My favorite cake will always be chocolate but I also enjoy experimenting with different flavors. For my Grandma's birthday gathering I baked this lovely layer cake flavored with red tea, vanilla, and orange. The rose frosting is light, delicate, and not only tastes delicious it also smells wonderful!
A quick note about the cake recipe: I adapted this from a recipe I found years ago on a site called Cat Tea Corner. This site has since disappeared but I kept a printout of the recipe. If the person/people who used to maintain Cat Tea Corner read this please contact me; I miss your site and the fantastic recipes you posted on it!
Red Tea Cake with Orange and Vanilla
2 cups strongly brewed red tea, cooled to room temperature
2 TBSP vinegar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp orange extract (if you don't like orange use more vanilla instead)
3/4 cup safflower oil or other vegetable oil
2 cups cane sugar
3 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 tsp salt (optional)
2 tsp baking soda
vegetable shortening, palm oil, or Earth Balance for greasing pans
additional flour for pans
Combine in the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl if you plan to use a hand mixer) the tea, vinegar, vanilla, orange, oil, and sugar. Mix these ingredients on low until combined. In a separate bowl stir together the sugar, flour, salt, and baking soda before adding them to the wet ingredients. Once everything is in the bowl of the stand mixer begin mixing on a low speed until the dry ingredients are somewhat incorporated and then increase the speed. Periodically stop to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and then resume mixing until the batter is uniform and any lumps are gone. Prepare two 9" round cake pans by greasing them with vegetable shortening or Earth Balance and then flouring them. Pour the batter into the pans, dividing it evenly between the two, and bake them at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes. They are done when the middle springs back if poked gently and the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan. Allow the cake to cool completely before removing it from the pans.
The remains of the frosting in my stand mixer's bowl after I assembled the cake.
1 cup palm oil or vegetable shortening
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp rosewater
1/4 cup room-temperature water
8 drops of India Tree red food coloring (optional)
Place the palm oil or vegetable shortening in the bowl of your stand mixer and set it to a medium speed for a minute or two. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the food coloring, and mix on a slow speed and gradually increase it to high. Periodically stop to scrape the sides and bottom to ensure there are no lumps of fat or sugar. The frosting should reach a light, whipped consistency. Add the food coloring 1 or 2 drops at a time, mixing thoroughly with each addition, until you reach the shade of pink you would like. I used 8 drops of India Tree plant-based food coloring for a nice light pink but if you use a different food coloring you may need more or less.
To assemble the cake just place the bottom layer on your serving dish and spread it with frosting, place the second layer on top, and then spread the remaining frosting around the sides and on the top. It helps if you use a wide knife so you have a greater flat surface with which to smooth the frosting.