Black Tea Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Tea, for me, is always associated with something good. Morning coffee is usually a blur – sleepy eyes and a rush to get the day started but when I smell tea brewing, I know it’s time to wind down. So much so, that I’ve taken to drinking ginger tea post dinner while watching some Masterchef Australia 2014 and it’s a ritual I earnestly look forward to. Evening tea in my house is also the cheeriest part of the day – swapping stories post a work day with too many coconut biscuits and tea. And although has its uses, it is tea that fascinates me. I love the idea of a beverage that a commands a whole ceremony. It’s just that good.


This black tea cake with simple vanilla buttercream was made for a friend’s birthday and I wanted to keep the theme, colors and flavors simple and pristine – a complete ode to her personality. The cake was baked in 6″ pans which I’m beginning to realize is an ideal size but the original recipe also states that you can make it in a 9″ cake pan. In stead of cake flour, I did a simple swap of all purpose combined with some cornstarch. Another star factor is the fact that it uses oil and butter – the combined strength of both these fats results in a dreamily, light but dense cake.

Black Tea Cake with Simple Vanilla Buttercream

Serves: 4 to 6

Source: Pastry Affair

For the cake:

1 cup (240 ml) whole milk

3 English Breakfast Tea bags (or 3 tbs loose leaf tea)

1/4 cup (55 g) butter, at room temperature

1 cup (225 g) caster sugar

2 eggs

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

145g  all purpose flour

30g cornstarch

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1. Pre-heat the oven to 175 deg C. Line two 6″ cake tins with a round of parchment paper. Set both on a large cookie tray lined with a silicon mat.

2. In a small saucepan, add milk and tea and let it come to a boil. Set aside to cool.

3. In a bowl, cream butter and sugar until the butter is pale, light and fluffy. Add eggs, oil and vanilla paste and whisk again to combine.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch and leaveners. Add to butter mixture and fold well with a spatula. Lastly, add the brewed milk and combine. Pour into prepared cake tins and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the cake tests done. Cool completely before icing.

For the buttercream:

110g *premium* unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups (200g )powdered sugar

1 tbs full fat cream

2 tsp vanilla bean paste

1. In a large bowl, add butter and vanilla paste and cream well. Gradually add powdered sugar. Add cream once the sugar has completely dissolved. Refrigerate for 30 minutes (it’s very humid here) and use to frost the cake as you like.

photo 2

P.S – While I continue to fumble with my DSLR, I wasn’t able to get any good shots of the completed cake. Even if I did, my favorite would remain this one, clicked by a friend.  All deserving photo credits to her!


5 responses to “Black Tea Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  1. Pingback: Skillet (Apology) Chicken with Mushrooms and Rosemary | The Vanilla Bean·

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