Are you looking for a cake recipe that does not need frosting? We’ve all been there. You want to make something for a special occasion but don’t have the time to bake, cool, and then frost a layer cake. Or, you want a versatile recipe that can be used for breakfast, brunch, a snack, dessert, or tea time. This Lemon Chamomile Cake recipe can be prepped, baked, and glazed in less than 90 minutes. So, let’s dive into the realm of simple pleasures and experience the bliss of baking this exquisite chamomile-infused cake.
The Aromatic Appeal of Chamomile in Baking
Baking with chamomile is like aromatherapy, as it infuses treats with a calming aroma and subtle floral notes. Chamomile’s earthy sweetness complements the zesty tang of lemon. It has a harmonious balance that appeals to both tea enthusiasts and dessert lovers alike. Let’s explore the pleasure of chamomile in baking and its unique role in this Lemon Chamomile Cake recipe.
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Unveiling the Simple Pleasures of Baking with Tea
When baking with tea, the leaves themselves are not usually added to the batter. Instead, the liquid used in the recipe is warmed up, and the tea is steeped in that liquid. After a few minutes, remove the tea bags and add the liquid is added to the batter.
I like to steep the tea before beginning the rest of the batter. This gives it a chance to cool down. It is typically best to use all “room temperature” ingredients. In this recipe, that means taking the butter and eggs out of the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before adding them to the batter. If your butter is frozen, you can microwave it on 20% power for 30 seconds at a time until it is slightly soft, but not melted.
It is also important to use fresh ingredients. If you do not bake often, your flour or baking powder might be past its prime. Definitely don’t use them if they are past their expiration dates. The cake most likely would not rise as much and will end up being too dense.
When measuring your flour, do not just use the measuring cup as a scoop. This will end up cramming way too much flour into the cup and will result in a dry cake. Instead, use a spoon or a
King Arthur Baking – Flour Scoop
Food-Safe Lemon Essential Oil and Alternatives
Lemon oil is different from lemon juice or lemon extract. Lemon oil is highly concentrated, as it is made by distilling lemon peels. Only a small amount of lemon oil needs to be used in the batter to give it flavor. You would need to use about 6 teaspoons of lemon extract or 12 teaspoons of lemon juice to get the same amount of flavor as 24 drops of lemon oil! This would make the batter too watery.
The Young Living Lemon Vitality Oil that I used is the same as the larger bottle of lemon essential oil they sell. Both are edible, so you can use either the Vitality Oil or the other larger bottle. A 5 mL bottle of Vitality oil has about 85-100 drops in it. So this recipe uses about 1/4 of that bottle. If you are interested in purchasing Young Living Lemon Vitality Oil and would like to become a member so that you can get the wholesale discounted price, click here. (Disclosure: This is my Young Living Distributor link.)
Please note that not every brand of lemon essential oil is edible. Make sure that the brand you are using is definitely edible, and not just for topical or aromatic uses.
If you don’t have edible lemon oil, you can use a microplane to finely grate the outer yellow peel of 2 lemons. You want about 3 teaspoons of lemon zest to give you the same amount of flavor as the ¾ teaspoon of lemon oil.
The Art of Infusing Chamomile in Baking
Infusing chamomile in baking requires a delicate touch to achieve the perfect balance of flavor. To extract the essence of chamomile, steep four tea bags in half a cup of warm milk while you prepare the rest of the recipe. I suggest using slightly more than half a cup of milk, as some of it will be absorbed into the teabags. An extra teaspoon of milk should do the trick. Steeping the tea in milk ensures that the floral notes of chamomile meld seamlessly with the lemon, offering a taste of pure indulgence with every bite. Since the teabags are discarded, the tea leaves do not end up in the cake.
Embracing the Joy of Simple Pleasures
Once the Lemon Chamomile Cake is baked and glazed to perfection, you can relax and enjoy the sheer bliss of savoring this delicious pound cake. The moist and tender crumb, infused with the essence of chamomile and citrusy lemon, promises to satisfy your taste buds and soothe your senses. Enjoy it with a cup of tea or serve it as the centerpiece of a special celebration. This cake is a true testament to the joy of simple pleasures in life.
Tea-Infused Cake Variations for Every Occasion
1. Chamomile, Lemon, and Honey Glaze: Elevate the sweetness of this chamomile cake with a luscious chamomile and honey glaze.
2. Lemon Chamomile Cupcakes: Check out my recipe for lemon chamomile cupcakes with buttercream frosting, perfect for parties and gatherings.
3. Earl Grey Pound Cake: Add a touch of elegance by creating a loaf cake that tastes like a London Fog latte, with notes of bergamot and lemon.
Enhance Your Tea Time with Chamomile Cake
For tea enthusiasts, there’s no better way to enjoy a leisurely afternoon than with a slice of chamomile-infused goodness. Paired with a cup of chamomile tea or your favorite blend, this Lemon Chamomile Cake elevates your tea time experience to new heights. Its soothing flavors and aromatic charm make it a perfect companion to your favorite tea rituals.
In conclusion, this Lemon Chamomile Cake recipe embodies the essence of simple pleasures and bliss. It is infused with the aromatic magic of chamomile and enlivened by the fresh taste of lemon. Each bite is a celebration of clean flavors. Whether I have baked it for myself or shared it with loved ones, this cake has become a cherished addition to my repertoire of tea-inspired desserts. So, indulge in the joy of baking and embrace the blissful journey that this chamomile cake offers!
Lemon Chamomile Cake
- 6-cup Loaf pan – I used the Nordic Ware Citrus Blossom Loaf Pan
- 1 Stand Mixer or electric hand mixer
- ½ cup milk whole milk or other milk
- 4 chamomile tea bags
- 8 tbsp unsalted butter 1 stick, at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp lemon oil or 3 tsp lemon zest (zest of approximately 2 lemons)
- ¼ cup hot water
- 1 chamomile tea bag
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 3 tbsp lemon juice bottled or fresh
- powdered sugar optional
- Preheat the oven to 350℉.
- Microwave ½ cup milk for 40 seconds. (Add about another 1 tsp of milk before heating since some of the milk will be absorbed into the tea bags. You need ½ cup of steeped milk for the batter.) Put the 4 chamomile tea bags in the warmed milk to steep while you prepare the rest of the batter.
- Put the 8 tbsp unsalted butterr, 1 cup granulated sugar, and ½ tsp salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. (If the butter was in the refrigerator, it needs to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to soften slightly. Or, microwave it at 20% power for 30 seconds to soften.) Use the paddle attachment to beat on low for about 30 seconds to combine, and then medium for 1½ to 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.
- Add 1 egg to the bowl and beat on low speed for 20 seconds. Then add the 2nd egg and beat on low for another 20 seconds. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to evenly incorporate the ingredients into the batter.
- Spoon 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour into measuring cups and add to a medium bowl. Add 1 tsp baking powder and whisk together.
- Pour ⅓ of the flour mixture into the batter and mix on low for 10 seconds. Then remove the tea bags from the milk. Discard the tea bags. Add half the milk to the batter and mix on low for 10 seconds. Then add another ⅓ of the flour mixture and mix for 10 seconds, followed by the remainder of the milk, and mix for 10 seconds. Add the rest of the flour mixture and mix for 10 seconds on low.
- Add the ¾ tsp lemon oil OR 3 tsp of finely grated lemon zest to the batter, and mix on low until evenly mixed (10-15 seconds).
- Spray a 6-cup loaf pan with baking spray that contains oil and flour. Make sure to coat the corners and sides of the pan.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Use a rubber spatula to spread the batter evenly. Shake the pan to make sure the batter gets into the crevices of the design of the pan if using a shaped pan.
- Bake at 350℉ for 50-55 minutes. Use a cake thermometer to test for doneness. It will turn bright red when done, with no wet batter. Or, use a toothpick inserted into the center.
- Put the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. If the cake has risen above the top edge of the pan, use a serrated knife held horizontally along the top edge of the pan to cut off the dome of the cake. Then put the serving plate upside down on top of the pan, and flip both together. Gently shake the pan to release the cake. Put the plate on top of the cooling rack while you prepare the glaze.
- Microwave ¼ cup water in a measuring cup for 40 seconds. Add 1 chamomile tea bag and steep for 4 minutes.
- Remove the tea bag from the measuring cup. Add the 3 tbsp granulated sugar, 1 tbsp honey, and 3 tbsp lemon juice and mix well.
- Using a pastry brush, brush the glaze generously on the top and sides of the cake while the cake is still warm. It will soak into the cake.
- If desired, sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar after it has completely cooled, immediately before serving.
- I usually do not have trouble removing cakes from the pan if they have been generously sprayed with Pam Baking Spray before putting the batter in.
- You can evenly dust with confectioners sugar using a powdered sugar shaker.
- Serve with whipped cream if desired.
- Store leftovers in an airtight cake carrier for up to 3 days.
- The part of the cake that was sliced off when leveling it in the pan is great to use in a parfait.
- The leftover glaze can be stored covered in the refrigerator. It can be used to sweeten tea.