The Bardic Chef: Recipe – Cake of the Earl

I was challenged to a tea-off today. “Tea-off”? This seemed foolish to me, but I was given an entire container of this interesting, rich tea, and told to “do something with it”. The best “something” won the prize. While the others all tried to find the best way to serve this tea within a cup, I baked it into a cake for the lady of the house, our only judge. My “innovation” won me the competition, sure enough, but now I will be up until past midnight doing stock and preparations for tomorrow. These ridiculous challenges are taking up too much of my time.


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2/3 cups of milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ cup worth of tea (Earl Grey in this case)
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar


Heat milk over a very low flame until hot, add in half of the tea, and stir, then cover over and remove from heat for twenty minutes. Strain the milk, then allow to completely cool before continuing the recipe.

Combine ¾ of the butter, and all the sugar, lemon juice, and eggs well, then fold in the flour, baking powder, and the tea milk. Pour into a loaf pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for forty five minutes. Continue cooking for an additional fifteen if cake is not finished. Do NOT overcook! Cool completely.

Use remaining butter and melt slowly in a pan. Combine with the rest of the tea and icing sugar, whisking if needed to get rid of lumps. Let the glaze fall over the cake, or glaze each slice individually for a polished look.