Lavender and Earl Grey make a perfect combo in this deliciously pretty Lavender Earl Grey cake.
The cake consists of 2 layers of moist and delicious Earl Grey flavored cake, filled with aromatic and sweet lavender buttercream and decorated with the same buttercream in a simple design with edible lavender buds.
This is a baked-from-scratch recipe and fairly easy to make. It has a superbly moist texture and makes a great party cake too!
Table of contents
- What is Earl Grey?
- What is Lavender?
- How to Make
- Like this recipe? Here are my other posts you should check out
- Recipe (Printable)
What is Earl Grey?
Earl Grey is black tea flavored with bergamot oil. Bergamot, on the other hand, is a citrus plant and gives the tea a lovely, mild hint of citrus taste.
While Earl Grey tea is often consumed as a beverage (plain or with milk), it is also used in making delicious tea flavored desserts. To use in desserts or baking generally, the leaves are often steeped in water and the liquid (often in concentrated form) is then added into making the dessert or baked good. The other way of using Earl Grey in food is by processing it into fine powder and adding the powder (often in small quantities) directly into food.
The lavender Earl Grey cake recipe I have on this page is infused with Earl Grey both in liquid form as well as the powder form.
What is Lavender?
Lavender is a type of flower (tiny little purple buds) and is known and widely used for its calming qualities and sweet smell. It is widely used in cosmetics and also in food, although often in small quantities.
When used in food, it is important to ensure the type used is of food grade and suitable for consumption. Lavender is often ground into fine powder before being added to food although it may sometimes be added in full buds form.
While lavender buds look purple, when ground into fine powder, the purple color is no longer noticeable and the ground powder is of a brownish and yellowish hue. .
How to Make
- Self raising flour + salt + baking powder
- Granulated sugar
- Earl Grey tea leaves (in tea bags)
- Icing sugar (powdered sugar)
- Lavender powder
- Purple food coloring
- Milk (optional)
- Lavender flowers (buds)
Making the tea infused milk
The first set of steps of making this Earl Grey is to make the tea-infused milk.
- Start by pouring the milk into a small saucepan or pot. Place it on the stove and heat it up (on medium low heat) until the milk starts to bubble on the sides.
- Turn off the heat and dip 3 Earl Grey tea bags into the hot milk.
- Cover the pot and let the tea steep in the hot milk for 3 minutes.
- After 3 minutes, remove the bags (squeeze out all the tea with the back of a spoon) and discard them. Set the milk aside to cool to room temperature.
Mixing the cake batter
- Cut open the remaining tea bag (1 bag) and pour the leaves into a food processor. To add more volume for the machine to process the leaves, add a few spoons of granulated sugar and grind the sugar and the leaves to a fine powder.
- Transfer the ground leaves mixture into a large bowl of a stand mixer. Add butter and the remaining granulated sugar.
- Cream all 3 ingredients (butter, sugar and the tea leaves) until light and fluffy (with paddle attachment). Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl half way through. Next, add the eggs. Add them one at a time. And each time, beat until all the traces of the eggs are no longer visible. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.
- Combine the flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl and sift these dry ingredients into the creamed wet ingredients.
- Fold the flour mixture in 3 batches and alternate each batch with the tea-infused milk in 2 batches. Start and end with the flour mixture.
- Pour the cake batter into 2 prepared cake pans (well greased and floured). Level the tops. Bake the cakes in a preheated oven at 160 degrees Celsius for 45 minutes. Test the cakes by inserting a skewer or cake tester in the center of each cake at about 40 minutes into baking time. If the skewer comes out without any wet batter sticking to it, the cakes are done and can be removed from the oven. If not, let them bake a little longer and test again.
Remove the baked cake layers from the oven and let them rest in the cake tins for about 2 to 3 minutes before turning them onto wire rack to cool completely.
Making the lavender buttercream
- To make the lavender buttercream, sift the powdered sugar into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter.
- Cream until the sugar and butter mixture turns light and fluffy with an electric mixer (hand mixer or stand mixer). Sift in the lavender powder.
- Continue beating until the lavender is well incorporated.
- Next, add a few drops of purple food coloring and mix well. And finally, if the icing appears too stiff, add about one or two tablespoons of milk and beat well.
Decorating the cake
To assemble and decorate the cake, start my leveling the tops of each cake layer (if domed) with a serrated knife or cake leveler.
- Place the first cake layer on a cake board. Spread the buttercream on top and top the cake with the second cake layer.
- Apply the remaining frosting to the sides and top of the cake evenly.
- Use an icing scraper to level the sides and the top.
- To decorate the cake with the horizontal lines, place the cake on a cake turntable. Place an offset spatula at the base of the cake and gently move the spatula upwards on the sides of the cake as you turn the turntable. That should form the lines of the sides of the cake.
- Repeat the process for the top of the cake, moving the spatula from the center of the cake to the sides as you turn the turntable.
- To complete the lavender Earl Grey cake decoration, sprinkle some lavender buds on the top of the cake, around the edges.
How to choose the correct type of lavender for the buttercream?
- When choosing lavender for edible purposes, make sure it is of food grade (culinary lavender). Lavender is also commonly used for cosmetic purposes so always check to make sure the lavender you use is of food grade and safe for consumption.
Can you adjust the amount of Earl Grey tea and lavender used in the recipe?
- The lavender Earl Grey cake recipe yields a rich tea flavored cake. If you wish to reduce the tea taste in your cake, you can reduce the amount of leaves used. If you prefer your cake to have a much stronger tea taste, then you can choose to increase the amount of leaves used. I would encourage you to try out this recipe before deciding if you wish to add more tea the next time you make it as this recipe already makes a fairly rich Earl Grey tea cake.
- Lavender on the other hand, can also be adjusted. And while it is ok to reduce the amount of lavender used in the recipe (you might end up with less of the lavender aroma and flavor), it is not advisable to add more until you have tried this recipe. Too much lavender might leave you with an unpleasant tasting buttercream.
Tips for a moist cake
- Keep to the baking time. Overbaking will result in a dry cake. It is best to check the cake for doneness at least 10 minutes before the baking time is up. Insert a skewer into the center of the cake and if it comes out without any wet cake batter sticking to it, it is done and can be removed from the oven. If not, let it continue baking for another few minutes before testing again.
- Once the cake is baked and removed from the cake tin, keep it covered as it cools down to room temperature. Covering the cake will also help in avoiding it from becoming dry.
- The other tip is to wrap the cake in cling wrap while it is still warm and refrigerating it until it cools down completely or overnight. This process traps the steam from the cake and helps keep the cake moist even after it has cooled down completely. To serve the cake, remove it from the fridge and let it come to room temperature before removing the cling wrap. This will avoid condensation on the cake which can reduce its shelf life.
How long can the cake last?
- If handled without any moisture, this Earl Grey cake lasts well. It can last for a good 4 to 5 days at room temperature and for a good 1 week if refrigerated.
Like this recipe? Here are my other posts you should check out
- Earl Grey Milk Tea - How to Make Earl Grey Tea with Milk
- Earl Grey Cheesecake - Perfectly Creamy & Simply the Best!
- Lychee Tea - Easy, Fragrant and Absolutely Refreshing
- Earl Grey Pound Cake (Loaf Cake) with Lemon Curd
- Pandan Milk Tea - Easy Homemade Bubble Tea Recipe
- How to Make Tea with Milk Powder (Milk Powder Tea)
Here is the full printable version of my lavender Earl Grey cake recipe card.
Lavender Earl Grey Cake with Lavender Buttercream
- 440 g self raising flour
- 360 g butter
- 280 g granulated sugar
- 4 eggs
- 240 ml milk
- 4 Earl Grey tea bags
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 500 g powdered sugar (icing sugar)
- 250 g butter
- 1 teaspoon lavender powder
- 2 tablespoon milk (optional)
- Purple food coloring (optional)
- Lavender buds
Baking the cakes
- Preheat oven to 160 °Celsius.
- Pour milk into a small pot and heat up until the sides start to bubble. Turn off the heat and dip 3 Earl Grey tea bags into the milk. Cover the pot and let the tea steep in the hot milk for 3 minutes.
- Remove the tea bags (squeeze out all the tea with the back of a spoon) and discard them. Leave the tea-infused milk aside to cool.
- Cut the remaining one tea bag and pour the tea leaves into a food processor. Add approximately 3 to 4 tablespoons of the granulated sugar and blend both until the tea comes to a fine powder. Transfer the sugar-tea leaves mixture into a large mixing bowl.
- Add the remaining granulated sugar to the bowl, followed by the butter.
- Cream the butter, sugar and the ground tea leaves until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl half way through.
- Add the eggs into the creamed mixture, one at a time. Each time, beat until all the traces of the egg is no longer visible. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Sift in the flour, salt and baking powder into the creamed ingredients and fold these dry ingredients into the creamed mixture alternately with the tea infused milk in 3 batches. Start and end with the flour mixture.
- Divide the cake batter into 2 well greased and floured 7 inches round cake tins.
- Level the tops and bake at 160°Celsius for 45 minutes.
- Test the cakes at 40 minutes by inserting a skewer in the center of the cakes. If the skewer comes out without any wet batter sticking to it, the cakes are done and can be removed from the oven. Otherwise, let them bake further until the 45 minutes is up.
- Remove cakes from the oven and let them cool in the tins for about 2 to 3 minutes before turning them out onto wire racks to cool completely before decorating.
Making the buttercream
- Sift the powdered sugar into a large bowl.
- Add the butter and beat both until the mixture turns light and fluffy.
- Sift in the lavender powder and continue to beat until the lavender powder is well incorporated.
- Add a few drop of purple food coloring if desired. Mix well. If the buttercream is too stiff, add some milk and beat until smooth.
Decorating the cake
- Level the top of each cake layer.
- Sandwich both with some lavender buttercream.
- Cover the sides and top of the stacked layers with remaining buttercream and smooth with an icing spatula or smoother.
- Use an offset spatula to make continuous horizontal lines all around the sides and top of the cake as decoration.
- Decorate the top edges of the cake with lavender buds.
And that’s that. My easy and pretty lavender Earl Grey cake.
Happy baking 😊
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