Jasmine Tea Infused Birthday Cake
Since my grandmother celebrates her birthday according to the Chinese calendar, the day we celebrate her birthday changes dates from year to year. This year, her birthday fell within a week of my sister’s, so they both celebrated their birthday together. I wanted to make a cake that was a little more Asian inspired, so I infused jasmine tea into an ATK recipe.
Jasmine Tea Cake
Due to my busy schedule and poor planning, I had to make a few substitutions, but the cake still turned out tasting great. Because I scaled the recipe to a three layer cake, I flubbed up on the amount of milk, which yielded a cake that was drier than I would’ve liked. But there weren’t many comments about the cake being dry. In fact, my sister preferred the dense texture of the cake.
I thought that the jasmine flavour really came through the cake, even though there weren’t many extra steps involved. However, the tea gave the cake a slight grey color, even though it was a yellow cake recipe. I preferred the swiss buttercream to the regular buttercream icing because it was satiny smooth and mildly sweet. The next time I make a cake or cupcakes like this one, I will pile on more swiss buttercream icing.
I know my cake decorating skills need a bit of work, but the cake was supposed to have some buttercream roses to garnish. I was a little pressed for time, and I just couldn’t get it to work. But the cake tasted good, and that was the main thing for me… erm.. I mean the birthday gals.
All three glorious layers
Jasmine Tea Layer Cake - Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Fluffy Yellow Layer Cake Recipe
Makes two 8″ or 9″ cake layers
- 2-1/2 cups cake flour, plus extra for the pans
- 1-3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1-1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 30g good quality jasmine tea leaves
- 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature (I used 1 cup milk plus 1 tsp white vinegar)
- 3/4 cup butter
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 6 large egg yolks, plus 3 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1 recipe of swiss buttercream frosting (substitute 11 tsp meringue powder plus 11 tbsp warm water for egg whites to keep frosting stable at room temperature)
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 8-inch or 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with a parchment round. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and add jasmine tea leaves. Cover saucepan and steep for five minutes. Drain the butter through a fine mesh sieve, making sure to press out any butter that the tea leaves have absorbed. Discard tea leaves and cool butter slightly.
- In a large bowl, whisk together 1-1/2 cups of sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, melted butter, oil, almond extract, and egg yolks.
- In a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on medium-high speed until foamy. With the machine running, gradually add the remaining amount of sugar and continue to beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. The mixture should be able to hold a peak, but still appear moist. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Add the flour mixture to the empty mixing bowl and gradually pour in butter mixture with the machine running on low speed with the whisk attachment. Mix until almost incorporated, then scrape whisk and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Return the mixture to medium low speed and mix until the flour is completely incorporated.
- Using a rubber spatula, stir one third of the egg whites into the batter, then add the remaining whites and gently fold into the batter until no white streaks remain. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans, smoothing the tops with a rubber spatula. Lightly tap the pans against the countertop two or three times to settle the batter.
- Bake until cake layers begin to pull away from the sides of the pans and a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, 20-22 minutes, rotating the pans half way through the cooking time. Remove from oven and cool for ten minutes before removing cakes from pan, removing parchment paper, and cooling on wire racks. Once the cakes are completely cool, frost with swiss buttercream frosting.