Earl Grey Cake

Earl Grey Cake

Earl Grey is one of the breakout dessert flavors this year. My Earl Grey Macarons were such a hit and I knew it was time to share one of my favorite cakes ever, the elegant and sassy, Earl Grey Cake. This cake is infused with cream earl grey tea, has an earl grey simple syrup brushed between layers of vanilla bean Italian meringue butter cream. This Earl Grey Cake is stunning in flavor as well as presentation. As you can see, I used the earl grey macarons and some vanilla meringue cookies as decoration.


Earl Grey Infusion

This Earl Grey cake in infused with Earl Grey tea in a few ways. First, you will be steeping tea leaves with milk for the cake batter. Second, you will grind tea leaves into powder for the cake batter. Third, you will be making an earl grey simple syrup to brush onto each of the three layers of cake before frosting.

Earl Grey tea is said to be named after Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, British prime minister in the 1830’s. There are rumors that he was gifted tea scented with bergamot as a gift from the Chinese. Others say this tea came from an accident of tea being shipped beside bergamot oil, where the oil spilled and infused the tea leaves. Regardless, this tea is considered ritzy, posh, and sure to impress. If you want to know more about earl grey tea check out, Earl Grey Tea History.

For this earl grey cake I used Cream Earl Grey. This cream earl grey tea balances out the bergamot to give a more mellow earl grey that is sweeter, creamier, with a hint of vanilla. The loose leaves are also beautiful!

Cake Batter

To begin your earl grey cake, get your milk simmering into a small saucepan. Then add the tea leaves then remove it from the heat to steep and cool while you work on the rest of your cake batter.

In a Stand Mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream your butter and sugar for 7 minutes, until fluffy and pale.

Then add in your eggs one at a time, allowing each to be best in before adding the next. Remember to scrape your bowl and the well on the bottom. Then add in your vanilla extract.

In a large bowl, soft your dry ingredients. Then whisk in your ground tea leaves.

Strain the leaves and any residue from your milk.

Beginning with the flour mixture, fold into your cake batter. Then alternate between milk and flour mixture, beginning and ending with the flour for three additions of flour.

Divide your earl grey cake batter between three greased pans and bake in preheated oven for approx. 18 minutes. Check with a toothpick and be careful not to over bake.

Earl Grey Simple Syrup

Meanwhile, you will make your Earl Grey Simple Syrup by simmering water, sugar, and tea. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Then allow to cool completely before straining out the tea leaves.

Vanilla Bean Italian Meringue Buttercream

Please see:Italian Meringue Buttercream.

Assembling the Earl Grey Cake

Begin by completely cooling everything you’re working with.

Put your first layer of cake onto a plate. Then take a pastry brush and brush on earl grey syrup. Finish by frosting that layer with the your buttercream.

Then repeat with each layer.

Then decorate as you like!

I did a couple decorated versions of this earl grey cake.

Earl Grey Cake

Earl Grey Cake infuses cream earl grey flavor throughout with an earl grey simple syrup between layers of velvety vanilla bean Italian meringue buttercream. Elegant and gorgeous in looks and flavor! 


Earl Grey Cake

  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1.5 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups cake flour sifted
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon ground cream earl grey tea ground to powder
  • 1 cup Earl Grey steeped milk see recipe below

Earl Grey Steeped Milk

  • 1.25 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon Cream Earl Grey Leaves

Earl Grey Simple Syrup

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Cream Earl Grey Tea


Earl Grey Milk

  1. In a saucepan, bring milk to a simmer. Add earl grey leaves. Remove from heat and steep for approx. 15 minutes, and make sure to cool completely. Strain out leaves and set aside,

Earl Grey Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 3 8 inch cake pans. 

    In your stand mixer, with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar for approx. 8 minutes, until pale and fluffy.

    Then, add in eggs one at a time, beating until each is incorporated before adding another. Scrape down bowl.

    Add vanilla.

    Remove bowl and do the rest by hand with a big spatula,

    Have dry ingredients sifted together. Then, you will begin by adding 1/3 of flour mixture. Fold in. Then add half of milk mixture. Repeat and end with flour mixture.

    Divide earl grey cake batter evenly among pans. Bake for approx. 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Earl Grey Simple Syrup

  1. in a small saucepan, bring water and sugar to a low boil. Add earl grey. Simmer for 10 minutes then allow to cool completely. Remove earl grey leaves.

Assembling Cake

  1. Cool everything completely!

    Add a layer of cake to a cake plate or stand. Brush simple syrup then layer on 1/3 of frosting. Repeat. Decorate as you like. Keep refrigerated.

Check out these other Ritzy Recipes!

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Lemon Elderflower Cake

White Wine Cake With Macerated Peaches