Whether you’re a chamomile lover, a green tea fanatic, or a black tea-only kind of person, we all can agree having a cup of tea is always a pleasurable experience. The warming effect and subtle flavor of tea is delightful for those who don’t love coffee, and it makes the perfect after-dinner drink if you’re looking for calm and peace of mind. While tea may be a staple in your day, it can be tough to know what foods pair perfectly with your favorite flavor, especially when it comes to something sweet. Fortunately, we have some suggestions. Check out these five desserts that pair perfectly with your go-to cup of tea for an amazing post-dinner treat.
1. Strawberry Sparkle Cake
This sweet strawberry sparkle cake from Lee Drummond of Food Network is light, delicious, and perfect with tea. The egg whites fluff the batter so the cake doesn’t feel too rich or too dense, and the strawberry gelatin and frozen berries pack a punch with each bite. The light whipped cream icing pairs so perfectly with this airy cake that you might find yourself sneaking a piece for breakfast. For a perfect pairing, we recommend a cup of white tea for subtle, sweet flavor.
- 15 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1½ cups plus 2 tablespoons caster sugar
- 1 cup flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 (3-ounce) package strawberry gelatin
- 2½ cups boiling water
- 1 pound package frozen strawberries
- 1½ cups double cream
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- Whole strawberries, for decorating
Directions: To start, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Separate egg whites from yolks in a bowl, and beat the egg whites until they are light and frothy. Add the cream of tartar to the eggs and beat until stiff peaks form. To add the sugar, sift it three times to ensure no clumps, and add it slowly to the egg whites while whisking.
Take cake flour and salt and sift both together at least 5 times. This will ensure that these ingredients do not feel gritty in the cake. Add the sifted flour and salt to the egg whites and fold slowly. Add the vanilla and fold gently again.
Add batter to an ungreased angel food cake pan and bake for 35 to 45 minutes. Set aside to cool completely, then invert the pan over a bottle or a jar that fits the cake pan.
For the filling, dissolve the gelatin in boiling water and add the strawberries in, breaking up the berries as you stir. Meanwhile, whip the cream and powdered sugar together until stiff peaks form.
To assemble the cake, place the cake on a serving plate with the wide-side down. Cut a 1-inch layer off the top of the cake and set aside. Cut around the cake 1 inch from the outer edge to 1 inch to the bottom. Then, cut around the cake again 1 inch from the inner edge to 1 inch from the bottom.
Remove the sections of cake between the cuts that have been made and pour strawberry mixture inside. Place the cake layer back on top and spread the icing over the top and sides. Decorate the top of the cake with strawberries, and serve.
2. Orange-Scented Scottish Shortbread with Dark Chocolate
These orange-scented Scottish shortbread cookies with dark chocolate developed by Liz Pearson for O, The Oprah Magazine are easy to make, and simply divine. Fresh orange zest pairs perfectly with the chunks of dark chocolate — we guarantee you’ll have trouble not reaching for seconds. These cookies hold up to the bold and spicy flavors of your favorite black teas. Any herbal blend with orange pairs perfectly as well.
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest, about 1 orange
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- 1 cup dark chocolate chunks
- 1 tablespoon raw, granulated, or turbinado sugar
Directions: Start by preheating the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine butter, sugar, and zest — you can use an electric mixer here if you wish, but you can also do it by hand. Mix in the flour, salt, and chocolate chunks and mix just until combined. The dough will not be very compact. Shape the dough into an 8-inch circle about ¾-inch thick. Transfer this large circle to your baking sheet and prick the dough into 8 to 10 even wedges with a fork, pressing all the way through the dough so the cookies break apart evenly after baking. You can crimp the edges with your fork as well if desired.
Sprinkle the dough with raw sugar, pressing it down so it sticks. Bake the shortbread until the edges are golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely.
3. Maple Balls
Not only is fall awesome for all of the delicious maple desserts you can make, but it’s also the perfect time to pair such treats with dark oolong teas. These simple and delicious maple balls from Yammie’s Noshery are small enough to pop into your mouth during your afternoon cup of tea, and delicious enough to keep in your fridge for any night of the week. Keep these in mind when you’re in need of something chocolaty, maple-filled, and delicious.
- 7 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- ¼ cup softened butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2½ teaspoon maple extract
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3½ cups powdered sugar
- ¾ cup chopped walnuts
- 2 cups chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
- 2 tablespoons butter
- More walnuts for topping (optional)
Directions: In a bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, butter, extracts, syrup, and salt, and beat with a mixer. Add the powdered sugar ½ cup at a time until the mixture takes on a doughy consistency. The amount of powdered sugar may vary a bit from the 3½ cups, so use your discretion.
Place small hand-rolled balls of the dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate or freeze these balls until solid.
Melt the chocolate chips with the shortening and butter in the microwave using a microwave-safe bowl. Turn the microwave power down to 50% and stir the mixture every 40 seconds until smooth, or use a double boiler for melting over the stove.
Take your balls out of the fridge and dip them into the chocolate using a fork. Tap the balls on the side of the bowl after they’re dunked to allow excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl. Place the coated maple balls back onto the sheet and top with walnuts if desired. Allow them to harden completely before serving.
4. Key Lime Pie Fudge
This fruity take on fudge from Delish is the perfect complement to any afternoon cup of tea, particularly fruity green teas that have a natural sweetness. This recipe will have you forgetting all about traditional milk chocolate fudge. This fruity treat gives your typical dessert a tropical flair you’ll crave year-round.
- 1 cup graham crackers, crushed
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 2½ cups white chocolate chips
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- Zest of 1 lime
Directions: Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small bowl, combine the crushed graham cracker pieces and butter, and pour this mixture onto a foil-lined 8-inch square baking dish. Bake 5 to 6 minutes and remove from the heat.
In a medium-size microwave-safe bowl, combine the white chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk, and microwave the mixture until fully melted. Make sure to microwave in intervals of 1 minute or less, stirring every time so the chocolate does not overheat. Stir the lime juice and lime zest into melted chocolate until completely combined.
Pour the mixture on top of the graham cracker crust. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until the fudge has set. Cut into 1-inch bars before serving.
5. Molten Chocolate Cakes
There’s nothing that goes better with your favorite cup of tea than gooey, warm chocolate, and these molten chocolate cakes from Food & Wine certainly don’t disappoint. The richness of the cakes go excellently with the bolder flavors found in black teas or chai, but we think chocolate goes well with any tea you love. The idea of warm, flowing chocolate sitting inside of a cake exterior sounds difficult to pull off, but these are surprisingly easy to make, too.
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- ¼ cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Directions: Start by preheating the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. You’ll need 4 6-ounce ramekins to help your cakes keep their shape. Butter and lightly flour your ramekins, tapping the excess flour off of them, and set them on a baking sheet.
In a double boiler that’s sitting over simmering water, melt the butter and the chocolate together until smooth. In a separate medium bowl, beat the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and salt at a high speed until the mixture is thick and pale in color.
Give your melting chocolate one last whisk and quickly fold it into the eggs. Add the flour as well to combine. Spoon this batter into your prepared ramekins and bake for 12 minutes or until the sides of the cakes are firm and the center remains soft. Remove your cakes from the oven and allow to cool in the ramekins for 1 minute. Cover each with an inverted dessert plate. Turn each over carefully and allow to stand for 10 seconds before unmolding, and serve immediately.