Light and Delicate Earl Grey Sponge

Earl Grey Sponge Cake

Savor the Scent: Earl Grey Sponge Cake

Transport your tastebuds to an English tea room with this ethereally light genoise infused with the citrusy essence of Earl Grey tea. Sweet orange mingles with aromatic bergamot in each delicate, tender crumb.

Slice of Earl Grey Sponge Cake

As a longstanding Earl Grey enthusiast, I seek out decadent yet understated desserts allowing its distinctive citrus and floral notes to take center stage. A genoise sponge – made solely of whipped eggs, sugar and flour – provides the ideal blank canvas for infusing vibrant tea flavors into the cake from within. Steeping Earl Grey teabags directly in the simple syrup creates an intensely perfumed Earl Grey-infused liquid for brushing onto each cake layer. Orange zest in the syrup and cake batter amplifies the lovely citrus flavor.

Once baked, the pale vanilla sponge layers become saturated with the concentrated Earl Grey syrup. Tangy notes of bergamot and orange dance elegantly with the soft, fine-crumbed cake. Lemon curd tucked between the layers adds a tart contrast to the sweetness while allowing the Earl Grey to still sing. And since a genoise contains no butter, the cake won’t overpower the delicate tea flavors either. It’s important to brew the tea at full strength so it doesn’t get lost among other ingredients.

Served au natural to showcase the cake’s simplicity or with lightly sweetened whipped cream, this Earl Grey creation makes a stunning dessert for afternoon tea that allows the ingredients’ natural flavors to shine. Savoring it alongside a steaming cup of Earl Grey tea makes for a sublime sensory experience. Let the bergamot in the cake and beverage intermingle on your tongue, as you bask in quiet contemplation of exquisite flavors.

Earl Grey Genoise Sponge Cake with Lemon Curd Makes one 6-inch layer cake

Cake Ingredients:

  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp freshly grated orange zest
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1⁄3 cup water
  • 4 Earl Grey tea bags
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar


  • 1 cup lemon curd
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 6-inch cake pans and line with parchment.
  2. In a heatproof bowl, bring water to a near simmer. Add tea bags and brew 5 minutes. Discard tea bags, then stir in sugar until dissolved. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl using electric mixer, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gradually add 1⁄2 cup sugar until incorporated. Gently fold in yolks, then flour just until combined.
  4. Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake for 20 minutes until golden and toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  5. While cakes bake, use a pastry brush to paint Earl Grey syrup onto cakes as soon as they come out of the oven. Flip over and brush again to saturate evenly.
  6. Once cakes have cooled completely, spread lemon curd onto one layer. Top with second cake layer. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.
  7. Pair with a steaming cup of Earl Grey tea or other black tea infusions!