Tea time. Does the idea of it make you giggle a bit? Cos it does me and I’m British. I love how “tea time” is one of those things that people really think of when they think of Britain.
Here’s the thing about tea and the British: everyone drinks it (except my sister who is crazy) but historically it’s been separated by class. When I think of tea the way I drink it, I’m thinking of the builder’s cup of tea. I don’t want to go overboard in trying to explain that to non-Brits but suffice to say it just means your bog-standard, normal, no-frills cup of tea, made with a tea bag, served in a mug.
Afternoon tea, on the other hand is something you might get at the Ritz or if you’re well to do, maybe it’s something you have on a regular basis. In high society, tea time involves all sorts of sandwiches, cakes, biscuits, and high-falooting tea cups and loose leaf tea.
Lavender tea cake would be totally appropriate at a proper “afternoon tea”. Shall we all get together and have one? We can wear posh frocks, talk politely about the weather, nibble on cucumber sandwiches and munch (in a ladylike fashion) on this cake. I promise it will be awesome.
This cake is so lovely. I wondered about the lavender being overbearing or odd for people but it’s just wonderful. It adds a kick of spice and flavour that combines perfectly with the glaze.
I am often fine with omitting glazes and the like but here I’d urge you not to. It’s so easy to make anyway – just whizz some powdered sugar, vanilla extract and water together and drizzle all over – and it really adds the right amount of sweetness. If you’re lucky enough to have left the cake in the oven a few minutes too long like I did then you’ll get a gorgeous crunch to boot.
Lavender Tea Cake
from old fashioned living
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg white
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup plain or lowfat yogurt
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh lavender leaves
- 1/3 cup sifted powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon water
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat granulated sugar, butter, and vanilla until well-blended.
- Add egg and egg white, one at a time, beat well after each addition.
- Sift flour and combine with the baking powder, baking soda, and salt; stir well.
- Add the flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with yogurt, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in lavender.
- Pour the batter into a greased 9×5 inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until a sharp knife or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
- To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar and remaining ingredients. Spread on the warm cake. Cool in pan 20 minutes on a wire rack before removing from the pan.