London Fog Cake with Earl Grey Buttercream + Salted Caramel

The Earl Grey buttercream that surrounds this stunning layer cake is as sweet and smooth as its drink namesake - the London Fog latte.  Layers of classic chocolate cake are filled with this tea and vanilla-flecked frosting before being drizzled with salted caramel sauce.

London Fog Cake with Earl Grey buttercream and salted caramel sauce.

Let me tell you the little story about my small obsession with black tea… Years ago, probably about a decade or more, I vacationed in the UK.  I’d toured Europe once before as a teenager on a crazy three-week long adventure with my family and grandparents (a story in itself for another day), but this time we spent out time exploring just London and Edinburgh.  Nearly daily, we tried our hand at afternoon tea – really just an excuse to sit al fresco at a café and soak it all it.  Traditional English breakfast tea quickly became a favorite for me, especially with lots of milk and sugar.

London Fog Cake with Earl Grey buttercream and salted caramel sauce.
London Fog Cake with Earl Grey buttercream and salted caramel sauce.

During the trip, I picked up the most aromatic, creamy almond black tea from Covent Gardens.  Today, I still dream of that tea!  I brought a package home, savouring each sip and reminiscing about my travels.  I think I shed a tear the day my spoon hit the bottom of the crinkled bag and only loose tea dust and almond essence spilled out onto to my sad, sad kitchen counter…

Since then, I’ve been collecting tea, desperately trying to find something as satisfying as that almond tea.  It’s turned me into somewhat of a tea hoarder – an entire section of my pantry devoted to all different types of tea.  I’ve never found anything close (and at this point, I’ve probably but that tea so high on a pedestal that even if I found it again, I wouldn’t notice), but then there is always Earl Grey tea. 

My love for Ear Grey tea runs pretty deep.  And as I quote from “Layered” (because I am cheesy like that), “some drink it black or with a simple slice of lemon, but I can’t ever pass up an Earl Grey tea latte, called a ‘London Fog’.”  So robust, yet ordinary, with its district yet subtle citrus flavour from the oils of a bergamont orange – add some steamed milk and sweeten it up with some vanilla syrup and you’re golden. 

London Fog Cake with Earl Grey buttercream and salted caramel sauce.

In a book of 60 different cake combinations, this London Fog Cake is definitely in my top five.  Top 3 – maybe (it’s like picking your favorite child!).  When it came to the official Online Book Release Party for "Layered," I couldn't help but participate myself.  I re-created this cake for The Cake Blog last week.  Here's a bit more of what I have to say about it:

"Tea-flecked and silky smooth, Earl Grey buttercream is slathered between layers of classic chocolate cake before being blanketed over the entire thing.  The cake layers themselves are extremely moist and versatile – the quintessential cake to fulfill any chocolate craving.  To top it all off, homemade Salted Caramel Sauce!  Any recipe that calls for boiling sugar might sound a little scary, but it really isn’t as hard to make as you might think.  Several of the recipes throughout the book call for this staple recipe, and once you make your own, you’ll abandon the store-bought stuff for good.  Trust me, fudgy chocolate cake, creamy Earl Grey, and salted caramel – it doesn’t get much better than this!"


London Fog Cake with Earl Grey buttercream and salted caramel sauce.
London Fog Cake with Earl Grey buttercream and salted caramel sauce.

Head on over to The Cake Blog for the full recipe - straight from "Layered."  How awesome, right??

LAYERED Online Release Party! + LINKS

As a first-time author, I really had no idea what to expect this week.  For those of you who might have missed the news, “Layered” was officially released on Tuesday!  For the most part, it’s been a typical week – going to the park with Everett, changing diapers, trying to get my wild dog to behave in public, tackling the piles of laundry, etc.  On the other hand, I’ve received so much love and support that I don’t even know what to do with myself in between the madness that is life with a toddler.  THANK YOU ALL soooo much!

Riesling Rhubarb Crisp Cake Slices from "Layered."

Riesling Rhubarb Crisp Cake Slices from "Layered."

With so many other amazing cookbooks getting released each week and competing for shelf space with mega cookbook celebrities like Chrissy Teigen and Gwyneth, I tried not to get my hopes up – not that I have any idea what even constitutes “good” book sales.  But, while it only lasted 48 hours, “Layered” had a little “#1 Best Seller” tag next to its title on Amazon.  I could not be more thrilled!!  Even though I was quickly bumped to #2 by a cake book that is just about the complete opposite of “Layered,” I am so amazed by all the love my little dream book has garnered so far. 

Besides hitting “refresh” on my Amazon page and waiting for Oprah or Martha to call (they haven’t yet – fingers crossed!), I’ve particularly enjoyed seeing the most beautiful cakes create by some of my favorite cake makes and online pals.  I kindly asked a selection of bloggers to recreate a recipe from my book to share with their readers in honor of the release.  An Online Book Launch Party, so to speak. 

London Fog Cake by Michelle of Hummingbird High

London Fog Cake by Michelle of Hummingbird High

Everyday this week I’ve been completely blown away by their STUNNING creations!!!  Each one is gorgeous and I am so blessed to have such an incredible online support system.  Seriously – bloggers are the best!!  Not only did they all donate their time making a cake and writing a post (these aren’t quick recipes either), they volunteered their creativity.  What I love most is that each cake is so different, and even though they followed the same recipes, I can see the personality and style of each maker in their cakes.  How cool is that!?!?!? 

Chocolate Fudge Cake from Sarah of The Sugar Hit.

Chocolate Fudge Cake from Sarah of The Sugar Hit.


Adrianna’s Birthday Cake  and its #sprinklefade is everything!  So thrilled to officially e-meet you, Adrianna!  Now I can stalk photos of Amelia (her adorable corgi) without feeling like a total stranger.

Alana’s Vanilla Cake with Earl Grey Crumbles and Buttercream takes the best of several different recipes and combines them into one amazing creation with the most perfect petal buttercream finish.  And the GIF!  A must see!

Aimee’s dark ‘n moody Floral Zucchini Cake.  She is one of the sweetest dessert bloggers around and her photos of this cake are stunning!

Amy’s Lemon Zucchini Cake is beyond gorgeous.  Topped with an array of beautiful flowers, this was Amy’s first post she photographed herself!  I couldn’t be more proud of the results.  (please don’t hate me for disclosing this – you truly are amazing)

Betty’s Zucchini Cake with Lemon Buttercream sounds so fresh and vibrant.  I am dying to try the lemon buttercream!  Betty will tell you that she is a beginner cake maker, but I’m calling her bluff.  This cake is gorgeous!!  The work of a pro =)

Billy's cross between The Birthday Cake and the Banoffee Tiramsiu.  The perfect cake mash-up!  Also, click here to see his AMAZING flamingo variation.  Seriously, go check it out.

Cynthia’s Mini London Fog Cakes + Cupcakes  literally made my jaw drop all the way to the floor.  There’s something so inviting about her photography, and these pics make me want to grab a seat at her dining table a shovel cupcakes straight into my mouth – in the most graceful way, of course.  And I love how she made cupcakes, too!

Heather’s Sprinkle-Covered Birthday Cake – my SprinkleBakes dreams have officially come true!  I’m a long-time fan of Heather’s work, and I am so honoured to have her as part of the Online Release Party!

Izy's mash-up including my Lemony Zucchini Cake with fan fave Earl Grey Buttercream.  The citrus undertones sounds soooo tasty!  Once again, Izy proves she is a culinary wizard!

Jocelyn's beautiful Resiling Rhubarb Cake!  Better freeze some rhubarb so you can make this stunning cake all year round.  Jocelyn is kind of a super-star and I am beyond grateful for her support.

Laura’s London Fog Cake has the most perfect caramel drip I’ve ever seen.  Can you see my face salivating in the reflection?  Laura has been so unbelievable kind, and I can’t wait until her book comes out later this year.

Lily's Lemon Zucchini Cake with a healthy twist using HONEY!  Lily, you are such a sweetheart.  Thank you!

Lyndsay’s Drippy Birthday Cake is so stinkin’ cute!  It has the perfect amount of Coco Cake flair with its pink ganache drips and gold accents.  I can’t thank Lyndsay enough for her tender soul, amazing friendship (even though she is way cooler than me), and for sharing her undeniable talent with the world.

Marce’s London Fog Cake.  Her cakes are so amazing that I even activated my Snapchat account just to see her behind the scenes.  No joke.  And neither is this cake.  It’s beautiful!

Michelle’s Chocolate and Earl Grey London Fog Cake is absolutely heavenly.  I love her airy, dreamy photos!  And I (not so) secretly want to be as cool and talented as Michelle.  Everything that comes out of that tiny SF apartment kitchen of hers is pure perfection!

Nik's stunning Birthday Cake shot in his award-winning photography style.  Sooooo pretty!  Swirly fudge had never looked so good.

Sarah’s Double-Chocolate Fudge Cake is lick-your-screen drool-worthy!  Her frosting is epic!  Like, I want to dig right in and never look back.  Sooooo good!

Sarah’s Chocolate Tiramisu Cake is elegant, romantic, and down-right delicious.  I love Sarah’s ethereal style, and this cake is no exception.  She combined a couple different recipes from the book and the result is this masterpiece.

Thalia’s French Opera Cake is 6-layers of breath-taking beauty.  Thalia has one of the kindest, most beautiful souls – no wonder her work is magical!


Rainbow sprinkle cake slices

I cannot thank you all enough.  I was a bit hesitant to reach out to many of you at first (some who I have never even met before!) because I know how busy everyone is, but the results are phenomenal!  Plus, I even made some new friends in the process!  Thank you all for supporting me (and each other).  What an amazing community we’ve got here!

"Layered" Pre-Order Campaign!

Pre-order your copy of Layered today to receive a gift with purchase! 


Yes, that’s right.  With just under a month until it’s release, it’s not time to officially pre-order your own copy of Layered: Baking, Building, and Styling Spectacular Cakes.  Head over to my official book page here to find a list of retailers where the book is currently available for pre-order.


In case you haven’t heard, here’s a peak at what you can find within the pages of Layered:

The book, ‘Layered: Baking, Building, and Styling Spectacular Cakes,’ is all about - you guessed it, CAKES! Layer cakes, to be exact. I’ve packed 288 pages full of my all-time favorite recipes, tips and tricks from my years making cakes, and some crafty tutorials so you can make bakery-style cakes at home! From the classics like Red Velvet and Boston Cream Pie to more whimsical and adventurous flavors like Strawberry Confetti, Mango Coconut Cream, and Red Wine Blackberry, there is a recipe for every occasion. I’ve added some helpful step-by-step photos as well as a stylish, full-page image (or two) for EACH cake.

Why pre-order and not just wait until April 19th?  Well, if you pre-order your copy now (and why not one for a friend, too, while you are at it?), you can receive a free frosting spatula to get you started on creating your own decorative cakes!  Also, I even sign a bookplate for ya.  Head over to Abrams Books to redeem your gift while supplies last!


“But Tessa, I already pre-ordered my copy!”  Don’t worry!  You can still redeem your gift by entering your pre-order confirmation number here.  And also, THANK YOU!!!  Your support and enthusiasm for spectacular layer cakes makes me so happy. 


By pre-ordering, not only will want to thank your past-self for the present left on your doorstep a few weeks from now (who doesn’t love a happy mail day?), but to my understanding, it really does make a difference for sales.  All of your excitement for the book (as shown by placing an order ahead of time) tells book sellers that people are really excited about making awesome layer cakes and that they better make sure to stock their shelves. 


To show my gratitude for all your lovely supporters, I created this little video for you:


Want even more behind the scenes?  Check out my short series entitled "How to Write a Cookbook" part 1 and part 2.

Gift with purchase only available until April 18, 2016 or while supplies last.  Offer limited to residents of the 50 US (and D.C) state, aged 18 or older.  For more rules and regulations go here.