Kawakawa Tea Cakes close up

Kawakawa Tea Cakes

These dainty little cakes are little mouthfuls of lemon infused sponge topped with a kawakawa tea glaze. Don’t mention they are vegan and no one will even know.
Course Dessert
Cuisine New Zealand
Keyword tea cakes, vegan tea cakes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Author Miggs McTaylor


  • 280 ml (or 1 cup) + 2 Tbsp unsweetened oat milk or soya milk
  • 30 ml (or 2 Tbsp) lemon juice
  • 180 g (or 1 ½ cups) organic all-purpose flour
  • 90 g (or 2/3 cups) wholemeal (whole wheat pastry) flour
  • 130 g (or 2/3 cup) golden castor sugar or finely ground cane sugar
  • 45 g (or 1/3 cup) fine coconut sugar or castor sugar
  • tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • zest of 2 medium lemons
  • ½ tsp finely ground Himalayan sea salt
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla syrup extract
  • 125 ml or ½ cup neutral vegetable oil (chef Miggs used canola)

For the Glaze

  • ½ cup strong Kawakawa tea or Earl Grey and rosemary.
  • ½ cup golden castor or any fine vegan sugar


  1. If using fresh lemons, zest before squeezing the juice.
  2. Add lemon juice to oat or soya milk and set aside.
  3. Position a rack in the upper third of oven and preheat to 180°C.
  4. Grease 16 mini-brioche tins or a 12 cup standard cupcake tray with baking spray (or oil).
  5. Sieve and mix dry ingredients together, stir in lemon zest.
  6. Whisk the oil and vanilla into the oat milk and lemon juice mixture. Pour into the dry ingredients while whisking until you have a smooth batter.
  7. Pour into your baking tins of choice, for mini brioche moulds, leave at least 2-3mm gap to the top of the tins, for a standard cupcake tin ¾ fill. (This mixture also works well as a small bunt cake.)

  8. For the glazing syrup, bring ½ cup of strong kawakawa tea (sieved of tea leaves) and ½ cup of sugar of your choice (not coconut sugar) to the boil in a small pot. Boil for 2-3 minutes or until thick and syrupy.

  9. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until lightly golden and risen, remove from tins and glaze with tea syrup and garnish.

Recipe Notes

Recipe and photographs by Miggs McTaylor, Botanical Cuisine Specialist, Chef. Recipe reprinted by permission of author and Good magazine