Earl Grey Cake
The use of earl grey tea adds lots of complex spice flavor to this moist cake.

As a general rule, I have no concept of how long it takes me to complete recipes.

Poor Joey has had to wait until 8 or 9 p.m. on several occasions for me to complete a meal, because I was just sure I could finish it for a normal eating time.

And he’s thrown up his hands at me staying up into the wee hours of the morning, baking pies for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

You’d think I would learn. But I haven’t.

So, when I decided to take a birthday cake for our friend when we were going over to play games at her house that evening, it would come as no surprise that I was hurriedly trying to finish it before rushing over for game night.

Unfortunately, that meant my cake’s glaze looked atrocious. Fortunately, it still tasted amazing.

The cake I made features the flavors of earl grey tea, and I found it on the “Tastemade” website. You can find the original post at https://www.tastemade.com/videos/earl-grey-tea-cakes/. I doubled the vanilla and changed some of the directions in my version.

Earl Grey Tea Cakes

The use of earl grey tea adds lots of complex spice flavor to this moist cake.
Course: Dessert
Keyword: cake, earl grey, glaze, spice, tea


Cake Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk I used skim
  • 5 earl grey tea bags
  • 14 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • zest of one small lemon
  • 1 1/3 teaspoon baking powder

Glaze Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3-4 tablespoons strong earl grey tea
  • purple food coloring optional


  • Microwave the milk in a glass mug or bowl for 90 seconds. Place the five teabags into the milk, and cover it with aluminum foil.
  • Let the milk sit, with the teabags, for at least 15 minutes, letting it cool to room temperature.
  • Squeeze out the teabags into the milk and discard them. If some of your milk evaporated, top it off so you have one cup.
  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Prepare an eight-by-eight inch cake pan by spraying it with cooking spray and lining it with parchment paper. (If you want to remove it from the pan before serving. If not, just spray the pan.
  • Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together for a few minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, and then add in the flour, lemon zest, baking powder and milk until everything is combined well.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and tap it on the counter a few times to flatten the batter out before placing in the oven for one hour or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  • If removing the cake from the pan, let it cool for five minutes before inverting it and placing it on a wire rack. Either way, though, let the cake cool completely before glazing it.
  • For the glaze, melt the butter and add it to the sugar and tea. Stir until the mixture is smooth. If there are lumps of butter that refuse to combine with the rest of the ingredients, microwave the mixture no more than 30 seconds at a time until it is smooth.
  • Either cut the cake into even squares or leave it whole, and position it on a wire rack over a rimmed backing sheet. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the cake. Let the glaze set, and serve.
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container.

his cake was super delicious and very moist. I really wish I would have saved myself enough time to really make it as pretty as it should have been, but the flavor did not disappoint, and I’m lucky to have very gracious friends who were more than happy to eat the whole thing.

I do think I’ll make this cake again in the future. The flavors were deep and complex and felt just a little fancy. Plus, I always love a good spiced cake, and this one didn’t disappoint.

I’d like to say that this was the recipe that finally taught me my lesson, but I’m sure I’ll be hurrying through another one soon. It turns out you can’t rush perfection—or even something sort of near to it.

This piece first appeared in print on July 8, 2021.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.