Spiced tea cake with honey frosting

Layers of fluffy spiced tea cake and lashes of indulgent honey frosting create an utterly decadent dessert.

  • 1 hr 15 mins cooking
  • Serves 25
  • Print


Spiced tea cake with honey frosting
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthways (see techniques)
  • 4 chai tea bags
  • 150 gram butter, softened
  • 1 cup (220g) firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cup (300g) self-raising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 60 gram glace ginger, sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 3 centimetre piece fresh ginger (15g), grated
  • 2 tablespoon caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) water
  • 1 1/2 cup (240g) icing (confectioners') sugar
  • 500 gram cream cheese, softened 125g (4 ounces) butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup (115g) honey


Spiced tea cake with honey frosting
  • 1
    Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a deep 20cm (8-inch) round cake pan; line base and side with three layers of baking paper.
  • 2
    Bring milk to the boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat; scrape seeds from vanilla bean into pan, add bean and tea bags. Stand for 5 minutes. Discard bean and tea bags.
  • 3
    Beat butter and sugar in a small bowl with an electric mixer until paler and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until just combined. Fold in sifted flour, ground spices and milk mixture. Spoon mixture into pan.
  • 4
    Bake cake for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Stand cake in pan for 15 minutes before turning, top-side up, onto a wire rack to cool.
  • 5
    Meanwhile, make ginger syrup: Stir ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat, without boiling, until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil; boil, without stirring, for 1 minute. Strain syrup into a small jug; discard ginger.
  • 6
    Make honey frosting: Process ingredients until smooth and combined. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until slightly firm.
  • 7
    Split cake into three layers. Place the bottom cake layer on a cake plate; brush with one-third of the syrup, then spread with one-third of the frosting. Top with middle cake layer; brush with another third of the syrup and frosting. Finish with the top layer of cake, brushing the underside with remaining syrup; spread top with remaining frosting. Decorate with glace ginger and drizzle with honey.


The cake is best made on day of serving but can be assembled 4 hours ahead; keep covered in the refrigerator. For tips on splitting a cake evenly, check out the Inspire Me page.

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