Turkish Tea + Honey Cake

Turkish Tea + Honey Cake

Since I’ve come into this line of work, I have been sent boxes of teas and have experimented recipes with a variety of teas. And despite all the health indications and inclinations towards green, white and herbal ones, I always lean closer toward the black teas – which is really nothing but some proof of Indian in my blood!

So, when it comes to baking, it’s only natural I lean towards the black tea, and for this one, a dark and robust Turkish tea. I’ve experimented with lighter teas before but they work most successfully in custards, mousse, ice-cream – i.e. lighter bases. But a good old-fashioned cake requires the heavy-duty black tea, and the stronger the better, to allow it to power through the other ingredients.

Turkish black tea and honey make for a beautiful combination and requires nothing else to elevate it further. Once your cake comes out of the oven, spread a good amount of honey on top to soak through.

Slathered on top is a classic honey buttercream frosting with real vanilla bean. No fuss, simple but very, very good.

The Recipe


  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3 tsp loose black Turkish tea
  • 1/2 cup butter, soft
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup butter, soft
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar
  • 3 tsp honey
  • pinch of vanilla pod seeds
  • 1/2-1 tbsp milk


  • Place the milk and tea leaves in a small pot on heat. Once the milk starts boiling, switch off the heat and let the tea steep as the milk cools to room temperature
  • Meanwhile prepare the remaining ingredients. Sift the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.
  • Grease and flour a 10” baking tin.
  • Preheat the oven to 200C when you start to whisk.
  • Cream the butter, sugar and honey together for at least 3-5 minutes.
  • Then crack in the eggs and vanilla and whisk until fluffy.
  • Alternate between the milk (with the tea leaves inside) and flour mixture three times, careful to not overmix.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 25 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let the cake cool completely within the pan. Prick the cake with a toothpick and spread the honey on top. The honey will soak through as the cake cools.
  • Remove the cake from the pan and onto a serving tray after it has cooled.
  • Frosting:
  • Whisk the butter, honey and vanilla for a few seconds and slowly add the icing sugar. Add some milk if required to loosen and to get your desired consistency.
  • Smooth the frosting on top of the cake with an offset spatula.
  • Store in an airtight container for upto 5 days.

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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.