Myrtle tea cake

If anything reminds me of being a kid it’s tea cake. My Auntie Sally made the most moist, buttery cake ever, always with white icing and sprinkles. This is a little more grown up but just as much fun.

Makes one cake


For the cake

320g butter, grated and softened, plus extra for greasing
660g caster sugar
450g self-raising flour
70g custard powder
3 free-range eggs
375ml milk
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon myrtle
2 teaspoons ground anise myrtle
2 teaspoons ground lemon myrtle
Finely grated zest of 2 finger limes

For the desert lime icing
280g butter, melted
400g pure icing sugar, sifted
4 egg yolks
2 teaspoons desert lime powder or finely grated zest of 2 lemons


For the cake

Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease and line a 20 cm (8 in) square cake tin.

Combine all ingredients, except those for the icing, in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Start on low, then slowly increase speed to high. Beat on high for 4–5 minutes, scraping down bowl occasionally if needed, until batter is pale and fluffy.

Pour batter into tin and bake for 40–45 minutes or until light golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in tin for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Cut in half lengthwise.

For the icing

Mix butter and icing sugar in a small bowl until well combined. Stir in egg yolks and desert lime powder. Spread top and sides of one cake generously with icing, top with the other cake and spread with remaining icing.

Substitution options:

Cinnamon myrtle: ground cinnamon

Anise myrtle: fennel flowers

Lemon myrtle: lemon zest

Finger lime zest: lemon zest

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