Steeped tea is baked right into the rich crumb of this recipe from The Everyday Vegan Cheat Sheet cookbook, and is given somewhat of a tres leches treatment with condensed coconut milk. Soaking in every drop of syrup, the cake is finished with a fluffy topping of whipped coconut cream. It might not quench your thirst for an iced latte, but it will definitely satisfy your cravings.
What you need:
For the sponge cake:
2 cups water
¼ cup black Assam or Ceylon tea leaves
4 whole star anise
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1⅓ cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
For the condensed coconut milk syrup:
1 (14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
1 cup powdered sugar
For the whipped coconut cream:
1 (14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk, chilled
What you do:
- For the sponge cake, preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a quarter sheet pan or 9 x 13-inch baking dish. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine water with tea leaves and star anise. Bring just to brink of a boil, cover, and remove from stove. Let steep for 30 minutes. Strain out and discard spent tea leaves and spices. Add vinegar and mix.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom, cloves, and salt. Add in brewed and cooled tea mixture followed by oil and vanilla. Stir just to combine, being careful not to overmix.
- Transfer batter to prepared pan, smoothing across bottom with spatula. Bake for 28 to 34 minutes, until golden-brown and a butter knife inserted into center comes out clean.
- For the condensed milk syrup, whisk coconut milk and powdered sugar to create syrup. Pour all over cake while still hot. Let cool completely before placing in refrigerator to chill; at least 2 to 3 hours.
- For the whipped coconut cream, without shaking can, skim thick cream off top. Use a stand mixer with a whisk attachment to whip cream until thick and fluffy. Spread over top of cake right before serving and enjoy cold.
Photo credit: Hannah Kaminsky