School cookery classes… started with baked apples and simple stews then suddenly it was Swedish tea ring. Result. It instantly became my Dad’s favourite cake, and still is. Over the years we’ve added more and more cinnamon, and fruit… So don’t pay too much attention to the quantities of the fillings – add more to suit your tastebuds!
Cinnamon Tea Ring
1 tbl dried baking yeast
1 lemon, juiced and zested
225ml semi skimmed milk
100g butter, softened
25g butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
100g caster sugar
2 eggs, beaten
500g plain flour
1 tbl ground cinnamon, then a bit more
4 tablespoons soft dark brown sugar
150g sultanas, raisins
75g chopped nuts e.g. pecan, blanched almonds
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
100g icing sugar
Cherries (optional garnish detail)
Zest and juice the lemon. Put the yeast, flour, milk, butter, salt, caster sugar, eggs and lemon zest into a large bowl and stir until well combined.
Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it a bit until smooth. If you know what you’re doing, great. If not just wing it and the yeast will still do its thing, you’ll just have a slightly more rustic tea ring.
When you’ve had enough of the kneading, the proper thing to do is place the dough in a bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave it to rise until it’s got a lot bigger. Might be an hour, might be longer… However, I have kind of scooted straight past this step sometimes and still ended up with an OK tea ring – it has another chance to rise later.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out to a rectangle, about 30x60cm. Brush the whole of this surface with the melted butter. Then sprinkle the whole surface with the raisins, sultanas, brown sugar, cinnamon (always add a bit more than the recipe says…).
Now just roll the long side the dough up like a Swiss roll and press the edges together to form a long seam. Then curve the whole thing around so that the ends meet to make a ring. Dampen your fingers with some water and seal up the ends (and any other gappy looking bits!)
Put your tea ring on a lightly greased baking tray and using a sharp knife, make diagonal cuts along the rim, cutting about half the way through. Cover the roll with a damp towel and let rise till it’s roughly double (i.e. quite a lot bigger), which will take an hour or more.
When risen, bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden at 190 C (Gas mark 5) or Aga roasting oven with cold shelf.
Once cooked, leave it to cool on a rack whilst you make the icing: Place the lemon juice in a small bowl along with the vanilla and icing sugar. Stir until the icing sugar is smooth, adding little dribbles of water if it’s too solid until you have a thick but drizzle-able icing.
Drizzle the icing sugar all over your COOLED tea ring (make sure it’s cooled down or you’ll get one almighty icing sugar mess!). Sprinkle with nuts and garnish with glace cherries if you’re feeling extra decorative.
If you liked this, you might also like Carrot Cake, or visit More to Mountain Retreats at Castle Farm and have it cooked for you!