Lemon Turmeric Tea Cake

Lemon Turmeric Tea Cake
Diana L

What is a tea cake?

Originating in Britain, tea cakes were served with afternoon tea. The name makes sense! Different versions of tea cake recipes passed down through the generations. Most often, the tea cake was like a soft sugar cookie, very plain to simply complement the cup of tea. 

The tea cake has developed over the years into a light, sweet bread-like cake with dried fruits. Often currants, but this recipe incorporates thinly sliced lemons and slight hint of spice from the turmeric, creating a tea cake that is moist, tangy, and delicious with a caramelized lemon and sugar crust.

The original tea cakes were split, toasted, buttered, and served with tea. This recipe is so moist and sweet, just slice and serve! (But don't forget the tea...)

Lemon Turmeric Tea Cake Recipe


  • Use a lemon with a thin skin, such as a Meyer's lemon.
  • Partially freeze the lemon before slicing. This will help you slice them as thin as possible.
  • Mix ingredients by hand to they do not become over-mixed. Over-mixing the batter will result in a tough cake.
  • Spray the loaf pan and line with parchment paper so the cake is very easy to release after baking.
  • If the lemons start getting too dark before the cake is done, lay a piece of foil on top to protect the lemon from burning.
  • Select a tea that won't overpower the flavors of the tea cake. We recommend a white tea or oolong to pair with this delicious fruit tea cake recipe. 


  • 1.5 c flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • scant 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 c sugar
  • T lemon zest
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 3/4 c sour cream or yogurt (or a split of both)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 c butter, melted 
  • 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced for topping
  • 1 T sugar (heaped) for topping


  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan with non stick spray, then line with parchment paper with some overhang so you can lift the finished cake out easily.
  • In a bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, salt and turmeric.
  • In a separate large bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest. Using your fingers, rub the lemon zest into the sugar until the sugar is moist and turns light yellow. Whisk in the sour cream and/or yogurt, eggs, and lemon juice until well combined.
  • Using a spatula, combine the wet ingredients into the flour mixture, stirring until just blended. Fold in the melted butter. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, smooth out the top, and top with lemon slices. Sprinkle the tablespoon of sugar evenly over the top.
  • Bake  50-60 minutes until the tea cake is golden brown and a toothpick test comes out clean.

Love the flavor of turmeric?

Then you’ll love this Ginger Turmeric tea. The sweet taste of fresh mangos and the zest of Florida oranges are blended with the earthiness of turmeric and ginger. Apples and cinnamon provide a light sweetness to balance with the spice from the peppercorn. Sip the smooth flavor, savor the aroma, and treat your body well with a bright cup of loose leaf Ginger Turmeric herbal tea.


Recipe and image shared from everylittlecrumb.com


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