This cake took plenty of experimentation to get a soft texture for the milk tea icing. As beautiful as swiss meringue buttercream is, it has no place in the world of bubble tea. The butter in the icing is too overwhelming and special diets aside…no one intentionally adds butter to their tea.
This recipe uses a mixture of milk tea pastry cream, cream cheese and whipped cream, yielding a mousse-like texture that still holds its form under room temperature.
I add egg pudding to my cake simply because pearls (boba) and egg pudding is one of my favourite bubble tea combinations. Follow your favourite cravings, it gives the best results!
To make the bubble tea sponge cake, I followed my favourite sponge cake recipe using strong tea to add the aroma of a tea infused cake.
For the milk tea icing, I used Hong Kong style tea leaves, look just how strong the tea can become after a while!
The milk tea icing and brown sugar pearls is the best part of the cake. Both in the making and the eating!
When making the icing in this stage. It is so important to wait until the milk tea pastry cream is cooled before adding it to the whipped cream.
In my trials (left photo), it turned into a gluggy irreversible sugary mess that no heat nor chill can revive. It should look soft and airy (right photo) when combined with the whipped cream into a mousse-like texture.
You have been warned.
Luckily you can retain your baking self esteem and not go through the same experiments to find the answer. Give the recipe a go yourself and let me know what works for you!
Bubble Tea Cake
Milk tea cake
- 4 eggs
- 60 ml milk tea
- 80 g cake flour
- 90 g castor sugar
- 40 g oil
- 20 g corn flour
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar
Milk tea icing
- 80 g sugar
- 220 ml milk tea (strong)
- 10 g cornflour
- 2 egg yolks
- 50 g cream cheese
- 200 g fresh cream
- 1 box egg pudding (premade day before)
- ¾ cup brown sugar pearls
Milk tea cake
- Whisk the egg yolks with 20g of castor sugar.
- Add in oil and milk.
- Sift in the cake flour and corn flour to combine.
- Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar and gradually add in rest of the castor sugar. Beat until it reaches soft peaks, not stiff peaks!
- Gently fold the egg white into the yolk mixture until well-combined.
- Pour into two 6″ pans.
- Bake for 22min at 170°C in a water bath. <- this is the key to a moist and spongy texture!
- Let it rest for 10 minutes before taking it out of the pans.
Milk tea icing
- Make the milk tea by steeping it in hot milk. I use Hong Kong style tea for the strong taste.
- Drain and remove all the tea leaves.
- Whisk the milk tea and cornflour together until all lumps have disappeared.
- Add two egg yolks into the mixture.
- Heat mixture over stovetop until thickened.
- Remove from heat and add cream cheese. Mix thoroughly until smooth. Cool the mixture down. (This is important! See blogpost for explanation.)
- Set aside about ¾ cup to pour over top of cake as drips if desired.
- Whip the fresh cream until soft peaks are formed.
- Pour the rest of the cooled milk tea mixture with the whipped cream.
- Gently hand whisk together until just combined in a soft mousse like texture.
- Layer the cakes with egg pudding if desired.
- Cover the whole cake with the whipped milk tea icing. Be generous!
- Pour the saved ¾ cup milk tea pastry cream over the top and let it drip down the sides.
- Top the cake with pearls (boba) for a true bubble tea experience.
- Stab a straw in because no bubble tea is complete with a massive wide straw.