Earl Earl Grey Layer Cake with Raspberry Filling and Vanilla German Buttercream - A delicate earl grey infused cake, filled with a tart raspberry filling, and finished with a creamy vanilla bean German buttercream
Earl Grey Layer Cake
Hiii! Apologies again for the silence - I've been doing a load of travelling recently, and it feels as if I'm only just managing to stay on top of things! I just got back from an amazing weekend in Colorado celebrating Tieghan's new book! There's a few days back in the city, where I have been recovering from mild altitude sickness (I am NOT built for the mountains), doing laundry, and hugging the cats, then on Saturday we head off again to Charleston for the Saveur Awards! I am so, so excited - I will pop as much as I can up on IG stories if you would like to follow along there!
I'm going to keep this one short - I have been meaning to share this Earl Grey cake with you for the longest time, but haven't gotten around to making it to post. This is one of my absolute faves, and always seems to wow even the most skeptical of cake eater. This cake holds a special spot in my heart - it was the top tier flavour of our wedding cake, and I made it again two weekends ago to include in a friend's wedding cake!
How to make Earl Grey Cake
The Cake itself is flavoured with an earl-grey infused milk, reinforced by ground tea leaves in the cake itself. The result is a beautifully coloured, delicately flavoured cake, which serves as the perfect canvas for whatever you would like to pair it with. For this version I actually took the filling of the vanilla cake that I made, which was a quick raspberry jam situation, and used it in this Earl Grey cake - the slight tartness of the raspberry offsets the bergamot flavour of the cake.
Vanilla German Buttercream
Creamy silky German Buttercream finishes off the flavour profile and pairs so well with the Earl Grey Cake. German buttercream is most definitely my favourite - it is pastry cream based, so doesn't have that intense buttery taste of swiss or italian buttercream. You can infuse it with all sorts of things, and it's nice and stable at room temp which makes it perfect for using in things like wedding cakes!
Decorate this Earl Grey Cake any way that you like - I had been eyeing up those pretty yellow flowers that I added to the cake every time I walked past them at the corner store, so I paired them with some rice flowers and a little greenery for a super simple semi naked finish.
A few wee notes for making Earl Grey Layer Cake
- Both the pastry cream for the buttercream and the raspberry filling will need time to cool completely, so allow time for this - either make them first and cool in a shallow dish (more surface area = faster cooling), or prepare the day before.
- Make sure that the cakes are completely cool before assembling - if possible I like to make them a day ahead or early on in the day so that they can have some time wrapped in plastic in the fridge before assembling.
- Stems of flowers need to be taped before they touch the surface of the cake - florist tape is great for this
More Layer Cake Recipes
- Vanilla Layer Cake
- Funfetti Cake with Chocolate American Buttercream
- Banana Layer Cake with Salted Caramel and Peanut Butter Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- Two Layer Vanilla Bean Cake with Cherry Compote
- Gingerbread Sweater Cake
Made this recipe and love it?
If you made this recipe then I would LOVE for you to leave me a review below to let me know how you liked it! Also, please make sure to tag me on Instagram if you make it!
A note on salt and oven temperature
It is important to note the type of salt that is called for in a recipe. I use Diamond Crystal salt throughout my recipes - if you use a different sort of kosher salt or regular table salt you will need to adjust accordingly as some salt is 'saltier' than others. Morton's salt is twice as salty, so you will need half the quantity. Same goes for a regular table salt. I am working to get gram measurements throughout my recipes for salt but still getting there.
All oven temperatures are conventional unless otherwise stated. If you are baking on fan / convection, you will need to adjust the temperature. An oven thermometer is a great investment to ensure that your oven is the correct temperature.
Using the double / triple function in the recipe card
You will notice that there is a '1X' '2X' '3X' button in my recipe card. This can be used for doubling or tripling a recipe. However, please note that this only doubles the ingredient quantities in the ingredients list and NOT in the method. If there are quantities or pan sizes in the method of the recipe (for example weigh out 150g brown butter), you will need to scale this number manually. It will also not change the baking time in the recipe so you will need to adjust this yourself too. It is always a good idea to read through a recipe fully before doubling it just to check this. If you would like to scale this recipe or convert for another pan size, use my calculator!
Tools and equipment
For a list of my go-to tools and equipment, I have a post you can refer to here.
Why is this recipe in grams?
I post my recipes in grams as it is the most accurate way to bake. Cups are not only inaccurate but they vary in volume worldwide. There is no way for me to provide one cup measure that works for everyone. However, posting in weight fixes this issue. If you would like the recipe in cups you are welcome to convert it yourself via google, but please do not ask me to do it for you as I am not comfortable providing a recipe using a method that I have not tested. Baking with a scale is easy, accurate, and also makes cleanup super simple. Here is the scale that I use if you would like a recommendation! Here's to accurate baking!Print
Earl Grey Layer Cake with Vanilla German Buttercream
- Prep Time: 1 hour
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes plus chilling time
- Yield: One 8" layer Cake 1x
- Category: Cakes
- Cuisine: American
Earl Grey Cake with Raspberry Filling and Vanilla German Buttercream - A delicate earl grey infused cake, filled with a tart raspberry filling, and finished with a creamy vanilla bean German buttercream
Earl Grey Cake
- 500g whole milk
- 12 earl grey tea bags
- 1 Tbsp Vanilla bean paste
- 675g all-purpose flour
- 3 ¾ tsp baking powder
- 5 tsp earl grey tea leaves, finely ground
- ½ tsp salt
- 340g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 600g granulated sugar
- 6 eggs, at room temp
- 3 cups Frozen Raspberries
- 200g sugar
Vanilla Bean German Buttercream
- 375g whole milk
- 1 Tbsp Vanilla bean paste, extract, or the scrapings of one vanilla bean
- 225g sugar
- 3 Tbsp (24g) corn starch
- 1 egg
- 2 egg yolks
- 675g unsalted butter, at room temperature.
- pinch of salt
EARL GREY CAKE
- Preheat the oven to 350˚f / 180˚c. Grease and line three 8" cake pans.
- Place the milk in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until just shy of a simmer. Add the earl grey tea bags, and steep for 20 minutes. Remove the tea bags, squeezing to get as much flavour as possible out. Measure out 1.5 cups (360ml) of the infused milk, topping up if necessary. Add the vanilla and cool to room temperature.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the Flour, baking powder, ground tea, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down well after each addition.
- Add the flour mixture into the mixer in three additions, alternating with the milk in two additions (I like to think of it as a flour / milk sandwich - you always start and end with the flour). Mix until just combined.
- Divide the mixture between the three pans. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the middle. Remove from the oven and cool in the tins for 10 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack and allowing to cool completely. Level off the tops of the cakes using a cake leveller or bread knife. If not using straight away, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in the fridge until you are ready to use.
- Place the frozen raspberries in a medium pan, and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, then boil hard for one minute. Add the sugar, and boil for an additional 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Transfer to a container such as a mason jar, and allow to cool completely.
- In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, corn starch, egg, egg yolk and salt. In a medium non-stick saucepan, heat the milk and vanilla to just shy of a simmer. Remove from the heat.
- Using one hand to whisk constantly, pour half of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture. This helps to temper the eggs and stop them from scrambling. Whisk until incorporated, and then pour the whole lot back into the saucepan.
- Heat the milk and egg mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it begins to bubble. It will thicken quickly. Once it has thickened, cook for one minute, then remove from the heat. Pour into a shallow dish or bowl of a stand mixer and press some plastic wrap over the surface to avoid a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold. If you are in a hurry, you can speed up this process by placing the custard mixture into a bowl, and placing the bowl into an ice bath, stirring frequently.
- Fit your mixer with the whisk attachment. Whip the custard mixture on medium until creamy and lump-free. Begin adding the butter, a few cubes at a time, until fully incorporated. Switch to the paddle attachment and beat for a few minutes until smooth and silky.
- Fit a piping bag with a round tip, or snip the end off a piping bag. Fill the bag with a few scoops of buttercream - this is going to be used to form a 'dam' to help hold in the filling.
- Place the first levelled layer onto a turntable or cake stand. Spread a small amount of buttercream evenly over the surface of the cake using an offset spatula. Pipe a ring of buttercream around the outside edge of the cake - this is the dam. Evenly spread about ⅓ of a cup of the raspberry filling over the thin layer of buttercream, keeping within the dam you have piped. Top with the second layer of cake. Repeat the process (pipe a dam, fill with raspberry filling), then top with the final layer of cake.
- Using the offset spatula, spread an even layer of buttercream over the top of the cake, using the spatula to smooth it down. Spread a layer of buttercream over the sides of the cake, then using a bench scraper or cake scraper, smooth the edges of the cake, adding more buttercream when needed. I went for a 'semi naked' look - so I just kept scraping off buttercream and adding it in places where I thought was necessary until I was happy with the look.
- Level off the top edges of the cake using the offset spatula, holding it level with the top and using it to sharpen the sides.
- Chill the cake in the fridge for about an hour to help firm it up.
- Transfer to your desired cake stand, and decorate as desired. Store leftovers in an airtight container.
Cake Recipe adapted from Sift and Whisk
Keywords: Earl Grey, Earl Grey layer Cake, German buttercream, Raspberry Cake Filling
Icing recipe was awful. Icing was curdled and ruined by adding butter after the cream. Did some research and you’re supposed to whip the butter first and then slowly add the custard. What a waste of ingredients.
So sorry to hear that this didn't work out for you. There are two ways to make German Buttercream - pastry cream first or butter first, and both work. I have made it this particular way many many times and it has worked out just fine. It sounds as if your butter was too cold, which can cause the buttercream to seize. A way to fix this in the future is to just remove a little of the buttercream and melt it in the microwave, then add in which will bring up the temperature of the entire buttercream and fix the curdling issue. I have made this many many times and have had this happen to me a few times and can guarantee that it is not the recipe which is an issue, but it is to do with the butter temperature and warming a little of the buttercream is a super quick and easy fix.
I'm so grateful that this comment was here!! I also ended up with a "curdled mess" but this fix was perfect. Frosting is beautiful! Thank you, both!
Ohh good! so often it's a sneaky cold butter that means it hasn't quite emulsified yet!
A favorite! I come back to this time and time again!
Ah yayyy it's a fave of mine too!
I stole the frosting recipe for another cake I made so that's the only part I can comment on but I think I'm a German Buttercream convert. So flavorful, not too sweet, and it worked perfectly for me as instructed!
Hhaha yusss I endorse frosting stealing! I need to re-work the cake part of this recipe - it's so good!
Hi! This cake looks delicous however my daughter only does vanilla cake.... so that I will make BUT I love the raspeberry filling and german buttercream (which I have never made before). I always seem to have too much icing (frosting) left over after icing a cake. If I had to halve this buttercream recipe would it be enough to cover a 2 layer cake (8" or 20cm) ??
P.s I am in New Zealand 🙂
Hi! Hmmm this recipe is super old sorry so I'm not 100% sure sorry!
Im not really a cake kinda gal. But I am a tea fan. And I needed to make a cake for a bridal shower and thought I’d give this one a try. And let me tell you. This is the best cake I have ever made. I didn’t want to share it. The earl grey is just enough that you get the flavor without it being overwhelming. And the tartness if the raspberries cut perfectly through the tea for a wonderfully balanced flavor. I had no issues making the icing, it didn’t curdle for me at all. If you’re looking to make a cake for a “fancy” event I would absolutely recommend this one.