Topped with a homemade Earl Grey glaze, this loaf cake is one of my favorites! The mix of lemon and Earl Grey works beautifully, and it's delicious served as dessert or even breakfast.
But, if I have to be honest, this Earl Grey and Lemon Loaf Cake might just be my favorite recipe with this particular flavor yet. The cake itself is moist and bursting with lemon flavor, but the Earl Grey glaze is the real star of the show.
And when it comes to cakes, loaf cakes are definitely the easiest way to go. There's no need to worry about achieving perfect frosting or smooth sides — just drizzle some glaze on top and you're good to go!
What You'll Need
Here's a quick overview of some of the key ingredients and tools needed to make this cake. The full recipe can be found at the bottom of the post!
- Unsalted butter - I always recommend baking with unsalted butter instead of salted. That way, you have more control over the total amount of salt in the recipe.
- Lemon - You'll use both lemon zest and lemon juice when making this cake.
- Sour cream - I love baking cakes with sour cream because it makes them so moist and tender. If you don't have sour cream, you could always swap in greek yogurt instead.
- Earl Grey tea bags - For this recipe, you'll use Earl Grey tea in both the cake and the glaze. I usually use the individually wrapped tea bags because that's what I typically have in my kitchen.
- Silicone spatulas - I always like to use silicone spatulas when baking because they're so flexible! You can use them to scrape down the bowl as you're mixing all the ingredients together, as well as when you need to pour the batter into the loaf pan.
- Loaf pan - I typically use a medium-sized loaf pan when making this recipe, but feel free to use whatever type of pan you prefer.
- Medium saucepan - To make the Earl Grey glaze for this cake, you'll need to steep the tea in boiling milk, so be sure to have a medium saucepan handy.
How to Make This Cake
Got all your tools and ingredients ready? Let's make some cake!
Start by beating together the unsalted butter and sugar. I like to use a stand mixer to do this, but you can also use a handheld mixer. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, which usually takes about 3-5 minutes. (Image 1)
Add in all the liquid ingredients and lemon zest. Mix in the eggs one at a time, then add in the lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and sour cream, and mix until combined, scraping the bowl well after mixing. (Image 2)
Whisk together the dry ingredients, then add them to the mixture. In a separate bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and tea leaves. Add the dry ingredients into the other mixture and mix until just combined, being careful not to overmix. (Image 3 and Image 4)
Time to bake! Pour the batter into a medium-sized loaf pan and bake at 350°F for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Let the loaf cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then lift the cake out of the pan and transfer it to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. (Image 5 and Image 6)
Prepare the Earl Grey glaze. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a boil over medium heat. Then, turn off the heat, add in the Earl Grey tea bag, and let the tea infuse for 10 minutes before removing the tea bag. In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons of the Earl Grey-infused milk to create a glaze. (Image 7)
Drizzle the glaze on the cake and serve. Be sure to wait until the cake has completely cooled before pouring the glaze on top. As an extra garnish, you can top the cake with sliced lemons. Enjoy, and try not to eat it all in one sitting! (Image 8)
Tips for Making This Recipe
This recipe is pretty straightforward, but here are just a few tips to keep in mind when making it at home:
- After adding in each ingredient, make sure to scrape the bowl very well. This is especially important to do after adding in the eggs and sour cream. In order to get an even mixture that rises well in the oven, you want to make sure all the ingredients are homogenous.
- Once you add in the dry ingredients, don't overmix. Like any other cake, you always want to mix in the dry ingredients until just combined. Overmixing can cause the cake to taste tough and chewy. No thank you!
- Use a toothpick to test if the cake is done. To test if the cake is done, insert a toothpick or cake tester directly into the center of the loaf. If it comes out clean with just a few crumbs, it's ready to come out of the oven. If it comes out liquidy, continue to bake the loaf and check every few minutes or so. To learn more about testing if a cake is done, check out this article.
- Let the cake cool completely before glazing. If you pour the glaze on while the cake is still warm, it will melt into the cake itself. It's best to let the cake cool completely at room temperature before glazing.
Common Questions About This Cake
Yes, definitely! You can store this cake in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-5 days. I would recommend glazing it right before serving to have the best flavor. Alternatively, you can also freeze the unglazed cake for up to 2 months. Just be sure to thaw it completely before serving.
This technique can be a bit tricky to figure out at first, but it really makes getting the cake out of the pan a breeze. I recommend watching this video to learn more about this process.
After removing this loaf cake from the oven, I recommend cooling it in the pan for at least 10 minutes. Then, remove it from the pan and transfer it to a wire cooling rack to cool completely at room temperature before glazing.
How to Store & Freeze
To store: Cover and store the cake in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-5 days.
To freeze: Let the cake cool completely after baking, then wrap it (unglazed) in plastic wrap or a Ziploc bag and freeze for up to 2 months. You can also slice the cake and wrap the slices individually before freezing. When you are ready to eat the cake, let it thaw at room temperature or heat it up for a few minutes in the oven, then drizzle the glaze on top to serve.
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