Loaded with warm hints of cinnamon and vanilla, this soft buttermilk cake is infused with tea and topped with almonds and whipped mascarpone for a delightful holiday dessert.
Tis the season to be whisked away to the land of sugar plums and fairies, and for this recipe, we’re using some Nutcracker Sweet Tea to create additional holiday cheer in this recipe. As the name suggests, the tea festively captures the flavors of the season and offers warm notes of vanilla with hints of spiced cinnamon. I enjoy it just as it is, and it makes a delightful morning cup to go along with a warm muffin or scone.
Tea is also wonderful for incorporating into baked goods and this one makes an absolutely wonderful holiday cake. It’s a tender and moist buttermilk cake, simple and unadorned, but so special with the flavors of the holiday tea infused throughout. A scattering of cinnamon almonds over the top and just a light dusting of confectioner’s sugar finishes it off. Serve with a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped mascarpone cream.
Nutcracker Tea CakeEmily Nelson
- 4 Celestial Seasonings Nutcracker Sweet tea bags
- ½ cup hot water
- ½ cup refined coconut oil
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1 vanilla bean
- 3 eggs room temperature
- ¾ cup buttermilk plus 1-2 tablespoons extra, room temperature
- 2 ¼ cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- confectioner’s sugar for dusting
- mascarpone cream for serving (recipe below)
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil melted
- 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- I cup heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup mascarpone cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon natural cane sugar
- Preheat oven to 350. Lightly oil an 8-inch cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Lightly oil parchment paper and dust with flour, tapping out the excess.
- In a liquid measuring cup, steep tea bags in hot water for 20 minutes.
- While tea is steeping, add coconut oil and coconut sugar to the bowl of the stand mixer. Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise using a paring knife. Use a small spoon to scrape the seeds out of each half and add to the coconut oil and sugar. Beat oil, sugar, and vanilla bean seeds together until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl when necessary.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
- Remove tea bags and gently squeeze tea bags to get as much liquid out before discarding. Add ¾ cup buttermilk plus enough extra so that the total amount of liquid measures 1 ¼ cup.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients to the sugar mixture in three parts, alternating with the tea mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until the final portion of dry ingredients is just combined.
- Pour batter into prepared cake pan and smooth with an offset spatula. In a small bowl, combine sliced almonds, coconut oil, coconut sugar, and cinnamon. Gently toss together until almonds are evenly coated. Scatter almonds on top of the cake.
- Bake until almonds are lightly golden and tester comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes before turning the cake out to finish cooling on a wire rack. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve with a dollop of mascarpone cream. This cake is best served the day it’s made, but it can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for a couple days.
- Notes: It’s important to use room temperature eggs and buttermilk in order to avoid the coconut oil seizing.
- In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whip the cream and sugar until fluffy and soft peaks begin to form. Add the mascarpone and vanilla beat for an additional minute, until thickened with soft peaks.
Emily is a self-taught cook and photographer with a passion for creating beautiful and wholesome food for the family. Her focus is mostly on whole grains, fresh and seasonal produce, and naturally raised meats. When she's not in the kitchen, she loves playing music and spending time with her husband and two children.