Cinnamon teacake

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Wow! I was interviewed as an authority on food podcasting for the Guardian Unlimited newsdesk podcast this morning and can’t believe how nervous I was. I hope they managed to edit together something sensible from all my babble. You can find the interview about 16 min 40 sec into the bulletin.

Loads of stuff I forgot to mention – like how we’ve been in Time magazine, and how we’re cited in Stephanie Bryant’s new book Videoblogging for Dummies.

Get Crash Test Kitchen in iTunes.

Anyway. It’s been a while since we posted an episode – listen to the GU podcast and you’ll learn that it’s partly because our cooker/stove/oven was broken, and getting it replaced was a bit of a nightmare. Also we’ve been travelling again, and work life has been keeping us busy. But we’ve kicked back into gear and, to coincide with the Guardian interview, here’s an episode in which we make a simple teacake.

This video was previously posted incomplete, but it’s now the full episode, so if you saw “Part 1” please watch again.

Now, about teacake. As the name suggests it’s the perfect accompaniment to a cup of your favourite leaf tea, and is as much a part of the Anglo-Australian baking repertoire as scones and sponge cake.

It’s also a lot easier than making a sponge – which, if you’ve watched out Sponge Blob Square Pan episode, you’ll know can be a perilous task

The cake is more dense than a sponge and you could almost say it’s slightly stodgy. Cinnamon and melted butter top it off perfectly, and as Lenny reminded me, some people actually put butter on their slice before eating it as well.

A note to those outside jurisdictions where you can get self-raising flour: instead, use one CUP of plain flour to one TEASPOON of baking POWDER – not soda! Learn that ratio as a mantra and you shouldn’t have any trouble. Every care taken, no responsibility accepted blah blah.

– Waz

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27 Responses to “Cinnamon teacake”

  • Glad to see you’re back in action!

  • Glad you guys are back.

  • I think I will give the old tea cake a burl this weekend (probably accompanied by the sound of bunyips as opposed to magpies though). From one of the “Dummies”, it’s nice to have you both back in action.

  • Been waiting anxiously for the next episode, yeah!!!!!!! I love the show.

    Was taught to take a toothpick and plunge it in the middle of my baked goods to see if it’s done. If it comes out clean without stuff sticking to it, then you can stop baking. This way you stop getting the small amount of undoneness in the middle without over cooking it.

  • I just made a cake and it was really yummy. i put some cinnamon in the batter and it was nice. very good! i heard that cracking eggs on a flat surface won’t leave shells in the liquid part of the egg. when cracking the egg on the edge of a bowl, it shoves the shell in the egg, or that was the theory. can’t wait till the next one!

  • Great to see you guys back on air again. I had a dissappointing 12 weeks of checking and no episode to watch. Will check out the cake! Jim

  • yep, i agree with jim up there – everyone knows you should stick a skewer into the belly of your cake to see if it is done. the skewer test kicks butt on the wobble test you did.

  • Guys, Waz here… we did actually do a quick skewer test. I edited that bit out, being a bit too zealous with the editing. The result was inconclusive so we decided to take it out and let it continue basking in its own heat on the bench. In the end I don’t really think it was undercooked.

  • Hi Guys,Good to see you back!Just a suggestion, could you put a list of ingredients at the end of the video (Blue Peter Style!) saves the lazy ones amoungst us taking Notes!Thanks!!

  • You didn’t add the cinnamon to the cake mix I noticed, or it wasn’t mentioned. Is it added afterwards then? I can’t wait to see part 2, congratulations on the new cooker/oven though, glad to see you both back on the air (literally, I use wi-fi)

  • horray!!! welcome back!

  • Actually, to answer your question, in the United States, it’s confectioners sugar for really fine powery sugar or granulated for regular grainy sugar.

    Great vids!!

  • I’m so glad your back. I was missing you guys. Thanks

  • So glad you’re back! And in fine form. I can’t imagine going without my stove for any length of time, but the new one is lovely.

    To follow up on Ben’s comment, “castor sugar” is what is called superfine sugar in the US. It is hard to find in some grocery stores here, but I read that you can make it by whizzing some regular granulated sugar in a food processor. It didn’t look like our powdered sugar to me, so I did a little research.

    The Guardian podcast was fun to listen to, too. Thanks for the link.

  • Glad to see you back.

  • My cookery teacher would slap your wrists for what you two keep doing. :) When baking a cake, you never open the oven til its done, as it causes the cake to drop, and in some cases go stodgy, or, if you have to, you do it for a very brief period of time to get a better look, say a few seconds.

    Nice cake though, yup, I made it myself! Whee! :)
    I did, erm, alter the recipe a little though. *Whistles* I put cinnamon into the dough mix, and just dusted with icing sugar over it. :) Think its the first cake that actually worked in my oven though it took an hour to bake, think the fan assisting does the opposite sometimes.

  • Wow, another great recipe from Waz’s mother. It’s almost as good as the boiled chocolate cake.

    Now, I’m betting she has a killer xmas cake in her files, heavily laced with butter and brandy. Would love to see that one this festive season.

  • The tea cake looks yummy! My mom actually has a very similar recipie, except that the cinnamon was added into the cake as a seperate mixture. You make the cake batter and put half of it in the pan, then you make a seperate mixture of 1 cup brown sugar, two tablespoons melted butter, two tablespoons all purpose flour, and a tablespoon of water, mix it together then pour it onto the first half of the batter, add the second half of the batter on top of that then use a knife to make swirl them together. It’s super tastey!

    I love the show and can’t wait for the next episode and the next recipie!

  • Thaleia,

    Waz’s Mum does make a fantastic Christmas cake. But unfortunately neither of us is a fan of a traditional fruitcake so you probably won’t see us whipping one up this Christmas. Thanks for your comments and the recipe modification – I might try that next time.


  • Did you make the cake in the same cake tin both times? I wonder if the tin is a little too high for the amount of mixture, and that’s why it’s taking longer to cook.

    Just a thought.

  • Kes, yes, same tin, and yes, it may well be too high – we had thought about that.

  • florian from berlin (formerly overeaters anonymous)

    hi there,

    i just tried making the cake, and what can you say, it turned out so beautifully! thank you for a great aussie recipe. i put a wee bit of cinnamon and ginger into the batter, but i think cinnamon only on top is quite sufficient. into the topping i put a pinch of salt, this goes quite nicely with the cinnamon.

    my host mom in south africa once made an australian cake (my host dad was from australia). it was a square chocolate cake with a pink coconut frosting and filling. the cake was delicious, the colour combination was sort of hideous, but also sort of really retro cool. should go really well with an orange table cloth.

    you don’t by any chance happen to know, what cake that might have been?

    thanks again for a such a great show, i am impatiently awaiting the next instalment!

  • What a great and fast little cake! I was always taught that the basic cake recipe is 1-1-1 of each flour, butter and sugar. So with the 60 gr of butter just add 60 gr of sugar and 60 gr of flour. Since you also added some milk, I put in a bit more flour until the batter “looked” right to me.
    With those amounts, I fill up a 15 cm wide little tin and it comes out beautifully! (also added a pinch of salt btw) Just 20 min cooking time at 190 degrees.
    I allowed to cool, then cut the cake horizontally in 2 layers and drizzled some Amaretto on both sides. Smeared on some chocolate ganache (1 part chocolate, 1 part cream, heat up until smooth) and popped the top back on.
    GORGEOUS! and the best part of it was I got to eat it all myself!

  • Nice recipe! What brand and what type of tea(English breakfast and so on..) do you folks use?

    • Hi Ragav, we have all sorts of tea in our house, believe you me. Assam, English breakfast, weird Chinese stuff … Lenny’s a bit of an aficionado. I quite like assam tea myself, or mint tea made with fresh leaves. Lenny alternates her teas depending on what she’s into at the time. I like genmaicha (Japanese – green tea + roasted barley) if I can get my hands on it. Though a Liptons teabag with milk and sugar will do fine for me on most occasions!

  • Thank you! Could you recall what tea was Lenny drinking in this video? How do i drink tea black and how much sugar say Lipton?

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