Black Tea Honey Cake with Honey Buttercream

Black Tea Honey Cake with Honey Buttercream

I guess at some point, I did have to succumb to the heart shape! I’ve been long known to hate anything resembling a heart – heart-shaped jewelry, cookies and cakes. But, for some ridiculous reason I do own a heart shaped tin and for the life of me I do not know why.  I use it now and then for my baby niece, but that’s about it. But since I have it, I thought let me break out of my shell and use it for just myself – for some self-loving. I always crave a cake, but not always a decadent chocolate cake; my weakness is a good old-fashioned tea cake – the kind with just the right amount of sweetness, a rich flavour component and a texture that complements a cup of tea or coffee.

This is a cake that was made entirely from scratch, using my own calculations and tweaking as a combined and mixed – I wanted some sweetness but not too much, so I went to the honey jar and brown sugar canister. An old-fashioned tea cake was in my head, so in came the butter and eggs (none of that vegan brouhaha here!). I added a heavy mug of very, very strong black tea (Darjeeling) – imagine all the tannins in there, THAT strong! When I tasted the batter, I tasted some of the slight bittersweet-ness of the tea, and found it not too sweet. So, when the cake came out of the oven, I spread a spoonful of honey over it for that extra gloss and sweet loving. The buttercream frosting has some more tea, sugar and honey, and of course butter – that bit of salty contrast to sweetness of honey!

Trust me with this one, and go make an extra cup of strong black tea so you got an excuse to make this cake!

The Recipe
Serves 7-8 inch cake tin


  • ½ cup butter, soft
  • ¼ cup castor sugar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup strongly brewed black tea, cooled
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Frosting:
  • 3 tbsp butter, soft
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • ½ tbsp black tea
  • 2 tbsp honey - divided
  • pinch of salt


  • Preheat the oven to 200 C
  • Grease and flour a small cake tin – 7 inches
  • Cream the butter and sugars
  • Then add the honey, vanilla and egg and cream
  • Then add the black tea and remaining dry ingredients and fold, without overmixing
  • Pour into the cake tin
  • Bring the oven down to 175C and bake for 30-35 minutes
  • Once the cake comes out of the oven leave on a cooling rack to completely to cool before removing from tin
  • Once the cake is out of the tin, spread 1 tbsp honey over the cake
  • Follow with the frosting
  • Frosting:
  • Whisk the butter, 1 tbsp honey, tea, icing sugar and pinch of salt to make a fluffy buttercream.
  • Spread generously over the cake.
  • Store cake in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature.

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The recipes are tried and tested, some are adapted from various places, and a few are passed down; but every one of them comes straight from the heart.