If you find that your cabinets are overflowing with tea and that your tea pot just can’t keep up, you can look to satisfy your sweet tooth with a tea-infused treat. When Alexa Klopfenstein reached out to us with her recipe for a Gluten Free Orange Spice Darjeeling Cake, we knew that we had to pass the recipe along to you. Alexa shared that she loves “baking with tea and I find that it adds unique flavor to my desserts. Darjeeling is typically my top choice so I often bake with this lovely tea.” Learn more about what inspired Alexa to bake this sweet treat below. Plus, we’re sharing a second recipe for her Gluten Free Darjeeling Berry Mousse Tart that you can download in just one click.
Photos, recipe & story by Alexa Klopfenstein
One morning while enjoying a big cup of Darjeeling and an orange for breakfast, I realized what a great pair the two made. This eventually led me to create an irresistible recipe. Whether you are gluten-free or not, you’ll love this Gluten Free Orange Spice Darjeeling Cake! The sweet, citrusy orange really compliments the Darjeeling, making it the perfect treat. When it comes to baking with tea, it is important to be creative and experiment. I started incorporating tea into my baking a few years ago. I’ve found that if the recipe calls for milk, it is often a good idea to steep tea leaves in the milk. When it is a cookie or cake recipe, it is a good idea to grind loose leaf tea and add it to the flour mixture. I also love to incorporate tea into toppings – such as steeping tea in heavy cream before making it into whipped cream.
For this particular recipe, I use a Second-Flush Darjeeling from Boston Tea Campaign. Darjeeling is known as “The Champagne of Teas” due to its more delicate and fruity aroma. A First-Flush Darjeeling is more similar to a green tea whereas a Second-Flush Darjeeling is more similar to a black tea. The rich, yet delicate nature of the Second-Flush Darjeeling really stands out, making it the perfect choice for this particular recipe. When creating the cake, I knew that the full-bodied and fruity Darjeeling paired well with citrus such as oranges. I also wanted to give this cake a winter flair, which let me to add some spices. In the end, the result was beautiful!
To prepare the Darjeeling, I simply use a marble mortar and pestle to grind it by hand. I like to carefully grind the tea leaves by hand because it is easy to over-grind the Darjeeling. It is important to grind the leaves into small pieces, not into a powder.Also, keep in mind that Darjeeling contains some caffeine, so you may not want to enjoy this cake right before bed. I like to have this cake in the morning with an actual cup of Darjeeling!
Gluten Free Orange Spice Darjeeling Cake
4 eggs separated and room temperature
2 Tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice
2 Tbsp orange zest
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup almond flour
3/4 cup GF all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 Tbs ground Darjeeling leaves
1 tsp white vinegar
pinch of salt
powdered sugar (for finishing)
Preheat oven to 350F
Prepare 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper and grease the sides
Beat egg yolks, orange zest, orange juice, vanilla, and 1/4 cup of sugar
In separate bowl, mix almond flour, GF flour, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, darjeeling, and baking powder
Add flour mixture to egg yolk mixture, beat together until smooth
Beat egg whites slowly until bubbles form and then add vinegar and salt
Gradually increasing speed beat egg whites until peaks begin to form
Slowly add 1/4 sugar (little at a time), egg whites constantly beating
Fold egg whites into almond mixture, little bits at a time
Scoop batter into prepared spring-form pan
Bake for 30-35 five minutes
Once cake is cool, sprinkle powdered sugar on top to finish