Coconut Lemon Tea Cake

I know, I know, not another tea related post. I promise to start posting more of my savory-type recipes soon – I have just been in a baking, tea drinking mood with the dreary spring weather (I just spotted an enchilada recipe with homemade spelt tortillas that looks fabulous).

So, back to tea. Last night I had a drawer full of lemons, 1/3 of a container of organic whole milk yogurt, and I wanted something that I could make without refined sugar. After some brainstorming with the internet, I stumbled on this recipe from Smitten Kitchen – and my inspiration was found. This was the perfect recipe to try baking with my newly discovered coconut palm sugar and coconut oil. It was practically going to be health food – in the form of a cake.


The lemon glaze and muted sweetness of the coconut palm sugar made this the perfect accompaninet to a cup of english breakfast tea without the cloying sweetness and sugar-rush headache that normally accompanies such tea cakes. If you pair this with a fried or poached egg (or a slice of extra sharp raw cheddar) you have a healthy, balanced breakfast.

A note on the coconut oil – since it is solid below 76 F – I would let the cold ingredients come to room temperature and warm the coconut oil slightly (an easy way to accomplish this would be to put it in a glass bowl on the oven while it is pre-heating). I will confess I didn’t follow these steps and my coconut oil clumped a little when I mixed it in – it still turned out fine, but I think the room temperature idea would improve it. Also – I will cut down the oil next time, it was a touch greasy. I will try 1/3 of a cup). I would also try this with shredded coconut in place of blueberries.

Coconut Lemon Tea Cake

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon whole wheat pastry flour (if you’re skipping the fruit, you can also skip the last tablespoon of flour)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon real salt

1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt – room temperature

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar

3 large eggs – room temperature

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (approximately 2 lemons)

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/3 – 1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil, unrefined (warmed slightly)

1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen, thawed and rinsed (miniature wild blueberries are great for this, and pose the least risk of sinking)

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan. (I wish I had taken a picture of the prepared pan – I will be following this method for all quick breads as mine stick to the bottom more often then they dont) 

Wisk together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup coconut palm sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, vanilla and oil. Carefully fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix the blueberries with the remaining tablespoon of flour, and fold them very gently into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 (+) minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.


When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before flipping out onto a cooling rack. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in (a pastry brush works great for this, as does using a toothpick to make tiny holes that draw the syrup in better). Cool. 

I enjoyed a slice of this for my morning snack with some cheese and a cup of tea – delicious!



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