A tea cake may denote varied things in different parts of the world. In England, it is a round bread roll whereas in south-eastern parts of America it is a spiced cake. A tea cake is a heavier sponge cake in Australia, while in other parts of the United States it is traditionally a large sugar cookie.
In some places it’s toasted and complimented with butter and jam and elsewhere it is served as an accompaniment with tea. The freshly baked cake with its aroma wafting through the house is definitely hard to resist.
Tea Cake Recipe
The recipe given below will give a soft, fluffy cake that is usually served alongside tea or relished as a dessert.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1hour
Serves: 12 (1 piece per serving)
150g refined flour
150g butter (softened)
100g powdered sugar
50g powdered demarara sugar (pure brown sugar)
2 whole eggs
2 tsp cinnamon (freshly ground)
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp powdered white sugar
Preheat an oven to 180 degree C. In a large bowl, cream the softened butter and both the sugar mixture till light fluffy and soft.
In another bowl, break open the eggs and add vanilla extract to it. Beat them well with an electric or hand blender till stiff. Now add this egg blend to the bowl containing butter-sugar mixture and combine them thoroughly.
Sift the flour, ground cinnamon and baking powder together. Fold in the flour, a few tablespoons at a time, to form a smooth batter.
Grease a baking tray and pour the cake batter into it. Place it in the preheated oven and bake it for an hour. Insert a toothpick or a skewer in the center to check if it has been baked thoroughly. If the toothpick comes out clean, your cake has been baked to perfection.
Now, cool the cake for 10 minutes, loosen the edges with a knife and invert it onto a platter. Sprinkle the white sugar on the top layer of the cake. Slice them neatly and serve them warm with a cup of tea.
Variations for the Tea Cake
This cake can also be served as a dessert. For this, melt 2 tablespoon of butter, add cinnamon and demarara sugar to it. Pour this mixture over the cake and relish as a dessert. Alternatively, you can add honey or caramelized sugar syrup over the top.
If you want the cake to be moist, replace the white sugar with demarara sugar and follow the other guidelines as given in the recipe. This variation tastes good with a scoop of chocolate ice-cream.
Numerous other ingredients can be added to the tea cake and its taste improves a step further with every variation. You can add a variety of chopped nuts into the batter. Do not forget to coat the nuts in a tablespoon of refined flour to prevent them from sinking to the bottom layer of the cake.
To improve its nutritional value add chopped fruits like apple, cherries, and orange rinds or include dried fruits like dates or raisins. You can also frost the cake with chocolate sauce, cheese or butterscotch glazing to improve its richness.
Always compliment this dish with black tea or bitter coffee to balance the sweetness of the tea cake. This cake retains its freshness for up to a week. Transfer it to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.