Saturday, October 29, 2011

vanilla, orange & lemon tea cake

Sarah made us a cake.  After too long (for us), Sarah and her darling family arrived back in New Zealand from living in London.  Still loving food – and with a particular current affection for all things Nigel Slater, it is good to have her back and talk food. 

Sarah made a tea cake.  I like tea cake.  It makes no pretensions to be anything other than it is – a simple cake to have with tea.  Having said that I have jazzed mine up somewhat with lemon, orange and vanilla flavours.  If you prefer a more traditional topping, spread the cake with butter and sprinkle with 2 tbsp caster sugar and ½ tsp of cinnamon instead.

Simple cakes require simple posts so, bearing in mind that I haven’t posted for over two weeks, I’ll just say this.  Here’s the recipe

vanilla, orange & lemon tea cake
¾ cup caster sugar
50g butter, softened
1 egg beaten*
1½ cups standard flour
2 tsp baking powder
¾ cup milk*

* Have the egg and milk at room temperature instead of fridge-cold.

1 tbsp butter, softened
1 tbsp vanilla sugar**
1 tbsp caster sugar
zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange

** If you don't have vanilla sugar, substitute with caster sugar.

Preheat oven to 180°C .  Grease and flour a 20cm cake tin.

Beat the sugar and butter together with a wooden spoon until well combined.  Beat in the egg.

Sift flour and baking powder together and fold into the sugar and butter mixture, alternately with the milk.

Place the mix into the cake tin and bake for approximately 40 minutes or until well risen and golden.  Leave the cake in the tin for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool. 

While still hot, spread the butter from the topping over the cake and then sprinkle over the combined vanilla and caster sugars.  Scatter over the lemon and orange zest. 

Especially good served lovely and warm (not hot) from the oven. 

Have with butter and a cup of tea!

Thanks, Sarah, for the inspiration.


  1. Yum, it looks delicious! I love simple baking like this :)

  2. Thank you - I like its simplicity too.