Barrio Bakery's Citrus and Herb Tea Cakes

Barrio mostly makes lemon-lavender tea cakes, but the bakers also love grapefruit-sage or orange-thyme combinations!
Photography By Brent Harrewyn | August 29, 2016

About this recipe

This recipe works best in a stand mixer, but with a little more effort you could use a hand mixer or a large fork. The batter stores well in the fridge so you can bake the cakes fresh all week long. 


21⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
3⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
3⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of salt (omit this if using salted butter) 1⁄2 pound (two sticks) room-temperature butter 11⁄2 cups sugar
Zest of 1 lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit
2 teaspoons dried lavender, fresh thyme or fresh sage 4 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3⁄4 cup sour cream

For the glaze:

Powdered sugar
Citrus zest
Hot water

Optional toppings: Edible flowers, lavender, thyme, sage or citrus peel, julienned. 

If using a standard oven, bake at 325°. If using a convection oven, bake at 300°. You can bake this as a Bundt cake, cupcakes, cake rounds, loaf pan, etc. If not using cupcake liners, be sure to grease and flour the pan.

Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl or onto a sheet of parchment paper. Set aside.

Cream butter and sugar with the paddle attachment of your stand mixer. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl and remix any large pieces of butter. Any visible butter chunks in the final batter will cause the cakes to bake very unevenly.

Add the citrus zest and herbs and continue creaming until the mix- ture is light and fluffy.

Crack eggs into a bowl with the vanilla. Pour the eggs/vanilla into the butter/sugar mixture one yolk at a time, mixing well after each ad- dition. Never crack eggs directly into the mixer as there may be stray shells.

With the mixer stopped, pour in 1⁄3 of the flour mixture and incor- porate slowly. When moistened add 1⁄3 of the sour cream. Do this two more times ending with the sour cream. Don’t overbeat the batter as it will make tough cakes.

Bake 20–25 minutes for cupcakes or until a small knife or toothpick comes out clean when poked. Rotate pan halfway through baking.

Mix powdered sugar, zest and hot water to create a thick glaze similar to the consistency of honey. Add more sugar or water to adjust.

When cakes are completely cool, turn them upside down and glaze with the citrus glaze. Top with herbs, flowers or citrus peel. 

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