A deliciously soft and moist sponge full of fresh flavour. This Strawberry and Mint Tea Loaf is the perfect treat for an afternoon tea in the sunshine.
One fruit we all love to eat during spring/summer is the humble strawberry. It’s a beautiful soft fruit perfect for poaching, pureeing, jamming and chopping. Because of this the flavour can be easily incorporated into bakes and better still, when it does it gives off that beautiful pink tone that we all love to see.
Strawberry isn’t the most immediate mint tea pairing but it works beautifully well. The idea came because I have a loose leaf Strawberry Mint Tea in my tea cupboard from Whittard of Chelsea, and it’s been one of my favourites so I had to give the baked version a try.
This loaf cake is incredibly moist and tender thanks to the oil and yogurt, and to give it an extra kick of strawberry flavour it includes both fresh and freeze dried strawberries. The mint tea flavour is infused into milk and added to both the sponge and the glaze, you can find other methods for flavouring your bakes with tea below.
WHAT MAKES THIS RECIPE GREAT?
Full of fresh flavour | Strawberries are one of the best fruits for adding flavour and colour to bakes. Combined with a subtle hint of mint tea in the background and it’s one of the most delicious and interesting cakes you could make.
It has the most amazing texture | The oil, eggs and yoghurt both work together to give the cake an amazingly soft and moist crumb.
Perfect for summer garden drinks | This is one of those cakes where your guests will be asking for seconds. It pairs so well with mint tea and even better with a glass of bubbles.
HOW TO MAKE THIS STRAWBERRY AND MINT TEA LOAF
Firstly let’s take a look at some of the star ingredients in this recipe and what you’ll need to make it.
- Fresh Strawberries | To add freshness, flavour and moisture.
- Freeze Dried Strawberries | To add colour and additional intense flavour. You can find good sized packets on Amazon that give you enough for plenty of bakes.
- Peppermint Tea | Steeped in milk to release a robust flavour.
- Natural Yoghurt | Provides a soft and moist crumb.
The remaining ingredients are baking cupboard staples.
- Plain Flour
- Caster Sugar
- Sunflower Oil
- Baking Powder
- Bicarbonate of Soda
- Icing sugar
Now that you know what you need to make this delicious loaf cake, let’s see how it’s made. It’s a really simple process mixing the wet ingredients first and then folding through the dry. However, initially there are a few things you need to do to ensure this cake is full of Strawberry and Mint flavour.
Follow the steps to see how the Strawberry and Mint Loaf is made but make sure to read the full recipe and method below.
- Steep the tea leaves in milk. Add your milk to a pan with your mint tea and bring the milk to a steady boil. Once boiling remove from the heat and leave it to cool.
MY KITCHEN TIP: You can use a tea bag or loose leaf tea to flavour the milk, but if you’re using loose leaf make sure you add it to a strainer.
2. Fold chopped strawberries through the yoghurt. Stir the chopped strawberries through the yoghurt until the yoghurt has been tinted pink.
3. Whisk the sugar and eggs together. In a large bowl, use a whisk to whip up the eggs and sugar until they go pale and bubbly. This process is important and it’s going to get you all the air you need for the cake to rise.
4. Add the strawberry yoghurt and oil. Whisk the strawberry yoghurt and oil through until combined.
5. Add the dry ingredients. Fold through the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and freeze dried strawberries until you have a lovely pink batter.
6. Fold through the mint milk. Add all but 2 tbsp of the mint infused milk and carefully fold that through with a wooden spoon.
7. Line a loaf tin with baking paper. Pour the batter into a prepared loaf tin ensuring its pushed into all the corner. Tap it on the work surface 3 times to release any big pockets of air.
8. Bake. Bake in the centre of your oven heated to 180C for 50 minutes. It will be ready when a skewer comes out clean.
MY KITCHEN TIP: Another great way to test if your bakes are cooked is to listen to it. You may think its crazy but your cakes will tell you if they still need more time as you’ll hear them singing (*fizzing noise) if you’ve taken them out too early. To test for this just bring the cake out and carefully put your ear towards it. If you hear a lot of fizzing noise it’ll mean it’s almost there but just needs a few more minutes. Keep checking a few minutes at a time and when the fizzing has stopped or is very very faint it’s baked.
9. Make the strawberry glaze. In a small bowl mix the icing sugar with more freeze dried strawberries then add 2 tbsp of mint milk and stir through until you a have a thick but pourable glaze.
10. Decorate. Pour the glaze over the cooled cake, letting it pour down the sides. Then top with fresh strawberry slices and sprig of fresh mint leaves.
THREE WAYS TO INFUSE TEA INTO YOUR BAKE
- Steep the tea leaves in milk. If your recipe includes milk this a great way to add the flavour, although be mindful of the amount of milk you’re adding as you won’t get huge flavour if it’s just a tbsp or two.
2. Infuse the leaves with melted butter. If you can add melted butter to your bake then this is a great way to add the flavour as you will usually need a fair amount of it. Alternatively you could melt the butter, infuse it and let it reset ahead of time if you need to add softened butter instead.
3. Mix leaves into the mixture with the dry ingredients. This is the easiest way to add flavour but only if you’re happy having bits of tea through your bake. It works well with sponges and biscuits but I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re flavouring buttercream or glazes.
TOOLS YOU WILL NEED?
Mixing Bowls | Two good sized bowls will be enough so you can mix your wet and dry ingredients separately.
Food Processor | Not a necessity, but you will need to blitz the freeze dried strawberries into a powder and the easiest way to do this it via a food processor. I have a mini one which is perfect for blitzing small ingredients like nuts, herbs and freeze dried strawberries. The Kitchen Aid Cordless is brilliant as you can use it anywhere in your kitchen or around the house. Alternatively you can crush them with a pestle and mortar or you can put them into a sandwich bag and crush with a rolling pin.
Measuring Jug | A great kitchen tool and good for measuring your oil, milk and yoghurt. You can weigh these with your scales too if needed, just covert ml to grams.
2lb Loaf Tin | Good quality baking pans will give you a great final bake. Loaf tins are also great staples for the kitchen which I’m sure we’re all aware of now after lockdown Banana Bread fever.
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HOW TO STORE OR FREEZE THIS STRAWBERRY AND MINT TEA LOAF?
How to Store | This cake is best served fresh on the day but thanks to the moisture content it will stay tender for up to 4 days if stored in an airtight container.
How to freeze the undecorated sponge | If you want to make the sponge ahead of time then you can bake it and freeze it in a freezer bag for up to 3 months. This is a great way to use up any left over strawberries so next time you have some left over consider baking a loaf and freezing it ready for that unexpected guest. To defrost, leave it out to thaw and then decorate as guided in the recipe.
OTHER BAKES MADE WITH TEA
I would love it if you tagged me @mykitchendrawer on Instagram if you make this Strawberry and Mint Tea Loaf. It’s the biggest honour to see my recipes come to life in your kitchen and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to drop me a message. Happy baking!
Strawberry and Mint Tea Loaf
- Large mixing bowl
- 2lb loaf tin
- Food processor
For the loaf cake
For the strawberry mint glaze
- 100 g icing sugar
- 1/2 tbsp freeze dried strawberry powdered
- 2 tbsp mint milk steeped
- Fresh Strawberries sliced
- Mint sprigs
For the Strawberry and Mint Cake
- Line a loaf tin with baking paper and preheat the oven to 180°C
- Heat the milk in a pan with the mint tea (either a tea bag or loose leaf in a strainer). Bring the milk to boil then remove from the heat and leave to one side and let it cool.
- Mix the chopped strawberries and yoghurt together until the yoghurt is tinted pink.
- Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl until light and bubbly. Then add the strawberry yoghurt and oil and stir it all through until combined.
- Blitz or crush the freeze dried strawberries to form a powder, then add the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and powdered strawberry to the wet mixture and fold it all together until just combined.
- Add all but 2 tbsp of the mint milk and then fold it through gently.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes then remove from the pan and leave to cool completley before decorating.
Strawberry and Mint Glaze
- Mix the icing sugar and freeze dried strawberries together then add the remaining 2 tbsp mint infused milk and sitr through until you have a thick but pourable mixture. You can add more milk if think it's not loose enough, but go slowly adding a tiny bit at a time.
- Pour the glaze over the cooled loaf cake, letting it drip down the sides, then add the slices strawberries and mint sprigs.
- Let the glaze set for for about 10 minutes then slice and serve.