One of the last things I baked in Virginia was this subtle cake with a deep flavor. I’d had the idea for some sort of Earl Grey cake or cupcake floating around in my head for a while. I was sitting home alone when I knew it was TIME. I’d originally planned to do an orange cake with an Earl Grey frosting, or maybe tea cupcakes with orange frosting, but I felt like making a serious cake.
You know you have a serious cake when you need a diagram!
Above is the diagram of how I put the cake together. I made everything from scratch, except I used storebought orange marmalade, and the salted caramel was an afterthought that I found a jar of in the back of my pantry.
For the Earl Grey cake I used a recipe from Eat Glitter and Shine All Day (https://thetoastedfrench.wordpress.com/2015/03/09/earl-grey-cake/). I doubled the recipe since I knew I wanted a layer cake and not a bundt cake, and I had tons of fun converting from weight to volume. (I know, I know, I should get a kitchen scale too, but then I wouldn’t get to practice my conversion skills!) I also learned that in British and Australian recipes, “corn flour” means corn starch! (Here in the US corn flour is something different.)
Below are the cake ingredients by volume. Click over to Eat Glitter and Shine for the baking instructions.
Earl Grey Cake (Note: This is a doubled recipe. Cut it in half if you only want to make one 8 or 9 in cake.)
- 3 cups cake flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 3 T baking powder
- 1/2 t salt
- 1 cup butter
- almost 1 cup sugar
- 6 eggs
- 3 T vanilla
- 2.25 cups milk
- 10 T Earl Grey Tea
Almond Shortbread Crumble
- 1/2 cup cake flour (all purpose would work too)
- 1/8 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup soft butter
- 1 t almond extract
- Mix ingredients and crumble onto cookie pan lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 for around 8 minutes, stir and bake another 5-10 minutes.
Orange Zest Whipped Cream
- 2 cups heavy cream
- zest of one orange
- 1 t vanilla
- whisk cream until peaks form
- Add vanilla and whip again
- Fold in orange zest
I used the chocolate ganache recipe from Sweetapolita, found here: http://sweetapolita.com/2014/03/sweet-salty-millionaires-layer-cake/ I did half the recipe but you could probably cut it back even more depending on how much chocolate you want.
11 oz dark chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
1/6 cup corn syrup
4 T butter
1.5 t vanilla
- Place chopped chocolate in heatproof bowl or bowl of stand mixer
- Over medium heat, mix cream, corn syrup, and salt until just before it boils.
- Pour this liquid over the chocolate and let sit for a minute or two.
- Whisk to combine the chocolate and the liquid.
- Add the butter in small amounts, then the vanilla. Let cool until frosting consistency.
Cake Assembly (The cake blueprint should help here.)
- Cut both cakes in half.
- On the bottom layer, spread some orange marmalade and then some orange zest whipped cream. Add half of the almond shortbread crumble.
- Add the second layer of cake and more marmalade. Optional: Add some salted caramel on top of this. (I used it because I had it, but I don’t think it ultimately added much…) Spread some ganache on top of this.
- Add the third layer and repeat the steps from the first layer. (Marmalade, whipped cream, shortbread crumble.)
- Add the fourth layer and cover the entire cake in a crumb coat of the whipped cream. Cool for at least half an hour.
- Cover the cake in the chocolate ganache and let sit.
- Decorate however you wish! I went for shiny white and silver sprinkles with a little flower in the center.
This cake tastes amazing right away. The tea flavor is definitely strong and that with the whipped cream keeps the cake perfectly moist. The chocolate ties it together nicely, but I’d be curious to make another version where the tea might be the star of every layer. It keeps for a couple of days, which allows the flavors to meld further. It should be kept in the fridge because of the unstabilized whipped cream.
I will definitely make this again, and consider it one of my better inventions! I left some with my parents in their freezer and still wish I’d brought it with me… Let me know if you try it!
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