Earl Grey & Vanilla Cake

  • Preparation Time : 45 minutes
  • Cook Time : 45 minutes
  • Serves : 12
  • Makes : 2
  • Difficulty level : Intermediate
  • Type : Dessert

Infused with delicate Earl Grey flavours, this simple yet sophisticated cake is perfect for any occasion.


  • 360ml milk 
  • 1 tbsp Earl Grey loose leaf tea 
  • 280g plain flour 
  • 2 tsp baking powder 
  • 1 tsp  Earl Grey loose leaf tea finely ground
  • 3/4 tsp  salt 
  • 170g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 300g granulated sugar 
  • large eggs at room temperature
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract 
  • large egg whites 
  • 200g granulated sugar 
  • 340g unsalted butter cubed, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste 


  1. Start by making the Earl grey infused milk. In a saucepan on medium-high heat, bring the milk and tea to a boil. Remove from the heat and allow to brew for 10 minutes then strain and measure out 1 cup. Top up with milk if needed.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C then grease and lightly flour three 15cm cake tins. Line with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, tea and salt until well combined.
  4. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Reduce the speed then add the eggs, one at a time, until each one is fully incorporated. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  5. Alternate adding in the flour and Earl Grey milk, starting and ending with the flour, making sure each ingredient is fully incorporated before adding the next one.
  6. Transfer the batter evenly between the cake tins then bake for 35 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out mostly clean. Place the cake tins on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes then turn out the cakes and allow to cool completely on the wire rack.
  7. Meanwhile, make the vanilla buttercream. In a clean stand mixer bowl, whisk together the egg whites and sugar. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, whisking constantly for approx. 3-5 minutes until the mixture is no longer grainy.
  8. Remove from the heat and place the bowl on the stand mixer. Whisk on medium-high speed until the meringue is stiff and cooled. Switch the paddle attachment and slowly add the butter cubes, mixing until smooth. Mix in the vanilla bean paste until well incorporated.
  9. To assemble, place one cake layer on a cake stand or serving plate then top with a thick layer of buttercream. Repeat with the other layers then frost and smooth the outside with a thin crumb coat. Chill for 20 minutes then pipe decorative touches with any remaining buttercream.