7 Types Of Tea Cake To Sweeten Your Chai Break

There’s something so incomplete about tea without something to nibble on. Some prefer biscuits, others something with a more savoury air, but one thing that nobody can resist is a damn good tea cake. Simple, appetising, filling and endlessly customisable, there are so many possibilities when it comes to creating and enjoying tea cakes with your afternoon tea, you’ll never get bored. 

History Of Tea Cakes

Since the 1840s, the very British institution of ‘afternoon tea’ has become a staple of polite society. This custom emerged among the British aristocracy as a way to ward off hunger in the afternoons until the dinner meal and soon became a habit picked up by the middle and eventually classes of the country. Alongside the consumption of quality tea, "tea cakes" became a staple, often served alongside an array of appetizers such as mini sandwiches and pastries.

Interestingly, the original tea cakes were not what we commonly perceive as cakes today. Instead, they resembled sweet buns with dried fruit, similar to muffins. As the tradition of afternoon tea spread during British colonisation, it adapted to various cultures, and each region tailored the tea cake recipe to suit its unique culinary preferences.

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7 Types Of Tea Cakes To Try

1. Classic Victoria Sponge Cake:

The quintessential tea cake, the Victoria Sponge, is a timeless British classic. Soft layers of light vanilla-tinted sponge cake sandwiched with strawberry jam and cream, it's a simple yet elegant choice that never fails to please. It’s also easy to customise simply by changing the jam you use for the filling or experimenting with a glaze or frosting.

2. Earl Grey Tea Loaf:

Since it is tea time, why not use tea IN your cake as well? Infused with the fragrant notes of Earl Grey tea, this loaf cake offers a unique twist. The citrusy aroma of bergamot enhances the flavour profile, making it a sophisticated choice for those who appreciate a refined tea experience

3. Lemon Drizzle Cake:

For a more zesty and refreshing option, the Lemon Drizzle Cake is a favourite among tea enthusiasts. Made by creating a simple lemon sponge and then poking holes in the cake to fill with lemon syrup this results in a moist lemon-infused cake that is full of flavour. For a twist experiment with other citrus fruits or infused syrups.

4. Chocolate and Orange Marble Cake:

A classic pairing, especially around Christmas, indulge your sweet tooth with the rich and decadent Chocolate and Orange Marble Cake. The marriage of velvety chocolate and citrusy orange creates a harmonious blend and provides just the right balance of sweet, tart and floral flavours.

5. Carrot and Walnut Cake:

Cake can come in healthy forms too and in this medley of vegetables and nuts, a delightful option emerges. The sweetness of carrots, the crunch of walnuts, and the warmth of cinnamon come together in a delightful fusion that complements a variety of teas and offers a more earthy option to your tea cake lineup.

6. Almond and Raspberry Financiers:

On the other end of the spectrum are these delicate French creations which have the subtle hint of almond with the tartness of raspberry. The combination of ground almonds and fresh raspberries is a perfect balance with the rich buttery cake and together they all come together for a small but flavour-packed bite.

7. Chai Spiced Cupcakes:

Inspired by the magic of desi masala chai, bring a taste of spice perfection to your tea cakes. Embrace the warmth of cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and cloves which infuse these cupcakes with a delightful chai flavour because if you can have twice as much chai flavour in your life, why not? 

These simple but elegant options are perfect to serve to your guests or indulge on your own so put your baking skills to the test and bring the magic of tea cakes into your kitchen.