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Earl Grey and orange cake recipe

Earl Grey and orange cake recipe

21 ratings

This is a traditional, simple sponge cake lightly flavoured with Earl Grey tea and orange – the cake version of marmalade on toast and a cuppa! An easy cake to make with children: get them to help with measuring, cracking eggs and stirring. See method

  • Serves 16
  • Takes 50 mins plus cooling
  • 463 calories / serving
  • Vegetarian


  • 4 Earl Grey teabags
  • 175ml milk

For the cake

  • 250g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • zest of 1 orange, plus slices for decoration (optional)

For the buttercream

  • 160g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 500g icing sugar
No self-raising flour? Add 2 tsp baking powder for every 150g plain flour

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    23g 33%
  • Saturates

    13g 66%
  • Sugars

    50g 55%
  • Salt

    0.2g 4%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 63.9g Protein 3.9g Fibre 0.7g


  1. To make the Earl Grey milk, gently bring the milk to the boil in a small saucepan. Turn off the heat and add the teabags. Leave to infuse for at least 15 mins. When you are ready to use it, squeeze out the bags and discard them. 
  2. Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Grease and line 3 x 20cm cake tins with baking paper. 
  3. Cream the butter and caster sugar together until the mix is light and starting to go fluffy. Add the eggs, one by one, until incorporated, then add the flour. Lastly add 80ml of Earl Grey milk and 3⁄4 of the orange zest (the remaining 1⁄4 is for the buttercream). Mix until just incorporated – be careful not to overmix. 
  4. Pour into the lined baking tins and bake for 18-20 mins until the sponge bounces when gently pressed and a cocktail stick comes out clean. Leave to cool for a few mins in the tins, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. 
  5. To make the buttercream, whisk together the butter and icing sugar. Once thick and fluffy, add 4-5 tbsp of the Earl Grey milk and the remaining orange zest. If using an electric whisk, turn it up to high and mix for 5 mins; if you are doing it by hand, beat until it’s light and fluffy. 
  6. Ice your cake by adding buttercream between each layer, then lightly cover the sides of the cake with icing; top with the remaining icing. Decorate with orange slices and curls of orange zest (discard before eating), if you like. Enjoy with a cup of Earl Grey tea.

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