Apart from the humble biscuit, there really is no greater union than tea and cake. They’re a match made in heaven… and we’ll take any old excuse to put the oven on and unleash our inner Prue Leith.
Now that winter is upon us, we’ve been revisiting some festive tea inspired bakes, and this one immediately caught our eye. It’s a wintry gingerbread cake using some of our limited edition gingerbread tea (but our spiced winter red tea also goes nicely, if you prefer), made by former teapig and baker extraordinaire, Sophie. So grab your apron and let’s get festive! Check out Sophie’s delicious Instagram: @chocolate__raspberry (her favourite flavour combination!)
ingredients for the cake:
- 350g plain flour
- 330g dark brown sugar
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tbsp treacle (molasses)
- 200g | 7oz cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 200ml whole milk + 1 tbsp fresh orange or lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 teapigs gingerbread tea temples
- 3 tbsp very finely diced candied (crystallised) ginger
ingredients for the frosting:
- 300g | 10.5oz full-fat cream cheese
- ½ tbsp ground cinnamon (or vanilla paste)
- 400g | 7oz double cream, whipped to soft peaks
- 200g | 7oz icing (powdered) sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Grease and line two 23cm cake tins.
- Sift all the dry ingredients into a bowl and give ‘em a good mix until they’re combined.
- Add the cubed butter, grab an electric mixer and go to town until the mixture looks like sand.
- Add the eggs one by one, mixing each one thoroughly before adding the next. Then mix in the treacle. Now we’re cooking!
- In a saucepan, add the milk and warm until it is lukewarm. Now for the important bit. Turn off the heat and add in the teapigs tea temples to infuse. Leave for at least 10 minutes, depending on how much you love our gingerbread tea.
- Add the milk, vanilla extract and zest into the main cake mixture and beat together until smooth. Make sure you scrape the sides of the bowl – you don’t want to lose any of the goodness!
- Finally, fold the chopped ginger into the batter.
- Phew. That wasn’t too difficult, now was it? Time for the easy bit. Divide the batter between the prepared cake tins and throw them in the oven (or, you know, place them gently)
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- While the oven is doing its thing, get started on the frosting. Whip the double cream and icing sugar until you have soft peaks, then transfer this mixture to another bowl.
- Place the cream cheese and ground cinnamon in the bowl of your stand mixer and whip until it’s all soft and fluffy. Then slowwwwly add the whipped cream and whip together briefly until combined. Don't whip for too long otherwise it’ll curdle – and no one wants that.
- Add a generous amount of frosting on your bottom cake layer and smooth. Top with the second layer and repeat. Smooth some frosting over the top and sides of the cake. In our humble opinion, the more frosting the better – so go crazy!
- Top with gingerbread biscuits, crushed meringue and rosemary stalks to get that winter forest look! Yaaas. Oh, you haven’t made any gingerbread biscuits? We’ve got you covered…
gingerbread biscuits for on top
These fiery gingerbread biscuits are the perfect accompaniment to our gingerbread cake – or great on their own, alongside a cup of everyday brew. If you’ve got kids, get them involved in the shape cutting!
what you'll need:
- 85g soft light brown sugar
- 200g treacle blackstrap molasses (or half treacle, half golden syrup)
- 1½ tsp ground ginger
- 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp allspice
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp salt
- pinch ground white pepper
- 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 115g unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 440g plain flour (plus more for dusting and rolling)
- Preheat the oven to 170C (340F) and line 3 baking trays with baking paper.
- Put the sugar, treacle and ALL the spices into a medium saucepan and heat gently, stirring constantly, until it reaches boiling point. Be careful not to burn it because…well…nothing tastes good burnt.
- Take off the heat and stir in the bicarbonate of soda – the mix will start to foam up (this is the most delicious chemistry ever…)
- Add the butter and stir until it’s completely melted. It should be smelling heavenly by now. Mix in the beaten egg and transfer to a large bowl.
- Gradually add all the flour, stirring it in, until the dough is fairly firm.
- If you need to, pop the mixture in the fridge for 5-10 minutes to just firm it up a little.
- Tip the dough onto a lightly floured worktop and gently knead into a ball. If the dough is too soft, sprinkle on a little flour. It should be the consistency of Play-Doh – pliable but not sticky. Slice in half (or thirds) keeping the dough you aren’t using covered with cling film.
- Roll the dough out to about 6mm (about ¼ inch) and cut out shapes with your favourite floured cookie cutters.
- Transfer the cookies to the prepared trays and bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating the trays halfway through, until the cookies start getting coloured at the edges. Take ‘em out, leave ‘em to cool and go get ‘em.