Floral Tea Cake | Great British Baking Show | PBS Food

This light, fluffy, sponge is delicate and delicious. Don’t be put off by the piping; it’s incredibly forgiving and very easy to get a striking effect. This floral tea cake recipe is featured in Season 4, Episode 6.



  • For the camomile cake
  • 3 tbsp camomile tea (preferably whole flowers)
  • 120g (4½ oz) unsalted butter
  • 8 free-range eggs
  • 250g (9oz) caster sugar
  • 250g (9oz) plain flour
  • For the buttercream
  • 420g (15oz) baking margarine
  • 850g/1lb (14oz) icing sugar
  • ½ tsp elderflower cordial
  • 2 drops elderflower extract (available online), optional
  • yellow food coloring gel


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 8in springform cake tin.
  2. For the cake, crush the tea in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar until it is a fine powder. Melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the tea. When melted, remove from the heat.
  3. Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl and beat in the sugar using an electric mixer. Beat until the mixture is thick enough to hold its shape for several seconds when drizzled on its surface (known as the ribbon stage, this can take around 15 minutes). Sift in a third of the flour and fold in using a large metal spoon. Sift in another third of the flour and fold in as before. Sift in the remaining flour into the butter mixture and mix well then gently fold into the rest of the batter.
  4. Transfer the batter to the tin and bake for 45 minutes (checking regularly to make sure it doesn’t over brown). When cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes. Remove from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack.
  5. For the buttercream, using an electric mixer beat the margarine, icing sugar and elderflower flavorings together in a large bowl. Keep beating until white and fluffy, then set aside in the fridge until needed.
  6. To assemble, if necessary, trim the top of the cake to ensure it is flat. Cut the cake in half horizontally. Add a generous layer of buttercream to the bottom layer of cake and then place the other layer on top. Transfer the cake to a serving board or cake stand.
  7. Spread a thin layer of buttercream all over the cake (also known as a crumb coat).
  8. Fit a large piping bag with a medium closed star nozzle. Smear streaks of the yellow food coloring on the inside of the piping bag using a pastry brush or a round tipped knife.
  9. Fill the piping bag with buttercream and pipe a few test dots until the buttercream comes out two-tone. Starting at the base of the cake, pipe lines of dots all around the cake to cover the sides, then start piping the top in circles of dots starting at the edge and working inwards. Place in the fridge between icing levels if you find the buttercream is melting.


For this recipe you will need a large piping bag fitted with a medium closed star nozzle and a 8in springform cake tin. If you can’t get hold of elderflower extract you don’t need to use it, but the buttercream won’t have a strong elderflower flavor. Note: This recipe contains U.K. measurements and may require conversions to U.S. measurements. It has also not been professionally tested.
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