An incredibly fragrant earl grey lavender cake with a rich honey icing. Traditional English flavors are married in this delicious moist cake. Citrusy, bergamot-flavored earl grey tea and highly-aromatic English lavender are infused in milk, creating a fragrant and buttery cake that’s topped with a rich honey icing. Afternoon tea is served, all-in-one!
Table of Contents
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Earl grey and lavender are incredibly complementing flavors
- It tastes as good as it looks
- Easy instructions, suitable for beginners
- Earl grey tea – I recommend steeping 2 teabags for this cake but you can increase or decrease the amount based on your taste. Don’t steep it too long or squeeze the bags or the taste will taste bitter.
- Lavender – Dried or fresh English culinary lavender, also known as Lavandula angustifolia, is best. Hidcote or Munstead are suitable varieties. You can buy dried culinary lavender at specialist food retailers. Again, you can adjust the intensity of the lavender flavor by infusing more or fewer stems in the milk.
- Milk – I use full-fat milk but you can substitute it with a lower fat option as well.
- Butter – Softened, unsalted butter is best for this delicate cake but you can substitute it with salted butter if needed. Simply omit the salt in the recipe.
- Eggs – Medium-sized eggs at room temperature help this cake rise and help retain its moisture.
- Sugar – Granulated white sugar is best for this recipe as it gives the cake a delicate crumb.
- Flour – All-purpose flour or plain flour works well for this cake. Alternatively, you can use cake flour.
- Baking powder – This is the main leavening agent for this cake and is required.
- Salt – A pinch of salt balances the flavors. You can omit it if you’re using salted butter.
- Lemon – The zest of one lemon reinforces the citrus flavor of the Earl Grey and complements the lavender notes beautifully.
- Honey – The honey in the icing gives this cake another flavor dimension that’s often enjoyed with a traditional earl grey tea.
- The cake batter is very liquid. Cook it for at least 45 minutes. To check if it is baked, insert a knife blade into the center of the cake. If the knife comes out clean, the cake is done.
- The infused milk has to be lukewarm before adding it to the cake batter or the eggs will curdle.
- Make sure the cake has fully cooled before you add the icing or it will slide off the cake.
This earl grey lavender cake is best enjoyed with a cup of earl grey tea of course. You can add a dollop of whipped for some extra indulgence.
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Does earl grey go with lavender?
Citrusy, bergamot-flavored earl grey tea pairs beautifully with soft English lavender notes. A classic British flavor combination.
How do you store the earl grey lavender cake?
This moist cake stores well in an airtight container on the bench for 3 days. You can also store it in the fridge in an airtight container but it will dry out quicker.
Alternatively, you can freeze leftover loaf cake for up to 3 months in a freezer-proof container. Simply defrost it on the bench at room temperature.
Earl Grey Lavender Cake
- 1 cup milk
- 2 teabags Earl Grey tea
- 1 tsp dried culinary lavender
- 1/2 cup butter unsalted, softened
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp lemon zest zest of 1 lemon
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp butter unsalted, softened
- 2 cups icing sugar
- 1/2 tsp dried culinary lavender to garnish the cake
Make the cake
- Preheat the oven to 180C/356F and line a round cake tin with parchment paper.
- To infuse the milk with tea and lavender, heat the milk on the stove or in the microwave until it's about to simmer. Remove it from the heat and add the tea bags and dried lavender. Stir briefly and let them steep for 3-5 minutes.
- Remove the teabags from the milk and set them aside for later. Strain the milk to remove the dried lavender. Set it aside to cool down.
- Mix 3 tbsp of the infused milk with the honey while it's hot. Stir until the honey is fully dissolved. Set aside for later.
- Add the sugar to the softened butter. While stirring, add the eggs one at a time. You're after a homogenous mixture.
- Add the flour, salt, and baking powder to the wet ingredients and slowly pour in the milk. Make sure the milk is lukewarm and not too hot or it will curdle the eggs. Combine everything thoroughly.
- Add the zest of 1 lemon and the insides of one of the teabags to the batter. Fold them in slowly.
- Add the cake batter to the lined baking tin and bake it for 45 minutes. To check if the cake is baked, insert a knife blade into the center of it. If the knife comes out clean, the cake is done. If it gets too dark during baking, cover it with an extra sheet of parchment paper.
- Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool down in the tin for 10 minutes. Take it out of the tin and let it fully cool down on a cookie wire.
Make the icing
- Combine the icing sugar, softened butter, and honey-sweetened, infused milk until a smooth icing has formed. Add more plain milk if the consistency is too thick.
- Spread it generously over the cold cake. Garnish with dried lavender. Enjoy!