Reidbury's Kitchen

Food thoughts, recipes and billowing smoke from a home cook's kitchen in London

A Spot of Tea and Cake (or should that be ‘Tea In Cake’?)


Earl Grey Tea Loaf with Orange Frosting, Olive Magazine

Earl Grey Tea Loaf with Orange Frosting, Olive Magazine

I had a bit of a baking urge over the weekend and, after flicking through the latest Olive Magazine (April 2013), I saw the recipe for Earl Grey Tea Loaf with Orange Frosting. There’s nothing nicer than a mug of tea and a slice of cake, but how about tea in a slice of cake? Well it’s rather nice actually! The overall tea flavouring was actually quite subtle as it’s really more of a ‘tea-infused raisin and sultana’ situation, rather than the whole cake itself tasting tea-y. I’d actually describe this more as a wonderfully moist but rich fruit loaf, but the addition of the orange frosting gives it a nice lightness. I’ll definitely make this again. It’s also worth noting that this is not something you can rustle up to eat within an hour. Whilst it’s not at all labour intensive to make, it is time intensive. The dried fruit has to soak for at least an hour. The baking time is an hour. The time to cool the cake is about an hour. And then once you’ve frosted this bad boy, the recipe suggests you wait for…guess what…an hour for it to set. So it’s a half-day project. Defo worth the wait though!

KB rating 9/10. PR rating 8.75/10

Earl Grey Tea Loaf with Orange Frosting (serves 8)


  • 4 earl grey teabags
  • 225ml whole milk
  • 150g golden raisins (I couldn’t find just golden raisins, so actually used mixed raisins and it worked fine)
  • 150g sultanas
  • 100g butter
  • 100g light muscovado sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced

For the frosting

  • 150g butter, softened
  • 275g icing sugar
  • 1 orange, zested (for decoration) and juiced


Put the teabags and milk into a pan and bring to just below boiling point. Take off the heat and leave to infuse for 15 minutes. Put the raisins and sultanas into a bowl and pour over the tea mixture, squeezing the liquid from the teabags. Cover and leave to infuse for at least an hour.

Heat the oven to 180C (fan 160C or Gas mark 4). Butter and line the base of a 900g loaf tin. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy, then beat in the egg. Fold in the flour and fruit mixture in alternate batches (I wasn’t clear here whether to add just the fruit, or the fruit AND the tea/milk that hadn’t been absorbed. I lobbed the whole lot in and I definitely think the moisture was needed!). Then add the orange juice and zest. Spoon the mixture into the tin and smooth the surface.

Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer pushed into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin, then left out.

To make the frosting,  beat the soft butter with the sugar to a crumbly mixture. Then beat in the orange juice until creamy (I added a bit too much orange, so it took a while for the frosting to firm up. Tasted bloody good though!). Frost the top of the cake (and sides if you like) and leave to set for an hour. Decorate with orange zest.

The crumbly interior

The crumbly interior

Put the kettle on, make a brew and enjoy your tea-in-cake treat. And here’s a pic of how it looks inside – it’s very crumbly which is nice, but makes it look crappy in a photo. Oh well, you get the gist…

Author: KatieR

Gin-lover, cat-lady, glutton.

2 thoughts on “A Spot of Tea and Cake (or should that be ‘Tea In Cake’?)

  1. Mmm! Saw this in Olive. Well done 🙂

  2. Thanks! I recommend it – lovely recipe!

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