I love this cake! This single-layer Earl Grey lavender cake is full of rich earl grey flavor with hints of lavender, lemon, and buttermilk. It's topped with a glossy honey lemon icing, and best of all, it's so easy to make!
A recipe like this lavender Earl Grey cake sounds complicated -- you might think you have to use fresh lavender flowers or infuse whole leaf tea. But it actually couldn't be simpler! It's actually a simple vanilla cake recipe, with tea leaves right in the batter to give it that distinctive Earl Grey flavor without any extra time!
This cake would be perfect for a casual dessert, a springtime tea party with friends. Maybe even for a low-key baby shower! The flavors are perfect and just make you think spring!
What does Earl Grey taste like?
This lavender Earl Grey cake is made with Earl Grey tea, which is a black tea flavored with bergamot, a type of citrus fruit. If you're not already a die-hard Earl Grey fan like me, you will be. It's DELICIOUS. It's a very distinctive flavor, and a delicious variation on a standard black tea. Plus, the citrus and tea flavors together work very well in baked goods, ranging from cakes and cookies to ice cream!
For this cake, I used the type of Earl Grey that I buy to drink, which is Revolution Earl Grey Lavender Black Tea (affiliate link). It has the bright, citrusy flavor of bergamot, along with the soothing scent of lavender. I love the blend of a classic flavor with slight floral note! So I knew that it would be perfect in this easy Earl Grey lavender cake. But if you have another type of tea you prefer, I'm sure it would complement these flavors well! If you do try a different tea, share that in the comments so we can try it out!
To give this Earl Grey lavender cake its tea flavor, you'll just need to open your tea bags and stir the leaves into the batter. The smaller the tea leaves are the better, so if need be you can chop them a little before adding them.
- eggs - your eggs should be room temperature to achieve the best fluffy texture in this lavender Earl Grey cake.
- granulated sugar - adds a light sweetness to your cake batter.
- vanilla extract - definitely look for a high-quality vanilla extract for the best flavor.
- vegetable oil - using oil instead of butter in this cake keeps the baking process easy and keeps our cake moist!
- buttermilk - adds even more of that moist texture and tangy flavor.
- all-purpose flour - be sure that you measure out your flour using either the spoon-and-level method or (even better) a food scale to measure by weight. Both will help you get the right amount of flour, but using a food scale to measure out 160 grams.
- baking powder and baking soda - these help to give our cake a lift!
- lavender Earl Grey tea - I use Revolution Earl Grey Lavender Black Tea for this recipe, but you can use any Earl Grey you prefer and add in a half teaspoon of lavender extract.
- salt - balances out the sweetness the batter.
- zest of one lemon
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 cups powdered sugar - (240g)
- 2-4 tbsp fresh lemon juice - or as much as you need to get the right consistency
You'll need an 8-inch cake pan for this Earl Grey lavender cake recipe, but otherwise it's a simple bowl-and-whisk cake recipe!
Step by Step
This cake is so easy! It's a one bowl recipe that you can whisk together in just a few minutes!
- First, you'll mix together your wet ingredients: Eggs, sugar, and vanilla, followed by the oil and buttermilk.
- Then just fold in your dry ingredients: Flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and tea leaves.
- Then just pour it into your pan and bake!
It's that simple! And it's a single layer cake, which is my favorite type of easy cake to whip up for a casual occasion. So go ahead and get baking!
Tips and F.A.Q.
Not traditionally -- Earl Grey is a black tea that has been flavored with citrusy flavor of the oil of bergamot. But many variations on Earl Grey have included lavender, and the lavender variation is often called French Earl Grey tea.
Just like in this cake, my favorite accompaniments for Earl Grey are lavender, vanilla, honey, and lemon. Other great flavors to go with Earl Grey are blackberry, chocolate and cardamom.
One of the most popular ways is to infuse the tea into warm milk prior to baking. That method allows for a variable tea flavor without affecting the look and texture of your bake. In this Earl Grey lavender cake, we're baking the tea leaves right into the cake! I love this method because it's much easier, and it means you can see the bits of tea leaves right in the crumb of the cake.
It depends! Most tea bags contain between 30 and 50 mg of caffeine, depending on the amount of tea in each bag and the variety of tea used. Since we're using three bags of tea in this Earl Grey lavender cake, I'd estimate about 150 mg of caffeine in the entire cake.
If you like this easy Earl Grey lavender cake, then you definitely will want to try another quick and easy single-layer cake recipe, my Pineapple Upside-Down Cake! It's full of that caramelized pineapple flavor and it's SO quick and easy!
You also might like my Orange Rosemary Olive Oil Cake -- like this lavender Earl Grey cake, it's got bright, citrus flavors, and it's made in the same 8-inch cake pan! So easy!
Equipment you may need
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs - room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoon vegetable oil
- ½ cup buttermilk - (see note)
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour - (160g)
- 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 3 bags Lavender Earl Grey Tea - or 2 tablespoon of crushed full-leaf tea (see note)
- ¼ teaspoon salt - optional
- zest of one lemon
- 2 tablespoon honey
- 2 cups powdered sugar - (240g)
- 2-4 tablespoon fresh lemon juice - or as needed
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, tea, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla with a whisk until thickened and smooth.
- Mix in oil, followed by buttermilk until blended.
- Using a rubber spatula, fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just barely combined.
- Pour into prepared cake pan and drop from 2 inches onto counter to get rid of air bubbles.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick entered into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool in pan for about 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Prepare Honey-Lemon Glaze:
- Whisk together honey, lemon zest, and 2 tablespoon lemon juice in a bowl.
- Gradually whisk in powdered sugar until smooth.
- Add lemon juice as necessary to achieve a very thick, but pourable consistency.
- Spread glaze over cooled cake.
PIN this Earl Grey lavender cake recipe for later!
Last Updated on January 25, 2022 by Chenée Lewis
Hello! My sister requested me to make her this type of cake! I’m a bit scared but excited for the challenge! I have one question! For the tea bags.. we heat up the tea? Or take the stuff from the tea bags and just put it in the batter ?
You just use the tea leaves straight from the bags -- hopefully that makes it easier! 🙂
I’m curious if I could use lavender essential oil instead of extract or make a simple syrup with it?
I haven't tried baking with lavender essential oil yet, so I'm not sure how it would work out. If you give it a try, let me know how it goes! 🙂
How much tea do you use if using loose leaf? (That’s the only lavender/earl grey I could find.)
Hi! I'd say you can use 2 tablespoons of crushed looseleaf tea for this cake. Hope it works well for you!
We love this cake! I will admit we changed to a cream cheese frosting as that's a family favorite and it worked really well together. It's now the cake of choice for my 13 year old. Question: have you frozen the cake as a way to make it well ahead of a party?
So great to hear that! I haven't frozen the cake before serving, but I'm sure this cake would freeze well -- I'd recommend freezing it unfrosted and wrapping it well, and then adding the frosting or glaze before serving.
Do you open the teabags and add the tea to the cake or do you step it in the milk?
Yes, you just open the teabags and add it directly to the cake batter!
Have not yet tried it with the glaze, but used a not-too-sweet vanilla bean buttercream Absolutely delicious. A keeper, for sure!
So glad you liked it! Vanilla bean buttercream sounds like a fantastic complement to this cake.
Both the cake and the glaze look amazing! A slice of it will be great with a cup of tea.
So great with tea! Thanks!
This cake looks so delicious. The honey lemon glaze makes it better. Definitely going to make one.
Yes! The glaze is my favorite part!
The combination of lemon and lavender can't be beat, and this cake delivers beautifully. Wonderful!
I love lavender and lemon together too!
I'm not a tea drinker but my wife LOVES the stuff so I made this for her birthday last weekend. She absolutely loved it and I had more than 1 slice too so looks like it'll become a regular in this household!
Wonderful! So glad she liked it!
This cake was a hit with everyone for afternoon tea! The flavours are absolutely delicious!
Thank you! Yeah it's perfect for tea time!
This cake looks gorgeous. I love the lemon honey glazing of the cake. It looks so delicious.
Thank you! The glaze is my favorite part!
I've never used tea in baking before and this sounds like the perfect recipe to start - yum!
I like this method because it's so easy -- you just mix the tea leaves in with the batter!
Such a beautiful cake Chenée! Love that glaze and the use of the Lavender Earl Grey Tea. So light and refreshing.
Thank you so much! It's one of my favorites.
The flavor of lavender and earl grey go so well together in this light and fluffy cake!
Definitely! They're such a winning combo!
I love everything with lemon. So I was not surprised when I found myself loving this cake so much that I already think of making it again. Such a delightful treat. Thank you
I love lemon treats too! I'm so glad you enjoyed the cake!
Julianne | Finding Julianne
I am a huge earl grey fan so my mouth is watering just thinking about this! I'm pinning it so I can try it out later. Thanks so much for sharing!
Thanks! I hope you enjoy it!!
These flavors sound amazing! I’ll definitely be making it for Mother’s Day for myself, lol! Can’t wait to try it ?
I hope you love it! And an early Happy Mother's Day to you! ?