Jasmine tea cake with honey buttercream frosting

jasmine tea cakeI’m a huge fan of tea. My favourite brew is rooibos, or herbal African red tea, but jasmine green tea is definitely a close second. I love making tea infused baked goods, like my lemon buttermilk layer cake with lavender earl grey buttercream I wrote about in my cookbook zine Soul Food That’s Easy on Hearts. But it’s not as easy as you might think (or hope) to get a strong tea flavour in your baked goods. I was doing some research recently and came across a post entitled Baking with Tea – How To Get the Flavor of Tea Into Your Baked Goods, which recommends infusing your butter with tea to get the strongest possible flavour!

This was a revelation to me that made absolute sense. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it before. The best way to “activate” flavours in dried spices is to cook them slightly with a small amount of fat (or not). The heat reinvigorates the dried spices, and tea, in essence, is a dried spice. So, I set about to make some jasmine tea infused butter for a vegan cake!

You can read more about the exact process of infusing your butter with tea, but for this specific recipe I took a heaping 1/2 cup of butter and melted in a pan over medium-low heat. I used Becel Vegan, which melts easily. If you’re using Earth Balance it might take a bit longer. Then, I added two heaping tablespoons of jasmine tea leaves. You want this to be loose leaf tea, not bagged, if possible. It’ll also make your life easier when you strain it out later.

After adding the tea, I cranked the heat for a moment, then turned it back down to simmer. I let it simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes. You don’t want to overcook your butter by any means. The reason it’s a “heaping” 1/2 cup is to allow for the potential for lost volume. You need a 1/2 cup of melted butter in the end for your cake, so it’s better to have too much than too little in the end.

While it’s still hot, strain your tea leaves from your butter. If you’ve done it right, your butter will be slightly green! When you’re satisfied that you’ve removed all the tea/sediment, pour your butter back into a measuring cup to cool/check and make certain you’ve got at least 1/2 cup. Now you’re ready to begin your cake.

Jasmine tea cake

  • 1.5 cups AP flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted, Jasmine tea infused non-dairy butter (see above for instructions)
  • 1 cup non-dairy buttermilk (see below)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350F. Combine your flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside. In a measuring cup, put a splash of vinegar (either apple cider or white). Enough to cover the bottom of the cup. Then, add your non-dairy milk up to the 1 cup line. Give it a stir and set aside to “curdle”. There you have your non-dairy buttermilk!

In a separate bowl, combine your Jasmine tea infused butter (make sure it’s cooled!) and your sugar. Add your vanilla extract and stir to combine. Next, add your buttermilk and stir to combine. Finally, slowly add your dry mixture bit by bit until your batter is complete. Pour into a lightly greased or lined cake pan and bake for 40 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

The outside will brown deliciously and the top may crack open a bit, but it will still be tasty. I like to slice the cracked open bit off to achieve a flat, consistent top, and it also makes a nice snack while you’re waiting for the cake to cool.

I just recently got a fun springform pan that came with a ceramic, oven safe base and a glass cloche, so that’s what I used for baking this cake. However, you’d be totally fine in a traditional cake pan. My springform pan was only 8″ across, so my cake took a bit more time to bake than it might have in a 9″ cake tin.

This cake is totally delicious without any frosting, but if you would like to add some, I highly recommend Cupcake Project’s Honey Buttercream Frosting which is what I used. If you’d like to make it dairy free, try substituting the sour cream with silken/dessert tofu. You could even try one of the sweetened variety, such as maple. If you’re looking for a vegan alternative, I think this would be delicious with a lemon frosting or a maple frosting! I also added to mine as a garnish a bit from my MacTaggart’s Vanilla Cocoa grinder, which was gifted to me by my Boise, Idaho-residing aunt. 🙂 Hope you enjoy the recipe and that you have a lovely long weekend!

jasmine tea cake

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Jasmine Tea Cake
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by haley j. on Jasmine Tea Cake

soooo good. seriously if you love jasmine tea do yourself a favor and make this one. it's good w/o the frosting too

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