Chamomile Honey Layer Cake
August 30 2020
Hmmm...chamomile tea, honey, layer cake, flowers, figs...sounds like an opportunity to me! That's what I saw when I came across this lovely recipe. Not only is this 3-layer cake stunning to look at, it's taste is divine. There is a floral earthiness to the chamomile-infused milk that is used in the batter. There is a delicate sweetness that comes from the honey in the Swiss meringue buttercream. And there is a beauty to the finished product when you top it with figs, flowers, and summer berries.
I love the look of a naked cake. If I was to fully frost a cake, I would always start with a crumb coat. The crumb coat is simply a light layer of frosting that helps seal in all of the crumbs. Well, it also defines the "naked" cake. You get a peek at what might be going on inside. The layers peek through and it gives it a somewhat rustic look. Not only that, it's very forgiving...you don't have to be very precise which is helpful for new bakers.
What's the story with chamomile tea? You probably know it as I have...the perfect tea to help you get a good night's sleep. But, it's actually been used for centuries as a form of medicine. It has a slightly sweet flavor profile, but also has floral and earthy tones. It's the perfect tea to steep in milk for this recipe!
The cake is moist but firm enough to hold up the layers. The layers can be made a few days in advance. Just be sure to wrap them well.
Makes: 1 layer cake, 12 servings
Prep Time: 40 minutes Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Honey Chamomile Cake:
2 cups whole milk
4 Chamomile tea bags (or 3 tbsp loose leaf tea)
5 cups all-purpose flour, measured correctly (see Chef's Note)
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp Kosher salt
3 cup white sugar or coconut sugar for refined-sugar free
6 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2cup vegetable oil
Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
4 large egg whites
3/4 cup + 1 tbsp white sugar
1/2 cup honey
2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature (or very slightly colder)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
Make the Honey Chamomile Cake Layers:
Add milk to a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring the milk to a simmer then immediately remove from heat. Place the tea bags into the milk and gently stir. Place a piece of plastic over the surface of the milk and place into the fridge to cool and steep for about 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350°F, and prepare three 8” cake pans with oil and parchment rounds. In a large sized mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, and salt, then whisk together to combine.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Beat on high for around 5 minutes, the mixture should look thick, fluffy, and be tripled in volume. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then slowly drizzle in the oil while on medium-low speed. After all the oil has been added, beat on high for an additional minute.
On low, add the dry mixture to the stand mixer, mixing until just combined. Add in the tea-infused milk and mix only until the batter becomes smooth. Add the batter evenly to the cake pans, then bake in the oven for around 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before stacking and frosting.
Make the Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
Place egg whites, sugar, and honey, into a metal bowl and place over top of a pot of simmering water (ensuring the water is not touching the metal bowl). Whisk the mixture constantly until it reaches 165°F or 70°C. Remove from heat immediately and place into the stand mixer.
Using the whip attachment, turn the stand mixer onto high and beat the meringue for about 7 minutes. The meringue should have stiff peaks.Turn the stand mixer to low and add in the butter 2 tbsp at a time, allowing each addition to incorporate a bit before the next. When all the butter has been added turn the stand mixer back onto high and beat until the buttercream looks smooth. (It may look curdled and soupy at one point, but just keep beating).
Add vanilla and salt to the buttercream and beat to combine.
Frosting & Finishing the Cake:
Level off each of the cake layers to remove any doming from the cakes.
Place one cake layer onto your serving plate or onto a cardboard cake circle. Spread an even layer of buttercream, about ½” thick, across the top of the layer. Add the second layer on top, then repeat until final layer is added. Either leave the sides of the cake bare or naked style as shown in photo.
Decorate the top with anything you’d like!
To measure flour correctly, use a spoon to scoop the flour into the measuring cup, then level off with a straight edge. Do not pack the flour into the cup, or scoop with the measuring cup straight from the bag/container. Alternatively, weigh the flour (1 cup = 120g or 4oz)
Recipe from Food Duchess