rowling wrote the majority of the Harry Potter series. It was there that I became acquainted with Earl Grey Cake, and it was then that I fell in love with it too. I’m a huge fan of tea-laced desserts like my Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies, but in a cake, it’s something else, I tell ya.
A bold beautiful flavor that reminded me of afternoon tea with my grandmother after school. The cake in the cafe was served with cream cheese frosting, which was delicious, but for me, there’s no greater pairing than tea and lemon.
The lemon buttercream is bursting with vibrant citrus notes thanks to the lemon zest and freshly squeezed juice. And when it hugs that Earl Grey Cake, it’s pure bliss. I thought this cake would make the perfect addition to any tea party!
👋 Let’s Connect!
If you’ve tried this recipe, please let me know how you liked it in the comments below and leave a review. I love hearing from you!
Don’t forget to tag me – @sugarandsoulco – on Instagram and Pinterest with your photos or join our Sugar & Soul Show-offs Community and share them there, where you can join our recipe challenges!
Earl Grey Cake with Lemon Buttercream
- In a small saucepan, heat the 1 cup whole milk and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract over medium heat until it begins to simmer.
- Remove from heat and add in the 4 bags Earl Grey tea, cover, and steep for 20 minutes.
- Gently squeeze the tea bags to get the liquid out and pour the milk back into a measuring cup. Add additional milk if necessary to get the volume back to 1 cup. Let the milk cool to room temperature.
- Once the milk has cooled, preheat oven the to 350°F. Line the bottom of three 6-inch pans with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream together the 1 cup unsalted butter and 2 cups granulated sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add 4 large eggs one at a time, mixing and scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition.
- In a large bowl, stir together the 3 cups all-purpose flour, 2½ teaspoons baking powder, 1 tablespoon loose Earl Grey tea leaves, and ½ teaspoon salt. Add to the butter mixture alternating with the tea milk, starting and ending with flour. Mix just until flour is combined.
- Add 2 cups of batter to each prepared cake pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until tops of cakes spring back when touched. Remove from oven and transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream together the 1 cup unsalted butter and 1 tablespoon lemon zest until smooth.
- Add 8 cups powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, alternating with the ¼ cup fresh lemon juice and 2 tablespoons heavy cream, scrapping down the sides as needed.
- Whip on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. If the frosting is too soft, add a bit more sugar, if it's too stiff, add a little more heavy cream 1 teaspoon at a time.
- Place the bottom layer of cake on a cake stand and add a light coat of frosting over it. Repeat with the next two layers, keep the crumb coat of frosting thin, and place in the fridge for 20 minutes to chill.
- Remove and finish frosting the rest of the cake as desired. Garnish with fresh flowers and lemon slices if desired.