Today’s recipe pays tribute to one of my favorite fruits, the bergamot lemon. Different in shape and a darker yellow than common lemons, bergamot lemons also have that distinctive flavor that makes Earl Grey tea what it is. Hence the title of this cake!
To make this cake plus the icing, you’ll need two lemons.
You can of course always make this cake with regular lemons, or another type (Meyer lemon for example) if bergamot lemons are hard to find. And note that there isn’t actually any tea in this cake, although you could infuse the milk with it to see what happens. I haven’t tried that yet because the tea is likely to make the cake dark, but I might experiment with it another time!
Earl Grey lemon cake
- 1 cup (236 ml) soy or oat milk
- zest from 1 bergamot lemon
- juice from 1 bergamot lemon (about 1/4 cup or 60 ml juice)
- 1/3 cup (78 ml) neutral-flavored vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 and 3/4 cups (300 g) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (150 g) white granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch salt
- 1 cup (100 g) powdered sugar
- zest from 1 bergamot lemon
- 2 tablespoons bergamot lemon juice, or more as desired
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Line a loaf pan with baking paper, or grease and flour the inside.
- Grate one lemon to remove the zest, then cut it in half and juice it.
- Pour the milk into a small or medium mixing bowl and add the zest and juice of one lemon. Set aside for several minutes to thicken.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir with a whisk until well combined.
- Add the oil and vanilla extract to the milk and lemon mixture and stir.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold gently until just combined, taking care not to over mix.
- Pour the cake batter into your loaf pan and place in the pre-heated oven. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, checking with a fork or toothpick toward the end of the baking time (if it comes out clean, the cake is done).
- Place the pan on a baking rack to cool.
- While waiting for the cake to cool, make your icing. Take your second lemon, zest it (set the zest aside) and then juice it. Now combine the powdered sugar and lemon juice, stirring until you have the right consistency. If you want it to be thicker, add more sugar, and add more juice if you want it to be thinner (personally, I love to douse the cake in as much juice as possible for maximum lemon flavor!) Finally, sprinkle the lemon zest on top of the icing before it dries.
Enjoy your cake with – what else? – a cup of Earl Grey tea! Who was this Earl Grey anyway? The Internet tells me it’s this fine fellow, whose date of birth hints at his being an unknown son of Lord John Grey of Outlander fame. I mean, yes in the one case it’s a title and the other it’s a last name, but let’s just pretend that’s what happened! 🙂
Speaking of which, click here for a special Outlander recipe! Or two actually…