We tend to think of tea as just a hot drink, but tea can add flavour to a variety of foods including delicious deserts like this tea infused orange almond cake recipe which is taken from Mariella Erkens’s new book “Tea: Wine's Sober Sibling”.

This cake is delicious paired with our Silk Cloud light black tea from Meghalaya, or Himalayan Gold from Nepal. The tea becomes sweeter and rounder, makes the cake lighter, fruitier, with stronger orange notes and some floral notes in the aftertaste.



(Serves 12)

2 oranges

250 g (8.81 oz) granulated sugar

250 g (8.81 oz) finely ground almonds, or almond meal

6 free range eggs

3 tbsp liqueur (e.g., tea liqueur, recipe below)

1 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp cacao nibs pinch salt



Preheat the oven to 180°C (356°F) and move oven rack to middle position. Wash the oranges and cook them whole for about 90 minutes in water, until they are soft.

Beat the eggs with the sugar. Add ground almonds, baking powder, cacao nibs, salt and liqueur. Mix well.

Drain the orange over a sieve and allow to fully drain; wait till they are cool enough to handle. Cut them open, remove the seeds and blend into a purée, skin and all, in a food processor or blender.

Add to the batter and mix until thoroughly combined.

Grease a baking tin of about 22cm (8.66in) diameter and lightly dust it with some ground breadcrumbs. If you would rather make this cake gluten free, then use cacao powder instead of the breadcrumbs.

Pour the batter into the baking tin and place it in the middle of the oven for about 60 minutes. Rotate pan during baking to ensure an even bake.

Let it cool in the baking pan. Remove and slide onto a flat dish.


To make the tea liqueur


Makes about 500 ml (17 fl oz)

250 ml (8.45 fl. oz) filtered water

80 g (2.8 oz) granulated sugar

10 g (0.35 oz) Da Hong Pao oolong tea (or another dark tea of your choice)

250 ml (8.45 fl.oz) brandy or vodka

Note The tea liqueur should be made at least 3 days ahead of time; the longer ahead of time, the better.



Bring the water with the sugar gently to a boil, stirring constantly, until all sugar has dissolved. Stop stirring and turn the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, uncovered. Pour it into a bowl, cool to room temperature. Pour some boiling water over the tea until the leaves are submerged. Leave for 10 seconds and strain. Discard the liquid and keep the leaves. Place the rinsed tea leaves into a sterilized jar with a lid. Pour the vodka or brandy onto the tea leaves in the jar. Firmly close the lid and store in a cool, dark place for 24 hours. Then add the sugar syrup, preferably up to the brim of the jar. Make sure to keep as little oxygen as possible between the liquid and the lid; this way the aromas stay inside. A lid that closes well is a must. Close firmly and shake a few times. Put back in a cool, dark place. Wait at least 24 hours before straining the leaves. You may leave them inside the bottle as well. 


This recipe is taken from Mariella Erken's book, "Tea: Wine's Sober Sibling". Photo styling is by Harold Pereira and Nicole De Werk.


  • Mariëlla Erkens said:

    The book Tea, Wine’s Sober Sibling, is only available as an e-book and best read on computer, tablet or ipad.
    Sold at Amazon, Apple iBooks and Google Play.
    More info, pics and direct links on my website: www.theesommelier.me

    February 17, 2022

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