This earl grey sponge cake is fragrant, soft, fluffy, and delicious. This is an extremely forgiving recipe that you can easily follow as long as you have a stand mixer. I also made an earl grey custard which in my opinion is the unexpected star of the show.
This cake was inspired by my sister and my mom. This is the exact sponge cake recipe my mom made for us growing up except without the earl grey. My sisters favorite flavor is earl grey so since it’s her birthday today, I decided to make an earl grey version of this cake.
Key ingredients and steps for earl grey sponge cake
Earl grey tea bags
Earl grey tea bags or leaves are extremely important for this if you want the flavour and fragrance to come out. I really like using tea leaves because the tea leaves are already in a powder form inside the bag. This way, I don’t need to grind them up myself.
Cake and pastry flour
Cake and pastry flour is different from all purpose or bread flour because is contains less protein. The flour in protein help form gluten which is great for bread but not so great for cakes. The lower protein content allows for a more “cakey” texture. You can try with all purpose flour but I would highly recommend cake and pastry flour.
Stiff egg whites in earl grey sponge cake
You must make sure your egg whites are extremely stiff for this cake. This is what creates that light and airy texture in the cake. I would highly recommend using a stand mixer for this step. It will be almost impossible to do this step by hand and possible but more difficult with a hand mixer.
When mixing together the stiff egg whites with the egg yolk mixture, it is important to separate the egg whites into three parts and mix in batches. This will prevent any lumps of egg whites in the final batter and create a more smooth texture.
Whip the egg yolk mixture
In many cake recipes, it is common to see the addition of a merengue but for this, we will also be adding a whipped egg yolk mixture. This increases the volume of the mixture, creating an even more light and airy final product.
Earl Grey Sponge Cake
- stand mixer
- 12 inch chiffon or angel cake pan
Earl Grey Sponge Cake
- 1 cup cake and pastry flour
- 8 large eggs
- ½ cup neutral oil
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ cup hot water
- 14 earl grey tea bags
Earl Grey Custard
- 4 egg yolks
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 cup milk
- 4 earl grey tea bags
Earl Grey Cake
- Pour ½ cup of boiling water into 8 tea bags, cover with plastic wrap and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Be sure to squeeze out all the concentrated tea from the tea bags afterwards. You want to still have 1/2 cup of liquid.
- Remove the tea leaves from 6 tea bags They should be in powder form, but if not, blend until it become a powder. There should be about 2 tbsp of powdered tea leaves.
- Crack 8 eggs in a bowl and separate the yolks from the whites.
- In your stand mixer bowl, add the flour, concentrated tea water, oil, sugar, and egg yolks together then mix over high speed for 15 minutes. I started at speed 6 for 1 minutes then raised it up to 10 for the remaining time. IT should become more airy and have doubled in volume.
- Place the egg yolk mixture in another bowl then add the egg whites and baking powder into the stand mixer bowl. Beat over high speed for 5 minutes until stiff.
- In 3 batches, fold the egg whites using a spatula into the egg yolk mixture until smooth and mixed well.
- Place the mixture into a 12 inch chiffon cake pan and into a preheated oven for 45 minutes. Make sure the oven has already been pre-heated, otherwise the batter will start to deflate.
- Rest upside down for 20 minutes before cutting. This helps retain its puffy shape.
Earl Grey Custard
- In a sauce pan, add the milk and cream then heat up over low heat while stirring until it reaches 175F. One way to tell is when it starts to steam but isn't boiling yet.
- Turn off the heat, add 4 tea bags, cover and allow to steep at least 10 minutes.
- Squeeze out all the excess milk before discarding the tea bags.
- In a bowl, mix together egg yolks and sugar then slowly stream in the warm milk 1 ladle at a time while mixing. This will prevent the eggs from curdling.
- Place it back into a saucepan and heat over low heat while constantly stirring until it thickens. You may serve it warm but I like to cool it down first.
If you enjoyed this, check out some more dessert recipes here: