Earl Grey Cake with Orange
This Earl Grey Cake with Orange is easy to make and combines the citrus notes of Earl Grey tea with zesty orange. The tea adds a subtle fragrance to what would otherwise be a basic orange loaf cake. I have added an orange drizzle, using orange juice and icing sugar, to make the cake extra moist and flavoursome. It is topped with a tangy orange-flavoured cream cheese icing which has a mouth-filling richness to complement the fresh tasting cake.
Earl Grey tea is flavoured with the oil of bergamot, a citrus fruit which is thought to be a hybrid of lemon and bitter orange. It is likely that the Earl Grey blend is named after the 2nd Lord Grey who was British Prime Minister in the 1830s and who reputedly received a gift of tea flavoured with bergamot oil.
Last year, we went on a family holiday to Northumberland and visited the Grey family’s beautiful ancestral home, Howick Hall. The Grey family’s story is that Earl Grey tea was specially blended to suit the water at Howick Hall as the use of bergamot offset the taste of the local water which is very alkaline. If you visit the Howick Hall gardens, you can have a cup of Earl Grey tea in the lovely Earl Grey teahouse!
I sometimes make this cake using the less well-known Lady Grey tea, rather than Early Grey tea. Lady Grey tea is a modern invention, created by Twinings in the early 1990s to appeal to those who found Earl Grey tea too strong in flavour. Lady Grey differs from Earl Grey in that it has a stronger citrus taste as it contains additional lemon and orange peel as well as bergamot oil.
This Earl Grey Cake is one of many loaf cake recipes that I cook regularly. They are so quick and easy to make and you can get really creative with the flavours! On other pages of this blog you can find recipes for
Salted Caramel Latte Cake, Lemon Drizzle, Blood Orange, Lime and Coconut, Rum and Banana and Ginger and Pear.
This easy loaf cake combines the citrus notes of Earl Grey or Lady Grey tea with orange.
For the cake:
- 50 ml boiling water
- 1 Earl Grey or Lady Grey teabag
- 125 g butter
- 175 g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 175 g self-raising flour
- Zest of half an orange
- 100 g icing sugar
- Juice of 1 orange
For the icing:
- 150 g butter
- 50 g icing sugar
- 200 g cream cheese
- Zest of half an orange
- Set your oven to 180 degrees centigrade or Gas Mark 4.
- Put the boiling water into a small jug or cup and add the Earl Grey or Lady Grey teabag. Allow the teabag to steep in the water for 5 minutes and then remove it. The tea will be stronger than you would like to drink!
- Grease a 450 g loaf tin and line the bottom with baking parchment.
- Cream the butter with the sugar. (I usually soften the butter for about 30 seconds in the microwave first as it makes it much easier!)
- Gradually add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture. If it looks as if it is going to curdle, add some of the self-raising flour.
- Once the eggs have been incorporated add the rest of the self-raising flour.
- Add the Earl Grey or Lady tea and half the grated zest of your orange.
- Spoon the cake mixture into your prepared loaf tin.
- Put the tin in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.
- While the cake is baking, combine the juice from your orange with 100 g of icing sugar to form a thick syrup.
- Remove the cake from the oven and immediately pour the syrup over the top.
- Leave the cake in the tin to cool completely before removing. If you try and take it out while it is still warm it may fall apart as it will be very moist due to the syrup.
- Make the icing by creaming together the butter and icing sugar. Then mix in the cream cheese and the other half of your orange zest and stir until smooth and combined. You can keep a little of the orange zest back to decorate the cake.
- When the cake is completely cool, spread the icing on top of it and, if you wish, decorate it with the retained grated orange zest.
Keywords: cake, loaf cake, Earl Grey, Lady Grey, orange, cream cheese icing