They quick cakes are easy to put together, require few hard-to-find ingredients, and don’t require a lot of fuss.
By Laura Davidson
Tea time at my grandmother’s is not just about the tea. It is always accompanied with a ton of goodies, whether in the form of simple layer cakes, scones, jam & clotted cream, cookies, or traditional saffron cake. Regardless of whether or not my family and I are even hungry, she somehow always convinces us to grab some of everything…
Unfortunately, this recipe of hers, aptly named, Cup of Tea Cake, was accompanied with very vague, if not, non-existent instructions, but with a little bit of common sense and experimentation, it came out exactly how I remember it. As is the case with many of my grandmother’s dishes, this cake involves quite a bit of butter.
My grandmother justifies her butter consumption by saying that it provides her with her daily calcium requirement. I’m not so sure about this logic—but in this case, I’ll turn a blind eye and go with it. You should too!
Though I used a combination of raisins (both golden & regular), dried apricots, and prunes, feel free to substitute these with your favorite dried fruit!
- 1 cup of brewed strong, black tea
- 1 cup (8 ounces) dried fruit mixture –apricots, raisins, & prunes
- 1½ sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon mixed baking spice (cinnamon, allspice, cloves)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (dissolved in 1 teaspoon of milk)
- Brew one cup of black tea and pour into a small saucepan. Cut dried fruit into small pieces (if necessary) and add to tea. Bring to low simmer and turn off heat. Allow to cool to room temperature (place in fridge to quicken process).
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Grease loaf pan with butter and lightly coat with flour. Set aside.
- In separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy using hand-held or stand mixer. Add vanilla and mix thoroughly.
- Add egg and mix until distributed evenly. Add room temperature fruit/tea mixture and mix until incorporated.
- In separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and spices. Slowly add to wet ingredients until just combined.
- In small bowl, dissolve baking soda with one teaspoon of milk. Add to batter and mix thoroughly. Pour batter into loaf pan and place on baking sheet.
- Bake for about 1 hour – 1 hour + 15 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in loaf pan, before turning out.
- Serve room temperature or slightly warm. Don’t forget a mug of hot cup of tea!