Butter cakes are my comfort food and the Earl Grey version has become a firm favourite with both family and friends. Here’s a tried-and-tested recipe, adapted from The Mini Chef.
230g unsalted butter
160g caster sugar
160g cake flour
50g heavy cream (bring to room temperature)
15g full cream milk
3 eggs (room temperature)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
4 Earl Grey tea bags (Dilmah)
This recipe yields a rich, moist, butter cake that isn’t cloyingly sweet. Heavy cream helps to make the cake moist but it can also be replaced by the same amount of full cream milk.
- Preheat oven at 170°C (top-bottom heat). Line a 9″ loaf pan with parchment paper.
- Warm milk in microwave (15 sec). Steep 1 tea bag in the milk, set aside.
- Sift flour, baking powder, salt into a bowl. Extract the tea leaves from 3 bags and mix into the flour. Stir well.
- Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat the 3 eggs in a separate bowl/measuring cup; add it to the butter-sugar mixture in 3 batches. Beat well after each addition. The mixture will be slightly runny.
- Add all the flour into the mixture and fold it in until fully incorporated (no streaks).
- Add the cream and earl-grey milk and fold them into mixture until completely incorporated.
- Transfer the batter into the pan, place pan on the middle rack and bake for 60 minutes.
- Remove from oven, cool for 5 minutes then remove cake from pan and cool on the rack.
- The butter should be soft to touch ie you can make an indention but it still holds its shape. Stick it back into the fridge for a while if it becomes too soft.
- Do not steep the earl grey in heavy cream; you will lose a lot of heavy cream.
- This cake can also be made using the meringue method ie separating egg yolks and whites, making meringue with the whites then folding it into the batter. The texture will be the same.
- Bake the cake in the middle rack, using top-bottom mode, not convection. I’ve baked using the convection mode and got cakes with streaks inside.
- Overbaking the cake will dry out the crust. Check the cake when its nearing the end of the bake time and adjust as needed since not all ovens are the same.