Miriam and I visited Edinburgh, Scotland, about a year and a half ago, and one of the first places we visited was the Elephant House, also known as “the birthplace of Harry Potter.” JK Rowling wrote a lot of the early Harry Potter books while siting in the Elephant House and looking out at Edinburgh Castle. And let me tell you, eating in that dining room looking at the castle felt like I was eating somewhere with a view of Hogwarts. It was beautiful!
But I digress. As much as I love Harry Potter, that isn’t the point of this. I didn’t leave the Elephant House feeling inspired to write; I felt inspired to bake! For dessert, I had ordered a slice of Earl Grey cake, and it was the most delicious thing ever. I couldn’t wait to try to recreate the recipe! Of course, I kept forgetting about it, even though I had a note saved on my iPhone that simply said, “Earl Grey cake.” Finally, after much delay, I made a gluten free and vegan Earl Grey cake.
The cake I had in Scotland was a slice of a two-layer cake with vanilla frosting, but I decided to change it up. While looking through various Earl Grey cake recipes online, the one that sounded the best to me was this one posted by the 350 Degree Oven for a pound cake. To make it even sweeter, I originally planned to top it with a lavender-infused glaze, but my grocery store’s lack of dried lavender forced me to change my plans and make a more basic glaze. Without further ado, here is the Pacey’s Place recipe for vegan and gluten free Earl Grey pound cake:
Earl Grey Pound Cake
1/2 Tbsp. of lemon juice mixed with 1/2 cup of soy milk and 1/6 cup of butter (or 1/2 cup of vegan sour cream)
1 Tbsp. of loose leaf Earl Grey Tea (I used Twinings)
Zest of one orange
1/2 c. of Earth Balance (or other vegan butter)
1 1/2 c. of sugar
1/2 tsp. of salt
1 c. of applesauce
1/4 tsp. of baking soda
1 1/2 c. of gluten free flour
1 1/4 c. of confectioner’s sugar
3 Tbsp. of soy milk
1/2 tsp. of vanilla extract
- If you’re not using vegan sour cream, start off by preparing a sour cream-like mixture. Squeeze the lemon juice into the soy milk and let it sit for a few minutes. Then mix in 1/6 cup of softened (but not melted) butter. Tip: No one has a 1/6 measuring cup! Just eyeball half of your 1/3 cup.
- Grind up your tea leaves in a blender or coffee grinder. They don’t need to be ground into a powder, but make sure all the large leaves and twigs are broken up.
- Zest a whole orange. It’s fine if you give up halfway through because your hand hurts. This is just to add some extra flavor to the cake, so whether you add in the whole orange or half, it will still taste delicious!
- Add the butter, sour cream-like mixture, sugar, orange zest, tea leaves, and salt to a bowl. Cream it all together until it’s smooth. Note: It will look a bit disgusting, kind of like sludgy snow on the side of the street in January, but that’s okay!
- Add in your applesauce and baking soda. Mix it all together!
- Slowly start adding in your flour.
- Pour the batter into a greased 9×5 loaf pan.
- Bake the cake at 350 for an hour. Check on it after 45 minutes to make sure it isn’t browning too much. If it is, cover it with foil and continue baking.
- Once it cools completely, remove it from the pan.
- Make your glaze by mixing together the confectioner’s sugar, vanilla, and soy milk.
- Drizzle the glaze onto the cake. Or coat the entire cake!
- Slice it up and enjoy!
This was my first time making this cake, and I am very pleased with how it turned out. Hopefully I can get my hands on some lavender soon and re-try this recipe but with a lavender glaze. Stay tuned for updates!