Earl Grey Layer Cake with Vanilla Bean German Buttercream
Makes 1 (8-inch) cake
  • 2⅓ cups (560 grams) whole milk
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon (54 grams) loose-leaf Earl Grey tea
  • 4 large eggs (200 grams), room temperature
  • ½ cup (120 grams) full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 large egg yolks (38 grams), room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons (12 grams) vanilla bean paste
  • 4¾ cups plus 1 tablespoon (602 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2¼ cups (450 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3¼ teaspoons (16.25 grams) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • 1½ cups (340 grams) unsalted butter, cubed and softened
  • Vanilla Bean German Buttercream (recipe follows)
  1. In a small saucepan, heat milk over medium heat just until bubbles form around edges of pan. (Do not boil.) Remove from the heat, and add tea; cover and steep for 20 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl, pressing down on tea leaves to extract as much liquid as possible; discard solids. Let cool to room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour 3 (8-inch) round cake pans; line bottom of pans with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1¼ cups (330 grams) Earl Grey milk, eggs, yogurt, egg yolks, and vanilla bean paste.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt at low speed just until combined. With mixer on low speed, add butter, 1 cube at a time, beating until well combined. (Mixture should look like sand.) Add half of milk mixture, beating just until combined. Add remaining milk mixture, and beat at medium speed just until combined. Fold batter using a rubber spatula to ensure that no dry ingredients remain. Divide batter among prepared pans.
  5. Bake until springy to the touch and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool in pans for 15 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.
  6. Place 1 cake layer on a cake turntable. (To help hold cake in place, smear about 1½ teaspoons Vanilla Bean German Buttercream onto center of turntable before adding first cake layer.) Spread 1 cup (184 grams) Vanilla Bean German Buttercream onto cake layer. Top with second cake layer, pressing very lightly to secure, and seal edge where cake layers meet with a thin layer of buttercream. Spread 1 cup (184 grams) buttercream on second cake layer, and top with remaining cake layer. (I like to add this one upside down to give a nice smooth top.) Apply a thin layer of buttercream to top and sides of cake, smoothing with an of set spatula or icing scraper. Refrigerate until crumb coat is set, 20 to 30 minutes.
  7. Spread Vanilla Bean German Buttercream in a thick, smooth layer on top and sides of cake. Create a pattern by holding an of set spatula against sides of cake and rotating the turntable, slowly moving spatula up. Smooth of top edge.
  8. Place remaining buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a French star tip (Ateco #866). Pipe a shell design or your desired design on the top of the cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before serving. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Recipe by Bake from Scratch at https://www.bakefromscratch.com/earl-grey-layer-cake-vanilla-bean-german-buttercream/