Black Tea and Ginger Cake with Honey Buttercream

Posted in RecipesBaked GoodsLifestyleEntertainingEnglish Tea Party
Black Tea and Ginger Cake with Honey Buttercream

In America, I don’t think cakes get the recognition they deserve. How many times have you avoided eating cake at a wedding or birthday party? They’re not celebrated as much as cupcakes and I don’t understand why. Cakes feel and look majestic. Layers of cream, delicate sponge, all laced together with flavors that completely compliment one another.

I get really excited when I see a cake that has a unique flavor combination. The lack of exciting flavor combinations is probably why we, as Americans, enjoy cakes less. For my birthday this year, I went a little over the top. After spending a year in Scotland, I knew I wanted to enjoy an English tea party themed event and had to have an accompanying cake. In an afternoon tea, a slice of cake is often served at the end. The traditional ones are either Victoria sponge cake or carrot cake. I decided to go in a completely different direction and try something new. Taking flavors I know well already, I wanted to put together a black tea and ginger cake with honey buttercream. It’s zingy, comforting, a hint of floral, and the perfect birthday cake for the occasion!

Notes About the Recipe

  • Ginger - I love using fresh ginger in this because you get a whole different type of flavor compared to a ginger powder. I like to freeze my ginger root whole and then grate as much as I need straight from the frozen. It makes measurement and the grated ginger easier to handle.
  • CTC Black Tea - Loose leaf tea is usually a bit milder in flavor that can be lost in the cooking process. I prefer to use CTC black tea, which technically has more surface area. It makes the tea milk more full-bodied, rich, and delicious. I used the Vahdam CTC black tea!
  • Adding the tea milk - It’s very important you add the tea milk slowly to ensure that the cake mixture doesn’t get overwatered and difficult to manage.
  • Toppings - I topped my cake with unsalted chopped pistachios, but some other options are chamomile flowers, lemon slices, or edible flowers!
2 Layer 9-inch Cake

Black Tea and Ginger Cake with Honey Buttercream

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 tbs CTC black tea
  • 1 tbs ginger, grated
  • 2¾ butter, unsalted & softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract, divided
  • 1¾ cups cake flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 6 tbs honey
  • 6 cups powdered sugar


Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare 2 9-inch cake tins.

Over medium heat while stirring constantly, add the CTC black tea and ginger and let it steep covered for 5 minutes after removing the milk from heat. Let it sit until cooled and then run through a sieve and discard the tea and ginger.

Sift the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.

Using a standmixer, beat ¼ cup butter and granulated sugar until a smooth add one egg at a time. It will make a yellow pastel paste. Beat in the vegetable oil and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Once the mixture is smooth gradually add in the cake flour mixture ¼ cup at a time. Then stir in the tea milk in four until well combined. The batter will be a bit runny. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

For the buttercream, beat the rest of the butter, honey, and vanilla. Add the powdered sugar 2 cups at a time.

Place the first layer upside down so the bottom is facing the top. Add a thick layer of cream and add the second layer with bottom face top again. Spread butter cream on top and on the sides. Top with chopped unsalted pistachios!

Black Tea and Ginger Cake with Honey Buttercream
Black Tea and Ginger Cake with Honey Buttercream

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