Food & Drink

Bake with Me!: Oolong Tea Pound Cake with Hokkaido Milk Tea Glaze

I’m not sure if ‘love’ is a strong enough word to describe how much I enjoy drinking milk tea.  Borderline obsessive may be a more accurate description for how I feel when my ears perk up at the mention of boba, milk tea, bubble tea, or all of the above.  I decided to take my enjoyment of milk tea to the next level by incorporating the flavors I love into a delicious pound cake.  Living through a pandemic quarantine has allowed my creativity to flow through to my food and drinks, and I’m okay with that!  Although I opted for oolong tea for the cake batter and hokkaido milk tea for the glaze, you can substitute your favorite teas to mix and match the flavors.  The possibilities are endless and it’s fun to experiment!  Your sweet tooth will thank you.

Ingredients for the pound cake batter:

2 and 1/4 cups of flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

5 oolong tea bags

1/3 cup of milk 

2 sticks of unsalted butter softened at room temperature

1 and 1/2 cups of granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 eggs at room temperature

Ingredients for the milk tea glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar 

1/2 cup of milk 

1 packet or one large tablespoon of milk tea powder (you can also use 2-3 tea bags of choice if no milk tea powder is available)

Steps to make the batter:

1. Preheat the oven to 340 degrees Fahrenheit

2. In a bowl, sift all-purpose flour, salt, baking soda, and tea leaves together.  I ripped open 4 tea bags worth of tea leaves as they were more finely ground.  If you prefer to use 4-5 tsp of loose tea leaves from a canister, be sure to sift out the larger leaves (or ground it into finer pieces). 

3. Heat 1/3 cup of milk in a microwave for about 45 seconds, steeping 1 tea bag in the warm milk for 10-15 minutes.  You can use loose leaf teas, but you will want to make sure that you heat the milk up for 50-60 seconds to draw out the tea flavor and drain the leaves out afterwards.

4. In a separate mixing bowl, beat the room-temperature butter until creamy.  Slowly add the sugar and continue mixing until fully incorporated with the butter.

5. In another separate bowl, whisk together the eggs.

6. Slowly add the whisked eggs to the butter mixture, ensuring that the eggs are incorporating with the creamed butter before adding more.

7. Pour the milk tea and vanilla extract into the creamed butter.

8. Take the flour mixture and slowly incorporate it into the butter and egg batter.  Be sure that you’re continuously mixing the batter as the flour is being added.  Once the dry ingredients are folded in and mixed well, your dough is complete!

9. Fill your greased loaf pan, leaving just a bit of room at the top to allow the loaf to rise.  You can also line your loaf pan with greased parchment paper to make it even easier to take out the pound cake.

10. Bake the batter for 60-63 minutes.  You can take a toothpick and stick it in the middle of the loaf.  If it comes out clean, your cake is fully baked.  It’s recommended that you let the cake cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes before transferring it to a cooling rack.  If you try to remove it from the pan too soon while it’s hot, your cake may break apart!

Steps to make the milk tea glaze:

1. Take 1/2 cup of milk and stir in milk tea powder (in my case I used pre-bought Hokkaido milk tea powder).  Microwave the cup for 50-60 seconds.  If you don’t have milk tea powder, you can also use 1-2 tea bags of your choice and steep it in warm milk.  Alternatively, you can heat the milk over the stove and steep tea bags or loose leaf tea (straining out the leaves after) for 15-20 minutes.  The longer you steep the tea, the stronger the tea flavor will be.  Let the milk tea cool down.

2. In a bowl, add 1 cup of powdered sugar.  Add 2-3 teaspoons of milk tea into the sugar, stirring until the powdered sugar is fully dissolved.  Add in another 1/2 to 1 teaspoon into the glaze until you get to the consistency you want.  The more milk tea you add, the thinner the consistency will be.

Steps to put it all together:

1. Once the pound cake is removed from the pan and is cooled down on a cooling rack or another platter, drizzle the milk tea glaze.  If you add the glaze when the loaf is too hot, it will melt down.

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