Earl grey, fig and honey cake for We Are Tea

Prep Time:
30 minutes
Cooking Time:
30 minutes


It’s afternoon tea week this week, and we’ve created a special tea infused recipe for We Are Tea. This cake is covered in a fragrant and delicious earl grey buttercream (the flavour comes from gently infusing cream with tea bags), and underneath there’s a defyingly light vanilla sponge which is sandwiched between slices of fresh figs and a honey mascarpone filling. Feel free to play around with different tea / sponge combinations – chocolate and lapsang souchong are flavours that also taste surprisingly good together.


Vanilla sponge 

  • 2 x 9″ cake tins, lined
  • 330g plain flour, sifted
  • 320g caster sugar
  • 1.5 tbs baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 175g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 190ml whole milk
  • 1.5 tsp good vanilla extract


Earl grey buttercream

  • Follow the recipe for the vanilla buttercream as usual here
  • Two earl grey tea bags


Honey mascarpone and fresh fig filling

  • 500g mascarpone, plus honey to taste (start with one tablespoon of honey at a time)
  • 5-6 fresh figs, sliced (depending on size)


Vanilla sponge
  1. In a bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Beat in the butter until it is incorporated and the mixture appears to be evenly coated and looks like a fine crumble mix, 2-3 minutes on medium speed.
  2. Add the eggs and beat, first on medium, then on high, just until incorporated.
  3. Add the milk and vanilla and beat, on medium and then on high, until the mixture is smooth and combined; it will appear a bit lighter in colour, 2-3 minutes.
  4. Divide the mixture between two 9″ cake tins and bake for around 20-30 minutes, until golden and springy to touch.
  5. Leave to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. When cool, layer the cake with slices of fresh fig plus the honey and mascarpone filling, then cover with the earl grey buttercream. Decorate as you wish!
Earl grey buttercream
  • Follow the recipe for the vanilla buttercream as usual here and infuse the cream with earl grey tea bags. Bring the cream to a simmer with the tea bags in, then take off the heat and allow to cool to room temperature, strain when cool.
Lily Vanilli