Whenever I mention to people who grew up in the LA area in the 50s, 60s, or 70s that my dad owned Grace Pastries, tea cakes and dobash cakes inevitably come into the conversation.
Although I admit his multi-layered dobash cake was excellent, tea cakes have always had a special place in my heart. His original tea cake recipe for 70 dozen and called for 16 pounds of brown sugar and 24 pounds of buttermilk (to name just a few ingredients), turned out to be a little too heavy, not to mention, impractical for us bakers in home cooking.
So without further ado, here is the tried and tested recipe for a more manageable number of Danish tea cakes from Grace Pastries.
Danish tea cakes
For the dough
- 1-1/4 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup extra fine white sugar
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
- 3 eggs (minus 1 tbsp)
- 1 – 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 2 – 1/2 cups cake flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
For the icing
- 6 tablespoons of butter
- 1 – 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 tablespoons hot water
Preheat the oven to 375°.
Cream together the brown sugar, white sugar, vegetable oil, salt and vanilla. Add the eggs in three parts. Cream slowly for six minutes, continuously scraping down the sides. Add 3/4 cup buttermilk, cake flour and baking soda until smooth. Add the remaining 3/4 cup buttermilk.
Line muffin tins with paper liners. Fill cups 2/3 full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Let cool in pans for five minutes, then unmold onto cooling racks. Repeat with any remaining batter. Let cool completely before topping with icing.
Heat the butter gently and cook until golden.
In another bowl, combine the icing sugar, vanilla and hot water. Add the melted butter. Whisk until smooth.
While the frosting mixture is still hot but the cakes have cooled, dip the tops of the cakes in the frosting mixture and let cool again, being careful not to layer the frosting too thickly.
Dad baked his tea cakes in restaurant-quality square muffin pans using regular round cupcake pans. Some specialty cookware stores may have square canisters, and you can also find them online, but I found mine at Marshall in the kitchen section. Enjoy!
This recipe is courtesy of Genelle Izumi, daughter of Grace Pastries founder George Izumi.