I came across this black loose flavored tea while in the grocery store one day and it sounded so good, I bought it, but parked it in my pantry for the longest time. I finally decided it was time to put it to good use. I just love the flavor of tea infused into cake. It’s not the first time I have used this process for flavor. This particular combo pairs really well with the subtle flavor of the blackberry buttercream. The Husband is really picky when it comes to desserts; he will usually comment when he really likes something and this time he said this one was a “real winner”. I have to say I agree; the color of the cake is a bit strange because of the color it turns the milk when infused but don’t let that turn you off, it is sublime! The cake comes out super moist as well, so that’s always a plus. I went a bit strong I have to admit on the amount of the tea- but I really wanted the flavor to come through. If you want a more subtle flavor cake you can cut down to 3 tablespoons total if you prefer. Also- I added in a little bit of non infused tea to the cake so that it has those little bits of black flecks of the tea. (I know people will ask me why I did that, so that’s why I’m explaining it here). I get a lot of questions on why I do certain things and sometimes it’s just a whim that hits me when recipe developing, as in this case.
These would make adorable mini cupcakes as well for a party.
Earl Grey & Lavender Cake with Blackberry Buttercream
2 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
2 Cups sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tea bag of earl grey (cut open and contents removed) (I used Stash brand)
1 Cup milk (I used whole)
1/4 Cup loose (earl grey with lavender black tea)
1 Cup warm water
1/2 Cup grapeseed oil
1 Tbsp. vanilla
2 large eggs
purchased blackberry seedless preserves (I like Dickensons brand)
fresh blackberries (optional for serving and decorating the top of the cake)
Preheat the oven to 340° F and prepare three 6 x3 inch cake pans (If you don’t have 6×3 inch pans you can use 6×2 and divide batter into 4 pans instead) with non-stick baking spray and line with parchment circles. You may also divide batter into 8×2 inch pans or 9×2 evenly but will have to adjust your baking times. I used a little over 2 cups of batter into each 6×3 inch pans.
Heat the milk to a scald, remove from heat and steep the 1/4 cup loose tea in the milk for 15 minutes. Strain the tea and throw away the tea and keep the milk.
In the bowl of a stand mixer whisk together the first 5 ingredients.
In a large glass measuring cup or mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, water, eggs, and vanilla
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and beat on low to medium speed until combined; stopping the scrape down the sides to ensure you get everything combined well. Do not over beat.
Bake until tops of cakes are no longer wet looking and when touched lightly with a finger they spring back lightly, or a toothpick inserted comes out with a few moist crumbs. Let cakes cool in their pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes then remove to cool completely on the rack.
For my 6×3 inch pans, I baked at 340° F for 40 minutes, but all ovens are different so make sure to test cakes often so as not to overbake.
To assemble cake:
Pipe a dame of blackberry buttercream around the edge of a cake layer and spread a layer of blackberry preserves, then top with blackberry buttercream and gently spread the buttercream evenly over the preserves, then continue to layer in this manner until you reach the top layer and spread with just buttercream. Do a crumb coat of buttercream on top and sides and chill cake at least 30 minutes until you spread the remaining buttercream over sides and top and decorate as desired.
5 egg whites
1 1/4 Cups granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
4 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
1 tsp. vanilla
4-5 Tbsp of seedless blackberry preserves
optional lavender, regal purple, or violet gel food colors (I used a combination of to boost purple color)
Heat the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until temperature reaches 160 degrees. Whip with a whisk on medium-high speed until you reach a billowy meringue and meringue is cool and bottom of the bowl does not feel warm. Add butter in by tablespoons at a time and continue to beat until smooth. Add in vanilla and blackberry preserves a tablespoon at a time until fully incorporated. Stop and taste after 3 tablespoons of preserves to adjust flavor. You may not need all of the preserves to achieve the desired taste. I added a few drops of different purple gel colors to boost the color of my finished buttercream.