Lemon Myrtle Tea cake on ceramic plate

Lemon Myrtle Tea Cake

This lemon myrtle tea cake is proof that there’s something undeniably lovely and nostalgic about the ritual of tea and cake. Many of us associate baking with a beloved adult who gave us precious time and affection. As a result, it evokes warmth and affection. Later, as we grow up, it is a moment taken for refreshment, restoration, communion or contemplation, and enjoyment, Accordingly rituals like these are a valuable practice in everyday life. Indeed, we savour and pass on traditions like these. Each of us develops them and consequently becomes part of a shared history and sense of community.

This recipe is an exciting take on evolving a tradition, adapting the kind of sweet, rich tea cake you’d find in a vintage cookbook. This tradition combines with the ancient history of native ingredients by indigenous Australian people. Many native botanicals have a long history of use for nutrition, flavour and health benefits. Including native citrus and myrtles in this recipe reflects a recognition and appreciation of the environment we share.

As a wonderful afternoon tea cake, we have matched this recipe with a selection of our teas. Read on for:


Prep Time – 15 minutes       Cook Time – 40 minutes       Servings – 8-10



320g       Butter, grated and then softened, plus extra for cooking Spice being measured into mixing bowl

660g       Caster sugar

450g       Self-raising flour

70g          Custard powder

375ml      Milk

2tsp        Ground cinnamon myrtle

2tsp        Ground anise myrtle

2tsp        Ground lemon myrtle

Grated zest of 2 finger limes


280g       Butter, melted

400g       Icing sugar, sifted

4              Egg yolks

2tsp         Desert lime powder/zest of 2 lemons


Step 1

Preheat oven to 160°C. While heating grease and line a 20 cm square cake tin.

Step 2

Combine all ingredients, except those for the icing, in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Start on low, then slowly increase speed to high. Beat on high for 4–5 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally if needed, until the batter is pale and fluffy.

Step 3

Pour batter into the tin. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until lightly golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Once the cake has cooled in the tin for 5 minutes, turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Cut in half lengthwise.

Step 4

For the icing, mix butter and icing sugar in a small bowl until well combined. Then, stir in egg yolks and desert lime powder. Allow the cake to cool completely before icing. Spread the top and sides of one cake generously with icing. Finally, top with the other cake and spread with the remaining icing.


*Substitutions can be made to adapt this cake to different dietary preferences



We recommend serving this cake with one of the following teas from our Australian collection. Each tea in this range is uniquely Australian, including native ingredients selected for their flavour, fragrance and nourishing properties.


Australian Breakfast tea, a loose leaf organic tea by Organic Merchant


Harmonise the citric notes of the cake with the native lemon and eucalyptus of our restorative and revitalising Australian Breakfast Tea. This tea is a wonderful morning brew, and it can likewise be enjoyed as a pick-me-up throughout the day. It is naturally extremely rich in antioxidants and antibiotic properties.





Australian Outback Chai tea, a loose leaf organic tea by Organic Merchant


The invigorating pepperberry in our Australian Outback Chai Tea provides a counterpoint to the cake’s sweetness, while both tea and cake share warm spice notes. This blend’s rooibos base provides strengthening and anti-ageing support for the body and healthy hair, skin and complexion. This tea is naturally caffeine free.





Australian Wattleseed tea, a loose leaf organic tea by Organic Merchant


Enjoy a traditional afternoon tea with a local warming local accent by serving with our  Australian Wattleseed Tea. Wattleseed has long been linked with improved digestion and circulation. It is believed to help the body balance blood sugar and it is also often recognised as a natural means of optimising cognition.






The native botanicals in this recipe add a grounding tartness and spice to the sweetness of the tea cake, thus giving a flavour with complexity and warmth. This makes this cake particularly lovely in autumn. Tangy lemon and lime call back to the freshness of summer, while the spicy and earthy qualities of the cinnamon, nutmeg and anise myrtles evoke the winter craving for hygge. For those who haven’t used a lot of native Australian ingredients, the flavours will be accessibly familiar, although with a specific Australian quality. Complemented by a cup of your favourite blend, this recipe is sure to become an afternoon tea favourite.

Lemon Myrtle Tea Cake recipe and lead image originally published in First Nations Food Companion, via SBS Food