Custard Cream Cake

Biscuits dunked in tea is our kind of heaven - but in a cake?! Tell me more…

Done in 5 hours

Serves 8-10

Chris Cahill

Dish by Chris Cahill



Tea Milk:


2Tea Bags

Cake Sponge:


2 tbspBaking Powder

3/4 tspSalt

170gUnsalted Butter


3Large Eggs

2 tspVanilla Extract

Tea Syrup:






8Egg Yolks


1/4 tspSalt

5 tbspCornstarch

5 tbspFlour

2 tspVanilla Essence



120gIcing Sugar (Optional)

Being arguably Britain’s most iconic biscuit and first in line when it’s dunking season, we think it’s about time for a glow up.

But we like to take it one step further, we're fusing the custardy deliciousness of the biscuit with it's faithful partner in crime - the good old strong brew!

Think moist, tea-spiked sponge, a velvety German buttercream and a delicious vanilla custard core… If that has you reaching for the biscuit tin, keep on reading! 


Tea Milk:

Bring milk to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Turn the heat off and add in two teabags. Allow to steep for 10 mins (or till when desired strength is achieved), remove the teabags and then set aside to cool.

Cake Sponge:

Preheat oven to 175°C (or 350°F) and then line three 6″ cake rounds with parchment/baking paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, salt until well combined. Set aside.

In another bowl cream butter and sugar on med-high until pale and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low and add eggs one at a time, fully incorporating after each addition, then add the vanilla.

Next add the flour mixture and tea milk - Alternating in the order FLOUR, MILK, FLOUR, MILK, FLOUR. The mixture will split when adding the tea milk, but the flour will bring it back together. If after the final addition of flour the mixture still is not smooth then add 1 tbsp of flour at a time till smooth.

Bake for approx. 35 mins or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out mostly clean.

Place cakes on wire rack to cool for 10 mins then turn out onto wire rack. Allow cakes to cool completely.

Tea Syrup:

Place sugar, water, and a tea bag into a small pot. Bring to a boil and simmer 2 mins. Remove from heat, steep for 5 mins. Remove tea bag and cool completely.

Custard & German Buttercream:

In a saucepan whisk together milk, egg yolks, sugar and salt. Take a jug full out and pour that into a bowl over your cornstarch and flour mix. Whisk till there are no lumps then pour flour/starch mixture back into the saucepan.

Add vanilla essence then cook on medium heat while stirring constantly with a whisk. The custard will gradually thicken, so once you see bubbles begin to pop, reduce heat to low and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Remove from the heat. For a super smooth custard strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve.

Divide the mixture between two bowls (one to use as a custard filling and the other to turn into the buttercream). Cover the surface of each with cling film to prevent a skin forming and let cool to room temperature.

To one of the bowls add room temperature unsalted butter. Using an electric whisk or mixer, beat on low until both are fully incorporated together. Increase the speed to medium and beat until smooth and fluffy. Now this isn’t an overly sweet buttercream, if need be feel free to add a cup of icing sugar to the mix!

German Buttercream Storage:

You can keep this buttercream at room temperature for up to 2 days as it’s a fully cooked buttercream. Alternatively you can store it in the fridge for up to a 10 days or freeze it for up to 3 months. Just let it fully thaw and whip it back up before use. 


Brush each cake layer with 2-3 Tbsp of the Earl Grey syrup (or more if you prefer a stronger sweet tea flavour!)

Place one layer of cake on a cake board or serving plate

Spread over a thin layer of buttercream and smooth, then pipe. a thick buttercream ‘sausage’ around the inside edge and a dollop in the centre.

In the space between the buttercream, pour in some of your custard and then top with another cake layer. 

Repeat the last two instructions. 

Apply and smooth a crumb coat, separate custard creams and place around middle to create fault line base. Chill for 20 mins.

Pipe buttercream above and below the biscuits and the top of the cake, then smooth.

For added optional flair create a spiral on top using the tip of a palette knife and pipe on custard.

Finish with buttercream rosettes, crushed biscuits, tea syrup and whole custard creams to finish.

Chill until served. 

What do you think of the recipe?

Chris Cahill

Chris Cahill

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