Earl Grey Tea, Blueberry and Lemon Cake

Earl Grey Tea, Blueberry and Lemon Cake

a.k.a the most sophisticated loaf cake you’ll ever eat. (There’s poppy seeds in there too – HELlo – but that would make the title even longer than it already is).

The loaf cake started out as an idea for a flavour pairing whilst I was drinking a cup of Earl Grey. It has always been my favourite tea – there’s something so dreamy about the aroma, exuding calmness and comfort.

Earl Grey Tea, Blueberry and Lemon Cake

As it has a bunch of flavours going on in it too, it makes an ideal tea for infusing into foods, too! Hooray!

At first I tried straight up throwing tea leaves into the batter – it didn’t really do much though. The flavour wasn’t very strong so it kind of got lost behind the lemon zest I’d added to the batter (lemon/orange are best friends with Earl Grey). I thought that my craving for an Earl Grey baked good was a lone venture, but I put a pic of the cake on instagram and I was pretty surprised that quite a few people were equally enthused.

I decided to not give up on the cake, and tried another round of lets-try-to-get-tea-into-my-cake.

Earl Grey Tea, Blueberry and Lemon Cake

SO I tried a) reducing the sugar, b) increasing the butter (fat is flavour, yo) and c) actually adding brewed tea (very, very strong tea) and the leaves to the batter. It worked!

Having my tea and eating it too. Double TEAm. Hah. I crack myself up – probably only myself though.

Side note: I blame that on my friends for telling lame jokes around me too often. One of them keeps pulling a spare button out of her pocket and dropping it when she picks things up and yelling ‘BUTTON FINGERS’.


Earl Grey Tea, Blueberry and Lemon Cake

Ohkay, back to cake story time.

I also put in blueberries the second time round because when baked the berries get that aromatic scent that is EXACTLY what the tea has going on. Talk about dream team, this trio of lemon, tea and blueberries rules.

Earl Grey Tea, Blueberry and Lemon Cake

Lastly I glazed the cake with a tangy lemon glaze just because YOU CAN”T STOP ME from doing that when there’s lemon in ANYthang. I will glaze it behind your back if you don’t let me. Lemon glaze is the best.

No sir, I’m not dipping the slice of cake that I’m about to eat into the bowl of glaze.

(but I actually am. Shut up.)

Earl Grey Tea, Blueberry and Lemon Cake


Earl Grey Tea, Blueberry and Lemon Cake
1 Earl Grey Tea bag
6 tbsp (80 g) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (105 g) granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup (60 ml) buttermilk or yogurt
zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 cups + 1 tbsp (200 g) all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp poppy seeds (optional)
1 cup (125 g) blueberries
For the Glaze:
1/2 cup (65 g) powdered sugar
lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C)

Soak the tea bag in 1/2 cup of boiling water for 10 minutes whilst you melt the butter in a medium pot and remove from the heat. Beat the sugar and eggs into the butter, followed by the buttermilk and lemon zest. Remove the tea bag from the water, pour the brewed tea into the pot and stir together. Cut open the tea bag and stir the tea leaves into the pot as well. Add the flour, baking powder + soda, salt, poppy seeds (if using) and stir together until just combined. Stir in the blueberries.

Pour the batter into a greased and floured large loaf pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before turning out onto a wire rack.

Make the glaze by stirring together the powdered sugar and enough lemon juice to make a thick, pourable mixture (add the lemon juice slowly, stirring between additions). Pour over the warm loaf and leave to cool and set.



  1. says

    Fresh or frozen blueberries?
    Either way, they had to be a perfect bite a cake there….love tea and cakes though it’s not so normal here in D. C.
    Thanks for the idea,….off to buy some Earl Grey!

  2. says

    Earl grey tea is my daughter’s favorite tea too. I am going to make this loaf to pair it with the tea. Last week, I made apple bundt cake to pair go with our chamomile tea and earl grey tea.

  3. Jessica says

    Hii I absolutely love your blog! Especially the photography and the gifs! Its amazing how you are able to balance school and your blog, congratulations! Oh and I think that a couple of your last recipes aren’t listed in your recipe archive, I was just wondering because I tend to use the archive to browse for recipes and realized that some such as the oatmeal chocolate chip cookie pancake or the peach and pecan brown sugar parfait are not listed! Anyways, your blog is among one of my favourites!

    • says

      Thanks so much Jessica! Yeah, about that…I’m really. Crap at updating my archive! I tend to go through every few months and just do a major update hahah. Sorry bout that :/ if you need to find a recipe you can use the search bar on here or just google the recipe name with ‘top with cinnamon’ at the end

  4. says

    The cake looks wonderful! Glad you posted the recipe (I got very excited about that first instagram!). I have been playing around with tea-flavoured anything lately as well and find a double or triple hit of tea works best – infusing tea leaves in melted butter, adding some ground tea to the batter and covering the cake in an icing made with strong-brewed tea!

    • says

      Thanks Sophia! I did think about the butter infusion route (and used it in that first cake I’d made – kind of half-assed though, just left the leaves in the butter after it was melted for like 5 mins so I don’t think it actually did anything haha) but was afraid of burning the leaves! I will DEFFO try it out next time though :)

  5. says

    What a dreamy cake! When I was little this lady called Eileen often used to babysit me and she would always make tea cake – it was this amazing fruit cake that tasted very strongly of earl grey. She always said that she would soak the dried fruits in a strong brew for 48 hours.

    • says

      Thanks Skye! I was thinking about soaking the blueberries in tea before hand but didn’t have enough time in the end! Seems like it would be a really good plan.

  6. says

    This looks so delicious, I wish I could eat it right now. I can’t wait to try it out this week! Great photos by the way, I love the warm feeling they have.

  7. says

    As I was reading this, I just relived an English tea time experience my friend and I recently had at the Huntington Library (I guess tea time in England is always English tea time though, so nothing special? Or is it? I’ve always wondered if tea time is actually a standard thing for y’all over yonder…). Anyway, the tea room then reminded me of this amazing Earl Grey ice cream I always get from an ice cream shop up north, which makes a mean frozen version of Earl Gray meets toffee meets homemade cone with chocolate tip. Are Earl Grey baked goodies and desserts also common in the UK? They’re like a total novelty around here. Looks delish! 😀

    • says

      Haha WELL it’s a really confusing situation with tea time here. Basically if someone says to their kids ‘it’s tea time’ they mean dinner, but like EARLY dinner (5 or 6 pm) because the kids are young so eat early. If you’re out in the country side, you’ll often see tea rooms and cafes serving tea with cakes or scones at around 3-5pm but otherwise, you don’t really get tea time. It isn’t a thing that happens. A thing that DOES happen is me drinking tea when I get home at 4 or 5 pm, so I guess I kind of do have tea time!

      That sounds so good, I’d love to try making it. I can imagine it going ridoncs well with fruity desserts in the summer. But no, there aren’t really earl grey desserts here – only sometimes at fancy restaurants.

  8. Malin says

    Looks awesome, need to make this one. I am making your chocolate-caramel dessert for 17 people tomorrow!!

    How big was the loaf pan that you used for the earl grey cake?

    Hot tip: If you coat the berries with some flour before butting them in the batter, they will not sink down at the bottom….

    Thanks for your great blog!

    • says

      Holy crap that’s a lot of people!

      It was a 1lb loaf tin, not sure why but loaf tins are always measured by a weight in the UK..so I don’t know what the measurements were. It’s quite wide and deep.

      Haha I know of the tip, It never works for me and I don’t really mind having sinking berries! I’d rather not have extra washing up to do either (I’m way lazy)

      Thanks malin!

    • says

      I love the idea of earl grey shortbread! I think my dad would probably like it too, he always eats shortbread with a cup of tea so flavouring the shortbread would be even better :) thanks for the link!

  9. says

    Um, you are actually the best. I almost spat out my water when I read ‘double TEAm’ – v.punny stuff! I’ve never *gasp* tried earl grey tea, but I will definitely try baking this heaven of a cake x

  10. says

    Oh man oh man I LOVE earl grey, I’ve been going baking mad with it.
    Well I was until this heatwave struck. This looks absolutely perfect, I sometimes steep my loose leaf tea in milk that I add to recipes and it works a charm! But i’ll have to try just adding straight up strong tea – genius.

  11. Anna says

    I really like the idea you have for this cake with infusing the tea in. Have you tried to brew the tea with loose leaf tea and brewing it really strong (using lots of tea leaves but brewing for the typical 3 minutes for Earl Gray) so that you don’t put the actual tea leaves in the cake. My concern is that the leaves would make the cake taste bitter whether they were tiny from a tea bag or larger if loose leaf. Obviously you wouldn’t want full loose leaves in the cake. Also, have you tried the cake with other fruits? Raspberries or strawberries? Have you tried lightly coating the berries with flour first before putting in the batter so they don’t sink to the bottom but stay evenly distributed?

    I’m excited to give your cake a go. I love Earl Gray too! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • says

      Hi Anna!
      I would have done that but I only had one bag of earl grey tea left so it was all I could use! Also apparently brewing tea for longer is better, releases more antioxidants 😉 the tea leaves we’re quite fine as they were from a bag, but I didn’t find them bitter plus I really like the speckled effect they have! This was the first time I’d made this loaf so I haven’t tried other fruits, I had been craving the pairing of blueberries and earl grey tea so that’s why I used them this time. I’d probably try others too when I make it again. I’ve found that the flour method of coating fruit is unnecessary b/c I don’t think it works and also I don’t really mind when the fruit sinks haha! I’d rather not have the extra bowl to wash up too, tbh :)

  12. kobi says

    i just made it ! it is a success . Great recipe . i am a tea drinker so would definitely up the tea bag to 2 for more flavour.
    its amazing to see blueberries oozing on the cake.

  13. lauren says

    I love the idea of this cake! I really want to make it but i have no loaf tin, do you think it would work in a 20cm (8in) tin?

  14. Anna says

    I tried your recipe today but something went wrong… The cake didn’t rise and turned out to be very dense (like that one time when I forgot to put the melted butter into a lemon loaf cake -.-) could that be a result of over-mixing the batter?

  15. Lana P. says

    Oh my god! That’s such a brilliant idea! I love Earl Grey so much, especially The Earl’s Garden, which is David’s Tea leaf loose Earl Grey mix with strawberries and other berries! So, I think, I’ll try this beautiful recipe using my favourite tea in the world :) It’s a perfect match – berries in tea and actual berries in cake! :)
    It looks so delicious!
    And don’t worry, I cracked myself up too, the joke “double TEAm” it’s pretty hilarious! :)

  16. Geoff says

    Laughed so hard at “button fingers” that I decided to give the cake a go!
    In the oven right now and smells amazing – thank you for the recipe!

  17. Meg says

    Just made this this morning and loved it! I added a few more blueberries, but other than that followed the recipe exactly. Next time I may omit the icing, as it was a little too sweet for me. Overall a great recipe, thanks so much for sharing!

  18. Emma says

    Hello! Stumbled across this recipe this morning, looking for something to use up fridge contents and keep me entertained as I wait for my first baby to arrive – a week late already! Over here in ol’ Blighty (uk) we can also get Lady Grey tea which earl grey infused with lemon and orange – my favourite by far and sounds perfect for this recipe! I’ll let you know how it goes!

  19. Michele says

    Love, love, love this cake! Making it for the second time to introduce it to my family for our Easter brunch tomorrow. However, last time the cake was perfect.. The icing not so much. It didn’t become white as seen on the pictures but just transparant. Is it because I used to much lemon juice?

    Greetings from Belgium!

  20. mona says

    thank you for combining three of my favorite flavors in one cake. it came out moist and eye-rollingly (i know, not a word) delicious. i used stash tea’s double bergamot earl grey just for that extra citrus hit and it was perfect.

  21. says

    Heck wow. Cosmic intervention – Just brewed a ridiculously large pot of earl grey, and there’s lemons and blueberries AND poppyseeds in the kitchen all at the Same Time. I believe this is what some may call ‘fate’.
    I am so pleased. Might even add lime zest too (!)

  22. Kendra says

    Hello Izy…I’ve made the cake today, and I just have a question. How do you prevent soggy pockets in the cake where the berries have burst and the juices make the bottom of the cake especially, soggy? I see yours looks absolutely perfect! I decreased the amount of sugar but it turns out that 1/2 cup is actually just perfect. Well, good thing I made the glaze or the cake would’ve been really bland haha.

    Thanks and hoping to hear from you :)

  23. Taylor says

    This recipe looks great! Do you think this will work with other teas? I don’t have any Earl Grey. Do you think this would taste good with no tea at all? Thanks :)

  24. Joyce says

    Hi! May I know what is your oven mode when you bake this cake? fan forced or top and bottom heat? Or rather, which oven mode you recommend?

  25. says

    I had a go at making this cake the other week and it was amazing! I love the blueberry and lemon combination and you can taste the earl grey just the right amount! Even my non tea-drinking friend liked it!

  26. Bethany says

    This is my first time on your blog, as I found this post on Pinterest. I LOVE Earl Grey and I am so obsessed with anything British. Two questions: How many servings, and you dump the whole bag of tea in the bread battter?


  27. Sven says

    Pretentious shite…literally. You can tell she lives in London immediately. Even the about page with her photo shows pretentious douche bag / wannabe hipster. You make me sick!

  28. Lena says

    Hi Izy,

    I made this cake last weekend and it is totally AMAZING!!! :)
    Blueberry, lemon and Earl Grey tea, the perfect combination!!!
    Your recipes are really inspiring!!!

  29. Elias says

    Hi there!

    Made this for my girlfriend, and she loved it so much she shared it with her dad!

    Needless to say, they both loved it.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  30. Line says

    Sounds & looks lovely! I’m actually part of the Earl Grey team & discovered your website thanks to GoodFood Mag.( April issue)
    One question though: what size are your eggs? I’m currently switching to homeraised chicks’ eggs, so I’m afraid I need to adapt all recipes to my little ones…
    Thanks for your help & for sharing

  31. Marla says

    I’m am so excited to try this cake but I do have one question, when adding everything together, when do you take the pot off the heat? Or is everthing added (including the dry ingredients) over heat?


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