A Little Lemon To Brighten Up Your Snowy Day – Bake with Tea


 Kalahari Lemongrass Cake

This is a rich, dense and gooey desert bread made with olive oil, lemon and Kalahari Rooibos Organic Tea blend which has lots of vibrant Lemongrass.  It’s also vegan.  This recipe serves about 12-15 depending, of course, on how large your slices are. I used a large angel food cake pan that I found deep in my cupboard. I forgot I even had that! This versatile recipe would be a great choice for whatever pan you can get your hands on. You may choose a traditional loaf pan, muffin  tins, round cake pans or a fun bunt pan. It’s your cake. Do it your way. The trick is to just keep your eye on it while it’s baking, and make sure that it is cooked all the way through.

Yesterday, when I was baking this delicious dessert bread, it was sunny outside. I think it might have been up to 40 degrees, which was a welcomed change of temperature. The day offered a happy glimpse into the coming spring. Today, however, there is more snow on the ground.  It snowed overnight, and it looks like winter again. It is not spring yet.

One way to celebrate the slow but steady pace toward the changing of the season is to enjoy lemons. Yes, lemons. There is something about the bright kick of lemon juice and the happy yellow color that feels like a warm and sunny day. My mind wanders to outdoor adventures such as floating down the Farmington River, or hiking along the many trails in the beautiful Farmington Valley. Lemons lift my spirit and make me happy.  I hope this recipe does the same for you.

I want to give a shout out to an incredible blogger, Vaishali and Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes. I was inspired by her recipe for Lemon Olive Oil Cake, and started there. I made a few adjustments such as adding a bit of almond meal and flax to boost protein and fiber, and replacing the nut milk with the yummy Kalahari Rooibos Organic Tea Blend from my favorite tea shop, Culteavo in Unionville, Connecticut.

The happy, lemony burst I found in the Kalahari Rooibos Organic Blend, herbal tea at Culteavo inspired me to bake a healthy, but sweet dessert. This blend of Rooibos and lemongrass, sunflower petals and all natural orange flavoring is great paired with the rich and savory Extra Virgin Olive Oil.


Kalahari Lemongrass Cake

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1 tablespoon of flax meal

1 tablespoon of almond meal

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp sea salt

1 cup sugar

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 to 1 ½ cups of brewed Kalahari Rooibos Organic Blend, herbal tea

3 ½ tsp egg replacer powder

1 tsp lemon extract

Juice from 1/2 lemon

1 lemon- Finely grated lemon peel


For the optional lemony icing:

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp powdered sugar

Lemon peel for garnish

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  • Spray your chosen pans with olive oil cooking spray.
  • In a bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, flax meal, almond meal, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a large bowl, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the olive oil and the sugar at medium speed, for about a minute.
  • Add the egg replacer powder, lemon extract, lemon juice and tea, and continue to beat until well mixed.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet in two batches, beating for no more than what’s needed to combine fully. Scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl with a spatula to ensure everything is evenly mixed.
  • Pour the batter evenly into the pan or pans you’re using. Place pan on a cookie sheet, before putting it into the oven.
  • Bake 40-60 minutes. Smaller pans or cupcakes will bake faster than larger pans. Keep an eye on it, and test by inserting a toothpick. Because it is a dense and wet cake batter, you may want to bake 5 minutes longer than you think you should.
  • Cool the loaf pans on a rack until cool enough to handle, and then turn the cakes out. If you choose to glaze, wait until it is cool. Sprinkle with lemon peel.

To make the lemony icing, just combine ingredients into bowl and mix with a fork until smooth. If it is thicker than you’d like squeeze more lemon juice into it. If it’s too thin, add more powdered sugar.

Pro Tip: This morning I toasted a couple of slices in my toaster oven. It was great. No need for butter. I think the olive oil in the cake made it extra crispy. If you are looking for a bit more sweetness, add a little icing after you toast the cake. You may also choose to sprinkle a bit of fun and colorful Culteavo Crystal Sugars on top for garnish and texture. Enjoy!

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