Earl Grey Bundt Cake with Lemon and Cream Cheese Buttercream

September 13, 2016

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I am so excited about this Earl Grey Bundt cake recipe! Not only because it’s so gorgeous to look at, but because it’s also so delicious too!  A few of my favourite things are in this recipe: Naked cakes, adorable Bundt pans, Earl Grey tea, lemons, and, well, cake! Hope you enjoy making this one as much as we did!

Early Grey Cake with Lemon and Cream Cheese Buttercream
Portions 8–10 (makes 3 x 7” round cakes)
Prep time: 1 1/2 hours
Bake time: 25–30 minutes

Ingredients
For the Earl Grey cake:
1 ¼ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 ¼ cups sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp. ground Tea Pigs Darjeeling Earl Grey Tea.
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 ¾ cup cake and pastry flour
1 ½ Tsp. baking powder
½ Tsp. baking soda
1 Tsp. salt
4 large eggs at room temperature
1 egg yolk at room temperature
½ cup sour cream
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 Tbsp. lemon zest

For the soaking syrup:
2 Tea Pigs Darjeeling Earl Grey tea bags
½ cup sugar
½ cup water

For the icing:
1 ¼ cup of unsalted butter at room temperature
½ cup of cream cheese (softened)
1 Tsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. cream or milk
Pinch of salt
4 cups icing sugar

For the lemon curd:
2 eggs
3/4 sugar
1/3 cup of lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
Zest of 2 lemons
1/4 cup unsalted butter
Pinch of salt 

Preparation:
Lemon Curd (You want it to be cool for the cakes.)
In a medium pot, place the sugar, eggs, lemon juice, and zest. Whisk constantly on a medium heat until the mixture starts to thicken and the first bubble appears on the surface. Remove the pot from the heat and strain into a bowl. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Using either a hand blender, food processor or blender, incorporate the butter with the lemon curd. Place in a container, cover and chill completely.

Cake
Preheat the oven to 325° F convection. (350° F non-convection)

Prepare the cake pans by greasing them with butter and flour and lining the bottom with parchment paper. To achieve the look we created, use two 7” round cake pans and one 6 cup Bundt pan. Alternatively, you can use three 8” round cake pans if you do not have the Bundt pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, both sugars, vanilla and ground tea.

Cream on medium-high speed for around 4–5 minutes until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs and the egg yolk one at a time, making sure to fully incorporate one egg before adding another. Scrape down the side of the bowl from time to time to make sure that everything is getting mixed in nicely. (If it looks like the mix is splitting a bit, add 1 Tbsp. of flour and mix again. This will help it bind together.)

Sift all of your dry ingredients together. (It is important to always sift the cake flour as it tends to be lumpy and clump together.) Mix together the buttermilk, sour cream and lemon zest in another bowl.

Incorporate 1/3 of the flour mixture and then half the buttermilk mixture. Alternate and finish with the dry ingredients. Do not over mix! Just enough until there are no lumps of flour.

Divide the batter equally among the three prepared cake pans, and bake in the oven for 25–30 minutes. You can use a cake tester to check if the cake is cooked. It should be golden brown on the top and spring back when you touch the top.

Let them cool for around 20 minutes then remove from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack.

Syrup
Boil the sugar and water until the sugar dissolves. Add the tea bags and steep for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags and let cool.

Icing
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and cream cheese until nice and smooth. Add in your vanilla, icing sugar, cream and lemon juice. Keep mixing until it’s light, creamy and fluffy. If you want your icing a bit stiffer add a bit more icing sugar. Keep covered until ready to use so it does not dry out.

Drip icing (optional)
½ cup 35% whipping cream
½ cup white chocolate chopped
3 Tbsp. corn syrup

In a small pot, heat the cream until just warm. Reduce the heat and add in the corn syrup and white chocolate. Mix until the chocolate is completely melted. Remove from the heat and place in a container.

Assembling the cake
Using a serrated bread knife, trim the top of the two round cakes to make them even.

Using a pastry brush, dab the soaking syrup evenly over the tops of both the cakes. (This helps to keep the cake moist and enhances the tea flavour in the cake.)

Spoon half of the lemon curd on the first layer of cake, and repeat with the other cake.

Place them in the freezer for 5–10 minutes to firm up the lemon curd.

Using a cake stand or plate, place a small amount of icing in the centre. Place the first cake layer on the stand and spread about 1 cup of the icing evenly. Place the second layer and repeat the step.

Using the remaining icing, spread an even layer around the outside of the cake, leaving some layers of the cake exposed. Play around with it until you get the look you would like. (I like to use an offset spatula for this step to help keep the edges nice and straight.) Place the top Bundt layer and chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Make sure the drip icing is still liquid enough but not hot.

Take the cake out of the freezer and slowly start to spoon the drip icing over the top of the cake. It will start to run down the sides but will seize up due to the temperature of the cake. At this point, you could add flowers to decorate it.

Keep the cake refrigerated for up to two days. Take it out of the fridge at least 30 minutes prior to serving.

This cake may seem like quite a bit of work but the end result is so worth it. You can obviously simplify this by omitting the lemon curd and simply icing 3 round cakes to achieve the naked cake look. Alternatively, you can split up the process by baking the cakes the day before, along with preparing the soaking syrup and lemon curd. Just keep everything wrapped up and in the fridge overnight. The next day whip up the icing and start the decorating process. This will make it feel like a lot less work.

Another tip: You can freeze egg whites to save them for an upcoming recipe!

Recipe by Erin Girard, MH Food Editor.