London Fog Cake

London Fog Cake
Recipe adapted from Tessa Huff

Essentially an Earl Grey tea latte, the London Fog beverage was first dreamed up in Vancouver, British Columbia. For this cake cover, we double down on the Earl Grey, featuring the light, bergamot-infused tea in both the rich cocoa cake and pillowy Swiss meringue buttercream. A final touch of salt from the caramel drizzle pushes this cake over the top to become a true showstopper. We adapted this cake from Tessa Huff’s (of the blog Style Sweet CA) cookbook Layered, subbing in Earl Grey Tea for the coffee in the cake, but otherwise sticking to the sweet original. 

London Fog Cake
Makes 1 (8-inch) cake
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (220 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup (75 grams) canola oil
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams)
  • 1 large egg yolk (19 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons (8 grams) vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) almond extract
  • 2½ cups (313 grams) plain/all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (85 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2½ teaspoons (12.5 grams) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon (3.75 grams) bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
  • 1½ cups (360 grams) whole milk
  • 1 cup (240 grams) hot strong-brewed Earl Grey tea
  • Earl Grey Buttercream (recipe follows)
  • Salted Caramel Drizzle (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: flaked sea salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour 3 (8-inch) round cakes pans. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together sugars and oil. Add eggs, egg yolk, and extracts, stirring to combine.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Gradually add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, stirring just until combined after each addition. Stir in hot tea just until combined. Divide batter among prepared pans.
  4. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. Spread Earl Grey Buttercream between layers and lightly on top and sides of cake. Refrigerate until set, 15 to 20 minutes. Pour Salted Caramel Drizzle over cake, letting it drip over edges. Garnish with sea salt, if desired.

Earl Grey Buttercream
Makes about 3 cups
  • 2 cups (454 grams) unsalted butter, softened and divided
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (20 grams) loose Earl Grey tea
  • 1 vanilla pod/bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
  • 5 large egg whites (150 grams)
  • 1¼ cups (275 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  1. In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup (227 grams) butter, loose tea, and vanilla bean and reserved seeds to a simmer over medium-low heat; simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and let steep for 5 minutes. Strain butter mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding solids. Refrigerate until the consistency of softened butter, 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer and using the whisk attachment, whisk together egg whites and brown sugar by hand. Place bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Cook, whisking occasionally, until mixture registers 155°F (68°C) to 160°F (71°C) on a candy thermometer. Carefully return bowl to stand mixer, and beat at high speed until medium-stiff peaks form, about 10 minutes. Switch to the paddle attachment.
  3. With mixer on low speed, add tea-infused butter and remaining 1 cup (227 grams) butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating until combined. Increase mixer speed to medium-high, and beat until smooth, 3 to 5 minutes. Use immediately, or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Let come to room temperature before using.

Salted Caramel Drizzle
Makes about 1¼ cups
  • ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (42 grams) glucose/light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) water
  • ½ cup (120 grams) double/heavy whipping cream, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter, softened and cubed
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
  1. In a large skillet, heat sugar, corn syrup, and 2 tablespoons (30 grams) water over high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden amber colored; remove from heat. Slowly whisk in cream. Add butter, stirring until melted. Stir in salt and vanilla. Pour into a heatproof container, and let cool to room temperature. Use immediately, or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.


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    • Hey Alisha,

      This has to do with how ingredients weigh, not how that measure in liquid volume (cups, tablespoons, etc.). Flour weighs much more than cocoa, due to the weight of milled wheat being much heavier than dry roasted and finely ground cocoa beans. We like to bake by weight because it creates more exact results time and again, because each ingredient weighs differently and will change the makeup of your baked good. Please take a chance to read our feature about baking with a scale and with a weight specific appendix here: Baking by Weight

  1. Hello!
    I usually make my cakes a week ahead of time, put a crumb coat on, and then leave them in the freezer until the day of, when I finish frosting and decorating them. Would that work okay with this recipe? I’ve never done it before with a swiss buttercream, so I wanted to double-check that that would work.

    • Hi Maya,

      Thank you for your question!

      Freezing the cake layers is a great way to save yourself some time. Although we haven’t tried freezing this specific recipe, Swiss Buttercream should freeze just as nicely as any other buttercream, and work nicely as a crumb coat for your cake layers. If you’re freezing the buttercream you plan to decorate with as well, we recommend letting it come to room temperature the day you plan to frost your cake, then beat it in a stand mixer until smooth and creamy again (about 2 minutes on medium speed). If it separates or becomes too thick, you can place the bowl over a double boiler for 1-2 minutes to allow some of the butter to soften, then remove it from the heat and return to the mixer beating at low until the mixture is uniform, then increasing the speed to medium and beating for 1-2 minutes until light and fluffy again.

      Hope this helps, and happy baking!


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