Darjeeling + Rosemary Tea Cake {eggless}

While I make it a point to awake on a good note, there are moments that go out of my control. For example, a few weeks ago, I went to bed with a whole lot of paperwork on my head, and it remained on the periphery of my head as I drifted off to sleep. I awoke the next morning in a fit of rage. Just plain angry and fowl mouthed. And trying to keep myself in balance, I went straight into the kitchen, after two cups of coffee of course, and peered into the fridge for inspiration.

I found a jug of cold brewed Darjeeling tea leftover, fresh rosemary sprigs in luscious green – the sight alone lifted my spirits slightly. A cake is what I go to bake in moments like these –never cupcakes or cookies – with the patience required, that would be the death of a bunch of other people! And it was like a seamless musical playing – with very loud music from my Spotify playlist, flour, sugar, tea and rosemary. It took me about 5 minutes to assemble the ingredients, another 5 to whisk the batter, and while the cake baked in the oven, I used the leftover tea to make a syrup to pour over.

This entire process helped reduce the simmering rage in me, and yes, a big bowl of strawberries with a hazelnut chocolate spread helped immensely – but that’s not the point here.

This cake is the perfect afternoon tea cake or breakfast sweet note. We took it along our road trip and it was over before we reached the destination. You can replace the Darjeeling tea with any other kind of tea you like – as long as it is very strongly brewed. You can replace the rosemary with fresh thyme too – just no any dried herb – they do not do justice in the cake. If you don’t have any, simply omit it! I added a hint of orange zest because a citrus is needed against the spice of rosemary, the bitterness of tea – you can replace with lemon zest!

Either, or, anyways – this is a cake for the mornings you awake in a raging fit and anger against the world – you will be rewarded with a delicious sweet cake, a therapeutic journey for all of 45 minutes! Strawberries and chocolate while you wait definitely help too!

The Recipe


  • 1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 cup strongly brewed black tea
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking salt
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp lemon or orange zest
  • Syrup:
  • 1/4 cup brewed Darjeeling tea
  • 2-3 tbsp sugar. or honey
  • 1 sprig rosemary


  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • Whisk the dry ingredients and set aside
  • Stir the chopped rosemary and lemon zest into the sugar
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk the oil and tea together until light and white
  • Then add the sugar, honey and vanilla and whisk
  • Then add the vinegar and combine
  • Add the dry ingredients and stir to combine
  • Pour into the loaf tine (9 inch)
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until skewer comes out clean
  • While the cake is cooling in it’s tin in a rack, prepare the syrup
  • Bring the tea, sugar and rosemary to a boil in a small saucepot until the sugar has dissolved and become slightly thick
  • Once the cake has cooled in the tin, remove from tin, and place on a cooling rack
  • Prick holes with a toothpick and pour the syrup over the cake
  • Let seep through before transferring to serving plate