Moist South African Rooibos Nut Cake

Rooibos Nut cake

Naturally Nutty: Rooibos Nut Cake

Honeyed sweetness from toasted nuts marries earthy rooibos tea flavor in this subtly spiced single-layer beauty. With a densely moist crumb and grassy aroma, each bite may just transport your tastebuds to scenic South Africa.

While black, green and oolong teas often take center stage in creative tea cakes and pastries, I’m increasingly enchanted by the versatility of rooibos tea from the South African Fynbos region. Made from the leaves of a native shrub, rooibos imparts a distinctive herbaceous flavor and alluring red hue to baked treats. Its high levels of antioxidants, vitamin C and iron nicely complement the benefits of nuts and fruit in a nutritionally-dense dessert.

Sliced Almonds

This particular almond rooibos cake features an aromatic, faintly fruity tea-infused batter chock-full of sliced almonds, lent further nuttiness from almond flour and extract. Mixed with spices like cinnamon and cloves, the rooibos leaves intermingle nicely with those other earthy flavors for a lovely harmony.

For subtle visual flair, the vibrancy of the red rooibos tea leaves and golden raisins sprinkled throughout contrasts beautifully with the pale vanilla cake batter. The cake bakes up supremely moist thanks to olive oil, with a tight crumb punctuated by bursts of fruit and nuts. While lovely plain, its rustic simplicity lends itself nicely to seasonal fruit compotes, honeyed cream or vanilla ice cream if desired.

Slice into this beauty alongside steamy rooibos lattes sweetened with honey for a full foray into the rich rooibos tradition. This versatile dessert captures the iconic herbal flavors and colors of my beloved South African tea.

Rooibos Almond Cake with Golden Raisins
Makes one 9-inch cake


  • 2 cups almond flour/meal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp baking powder
  • 1⁄2 tsp salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄4 tsp ground cloves
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3⁄4 cup olive oil
  • 1⁄2 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tbsp orange zest
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1⁄4 cup loose rooibos tea leaves
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1⁄3 cup golden raisins


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch cake pan and line with parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, salt and spices.
  3. In another bowl, beat eggs and sugar until thick and ribbons fall from beater. Mix in oil, yogurt, zests, vanilla and honey.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet in thirds, stirring gently after each addition. Fold in loose tea leaves, almonds and raisins.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan, using a spatula to spread evenly. Tap firmly on counter.
  6. Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before slicing.
  7. Serve with fruit compote or on its own, paired with a steaming rooibos latte!