It’s almost Mother’s Day! This is not a reminder to my husband, who is very likely reading this post. I’m lucky enough that he has planned ahead and has arranged a dinner reservation for Saturday night. It’s a surprise – I can’t wait! Eating out might be one of my favorite things to do, especially since it’s become a rare luxury since the boys came along. I’ll update you on the next post about where we went and what we ate!
So, this very Mother’s Day-appropriate bread was made for me, by me. And that’s ok. It turned out even better than I had hoped! It’s one of those recipes that you’re totally unsure of how it will taste until you actually make it, but then you just LOVE it. It was so good!
Did you know that rooibos tea actually comes from South Africa? I think it is practically a staple food for South Africans. I remember when I first started living with Etienne he would always make rooibos tea for us, and I would never have mine with milk or sugar, as I never really doctor my tea. Honestly, I didn’t love the taste of rooibos tea. But then we went to visit his family in South Africa, and on our first night there, his Aunt prepared some rooibos tea, with milk AND sugar, and it was amazing. I couldn’t believe what I’d been missing out on that whole time! I won’t drink it any other way now.
Back to the cake. I’ve often seen and heard of cakes and breads infused with Earl Grey tea, so I thought I’d see what rooibos would taste like in a cake. and vanilla bean just seemed like the perfect complimentary flavor. And ooooh man, was I right! The cake is soft and moist, with just the right amount of sweetness that would make it would go so well with afternoon tea (duh) or as a breakfast bread. Oscar also got some for dessert, so I guess it’s a pretty versatile cake!
You could use any brand of rooibos, but I can only guarantee the flavor of the bread if you use a red tea rooibos!
About half an hour before you’re ready to start making your cake, heat the milk to almost boiling in a saucepan on the stove, and then steep 4 bags of rooibos tea. This super-strong infused milk will create that pleasant rooibos taste in the cake. Be sure to squeeze all of the liquid out of the tea bags before you discard them.
I used butter in the loaf instead of oil, as I wanted a fairly dense bread with that buttery crumb we all love. If you have access to vanilla beans, you’ll need 1 whole bean for this recipe. I used my favorite vanilla bean paste from Nielsen Massey. You could also use pure vanilla extract, but I find it doesn’t have the same intense vanilla effect as a vanilla bean.
Topping the cake off is a vanilla bean glaze, using vanilla beans/paste again. You guys, this glaze is sooo good, I just wanted to grab a spoon and eat the entire bowl of it!! Instead, I drizzled it over my cooled cake.
This moist, dense, lightly sweetened bread would be just perfect for a Mother’s Day brunch, or a tea party with friends. I hope you get a chance to try it out!
Here is my sincere HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all the mothers out there reading this post. Your job is truly one of the hardest, and you deserve more than just cake. But it’s certainly a start 🙂
Vanilla Bean Rooibos Bread
Yield 1 loaf
A lightly sweetened, red rooibos tea-infused bread with hints of vanilla and drizzled with a vanilla bean glaze
- 4 red rooibos tea bags
- 1/2 cup whole milk*
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup coconut palm sugar (or granulated sugar)
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste*
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
Vanilla Bean Glaze
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- 2 tbsp whole milk, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste*
- 1 cup icing sugar
- In a small saucepan on the stove, heat the milk to just before boiling and add the 4 tea bags. Remove from heat, cover and steep for 30 minutes. Squeeze the tea bags to remove all moisture, and discard. Set the milk aside to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and butter and flour a 9x5 loaf pan.
- Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating with each addition. Add the vanilla bean paste and beat until combined.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low, add half of the flour mixture until just combined. Add the tea/milk to the mixture, followed by the remaining flour mixture. Beat until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the loaf to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove to a wire rack to completely cool before adding the glaze.
- While the loaf is cooking, prepare the glaze by whisking together the butter, milk and vanilla bean paste and then whisking in the icing sugar until smooth. Keep at room temperature until ready to use.
- Drizzle the vanilla glaze over the cooled loaf and allow to set before serving*
Rooibos bread will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
- I would not recommend using less than 2% fat milk
- Substitute the vanilla bean paste for 1 vanilla bean, or 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- Substitute the vanilla bean paste for 1/4 vanilla bean, or 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- If you plan on making the loaf to freeze, I recommend freezing without the glaze, then adding it to the thawed bread.
Pin this bread for later!
Shop today’s recipe