Make Ahead

Earl-Grey, Apricot and Date Teacake with a CitrusĀ Glaze

July  2, 2013
0 Ratings
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 40 minutes
  • Makes One loaf cake, 4-1/2 x 8-1/2inches
Author Notes

This cake is based on a foolproof recipe for a glazed lemon cake I have been baking for years, from the You Asked for It feature in the late, great Gourmet Magazine (as Lemon Bread Billie Holliday's Lantern Glow). I wanted to also try to replicate a wonderful, simple nut cake my great aunt used to make; she was our surrogate grandmother and was the matriarch of the extended family. I was unfortunately too young to know to ask for that treasured recipe, so I turned to the lemon bread poundcake recipe for the basic recipe, adding dates, dried apricots and coconut, citrus zest and an Earl-Grey tea-infused glaze. —creamtea

What You'll Need
  • For Glaze:
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup Earl (or Lady) Grey tea from the pot you have brewed (see below)
  • 1-2 strips of zest from a Clementine
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • For the cake
  • 1/2 cup walnut halves
  • 1-1/4 cups boiling water
  • 1 Earl Grey (or Lady Grey) teabag
  • 1/2 cup Medjool dates, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried California apricots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil spread
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (sifted before measuring), plus 2 tablespoons flour to coat the walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon each grated clementine and Meyer lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup flaked coconut
  1. Brew tea; then combine 1/4 cup tea with all ingredients for glaze in a small, nonreactive saucepan. Stir to combine, then place over a medium-low flame and bring just to a simmer. Turn heat to low and simmer briefly until thickened, 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Pour remaining tea over apricots and dates; steep 15 minutes, drain. Blot with paper towel.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  3. Chop Walnuts coarsely. Toss walnuts with 2 tablespoons of flour. Place in a mesh strainer to shake out excess flour and set aside while you prepare cake batter.
  4. Combine the 1-1/2 cup flour with the baking powder and salt, and sift onto a piece of wax paper.
  5. In a large mixing bowl with an electric hand-mixer beat the coconut oil spread with the sugar and beat until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
  6. Alternately add the flour and the coconut milk in three additions to the egg mixture, beginning and ending with the flour and beating until just combined. Periodically scrape down sides of bowl with a rubber or silicone scraper.
  7. Stir in the grated zests and vanilla by hand until incorporated, then stir in the nuts, dried fruit and coconut. Scrape into greased and floured 4-1/2 x 8-1/2 inch loaf pan, jiggle pan or rap it lightly on the counter to eliminate air pockets. Run a small sharp blade lengthwise down the middle to create a seam.
  8. Place pan in center of oven, and bake 40 minutes or until tester comes out with a few moist crumbs adhering. Remove to a cooling rack and quickly pierce all over top with a bamboo skewer or toothpick. Swirl the cooled glaze to recombine, and pour or spoon it all over the top of the hot cake. Allow cake to cool on the rack in the pan for 10 minutes.
  9. Run a thin sharp blade all around the cake to separate from the pan, then carefully invert on the rack. Quickly flip it right-side up to cool completely.
  10. Serve in thin slices with hot or iced tea. It is even better the next day, when the flavors will have mellowed.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • sexyLAMBCHOPx
  • creamtea
  • Nancy
  • Love2Learn

8 Reviews

Nancy July 28, 2020
Creamtea...don't know how missed seeing this recipe until now (your comment brought it to my notice).
I love Earl Grey tea and can't wait to make this!
creamtea July 28, 2020
Thanks, Nancy, let me know how you like it!
Love2Learn July 27, 2020
I have enjoyed reading your recipes and the stories that accompany them. I came across this Web site and this specific recipe because of the reference to Lemon Bread Billie Holliday's Lantern Glow. My cousin has shared some family recipes and this lemon bread recipe was included. Since I cannot find access to old Gourmet recipes online, I wondered if you could privately send me the original, including any story the magazine offered. Thank you so much.
creamtea July 27, 2020
Hi L2L. sorry for the delay, I was searching for it (began to think I'd lost it). The private message option has been removed from the site I believe so I hope it's permissible to post it here. The original was: preheat oven to 350 and butter and flour an 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 x 2-3/4 inch loaf pan. Sift together : 1-1/2 c flour, 1 t. double-acting baking powder, 1/4 t. salt. Stir in 1 T. grated lemon zest. In a separate bowl cream 1/2 c. butter with 1 c. granulated sugar. Add 2 eggs, beating after each. Stir in flour mixture in 3 parts, alternately with 1/2 c. milk (or non-dairy "milk"). Pour into pan, smooth mixture, and bake 50 minutes or until tester comes out clean.
Mix glaze: 1/3 c. sugar and 1/4 c. strained fresh lemon juice (sometimes I use 1/4 c. sugar and 1/3 cup lemon juice since I like things tart). (It doesn't need to be cooked like some other recipes)
. Stir together. When cake comes out, prick all over with a toothpick, give the glaze a good whisking, and pour over the cake. Cool on rack, then run a small sharp knife around edge and invert onto a (greased) cake rack to cool completely. (I invert again immediately so it doesn't retain the marks of the cake rack). I often multiply by 1-1/2 for a larger loaf. I don't recall any story accompanying this recipe, I think it was a recipe request in the regular "You Asked For It" column.
creamtea July 27, 2020
alternatively you can mash the lemon zest with the sugar to bring out the flavor and then cream the mixture with the butter, instead of whisking it into the flour. I think it makes a better final product. This is my go-to cake!
Love2Learn August 3, 2020
Thank you so very much! I am glad I confirmed what appears to be a typo in my cousin's rendition: only 1/2 cup of flour instead of 1 and 1/2 cup! I will try it with your recommendations, as well as my own gluten- and dairy-free adjustments. I do wish we knew the connection with Billie Holiday, since I am a fan.
sexyLAMBCHOPx March 6, 2017
Love your china! Royal Copenhagen?
creamtea March 14, 2017
Hi Chops! Yup, Royal Copenhagen.